Botanical Garden Of The University Of Rome

Botanical Garden Of The University Of Rome
Botanical Garden Of The University Of Rome
Video: Botanical Garden Of The University Of Rome
Video: The Botanical Garden of Rome - Orto Botanico di Roma 【Video Tour 4k 】 2023, February
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The Roman Botanical Garden is located in the heart of the city, between Via della Lungara and Colle del Gianicolo. It was recreated in 1883 on the site of the Vatican garden that existed here in the Victorian era, and has retained its historical layout and centuries-old specimens of trees. If you look even further into history, these slopes are the archaeological zone of Horti Getae, where in ancient times Roman thermal baths with the magical name Septimius Severus were located.

The garden is now owned by the Faculty of Environmental Biology at the Sapienza University of the capital. More than 3000 plant taxa have been collected on an area of ​​12 hectares. This is not only the local Mediterranean flora, but also rarities from all over the world, among which there are many unique endemic and currently on the verge of extinction species. This is probably why it is called the Botanical Garden Museum.

Palm alley
Palm alley

Palm alley

The garden is open to the public and, armed with a quick guide with a recommended itinerary, with a blooming Cercis siliquastrum on the cover, we started our tour from the palm tree lane. The collection of palms is, of course, limited to species that tolerate the local subtropical climate well. The most representative species composition of dates, trachycarpus, sabal. Here you can find the canary date (Phoenix canariensis) and the rarer palm date (Phoenix dactylifera), the squat chamerops (Chamaerops humilis), Washingtonia robusta, the edible brachea (Brahea edulis), so named for the edible flesh, familiar to lovers of indoor plants … Of particular value are Chilean Jubaea (Jubaea chilensis), Theophrastus' date (Phoenix theophrasti),growing exclusively on the island of Crete, Washingtonia filifera is an endangered species listed in the IUCN Red Data Book of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

Palm alley
Palm alley

Palm alley

Palm alley
Palm alley

Palm alley

The palm alley ends with the Fountain of Tritons, to the right of which a greenhouse is visible in the distance.

Fountain of newts
Fountain of newts

Fountain of newts

Having drawn a circle around the fountain, we go according to the plan to the left - to the Rose Garden. The rosary demonstrates not so much the variety of modern roses as draws attention to their five-petal wild-growing progenitors. Here are planted a French rose (Rosa gallica), a dog rose (Rosa canina), a Greek Rosa phoenicia, a group of musk roses (Rosa moschata), a significant collection of Italian natural rose hips. But there were few blooming roses.

Rose garden
Rose garden

Rose garden

Rose garden
Rose garden

Rose garden

On the left, after the rose garden, a wedge rests against the path Fern Valley. Under the familiar female kochedzhnik (A thyrium filix-femina) and common bracken (Pteridium aquilinum), high vudvardia rooting (Woodwardia radicans), small black ferns (Asplenium adiantum - nigrum), lush bristle-leaf ferns (Polystystich) are hidden (Phyllitis scolopendrium).

Fern valley
Fern valley

Fern valley

Further - the real treasury of the garden - the Bamboo Grove, which is one of the richest collections of bamboos in Europe (from the genera Phyllostachys, Sasa, Bambusa, Pleioblastus). Better, perhaps, only in London Kew Botanical Garden. This vegetation is little known to us. The highlights of the collection are rare black phyllostachis, or black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra), edible phyllostachis (Phyllostachys eduli s), green-shiny phyllostachis (Phyllostachys viridiglaucescens), brilliant fargesia (Fargesia nitida).

Giant Phyllostachis fluffy (Phyllostachys pubescens) from China
Giant Phyllostachis fluffy (Phyllostachys pubescens) from China

Giant Phyllostachis fluffy (Phyllostachys pubescens) from China

Giant Phyllostachis fluffy (Phyllostachys pubescens) from China
Giant Phyllostachis fluffy (Phyllostachys pubescens) from China

Giant Phyllostachis fluffy (Phyllostachys pubescens) from China

Logically, bamboos lead to the Japanese Garden. Its design was created in accordance with the authentic traditions of the oriental garden. An obligatory element is water in it - in the form of a fountain, a small water cascade and two lakes. The flora here is, of course, Japanese and Chinese - palm-shaped maples (Acer p almatum) and tripartite (Acer buergerianum), Thunberg barberry (Berberis t hunbergii), star magnolia (Magnolia stellata), Chinese camellia (Camellia chinensis) - tea bush, pittosporum (Pittosporum t obira), a Japanese cherry (Prunus x subhirtella) replacing sakura, blooming in early spring with double pink flowers, interesting also because it is not found in the wild.

