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1 October 2002 The Ethnobotany of Chaya (Cnidoscolus Aconitifolius ssp. Aconitifolius Breckon): A Nutritious Maya Vegetable
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Abstract

Chaya (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius ssp. aconitifolius Breckon) is a domesticated leafy green vegetable of the Maya region of Guatemala, Belize, southeast Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula, and parts of Honduras. Though relatively unknown outside of this area, evidence suggests that chaya was of significant importance to ancient peoples of the Yucatán Peninsula and perhaps elsewhere within the Maya region. Here we review what little research has been done on this impressive plant, as well as recount our own ethnobotanical investigation into its use as a food plant and medicine, and discuss its botany, nomenclature, and agricultural use. Due to its ease of cultivation, potential productivity, and above all its substantial nutritional value, we propose chaya as a potential crop for areas outside Mesoamerica.

Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra and Alvaro Molina-Cruz "The Ethnobotany of Chaya (Cnidoscolus Aconitifolius ssp. Aconitifolius Breckon): A Nutritious Maya Vegetable," Economic Botany 56(4), 350-365, (1 October 2002). https://doi.org/10.1663/0013-0001(2002)056[0350:TEOCCA]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 October 2002
JOURNAL ARTICLE
16 PAGES

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