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Lycianthes moziniana


An exquisite, very rare, herbaceous, geophytic perennial, up to 50 cm tall, native to the tiny state of Tlaxcala in central Mexico, where it grows in grasslands, scrublands, pine forests and in fields, along with cultivated crops. For hundreds of years, while employing a more rudimentary manual harvesting system, locals honored and cared for this plant but with the introduction of mechanized agriculture, it is gradually being eliminated. Lycianthes moziniana develops a thickened taproot, and purple-lilac flowers, followed by ovoid, edible berries, 3-5 cm long, green when ripe, succulent and sweet with a slightly acidic note, somewhat similar to prickly pears. Locally, the fruits are very popular. They are sometimes sold in markets and often used as ceremonial offerings for the "Día de Muertos" (Day of the Dead), a Mexican holiday. According to tradition, the beautiful perfume of tlanoxtles help attract the spirits and guide them to their houses and when the perfume starts to dissipate, it indicates that the spirits have finished their feast and visit. Tlanotchtles are exquisite and they are consumed raw, like grapes, wrapped in tortillas, dried like raisins or in preserves. In the Aztec culture, the plant also had a variety of medicinal applications. Studies revealed that it has a high Vitamic C content and nutritionally it compares well to Lycopersicon (tomatoes) and Physalis (husk tomatoes), making it a good option for a nutritious diet. It has great potential for cultivation in warm-temperate and it would make a very productive and desirable new specialty fruit. For best germination, like in tomatos, seeds should be put through a brief fermentation process in order to eliminate the mucilaginous layer that covers them.

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.


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Small packets:
Small quantities
(10 seeds per packet) for enthusiasts and collectors.

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We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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