“Bishop Balls,” “Bull’s Balls” or Thevetia Ahouai: Flower of the Day, Jan 15, 2018

Found this mystery plant in the back garden seating area of Palapa Joe’s. No one could figure out what it was. The “fruit,” which the waitress said was inedible, looked like hard cherry tomatoes, somewhat misshapen. It was much firmer than a tomato and filled with a white fluffy-looking substance like cotton which was actually very firm and surrounded a large seed nearly the size of the outside skin. I spent a long time searching through Google and never could discover what it was. until Iwbut finally found our answer for us.  He gave clues that led to Thevetia ahouai as the name of this mystery plant.  Jan contributed information from Omar, a local man who has one in his front yard, who says it is called “Bull’s Balls.” I can imagine why. My research, prompts by Iwbut’s, says that the useless fruit is also known as “huevos de obispo” which translates as “bishop eggs.” Since huevos is a slang expression for testicles in Mexico, perhaps the intended meaning is “bishop balls” as well. Is it because bishops wear red vestments?  Ah the trails these plant searches take us down.


Don’t miss seeing this amazing delphinium shot by Cee.

9 thoughts on ““Bishop Balls,” “Bull’s Balls” or Thevetia Ahouai: Flower of the Day, Jan 15, 2018

  1. lwbut

    Tricky…. 🙂

    It’s almost certainly a member of the Apocynaceae family that includes franjipanis – the leaves and stems are definitely similar to native franjipanis. The flower and buds look closest to the genus Neisosperma poweri (Wikipaedia have a pic of a very similar fruit also) but i cannot find a complete match either.

    I’d go with the other plants owner’s suggestion until proven otherwise! 😉


    1. lifelessons Post author

      You did it!!! I followed your clues and found that it is a Thevetia ahouai There was a photo that matched my photos exactly!!! You are a sweetie for taking the time to solve the clues for me, Iwbut. I owe you one…


      1. lwbut

        Thevetia ahouai? – Brilliant!! 🙂 Glad to be of service!

        Although… it’s not as catchy (or memorable) a name as Bull’s Balls. 😉

        Speaking of names… WordPress insists on showing my ‘L’ as an “I” – LoveWillBringUsTogether ! LWBUT for short 🙂

        ( Or Bob for even shorter. 🙂 )



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