Dioon Cycad palm tree near the beautiful Colonial Main Mansion of Hacienda Chichen Resort, an Eco-Cultural Spa Getaway, the ideal Green Maya Vacation Spa Resort.        Aloe Vera is an agave, its  beautiful small yellow flowers are filled with nectar. Visit Hacienda Chichen's magical Maya Jungle Reserve in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico

  Welcome to the Hacienda Chichen Resort's Flora Guide: Agaves and Cactus Flora

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Yucatan Flora

                       ▫ Dioon Cycads
                       ▫ Papaya Tree
                       ▫ Ceiba Tree

                       ▫ Agaves and Cactus

Yucatan Fauna


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             ▫ Dioon Cycads
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            ▫ Jim Conrad's Nature Notes



Yucatan Adventure Geo-Travel Guide
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 Gateway to the best Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, has to offer.

Aloe vera is a medicinal plant that grows well in Yucatan and it is use at Yaxkin Spa's many skin care treatments 

Agaves and Cactus Information Guide:
Agave Sausalito  l  Mother-in-law Tongue  l  Aloe Yucca 
 Aloe vera
l Agave desmettiana  
Lush Tropical Gardens and Beautiful Flora - Hacienda Chichen, Chichen Itza, Yucatan

Aloe Vera Agave

Aloe Vera cluster flowering.  Enjoy the rich nourishing Aloe Vera brings to your skin care at Yaxkin Spa Aloe Vera (English), Sabila (Spanish), Jun Peet's K'iin Kij (Maya), Aloe vera, family: Asphodelaceae. Native to Africa it was brought to Hacienda Chichen in the early 1960s. Mayan have benefited from the plants healing properties. Aloe Vera plants grow in a rosette pattern, about to 60–100 cm; succulent leaves have inner  clear juice pulp or gel that is highly use in herbal healing remedies for its skin care qualities at Yaxkin Spa, see our Nature Eco-Spa Wellness Vacation offers.  Pamper yourself with the healing power of this plant Yaxkin Spa Skin CareAloe Vera gel is rich in amino acids, minerals, vitamins and trace elements, Aloa Vera organic natural gel is a clear sticky substance: tasteless, colorless and odorless.

Aloe vera (left plant) is a highly valuable medicinal plant for the Maya today; come and enjoy a Yaxkin Spa skin care treatment with fress pulp to nurish your body.Aloe Vera plant is a stem-less or short-stemmed succulent plant, growing to 60-85 cm tall. It spreads, by way of offsets and root sprouts. The leaves are lance shaped, thick and fleshy with a serrated edge.  Flowers are produced on spikes. The individual  single flowers are pendulous. Aloe Vera Juice and gel are produced from the leaves.  This wonder succulent herb is used for all kinds of medicinal healing, from digestive problems to heal ulcers, burned skin  and stop bleeding from the intestines.  It also aids in hair lost prevention.


Agave Joe Hoak or "Sisalito" - Agave meridensis variegata

Agave meridensis are hardy exotic ornamental succulents. Contac us if you wish to learn more about our flora and faunaAgave 'Joe Hoak' (English), Chelem (Maya) Sisalito (Spanish) Agave meridensis variegata,  Agavaceae (Agaves) Family; Native to Yucatan, Mexico. A truly striking variegated rosette shaped  succulent, grows 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide; now cultivated worldwide as an ornamental plant. Leafs beautifully variegated with blue-green centers and cream sharp edges, ending in a hard red spine. The mature succulent agave is quite impressive. Plant enjoys frequent water, full sun, tolerates semi-shaded area; roots propagates new offspring.


Agave Sisal or "Henequen"- Agave fourcroydes

In Colonial times and up to mid 20th Century, Henequen was Yucatan's Green GoldSisal Plant (English) Henequen (Spanish)  Kih (Maya), Agave fourcroydes Lem. Agavaceae Family. Henequen or sisal agave originated in the Yucatan Peninsula differs from Sisal, Agave sisalana, slightly; both are highly fibrous agave hybrids that propagates with basal growing suckers.  Henequen agaves have sword-shaped leafs rosette that grow 1.5 to 2 meters tall. Its fiber had a high commercial value before man-made fibers replaced natural fibers in the manufacturing of ropes.

