During the sixteenth century the introduction of American plants in the Old World through the port of de Indias par excellence, Sevilla, was due to the curiosity and interest of soldiers, sailors and settlers, and especially religious orders, but also due to the efforts of several doctors and scholars from Seville. Private orchards of these medical-botanical served as an example to the gardens of the Alcázar of Seville itself to become, through the mediation of Philip II, one of the first gardens of acclimatization of new plants coming from America. This first wave of plants was later joined by other arrival basically to celebrate American Exhibition of 1929 and the Universal Exhibition of 1992.
The case of the silk floss tree appears to be linked with the second of these waves, there are 6 magnificent specimens at present. It is a species belonging to the same family as the baobab and ceiba, sacred tree of the Maya. In a book of the colonial era where ancient pre-Hispanic traditions is collected, the Chilam Balam, the it is narrated the story of a mythical ceiba that worked as the axis or center of the world covering the three planes of the universe: the roots are Xibalbá, the underworld, the trunk and branches are Cab or ground level and the Quetzal bird, perched atop his cup, heaven. Thus, in pre-Hispanic artistic production of the Maya, the representations of the human body are associated with the ceiba, in a parallel that treats human life with the tree itself, symbolizing the human bond with nature, where both are the same: the axis of the world.
In its place of origin its nectar is very attractive to hummingbirds and monarch buttlerflies acting as their pollinators.
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