Botanical Garden

Ultimo aggiornamento 5 July 2023

In 1873 the Botanical Garden of Rome, following the arrangement of the Viminale area, was transferred to the headquarters in via Panisperna but remained there for only 10 years. The first news of a botanical garden in Rome dates back to the XIII century: its origin is linked to the figure of Pope Nicolò III (pope from 1277 to 1280) who transferred the papacy from S. Giovanni in Laterano to the Vatican, including in the Leonine walls also an area – the Pomerium – where there were plant, tree and herbaceous species.

In 1938 the newly established Royal Institute of Pathology of the Book took over the building where the Institute of Botany was located.

The ICPAL garden refers to the original botanical garden: in fact, rare and interesting essences grow there, such as, for example, the Phytolacca, native to Brazil and Argentina which Prince Ladislao Odescalchi, a passionate botanist, imported on his return from a trip to South America, at the end of the 19th century, together with two other specimens, today respectively in the garden of the Castle of Palo Laziale and on the ramp of the Ara Coeli church, in Rome.

Imposing is a specimen of Agathis, originally from Australia and New Zealand, considered sacred by the Maori. The straight and robust stem was used to make the masts of sailing ships. The widespread use of the prized timber has made it a rare species.

Araucaria, originally from the southern hemisphere, grows in Australia and South America. Of the species of conifers it produces huge pine cones that open, flaking and scattering large “pine nuts” on the ground.

Grevillea – widespread in the southern hemisphere – belongs to the proteaceae family, named after the demigod with transformative powers. In fact, the species that belong to it have different characteristics from each other.

Bamboo is the common name of several species of shrubs that have very curious characteristics. All specimens of the same species at any latitude flourish in the world at the same time and at unpredictable and absolutely irregular intervals (10, 20 or 100 years).