- (Sp. model spelled same [gwáko], of American Indian origin, perhaps from a native Caribbean or Nicaraguan language)1) New Mexico: 1844. According to the DARE, "the Rocky Mountain bee plant." Sources for the DARE give the family Capparidacae for one variety of this plant and the Latin name Cleome serrulata Pursh for another.2) An extract from the Rocky Mountain bee plant that is used as a black pigment for Pueblo pottery designs. The DRAE describes it as a composite plant with vinelike stalks from sixteen to twenty-two yards long; large oval-shaped leaves that have heart-shaped bases and pointed tips; and bell-shaped, noxious-smelling white flowers in groups of four. It is a liana native to intertropical America and its leaves, when boiled, are considered protection against venomous animal bites, intestinal obstructions, rheumatism, and cholera. Santamaría concurs with the definition provided by the DRAE and adds that guaca and huaco are alternate forms in Mexico. He also provides Mikania genoclada, M. guaco, M. houstonis, M. coriacea, M. repanda, M. angulata, M. aristolochya, and Eupatorium mikania as various genera and species for the plant. Cobos glosses guaco as either a stinkweed or a name for the Rocky Mountain bee plant, whose roots are used to make a black paint.
Cowboy Talk. A Dictionary of Spanish Terms. Robert N. Smead. 2013.