Maple tree in a Japanese garden
Maple tree in a Japanese garden

Maple tree in a Japanese garden

Japanese garden
Japanese garden

Japanese garden

Japanese garden
Japanese garden

Japanese garden

In the northernmost corner of the botanical garden, there is an evergreen forest with mighty conifers.

Road to the Evergreen Forest
Road to the Evergreen Forest

Road to the Evergreen Forest

Evergreen forest
Evergreen forest

Evergreen forest

Having returned a little back, we climb the cascade of steps to the Fontana degli 11 zampilli fountain (11-jet fountain). On either side of it is a shady patch of monumental trees.

Cascade at the 11-jet fountain
Cascade at the 11-jet fountain

Cascade at the 11-jet fountain

Here you can admire the age-old trunks and crowns of the Australian baobab, also called the paws of the elephant (Agathis robusta), the pointed eretia (Ehretia acuminate), the original erythrina cockscomb (Erythrina crista - galli), the long-leaved long-leaved (Nolina longifirequoolia) (Nolina longifirequoolia), large torrei (Torreya grandis), Kentucky cladrastis (Cladrastis kentukea), Persian parrotia (Parrotia persica), forest beech (Fagus sylvatica), oriental plane tree (Platanus orientalis), Canary ebony, or Canarian barbus laurel (Apoll) (Quercus suber) and stone (Quercus ilex) and the world's only evergreen palm, Nannorrhops ritchiana.

Monumental trees
Monumental trees

Monumental trees

Monumental trees
Monumental trees

Monumental trees

In the neighborhood, in the hilly part of the garden, there is a collection of conifers - podocarpus, pines, cypresses and torrei, large specimens of the giant sequoiadendron (Sequoiadendron giganteum), ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo biloba), snail cicasus (Cycas circinalis). The taxodium two-rowed, or marsh cypress (Taxodium distichum) and the Mexican taxodium (Taxodium mucronatum) are known for their poisonous properties. Now they attract with their fresh green needles, and in the fall they become reddened and unattractive. Sicilian fir (Abies nebrodensis) - endemic to the island of Sicily, is on the verge of extinction and is listed in the IUCN Red Book, only 30 specimens remain in nature. An interesting araucaria plant - powerful agathis (Agathis robusta) with leafy needles and large beautiful spherical cones,common in nature from Northern Australia to New Guinea. The pearl of the collection is Wollemia nobilis, a plant that was considered completely extinct on the planet until in 1994 a single specimen was found in Wollen National Park in Australia.

Taxodium Mexican (Taxodium mucronatum)
Taxodium Mexican (Taxodium mucronatum)

Taxodium Mexican (Taxodium mucronatum)

Taxodium Mexican (Taxodium mucronatum)
Taxodium Mexican (Taxodium mucronatum)

Taxodium Mexican (Taxodium mucronatum)

Wollemia nobilis
Wollemia nobilis

Wollemia nobilis

Wollemia nobilis
Wollemia nobilis

Wollemia nobilis

After passing a narrow path towards the south, you can see a pond with an exposition of aquatic plants. Our Far Eastern Komarov lotus (Nelumbo Komarovii) grow here, and in the neighborhood - broad-leaved cattail and opposite-leaved cyperus (Cyperus alternifolius).

A small isolated area in the eastern part of the garden includes an exhibition tropical greenhouse, and in front of them is an exposition of medicinal plants. Situated on raised ridges, medicinal plants are combined into a pharmaceutical laboratory called Hortus Simplicium. Despite the fact that in the sound of this name you can feel something alchemical, the term "semplici" means the same as the Latin "officina" - simply, it is a pharmaceutical garden.

