Flor de Bótil (Flor de Ayocote, Scarlet Runner Bean, Multiflora Bean, Ayocotl) Phaseolus coccineus
Flor de Bótil is a beautiful scarlet colored flower that is edible and can be used for cooking. The brightly colored flowers and green shoots of this legume are actually the belong to a bean plant - known in English as "Scarlet Runner Bean". This vine is native to Central America and can be found in the southern regions of Mexico. I first encountered these scarlet-hued blooms at Mercado Viejo in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. I bought some that day and took them home to prepare them. After that, I have seen the flower growing in the milpa, on the roadside throughout Chiapas, and even represented in local textiles. When the beans form, the pods are edible whole or you may remove them and eat the bean inside. They also have a starchy root that is eaten. The Nahuatl word for flor de bótil is "ayocotl".
Read more about how to cook with flor de bótil.
• The flowers and shoots of the runner beans are tender and can be eaten. They can be steamed, simmered or sautéed.
• The flower is also grown as an ornamental.
• Once the beans grow, the pods are edible whole as well as the beans separately. Like all beans, they contain a toxin and need to be well-cooked before consumption.
• Edible starchy root
Native to Central America, you will find this commonly in Chiapas where it is grown in the mil's with corn and squash. You will also find it in bordering regions such as Oaxaca and Veracruz.