Link to enlarge vase K7784 &#copy; Justin Kerr Charles Zidar

Family:  Convolvulaceae
Genus:  Ipomoea
Species:  tricolor
Authority:  Cav.
Common Name:  morning glory
Maya Name:  Iz, piule, badoh negro and tlililtzin
Depictions:  Jade ear flare
Maya Plant Use:  Plants in the Convolvulaceae family are known to have been used by a variety of cultures for their hallucinogenic qualities. It is most likely that the Maya had discovered these qualities as well and used plants in this family for important rituals and ceremonies.
Botanical Significance:  Jade ear flares were worn by the Maya elite and were a significant part of their wardrobe. In most cases they resemble a species of flower. Petals and stigma can be predominant on some while others are very basic making them difficult to interpret. This example is typical of a common form of ear flare with an entire (unbroken) margin and little detail making interpretation difficult.
Ritual Significance:  Given the hallucinogenic qualities of this plant it is not surprising to see it represented in a variety of forms in ancient Maya iconography. The seeds of this plants are well known for their magic/religious/curing properties; invoking extreme hallucinations.
Notes:  This plant is discussed on page 160 in the Plants of the Gods by Schultes and Hofmann (1992). Syn: I. macrantha Roem. & Schult. and I. holubii?
Photos:  Click on an image below for high resolution comparison.

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