From Jim Conrad's writtings:Yucatan is famous for the production of ropes made with the natural fiver of Agave fourcroydes "Henequen"

Henequen [ pronounced: HEN ah kin] is the Spanish name for the plant: Agave fourcroydes. The Maya word for the plant is variously written Kij, Kih, or Kiiw.

The Maya word for the fiber is Sook’, So’ok’, or Sod skil.

Sakal [pronounced sah Kal] is the Maya name for the panels of henequen cloth woven of fibers, not thread or twine on the back-strap loom. The size of the panel is limited to the length of the fiber strands, by the width that the weaver can reach, and by the weight that her back can support. Paños is the Spanish word.

Sisal [pronounced: SIGH saul] is often used to mean Henequen fiber. However, it is not uncommon that the name is used for any rough, coarse twine and fabric. The Sisal fiber of Africa and Brazil are selected varieties of the original Agave, smuggled out of the Yucatan early on. The variations in characteristics are due to the selection of clones and to different growing conditions.

Visit  Yucatan's eco-wonders like Sisal Port or Celestun and enjoy the beautiful Flamingo Mangrove Sanctuaries or any natural cenote where fresh blue-green medicinal algae growsSisal [pronounced: see SAL[as in sally]] is also the name of an ancient Mayan port in the north coast of Yucatan where salt trade used to continue during the Colonial period in the Yucatan peninsula; through Sisal Port the bales and crates of the henequen fiber, rope, and binder twine were shipped to the rest of the world for decades during the 19th and 20th Century. The crates, bundles and bags were stamped in large letters with the name of the port of origin, Sisal, and this became the commonly used name for the fiber. Sisal was an ancient Maya port. However, as railroads and factories sprung up in and around Merida, the new port of Progreso was developed directly north of the city.


Mother-in-law Tongue or "Lengua de Vaca"
Sansevieria trifascatiata

Lengua de Vaca as it is refered commonly in Yucatan, is used to fabricate beautiful primitive handmade paper sheets by Maya rural craftmen.Mother-in-law Tongue (English), Lengua de Vaca (Spanish), Sansevieria trifasciata, Ruscaceae family. Mother-in-law tongue is a succulent plant that prefers full sun, but can tolerate low light conditions. Native to Africa it is common in Yucatan, Mexico, where it grows up to a meter and a half (5ft.) Hacienda Chichen Lush Tropical Gardens has evergreen, variegated, and dwarf Mother-in-law Tongue varieties. These are herbaceous perennial succulent that need little water and are very drought tolerant; they propagate through clumps spreads and leaf cuttings; each bloom spreads a delightful night fragrance. Rural Mayan people nowadays use its fiber to handcraft art paper.


Yucatan Yuca - Yucca yucatana

Yucatana Yucca is also known as Aloe yucca - native to Yucatan, Mexico. View other flora found in Yucatan here.Yucatan Yucca (English) Aloe Yuca (Spanish) Yucca yucatana or Yucca aloifolia, Agavaceae or  more currently described as a Asparagaceae family. It is native succulent plant to Yucatan, Mexico.  Yucatan yucca is the emblem of the state of Yucatan in Mexico.  This yucca is of the genus of perennial shrubs and trees in the agave family, . Its 40-50 species are notable for their rosettes of evergreen, tough, sword-shaped leaves forming rosettes that have large terminal panicles of white or whitish flowers. They propagate with pollination growing seeds but also with offsets. Ornamental and edible plants with evergreen leafs, it requires full sun and little water, bloom late summer.  Yucatan yucca is also known as a Spanish Bayonet in some English speaking regions.  The leafs of aloe yucca are used for pain relief of arthritis  by Mayan healers who prepare them in a cleansing and smoothing paste rub.


