Castilla (plant)

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Castilla elastica - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-174.jpg
Castilla elastica
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Castilleae
Genus: Castilla

See text


Castilloa (lapsus)

Castilla (sometimes incorrectly spelled Castilloa) is a genus of 3 species of large trees in the flowering plant family Moraceae. The genus is native to Central and South America.[1]


This genus is named after Juan Diego del Castillo (d. 1793), a Spanish botanist who was a friend of Vicente Cervantes, who chose the name in his friend's honor.[2][3]


Castilla species are monoecious or dioecious trees up to 40 meters tall, with buttressed trunks and abundant white latex of commercial value.[1] The branchlets have scars left by the fallen stipules. The leaves are oblong to elliptic, with entire margins.[1][4] The inflorescences are surrounded by bracts and have small flowers. The male flowers are borne in lengthwise-folded kidney-shaped inflorescences and female flowers in globose inflorescences.[1][4] The infrutescence varies in shape and has orange or red fruits.[1]


The Panama rubber tree Castilla elastica, showing the scar where a branch has dropped. A recently fallen branch is posed at right

Castilla species exhibit a phenomenon known as cladoptosis, the regular shedding of branches. This may be an adaptation to prevent the growth of climbing plants.[5]

Castilla elastica is a weedy tree which has become invasive in areas where it has been introduced, such as in Tanzania and the South Pacific.[4][6]


The main species is Castilla elastica, one of several plants from which rubber has been extracted. The vernacular name is Panama rubber tree or castilloa rubber. The pre-Columbian MesoAmericans used the latex of this plant to make a ball used in a ceremonial game.


See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e Cardona–Peña, Victor; Fuentes, Alfredo; Cayola, Leslie (2005). "Las moráceas de la región de Madidi, Bolivia" (PDF). Ecología en Bolivia (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  2. ^ González, J. "Explicación Etimológica de las Plantas de La Selva" (PDF). Flórula Digital de la Estación Biológica La Selva (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  3. ^ Loadman, John (2005). Tears of the Tree: The Story of Rubber –a Modern Marvel. Oxford University Press. p. 25. ISBN 9780198568407.
  4. ^ a b c "Castilla elastica (PIER species info)". Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  5. ^ Berg, C.C. (1977). "Castilleae, a tribe of the Moraceae, renamed and redefined due to the exclusion of the type genus Olmedia from the Olmedieae". Acta Botanica Neerlandica: 75. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Castilla elastica (Panama Rubber Tree)". BioNET-EAFRINET Keys and Fact Sheets. BioNET-EAFRINET. Retrieved 23 May 2016.