jicara, or xicalli in Nahuatl

We have what was once a small separate casita behind our house.  Lots of people think/thought we should turn it in to either a guest cottage or our master suite.  Well we don’t get enough company to justify that expense, and  we don’t need a ‘Master Suite’.  It is best served as our bodega, or storage area.


Just past the end of the patio, and next to the bodega where the garden starts is a narrow spit of land. This spit of land is available for planting – it borders both the bodega and the walkway just before the garden opens up.  In this spit of land I have tried several different plantings trying to find what works.   I had a ‘flor de campana’ which I liked very much it was tall’ish, full and almost always had flowers. What this also meant was that it was always shedding flowers, that ended up in the pool.  Tom don’t like stuff in the pool.


So I removed that and put in a jicara.  When I got this jicara it was in a 12oz plastic cup.  It is now about 12 feet high, AND I now have my first jicaras; 2 jicaras in fact.

here you can also see the work being done for an irrigation system installation, that will be a separate post!



Jicaras are used all over the place for all sorts of things.  They were originally utilitarian, used as bowls, cups, scoops, storage vessels.  



They are now also used as decorative pieces.



a few years ago I was gifted a green jicara fruit.  I researched on the internet and attempted to cure the gourd myself.  I was successful at eviscerating the gourd and drying it, although my attempt to cut it was not so successful;  I did crack it.  It was a smelly and tedious process.  So will I process these myself or gift them to a carver, hmmm, who knows, – sounds like another blog post to me!

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About Debi in Merida

I moved from Colorado Springs, Colorado USA to Merida, Yucatan, MX in January 2006. I love to read, garden, travel, and hang out with friends.
This entry was posted in jicara, xicalli, Yucatan Garden. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to jicara, or xicalli in Nahuatl

  1. Jack W. says:

    I've been searching for a method for curing the fruit also. I discovered that the stink unless done right away when the are picked. Other than that I do know anything. There is a tree next door to my aunt's house in Cansahcab and I'm sure I can get them for free but I want to be sure I know how to cure them before I end up with a bunch I don't know what to do with. I'd appreciate any help you can give.

  2. Susan says:

    Bless you for posting this! It's been driving me nuts trying to figure out what kind of fruit is on growing on the tree near the gate at Quinta Montes Molina! I've asked two separate grounds keepers and taken several pics of those smooth, big green balls. The first didn't know the name, and I didn't understand what the second one called it, but he said it was like an apple..not! So glad the mystery is solved, and congrats on your beautiful tree!

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