Tigridia pavonia

Osmani Baullosa osmani_baullosa@yahoo.com
Fri, 12 Aug 2005 13:17:54 PDT
Hi Jim,
I've also heard that the origin of the Mexican name for that plant, "cacomite", comes from the fact that bulbs are edible. The spanish word for eat is "comer". But the theory about "camomitl", the supposed aztec original word it's more convincent to me. 

Jim McKenney <jimmckenney@starpower.net> wrote:
A photo of a pink/red flowered form of Tigridia pavonia has been added to
the wiki; please take a look at:


The color of this flower was particularly vibrant in the sun; at times it
looked pink/red, at times rose/red, at times it seemed to have a scarlet
sheen. The flower began to open between 6:30 and 7 A.M. and had started to
close by 4 P.M. So these are not flowers for those who are away at the
office all day. 

When I was younger, I used to poke fun at those who called these tiger
flowers: after all, tigers are striped, not spotted. Put that down to
ethnocentricity. Later I learned that the jaguar is sometimes called El
Tigre in Spanish, and that was perhaps the source of the botanical name. 

Evidently the modern Mexican name, El Cacomite, is little changed from the
Nahuatl name. I've read that the Nahuatl name refers to the ocelot, not the

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I'm wondering if my
spotted tiger lilies are really leopard lilies (hmmm...no, they're not
Lilium pardalinum). 
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