Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca

One of the most informative tours in Oaxaca for me was the one at Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca. I waited until I had been living in Oaxaca for about 2 weeks before taking the tour and I’m glad I did, because by then I knew a bit more about some of the more commonly used herbs, vegetables, and plants in the region. The tour gave me a chance to learn more about them and also see how they grow.

I went to the earliest tour offered at 10AM to avoid the heat as much as possible. I had my hat with me but the office had plenty of sombreros for those in need.

IMG_3940When I arrived I visited the Museum of Oaxacan Cultures and Santo Domingo Cultural Center next door, so I had already seen how lovely the grounds were at this garden. I think even if you’re not a plant-lover this would be a great place to spend an hour or two. Note that you can only see the garden with a tour or when they have special events. Here is our tour guide-

IMG_3945He started us off with some of the native plants like chipilín (totally new to me but used often in Oaxacan cooking),
IMG_3949 amaranth,

IMG_3950and chia. By the way, chia is everywhere in Oaxaca and my favorite little courtyard cafe served a refreshing lemon-basil-chia drink. Thanks to E. for introducing me to the place!


We passed by some very large pumpkins and new squashes.

IMG_3955 IMG_3957

Pochote tree with sharp thorns!

IMG_3961 IMG_3962Giant biznaga cactus. Biznaga was also the name of one of the restaurants I went to often for lunch in Oaxaca.
IMG_3963Cactus tree. This tree was tremendous.

Copal wood is used for alebrijes in Oaxaca. Alebrijes are brightly painted sculptures, usually of animals. Here is more info on alebrijes from wikipedia.

IMG_3970 IMG_3971Beautiful grounds of the Ethnobotanic Garden of Oaxaca. IMG_3972 IMG_3973 IMG_3982 IMG_3984 IMG_3985 IMG_3986Cactus fruit, prickly pear, or in Spanish, tuna. It’s a popular ice cream flavor in Oaxaca in the summer time but they can be consumed in variety of ways.

IMG_3989IMG_3991 IMG_3990 Plumeria or flor de mayo. Our guide told us that there are over 100 names for this flower. In Zapoteco, it’s called cacaloxóchitl. I had to look up the spelling…

IMG_3999I had a great time walking through the garden. I’d love to return and see what the garden looks like in the fall or winter…





Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca: Reforma s/n esq. Constitución, Centro, Oaxaca, Mexico;  www.jardinoaxaca.org.mx

This entry was posted in 2015, Mexico, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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