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Yucatan Before and After the Conquest, by Diego de Landa, tr. William Gates, [1937], at

p. 161

Identification of Plant Names mentioned in Landa's text

tixzula: lirio; probably Hymenocallis americana, Jacq. (Molina Solis).

ixlaul: laurel; Stemmadenia insignis, Miers.

nicte: the generic name for Plumerias.

yerbamora or nightshade; pahalcan: Solanum nigrum, L.

doradilla; muchcoc: Selaginella, lapidophylla, Spring.

yaxpahalche: Piper Gaumeri, Trel.

zarzaparilla; coceeh: Smilax mexicana, Griseb.

"kind of hemp": halal? Scirpus validus, Vahl.

ixim: maize; Zea mayz, L.

beans, frijoles; buul: Phaseolus vulgaris, L.

peppers: Capsicum genus.

"root, growing like the turnip . . . is the fruit": chicam?; jícama; Pachyrhizus erosus L.

"root which grows like the turnip, short, fat, and round": chicam, jicama; Pachyrrhizus erosus, L.

"root that grows under the earth"; peanut? Arachis hypogaea, Schlecht, Cham.

"there are two other kinds of good roots they use as food":

   a—iz, camote, sweet potato; Ipomoea batatas L.

   b—maxcal, macal, yam; Dioscorea alata L.

"tree with fruit like round gourds": jícara? luch; Crescentia cujete, L.

"smaller gourds": lac? Lagenaria siceraria, Standl.

"incense tree": pom, copal; Protium copal, Engl.

"handsome tree that grows by wells": yaxche, ceiba; Ceiba pentandra, L.

kulche: cedar; Cedrela mexicana, M. Roemer.

"sort of yellowish tree": ya, sapote; Achras sapota L.

brasil; chacte: Caesalpinia platyloba, Wats.

zoon: Guaiacum sanctum L.

"causes sores": chechem; Metopium Brownei Jacq.

"tree with double thorns": subim, cornezuelo; Acacia Collinsii, Safford.

"use for tying in building": hol; Hibiscus tiliaceus L.

"another . . . of which they make bows and lances": chulul?; Apoplanesia paniculata, Presl.

"for pillows is superior to tow": piim; Ceiba aesculifolia HBK.

"wine-tree which the Indians esteem so highly": balche; Lonchocarpus longistylus, Pittier.

niiche: grapes; Coccoloba uvifera L.

abal: plums; Spondias mombin L., or S. purpurea L.

bananas: platanos; Musa paradisiaca L., or M. sapientum L.

"very large tree that bears a large, longish fruit": chacal haas; Calocarpum mammosum L.

ya: sapote; Achras sapota L.

ox: ramón; Brosimum alicastrum, Sw.

"another (tree) exceedingly beautiful which bears a fruit like large eggs": put, papaya; Carica papaya L.

p. 162

uayam: guaya; Talisia olivaeformis HBK.

pichi: guayava; Psidium guajava L.

on: aguacate; Persea americana, Mill.

"this tree bears a small, tasty, yellow fruit": chucum? Pithecolobium albicans, Kunth.

"there are artichokes that are very spiny and ugly": chacuob, pitahaya; Cereus undatus, Haw.

"small, rather spiny tree bearing a fruit shaped like a slender cucumber": chom? Bromelia karatas L.

"small tree . . . bearing spiny pods like chestnuts": kuxub, achiote; Bixa orellana L.

"one kind (of palm) serves for the thatching of the houses": xaan, huano; Inodes japa, Standl.

"the other is a low, spiny palm": tuk? Acrocomia mexicana, Karw.?

"the other kind (of cotton tree) ... lasts five or six years"; taman; Gossypium barbadense L or G. Schottii Watt, Wild and Cult.

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It should be noted that the pronunciation of all Maya words is as in Spanish, with the following exceptions: c is always hard; x is sounded like sh in English, Xiu being like Shu. The letter k and the stop consonants p t ch and tz, when marked by an apostrophe, as p’ t’ ch’ tz’, are preceded by a muscular tension and then sounded explosively, the usual technical term being 'glottal stop.' Thus tz’ sounds to the English ear as if it were dz, and is usually so written in Yucatan, as in the town Dzitás, near Chichén Itzá. The Mayance languages lack our 'sonants' d, hard g, j, z, as also f; Yucatecan Maya also lacks the r. Double vowels are to be sounded as such, with accent on the first.