To acclimatize the spices that came from Eastern India: with this in mind, in 13 of
June, 1808, the Garden of Acclimatization was created by D. John, Prince Regent at the time, and later D. John VI. With the threat of the invasion of Napoleon Bonaparte's troops in Portugal, the Portuguese nobility moved to Brazil and installed the headquarters of the government in Rio De Janeiro. Among others benefits, the city gained a Powder Plant, constructed in the old Sugar Cane Mill of Rodrigo de Freitas. Startled by the exuberance of the nature of the place, D. John installed the Garden there which in 11 of October of the same year, became The Royal Gardens.
The first plants had been brought from Gabrielle Garden, in the Mauritius Islands, by Luiz de Abreu Vieira e Silva, who offered them to the Prince.
Among them, there was probably the first unit of this tree, the Dillenia Indica, popularly known in Brazil by the name of "Tree of the Patacas". This name appeared due to a particularity of the fruit of this tree; in the majority of the plants, the fruit develops from the centre of the flower, with the dillenia, the extremities of the flower close on itself for the formation of the fruit and for this reason, any object that is put in the flower ends up being in the inside of the fruit. There is a legend that tells that Dom Peter I affixed some silver coins used at that time(called patacas) to some flowers, and after the fruit was formed, sent them in a box to Portugal with the following note: " In this country money grows on trees"
Later, some people made the same and used this trick to amuse guests. Its origin actually is India where the tribal peoples of Orissa (Indian State located in the eastern coast of the country, bathed by the sea) have had a custom of many centuries to plant it in their yards. There it has diverse uses, its leaves are used as cups or plates, its wood is considered very good for firewood and the unripe fruits are cooked to make pickles. In Panama, the ripe fruit is eaten raw or cooked and it is also used to prepare desserts. Whereas in Brazil, its fruits are considered "inconvenient ", flowers and leaves are used for ornamentation. It blossoms between March and May and for this reason it is also known by April's Flower. In English speaking countries it is known by Elephant's Apple.