The common name, itch tree, derived from the itching that produce abundant hairs that surround the seeds. Its scientific name is dedicated to the Spanish botanist and physician Andrés Laguna (1494-1560).
Laguna is responsible for the first translation into Spanish of On Medical Matter of Dioscorides, classic work of the 1st century AD which was already known in its Arabic version in al-Andalus. Laguna was trained as a doctor in Paris, where he was a pupil of Ruelle, who had already translated Dioscórides into Latin from the original Greek. It was published with commentaries in 1555, the Laguna version of On Medical Matter was republished over twenty times until the late eighteenth century.
To translate the treaty, Laguna updated it: he contrasted descriptions of Dioscórides with the plants that he had seen in Italian gardens and in the course of their herborizations, mainly in Italy itself and in areas where he had previously lived, ie in the Netherlands and around the German city of Metz. As a botanist he promoted the creation of botanical gardens of Aranjuez for King Philip II, for long the most important acclimatization garden that was in Spain. There, American species were also planted which seeds would previously had come to Seville.