Aloysia citriodora PalauVerbenaceae
At first, in the first two or three decades following the year of 1492, the introduction of American plants was originated due to the curiosity of sailors, just like Christopher Columbus and his son Ferdinand, as well as various religious orders who remembered their convents orchards of origin and collected seeds and specimens for possible culinary interest, but also ornamental or pharmacological. At the time, in the same 16th century, certain scholars, doctors especially, began planting in Seville these new species and write about them to publicize their properties. The monarchy quickly realized of the commercial possibilities that even these natural resources could have and hastened to centralize the trading of plants from the New World. The Lemon verbena was one of many American plants introduced in Europe by the Spaniards from America, in the 17th century, through the various gardens of acclimatization of the monarchy. In the 18th century, especially during the reign of Carlos III, the Spanish crown financed expeditions not only with commercial ends but with a strong scientific basis. This initiative of the enlightened monarchy made the Spanish naturalists make contact with the scientific forefront of the moment. In the middle of this century, the naturalist of the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid, Antonio Palau and Verdera (1734-1793) stood out as one of those who promoted the establishment in Spain of the taxonomy of Linnaeus, which was a definitive method for the European botany and still prevails nowadays. Antonio Palau is also the author of one of the first descriptions of the Aloysia citrodora or lemon verbena plant that is characterized by its lemon-like scent, hence the name citrodora that smells like citrus.