The exact address of the botanical garden of Lucca is 14, Via Del Giardino Botanico, Lucca, Italy. The garden is operated by the Lucca city’s administration. There is an admission fee for getting entry into the garden. The garden opens all days during summers. The botanical garden or Giordano Botanico of Lucca has a length of around 2 hectares. It is located on the south-eastern side of the old city of Lucca. Apart from the proper garden, the area also has an arboretum (collection of trees), a pond, greenhouses, laboratories and botanical school. The museum of the garden is called as Cesare Bicchi (after the name of a professor of the botanical university/school) and contains archive and herbarium (preserved collection of plant specimens).
The founder of the botanical garden was Maria Luisa Bourbon, who was the Duchess of Lucca, in the year 1820. She also laid here the foundations of a botanical school or university. During the course of the 19th century, many influential directors became in charge of the institution one after the other and the garden and the institution witnessed many scientific researches. These earlier researches were mainly focused on the flowering plants found in Lucca and surrounding areas.
Benedetto Puccinelli was one of the most active directors of the institution and served it from the year 1833 to the year 1850. He worked meticulously to create a 1500 strength local-flora. The plants in the flora constituted the seed producing plants or phanerograms. He died early (at the age of 42) and hence his findings were not published. The garden stored many unique and exotic plants that were also admired by the owners of palaces and the grand villas at that time. The trees were hence later spread to other parts of the city and were grown in local gardens as well. Later cedar trees were also added to the garden from distant countries like Mongolia, Lebanon and Sequoia.
The 4th director of the institution, Cesare Bicchi died during the 1st world war. At this time period, no activities were conducted in the garden. The garden was reopened, and all the research activities resumed in the year 1970. The old collections were recovered, and new collections were formed. The regional Germ-Plasm bank was founded at the park during the 1980s. It is coordinated by ARSIA or Regional Agency For Development And Innovation In Agriculture And Forestry. All the endangered species of plants of the Tuscany area that relate to cereals, fodders and horticulture are preserved in the Germ-Plasm bank. The botanical garden also coordinates with an amateur garden show by the name Murabilia. The show takes place in September in Lucca.
After entering the garden from the wrought and old iron-gate, you will find a long pathway that is surrounded by shrubs and trees. The arboretum then subsequently leads you to a small pond. The eastern part of the botanical garden (on its left side contains the greenhouses. You will also find here a collection of medicinal plants that is called as Hortus-San-Itiaris and a sensory-trail that is built for partially-sighted and blind people. On the west side, you will find plants that are found in Lucca city’s surroundings areas like Alpi Apuane and Monte Pisano.
In the center of the plant, a southern cypress can be found. Its origination lies in the swamplands of Florida. The acid bog (muddy land area) contains many rare and endangered species of plants like osmunds, sundrews, marsh euphorbia, rose mallows, etc.
The section is the largest section of the garden and has exotic shrubs and trees that were mainly laid during the 19th century. The imposing and giant Lebanon cedars (that were planted in 1820 and had a girth of 6 meters), the Michelia tree and the olive oil tree are some notable plant specimens.
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