Echinacea pallidum in Hortus Simplicium
Echinacea pallidum in Hortus Simplicium

Echinacea pallidum in Hortus Simplicium

Ephedra at Hortus Simplicium
Ephedra at Hortus Simplicium

Ephedra at Hortus Simplicium

Some thermophilic medicinal plant species are grown in a tropical greenhouse. This is the newest greenhouse in the garden, inside which a constant humidity of 80% and a temperature of + 18 + 20 o C in winter and +30 oC - in summer. It is divided into separate zones - species that form the tropical jungle, representatives of the pandanus genus, marsh plants, plants useful to mankind, representatives of tropical forests, palms. The diversity of flora is very great here. There are rare species - large-fruited phytelephas palm (Phytelephas macrocarpa) with berry-like fruits, giant aristolochia (Aristolochia gigantean) with huge purple "pelican flowers", dissected hibiscus (Hibiscus schizopetalus) with unusual petals, fine-flowered plants, for example. Unfortunately, we did not see any of this - the greenhouse was closed.

Tropical greenhouse
Tropical greenhouse

Tropical greenhouse

An unusual-looking old greenhouse is shown nearby. This is the Corsini greenhouse - the first greenhouse structure in the garden, built in the 19th century. It houses a collection of succulents - cactus, agave, euphorbia, fatty plants, including caudex succulents from the genera Fockea and Pachypodium. It contains two small ponds that belonged to the Swedish Queen Christina during her stay (1659-1689) at the Villa Riario, now the Palazzo Corsini, whose territory is included in the garden.

Further - the so-called monumental greenhouse, built in 1884. It is almost entirely reserved for the collection of euphorbia (Euphorbia abyssinica, Euphorbia grandicornis, Euphorbia t irucalli, Euphorbia mauritanica, etc.), but it was also closed. The greenhouse is adorned with two vines, which, most likely, you have never even heard of - the evergreen Indian quisqualis (Quisqualis indica), which blooms at the same time with white, pink and red tubular fragrant flowers, and the Petrea volubilis from tropical America, which blooms in long spring brushes of lilac star-shaped flowers.

Monumental greenhouse
Monumental greenhouse

Monumental greenhouse

Opposite this conservatory is the Mediterranean Garden, which consists of regular style flower beds. The flora of the local climatic zone is collected here - stone oak (Quercus ilex), strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo), broad-leaved phillirea (Phillyrea latifolia), mastic tree, or oil pistachio (Pistacia lentiscus), common myrtle (Myrtus communis), Australian lemon callus (Callistemon citrinus), South African myrtle leaf (Polygala myrtifolia), various species of broom, sage, lavender, Teucrium, euphorbia characias (Euphorbia characias), matthiola (Matthiola sinuata), bulbous plant with white vanilla and scented flowers (Pancratium illyricum) from Corsica, coastal immortelle (Helichrysum litoreum), statice (Limonium narbonense) from the south of France.

Stone oak (Quercus ilex)
Stone oak (Quercus ilex)

Stone oak (Quercus ilex)

Stone oak (Quercus ilex)
Stone oak (Quercus ilex)

Stone oak (Quercus ilex)

Passing through this section, you can enter the Garden of Fragrances. It combines plants that can be recognized by their aroma or tactile means (during fruiting, for example). Plants are provided with braille plates.

Garden of aromas
Garden of aromas

Garden of aromas

Garden of aromas
Garden of aromas

Garden of aromas

Garden of aromas
Garden of aromas

Garden of aromas

California poppy (Romneya coulteri)
California poppy (Romneya coulteri)

California poppy (Romneya coulteri)

There were no spring flowers in the garden, and the autumn fruits had not yet appeared. Therefore, one had to judge about the richness of the collections and the value of certain species more by the tablets and the guidebook. One thing is clear - for the papal garden, they collected amazing flora from different parts of the world, which is now of considerable scientific value.

The Botanical Garden of Rome is one of the centers of the Italian ex-situ germplasm bank, whose activities are aimed at preserving the country's wild flora. The bank has 1300 storage units - seeds of representatives of 133 families, 580 genera and 936 plant species. The seeds are stored under vacuum - some of them are at +4 o C with the possibility of use, others are laid for long-term storage at -20 o C. The bank is exchanging seeds with other botanical gardens in Italy and around the world.

Photo: Maxim Minin

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