In English we call these linden-tree flowers. They are sold in a
dried, brown state, often scooped from bags. The tea made from these blossoms not only
tastes good, but supposedly sooths a cough. Linden trees, Tilia occidentalis
of the linden family, are native American, and are also known as basswoods.
We call these hibiscus flowers and they are sold in a dried,
dark-red form. Technically, the "flowers" are actually fleshy, acid-tasting
calyces and involucres of a flower (the nonsexual lower parts), not the flower itself. Jamaica
blossoms are produced on an annual bush six or seven feet tall, Hibiscus
sabdariffa, native to the Old World tropics. They can be eaten, but in Mexico
the dried flowers are boiled in water for brewing a tea North Americans would recognize as
Red Zinger herbal tea.
Called coral-tree flowers in English, are edible, bright- scarlet
blossoms from a small, native American tree, Erythrina americana
of the bean family. The fried flowers are added to scrambled eggs or beans. The upland
Nahua Indians add them to their peanut tamales.
These are squash flowers -- yellow-orange blossoms of the native
Mexican vine Cucurbita pepo. Sold fresh, they are mainly cooked in
tamales and tacos, where they have a slightly lemony taste. The hard stamens and pistils
are plucked out, so you just eat the corollas.
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