Tejocote Blossoms Crataegus Mexicana is a species of hawthorn known by the common names tejocote, manzanita, tejocotera and Mexican hawthorn. It is native to the mountains of Mexico and parts of Guatemala, and has been introduced in the Andes. The fruit of this species is one of the most useful among hawthorns. Crataegus pubescens Steud. is a nomenclaturally illegitimate name (for Crataegus gracilior J.B.Phipps) that is commonly misapplied to this species.
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Tejocote Blossoms Crataegus Mexicana Description
The plant is a large shrub or small tree growing to 5–10 m tall, with a dense crown. The leaves are semi-evergreen, oval to diamond-shaped, 4–8 cm long, with a serrated margin. The flowers are off-white, 2 cm diameter. The fruit is a globose to oblong orange-red pome 2 cm long and 1.5 cm diameter, ripening in late winter only shortly before the flowers of the following year. Crataegus species are shrubs or small trees, mostly growing to 5–15 metres (16–49 ft) tall, with small pome fruit and (usually) thorny branches. The most common type of bark is smooth grey in young individuals, developing shallow longitudinal fissures with narrow ridges in older trees. The thorns are small sharp-tipped branches that arise either from other branches or from the trunk, and are typically 1–3 cm long (recorded as up to 11.5 centimetres (4.5 in) in one case). The leaves grow spirally arranged on long shoots, and in clusters on spur shoots on the branches or twigs. The leaves of most species have lobed or serrate margins and are somewhat variable in shape. The fruit, sometimes known as a “haw”, is berry-like but structurally a pome containing from 1 to 5 pyrenes that resemble the “stones” of plums, peaches, etc., which are drupaceous fruit in the same subfamily.
Tejocote Blossoms Crataegus Mexicana Uses
The fruit of Tejocote Blossoms Crataegus Mexicana is eaten in Mexico cooked, raw, or canned. It resembles a crabapple, but it has three or sometimes more brown hard stones in the center. It is a main ingredient used in ponche, the traditional Mexican hot fruit punch that is served at Christmas time and on New Year’s Eve. On Day of the Dead tejocote fruit as well as candy prepared from them are used as offerings to the dead, and rosaries made of the fruit are part of altar decorations. A mixture of tejocote paste, sugar, and chili powder produces a popular Mexican candy called rielitos, because it resembles a tiny train rail.
Due to its high pectin content, the fruit is industrially processed to extract pectin for the food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, textile and metal industries.
Other uses include food for livestock (for which the leaves and fruits are used) and traditional medicinal uses; a Mexican hawthorn root infusion is used as a diuretic and as a remedy for diarrhea, and fruit-based preparations are a remedy for coughing and several heart conditions.
The Mexican hawthorn tree’s wood is hard and compact, it is good for making tool handles as well as for firewood.
The “haws” or fruits of the common hawthorn, C. monogyna, are edible but the flavour has been compared to over-ripe apples. In the United Kingdom, they are sometimes used to make a jelly or homemade wine. The leaves are edible and, if picked in spring when still young, are tender enough to be used in salads. The young leaves and flower buds, which are also edible, are known as “bread and cheese” in rural England.
The fruits of the species Crataegus pinnatifida (Chinese hawthorn) are tart, bright red, and resemble small crabapple fruits. They are used to make many kinds of Chinese snacks, including haw flakes and tanghulu (糖葫芦). The fruits, which are called shānzhā (山楂) in Chinese, are also used to produce jams, jellies, juices, alcoholic beverages, and other drinks. In South Korea, a liquor called sansachun (산사춘) is made from the fruits. The fruits of Tejocote Blossoms Crataegus Mexicana are known in Mexico as tejocotes and are eaten raw, cooked, or in jam during the winter months. They are stuffed in the piñatas broken during the traditional pre-Christmas celebration known as Las Posadas. They are also cooked with other fruits to prepare a Christmas punch. The mixture of tejocote paste, sugar, and chili powder produces a popular Mexican candy called rielitos, which is manufactured by several brands. In the southern United States, fruits of three native species are collectively known as mayhaws and are made into jellies which are considered a great delicacy. The Kutenai people of northwestern North America used red and black hawthorn fruit for food. On Manitoulin Island in Canada, some red-fruited species are called hawberries. They are common there thanks to the island’s alkaline soil. During the pioneer days, white settlers ate these fruits during the winter as the only remaining food supply. People born on the island are now called “haweaters”. In Iran, the fruits of Crataegus (including Crataegus azarolus var. aronia, as well as other species) are known as zalzalak and are eaten raw as a snack, or made into a jam known by the same name.
Tejocote Blossoms Crataegus Mexicana Nomenclature
The name C. pubescens Steud., published in 1840, is a better-known name for this species, but is illegitimate under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. It is a later homonym of C. pubescens C.Presl which was published in 1826 as the name of a species from Sicily. Tejocote Blossoms Crataegus Mexicana from the Greek kratos strength and akis sharp, referring to the thorns of some speciescommonly. Called hawthorn, thornapple, May-tree, whitethorn, or hawberry, is a large genus of shrubs and trees in the family Rosaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia and North America. The name “hawthorn” was originally applied to the species native to northern Europe, especially the common hawthorn C. monogyna, and the unmodified name is often so used in Britain and Ireland. The name is now also applied to the entire genus and to the related Asian genus Rhaphiolepis. The name haw, originally an Old English term for hedge, applies to the fruit.
Tejocote Blossoms Crataegus Mexicana Ecology
Hawthorns provide food and shelter for many species of birds and mammals, and the flowers are important for many nectar-feeding insects. Hawthorns are also used as food plants by the larvae of a large number of Lepidoptera species; see List of Lepidoptera that feed on hawthorns. Haws are important for wildlife in winter, particularly thrushes and waxwings; these birds eat the haws and disperse the seeds in their droppings.
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