They are the first rains in the year when the Salvadorean floral dress colors the new season. On the cusp of izote plants begin to sprout yellowish buds, sheltered by green Spades. The izote accompanies may flowers.
But it’s distinguished from the others because it has varied dishes in Salvadoran cuisine that are prepared whit this flower. The exquisite bitterness of its petals and stamens is the principal particularity of the flower of izote.
“The despenico and I put him a tomato, onion, and margarine and it is cooked, steamed”, says Doña Flor de el Carmen Guzmán, 52-year-old, while she was admiring the whitish segments on your property.
The House of Doña Carmen is located on the street to Huizucar, surrounds it with vines of izote multiplied haphazardly across the terrain. Doña Carmen added that the plantation serves boundary on her property, to take advantage of its flowers during this time of the year. You can also cook them in the steam, but is recommended to make them in soup and stuffed with eggs.
She says that by of the bitter taste is easy to accompany the flower with other ingredients, without loses its original touch.” Many people don’t like the flavor of this flower, but it we have to take advantage of it because you can eat it only once a year”, says Doña Carmen.
The flower of izote is a typical dish from the legislative category and also a national symbol. For many years it was recognized as a national flower; However, it was until 1995 that it was formalized. On 21 December 1995, by Legislative Decree 560 was declared the national flower of El Salvador.
“In order to officially declare the recognition to the aforementioned Flor de Izote, as representative of our flora identity, is coming to issue the corresponding Decree”, says one of the recitals.
Species from outside
The biologist of the Botanical Garden of the “Plan de la Laguna“, Miguel Angel Renderos, says that the izote is not a native species to El Salvador. Therefore, it shouldn´t be seen like the national flower of the country. He claims that the plant is native to southern Mexico and Northern Guatemala.
He says that there are other native species in our country, with the most representative flowers and petals with beautiful colors (blue and white), as some chimes.Argues that it is likely he has adopted the flower as a national symbol by the good use that the Salvadoran people make of it.
Biologist explains that the izote is a “grateful” species because it easily adapts to any type of soil. In El Salvador it is played both in coastal areas and in places that reach 2 thousand meters above sea level. The specialist explained that grown everywhere.
In the baskets on the market
The national flower of the Salvador can be found easily in the market. Doña Ana Vásquez, a 64-year-old woman, includes among its products coveted flower of izote.
Installed with its basket on a busy street near the Central market, she says “I’m giving 7 colones to the large, and 5 already pocketed colones”, while she Packed the product.
Also, she says that the national flower is very requested on these days; However, the gain obtained is minimal because buyers want it cheap. Expensive or cheap, for years, this national symbol passes of the height of the plant to the market and, then, to the kitchen (like a culinary dish).
Plant of Mesoamérica
The scientific name of the izote is Yucca guatemalensis, which belongs to the family of the “agavaceaes” and grows easily in semi-arid zones. In Botany is ranked as arbocente grass, grows as a tree, but its texture is canosa. Also the izote adapts easily to all climates in the Mesoamerican region (from southern Mexico to Panama).
The biologist of the Botanical Garden at the “Plan de la Laguna”, Miguel Angel Renderos, says that the plant contributes to the preservation of the soil. “The izote is used in the construction of hedgerows” he explains.
One of the characteristics of this plant is that it reaches 10 meters. It’s a mass distribution in the whole country because it adapts from zero up to 2 thousand meters above sea level.
David J. Guzmán, in the book “Useful species of the flora of El Salvador”, wrote that the flower is also is the usable fiber of their stalks.