Orto Botanico di Palermo
PhD School SIE2017
June 19 – 21, 2017
Via Lincoln, 2 – 90133 Palermo
The Palermo Botanical Garden is a research institution of the University of Palermo. The garden lies within the city of Palermo. It covers about 0.12 square kilometers.
The beginning of the garden goes back to 1779, when the Accademia dei Regi Studi created the chair of “Botany and medicinal properties”. A modest plot of land was allocated to develop a small botanical garden dedicated to the cultivation of plants with medicinal benefits, for the objectives of general learning and improving public health.
Gymnasium, Calidarium and Tepidarium
The central neo-classical building, known as the Gymnasium, is located near the main entrance gate. Two smaller buildings are located either side of the Gymnasium, they are called the Calidarium and the Tepidarium because originally they housed plants from warm and temperate zones respectively.
The Aquarium, a large round pool divided into 24 sections, is located at the end of the central avenue. The design consists of three concentric rings which are divided into 8 wedges, each being a home to a variety of acqautic flora.
The “lagoon” is located a few metres further down from the Aquarium. Here, the plants are arranged informally.
Over time the gardens have benefitted from the development of a series of greenhouses that currently comprise a surface area of some 1,300 mq.
The oldest of these greenhouses is the Maria Carolina greenhouse, a gift from Queen Maria Carolina of Austria.
In the research zone, situated to the side of the Winter Garden, tropical and subtropical plants are cultivated for the purposes of research.
This is the oldest section of the gardens, laid out in a rectangular shape and divided into four quadrangles.
It comprises the southern section of the gardens within which the plants are arranged in accordance with the classification system of Engler. The species are partitioned into three sections, each dedicated in turn to the gymnosperms, the angiosperms, the dicotyledons and the liliopsida.
The modern Herbarium mediterraneum, accommodated within a few buildings adjacent to the gardens, covers a surface area of some 6,000 mq.
The gene bank, having been started in 1993, is part of a broader project to protect the genetic material of the region’s flora.