Native to the Mediterranean region, the stock, just like the lily and jasmine, owe their Castilian name to the Arab past of our country. These three flowers were widely represented in the culture of the Muslim kingdoms and were highly appreciated by the intense aroma they gave off in early spring in the Andalusian gardens. Specifically, the word comes from the Hispanic Arabic alhayrí, which in turn comes from the Persian hiri.
Outside the Hispanic speaking area, however this flower is known for its scientific term, ‘matthiola incana’ in tribute to the Italian physician and botanist Pierandrea Matthioli, who was one of the most famous botanists of his time. Director of the Botanical Garden of Florence, created in 1543 by Cosimo de Medici and, in his time, famous for the study and systematic analysis of plant species cultivated therein, Matthioli became reknown by writing one of the fundamental works of the history of botany, popularly known as the ' Matthioli Herbarium'.
The fame and prestige of this in Europe in the sixteenth century was such that he became the personal physician of Emperor Maximilian of Austria, grandfather of Charles V who, as we know, celebrated his marriage with Isabel of Portugal in these gardens, for which he made the gazebo that bears his name.