The wintersweet stands out as a deciduous shrub that during the winter, before the leaves appear, is covered with starry flowers of reddish yellow colour: its scientific name, chimonanthus derived from the Latin translation of the Greek name, meaning winter flower. It is also called calicanto, which comes from kalyx, chalice, and anthos, flower, meaning same calyx and corolla.
The wintersweet, with a common name that sounds Arabic, is a clear example of a traditional species in the Mediterranean region when it really follows a fashion typical of gardening in eighteenth and nineteenth centuries of integrating alien species in parks and gardens. During these centuries plants from China like glycine or the same wintersweet were cultivated together with American plants not brought in colonial times like the magnolia. All of them appear now fully incorporated into the landscape of Andalusian cities as if they had always been there. However, the wintersweet was successfully incorporated into cities in southern Spain like Granada probably in late 19th century. Today we find it perfectly integrated into the traditional cármenes, the interior gardens of the houses of ancient Islamic Albaicin district of this city. Conversely, other oriental species like the bamboo, that according to the Hispanomuslim specialist in gardening José Tito Rojo is present in the territory since ancient times and could be known by the Nasrid, is rejected by the regionalist because it is obviously foreign.