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Orto Botanico “Giardino dei Semplici”

It was founded by Cosimi de’ Medici and built by Luca Ghini it is the seat of of the most famous botanical schools.

It is one of the oldest botanical gardens, it was created by Niccolò il Tribolo in the first half of 16th century. It was created as a garden for medicinal plants. He had planned flowerbed, bushes etc. Today it remains only the great gate and a stone bust by Esculapio. Ghini led the garden to a wide prestige, but after his dead the garden was neglected. Then Cosimo III gave it to SocietĂ  Botanica Fiorentina and Pier Antonio Micheli increased the collection of plants and the garden became famous in the world. In 1746 Saverio Manetti published an index with the names of seeds of the garden. In 1783 the property moved to Georgofili Academy and its name changed in “Orto Sperimentale Agrario dell’Accademia dei Georgofili”. Then the direcor became Antonio Targioni Tozzetti and the name was the original Giardino dei Semplici. Then the “Regio Istituto degli Studi Superiori Pratici” changed once again its name in “Orto Botanico dell’Istituto di Studi Superiori”.

Tesoro Curel built the beautiful greenhouse and saved the garden from demolition. Then its importance and fame grew and the Istituto Botanico was linked to Giardino dei Semplici and in 1905 it became Botanical Garden. In 1925 the garden was visible oulling down the walls in Via La Pira and Via Gino Capponi. Three greenhouses and a little wood were pulled down. In the 2^ Wolrd War some flowerbed were used to bury dead today dig up. After the war the garden was ruined and Alberto Chiarugi reorganize everything and an old hall in the garden became “Ostensio Simplicium”. Chiarugi and his collaborators addes new italian and extra-italian plants and for the first time they promoted didactis activity.

The collections
Giardino dei Semplici covered an area of 23.892 mq, which 1700 are great greenhouses diveded in hot greenhouses with tropical plants and warm greenhouse with different kind of plants and 29 flowerbed. Cicadee collection is very important. It was given by Comm. Ernesto Modiglioni. You can find citrus friuts collection, carnivore plants and other species.

The hot greenhouse contains esotic plants, medicinal plants, two exemplaries of “Dioon spinulosum” and an exemplary of “Pachira Alba”. The little greenhouses contain collection of “Pteridophyta” from india and nepal etc.; collection of “Orchidaceae” with old exemplaries: collection of “Bromeliaceae” and “Araceae” and “Amorphophallus titanum” picked up in Sumatra in 1994.

In the external you can find alimentary plants and great trees the Tasso Micheli (1720) and a Quercus suber (1800).

Category: Florence museums

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