Castilla (sometimes incorrectly spelled Castilloa) is a tree genus belonging to the family Moraceae found native in Central America. It is named after Juan Diego del Castillo (d. 1793), a botanist, who was friends with Vicente Cervantes, who chose the name in his friend's honor.
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. Castilla elastica is a weedy tree which has become invasive in areas where it has been introduced, such as in the South Pacific.
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.
- Species and subspecies[verification needed]
- Castilla elastica (Panama rubber tree, Castilloa rubber, palo de hule, olicuáhuitl
- Castilla ulei Warb. (Caucho rubber)
Vicente (Vincente) de Cervantes (b. 1755, d. 1829), Castilla, in Gazeta de Literatura de México 1794, Suppl.: 7. (2 July 1794)