ETHNOBOTANICAL, CULTURAL, AND AGRICULTURAL USES OF TEJOCOTE (CRATAEGUS SPECIES) IN MEXICO
Tejocote is the most common name for specimens of the genus Crataegus in Mexico. Although several Crataegus species are found in our country, only C. Mexicana is a recognized cultivated species. The cultural aspects and uses of this fruit tree come from the pre-Hispanic time; however, few studies on its potential uses have been conducted. Tejocote fruit has been traditionally utilized in the All Saints and Christmas celebrations mainly as an essential element for decorating the altars on the Day of the Dead celebration, and as an ingredient of the traditional ponche, a hot fruit punch beverage specially prepared during these days. In the traditional parties called posadas that take place before Christmas, tejocote fresh fruit are found inside piñatas, which are decorated boxes containing fruits, candies, and little gifts. Tejocote fruits are processed to make jellies, marmalades, syrups and traditional candies. Recently, the nutritional value of tejocote fruit has been assessed, and some studies show that tejocote fruit have high contents of A and C pro-vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and others nutrients. In addition, the use of the tejocote tree as a rootstock for other Rosaceae species (e.g., apple, pear, and quince) is promising. Though information about the role of tejocote in traditional medicine can be found in literature, its pharmacological evaluation has not been fully addressed. In some parts of Mexico, tejecote is taken for treating flu and cough, and also to prevent several cardiovascular diseases. Tejocote species represent a valuable natural resource not only due to the uses described above but also because of morphological characteristics that make them suitable for use as ornamental plants, although the concept of the ornamental tejocote tree in urban landscape design has not been fully explored.
Núñez-Colín, C.A. and Sánchez-Vidaña, D.I. (2011). ETHNOBOTANICAL, CULTURAL, AND AGRICULTURAL USES OF TEJOCOTE (CRATAEGUS SPECIES) IN MEXICO. Acta Hortic. 918, 901-910
native Mexican plants, antioxidants, landscaping use, Rosaceae, Mexican hawthorns