Agave Desmettiana

Contact Chichen Service to plan an amazing  Eco-Cultural Vacation to the Yucatan Agave Desmettiana (English), Maguey Semati (Spanish) Ki (Maya), Agave desmettiana, Agavaceae Family native to Mexico.  This lovely agave has deep blue green leafs with smooth edges and a red spine tip. Agave desmettiana grows a single spike with cymes of big yellow flowers, that can reach up to 2.5 meters  in height and last up to three months. The plant dies after flowering, and propagates producing suckers (basal shoots). Agave desmettiana grows best in Yucatan planted in indirect sun garden areas.

Agave Desmettiana Conservation status:
Distribution and habitat:
Mexico - Oaxaca, Veracruz, Yucatan

Description of Agave Desmettiana:

  • Plants  Asparagaceae Family - flowering stem 2.5 m tall, 10 cm diam.
  • Leaves  Blue-green tones with white powder, smooth, ending with sharp spines.
  • Flowers clusters appear at the end of the agave life cycle atop a asparagus like steam.  Lime yellow color as shown bellow. 

Agave desmettiana is a beautiful ornamental plant found in Hacienda Chichen's gardens, Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico. View other flora found there now

At Hacienda Chichen's lush tropical gardens, guests can enjoy viewing many Agave Desmettiana clusters, U.S. naturalists and gardeners usually referred to this medicinal agave by its technical name in English, by anyone speaking of it with enough savvy and interest to distinguish it from  the many other agave species. Some would call it Century Plant or Maguey, but those names are better reserved for another agave species, one with larger, thicker leaves but a similarly giant inflorescence, Agave americana

We invite you to review our Complete Hacienda Chichen's Flora Guide filled with beautiful photographs of fruit trees, Mayan medicinal plants, fruit trees, and an exquisite Palm collection found in the  lush tropical gardens and private Maya Jungle Nature Reserve of this unique green boutique hotel.

*** Agave and Cactus photos by Belisa B. Gordon - Jim Conrad

Jim Conrad's own writing:

Agave Desmettiana Flowering at
 Hacienda Chichen's Entrance

At Yaxkin Spa and Hacienda Chichen gardens you will enjoy many agave desmettiana flowering.Agave desmettiana is a large and beautiful ornamental agave found in Yucatan.   Usually referred to by its technical name in English by savvy gardeners to distinguish it from the many other agave species. Some people would call it Century Plant or Maguey, but those names are better reserved for another agave species, one with larger, thicker leaves but a similarly giant inflorescence, Agave americana.

At Hacienda Chichen's pretty entrance an agave is very conspicuously flowering right photo).  Two agaves are shown but only the one in the back is flowering (notice the large asparagus like steam where clusters of bright lime yellow flowers abound, this inflorescence stands about eight feet tall (2.5m).  Some agave species bloom from year to year, others at intervals, and others only once.  Agave desmettiana grows for years, then flowers once and dies.  All is not lost, however, because as the plant matures it produces basal shoots that later will replace the dead plant, plus these shoots easily root when transplanted elsewhere.

Learn more about Jim Conrad's work at Hacienda Chichen by visiting this wonderful eco-cultural spa hotel.In this next photo you can see how within the inflorescence individual blossoms are clustered in well separated groupings (right photo).  Agave Desmettiana flower clusters have small single green flowers that as they mature take a cream-yellowish tone (see left photo).  In the next photo (left) you can see one side of the flower has been removed to reveal the oval ovary at the flower's bottom.  The ovary is topped by a thick, stiff, whitish style terminating in a rounded stigma. In agave flowers six
stamens are attached to the walls of a funnel-shaped perianth.  Perianth is the word used when a blossom's calyx and corolla are merged r indistinguishable from one another. In the picture the slender, stiff, greenish, incurving things are the stamens' stalk-like filaments, and each filament is terminated by a yellowish, banana-like anther, which splits open at maturity to release pollen.

