Native to Egypt, in ancient times the papyrus was used by Egyptians, Greeks and Romans for papermaking, and was in fact for a long time the main writing means for these civilizations.
However papyrus appears mainly associated with the culture of the ancient Egypt. This plant grew in abundance on the banks of the Nile, sacred river and economic livelihood of this civilization. Papyrus, together with the lotus, is represented in the capitals of the columns of their temples, showing the almost religious consideration the Egyptians gave to this water plant. Egyptian culture is also the first in the history that we have have news that did explorations with botanical purposes, as centuries later would the Europeans with their scientific expeditions to America or Asia. The archaeological testimony to the interest of the ancient Egyptians for plants are the formidable reliefs representing different types of plants in the so called Botanical Garden of Karnak Temple, where the expedition sent by Pharaoh Thutmose III appears (1450 BC) responsible for collecting new species is represented.
The use of papyrus in gardens such as the Real Alcázar is mainly due to the romantic fashion of the nineteenth century to equip the gardens of exotic plants that could vaguely remember ancient cultures like the ancient Egypt. However, in this case the bonds seem to be deeper and mysterious ties because, as Rodrigo Caro collected in 1605, a statue of Isis with Horus made in black basalt appeared on the occasion of some construction works near the Patio de Banderas, what has led to the hypothesis of the possible existence of a temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddess around the second century BC.