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

Family:  Bombacaceae
Genus:  Pseudobombax
Species:  ellipticum
Authority:  (Kunth) Dugand
Common Name:  Amapolla tree
Maya Name:  Chulte, mapola
Depictions:  Polychrome ceramic
Maya Plant Use:  Beverage. Sap used for intoxicating drink
Botanical Significance:  This tree was used to make an intoxicating drink that was likely used in religious ceremonies such as those for sacrifice and self-mutilation (Flannery 1982). Sap was drained from the tree and fermented to make the drink. The tree also bears flowers that are white or bright red. Red was a color sacred to the Maya (Grube 2001). The size, color, and shape indicate that the flower on a headdress may be that of the amapolla tree.
Notes:  Syn: Bombax ellipticum H.B.K.
Photos:  Click on an image below for high resolution comparison.

Other Plant Photos:

Additional views of the plant species, click on a photo below to view larger image.

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