The Madreselva Plant and Flower Market is one of Xochimilco’s best known and most accessible markets. Fresh from the chinampas (floating fields) just minutes away, plants and flowers are for sale in this enormous tianguis or open air market. The minute you arrive you realize everything you need for gardening and more can be found here, from astonishing orchids to fertilizers and accessories and houseplants.
Even if you can’t take live plants home with you, it’s a sight to behold and worth a visit.
Xochimilco is known throughout the world for its canals and the traditional boats that ply them (trajineras). The meaning of the Náhuatl name, “Xochimilco,” is field of flowers. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that since long before the Spanish, people came for the diversity of flower and plant species, most of them cultivated from the nearby chinampa system.
Chinampas are today an important legacy from the ancient inhabitants of the Valley of Mexico. Today, you can still visit the network of raised, floating farm beds built by layering and intertwining trees, roots, mud, and reeds, and alll taking advantage of the nutrient rich lakes and channels.
The Madreselva Plant and Flower Market is in the Bosque de Nativitas. It’s a forest park with facilities for an outdoor picnic or just a walk in the woods. Most guests arrive by the Light Rail Station of Xochimilco. The Bosque and the Market are a pleasant walk from there, although it’s just as likely you could be met by an offer to accompany you to one of the nearby boat launches. Either way, it’s a great place to visit.
Hours: Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.