The plants used in the silletas come from different places: some are native to our Andean forests, particularly the trees from which the silleteros get the wood to build up the silleta structure. Some foliage make up the base and give support to the flowers. There are also many wild flowers in the traditional silletas. From those forests, the silletero also gets orchids, ground thistles, anthuriums and an endless number of species that cannot be found but there, while such flowers like begonias, carnations, morning glories, jellies, bell flowers, and irises come from his gardens. Other plants, especially those with a commercial value, have been introduced from Africa or Europe. They have been grown and improved in our milieu. We may cite pompons and their multiple shapes, gerberas with their striking colors, as well as roses, carnations, agapanthuses and dahlias.
The silletero looks for exclusiveness, variety, coloring and artistic expression and transmits all this by carefully selecting and arranging the flowers on the silleta. Year after year, he searches for new plants, new forms of usage, he innovates by trying new combinations, especially with the designs he makes on the emblematic silletas. It is common, for instance, to use seeds or dry fruit shells to achieve either original decorations or unique color shades. We may also see our silletero exhaustively looking for new flowers at different markets in the country or planting seeds of exotic varieties in his garden in view of getting new elements to impress the judges or the unaware public watching this multicolor show.
Plants and silletero conjugate to enliven the parade, the city and the spirit of the people of Antioquia. By nature, Antioquians love flowers and admire their beauty and splendor, they are tillers par excellence, and they keep their traditions in their blood. Plants and silleteros are symbols of Medellín, a city that is reflected on its flowers.
Gasa. Gypsophylla paniculata L.
Éxtasis o Estatis. Limonium simuatum (L.) Mill.
Clavellina. Dianthus cf deltoides L.
Astromelia. Alstroemeria aurea Graham
Chilca. Baccharis sp
Ruda. Ruta graveolens L.
Lirio Valdivia. Gladiolus sp
Fucsias o bailarinas. Fuchsia sp
Cortejo. Pelargonium sp
Gaticos. Lychnis viscaria L.
Chochos. Lupinus ulbrichianus C.P. Sm.
Dalia. Dalhia pinnata Cav.
Boca de dragón. Anthirrinus majus L.
Lirio criollo. Gladiolus sp
Botón de oro. Helichrysum bracteatum (Vent.) Haw.
Nardos. Freezia sp
Aroma. Pelargonium sp
Rosa criolla miniatura. Rosa canina L.
By: Carlos Alberto Gutiérrez Vásquez