Nowadays most references place agaves in their own family, the Agavaceae, but some sink the agave family into the newly recognized and expanded Asparagus Family, the Asparagaceae. If you think about it, the above agave flower is indeed structured somewhat like an asparagus flower, only much, much larger.

Agave desmettiana is a native Yucatec plant now grown worldwide in frost-free areas, in pots and urban gardens, in full sun. I find it growing here and there in wild areas but can never decide whether they are natural populations or plantings abandoned long ago.   Besides its pretty shape and ease to grow, one reason Agave desmettiana is so widely planted is that its blades are spineless. However, its reddish brown blade tips are hard and sharp, very capable of puncturing your skin.

Dioon Cycad palm tree near the beautiful Colonial Main Mansion of Hacienda Chichen Resort, an Eco-Cultural Spa Getaway, the ideal Green Maya Vacation Spa Resort.
Yucatan flora: Cycads at Hacienda Chichen Eco-Spa Resort, Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico


Agave Tequilana

 Blue Agave or Tequila Agave (English), Maguey  (Spanish) Ki (Maya), Agave tequilana, Agavaceae Family native to Mexico.  This important comercial agave has deep blue green leafs with smooth edges and a red spine tip. Tequila blue agave grows mainly in the state of Jalisco, Mexico where traditionally tequila spirits are distilled since the Spanish Conquest, though a spirit similar to tequila was produced by the Aztecs who called it "octli."

Tequila is produced by removing the heart (piña) of the plant in its twelfth year. Harvested piñas normally weigh 80–200 pounds (40–90 kg).This heart is stripped of its leaves and heated to remove the sap, which is fermented and distilled. The best tequila spirits are made of 100% blue agave, you may purchase it at

Los Tres Toños Tequila House at Valladolid's Cinco Calles Plaza

 Hacienda Chichen Resort, in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy Mexico's famous 100% blue agave Tequila from a wide variety of fine tequila selections.  after enjoying a tequila taste fair, we recommend you visit our Toh Boutique which is an active sponsor of the Maya Foundation In Laakeech NGO. Your purchases support our social work effort

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Yucatan Adventure  Green Travel Guide is a volunteer Sustainable Green Travel Guide designed by the Maya Foundation In Laakeech A. C. a NGO sustainable civil society founded by Hacienda Chichen Resort's owners and staff in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.  Hacienda Chichen's  sustainable green vision and eco-cultural mission committed to provide travelers a soulful Mayan cultural experience as well as a Green Getaway to explore the eco-wonders and cultural traditions of the Maya; as well as to support the welfare of Mayan rural communities and to promote Sustainable Geo-Tourism.  Visit Hacienda Chichen Resort and Yaxkin Spa's website: www.haciendachichen.com

Enjoy Hacienda Chichen Resort's Flora Guide and Botanical Gardens beauty and serenity when visiting Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.

Published Photos &  Information Courtesy of
Hacienda Chichen Resort and Mr. Jim Conrad
Maya Foundation In Laakeech A.C. Volunteer.
November 2009, Sept. 2016

Yucatan Adventure: Mexico's best Green Eco-Travel Guide - Sustainable Tourism in Yucatan and the Mayan World.Yucatan Adventure offers Mayan Vacation Packages at low prices to visit Yucatan, Mexico, enjoy Chichen Itza magic and mystical Mayan experiences by selecting one of our many Yucatan Eco-Vacations and Mexico's top Green Spa-Wellness Retreats in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.  Visit our "Mayan Eco-Spa Special Offers and Chichen Itza Eco-Spa Resort Vacation Packages and Family Eco-Cultural Activities.

Contact us or the Hacienda Chichen for further details and registration; we highly recommend you to stay at this unique Green Boutique Spa-Hotel, contact their Reservation Center, call: From Canada, Europe and USA Toll Free: 1-(877)-631-4005  / From Mexico:  52 (999) 920 84 08   /  Email info@haciendachichen.com / Website: www.haciendachichen.com