xocotl (Mdz55r)

xocotl (Mdz55r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element of the xocotl tree has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Xocoyocan. The xocotl is a native plum (and the tree upon which it grows). The one shown here has a leader and two branches, one on each side. The trunk and branches are a terracotta color. Green leaves appear sporadically along the branches. At the tip of the leader and the two branches are three yellow balls, presumably the sour fruit that the tree is known to produce.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

In other renditions of the xocotl tree, the fruit and foliage have a somewhat different appearance (see below, right).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood


trees, árboles, frutas agrias, sour fruits

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 

xoco(tl), a hog plum or fruit in general, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/xocotl

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

fruit tree

Image Source: 
Image Source, Rights: 

The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, hold the original manuscript, the MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1. This image is published here under the UK Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0).