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Tuscia University Botanical Garden

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

The Botanical Garden of the University of Tuscia is located near sulfurous hot waters and covers an area of about 15 acres. It was opened in 1991, and offers instructional, research, educational and recreational activities, biosystem studies and experiments on the acclimatization of different plants, in collaboration with local, national and international scientific communities.

The area where the garden stands is rich in Etruscan and Roman archaeological remains, and during the medieval period – and until the end of the 19th century – it was of great importance for the local economy based on hemp and linen maceration.

At the entrance, there is a collection of leguminous plants with shrubs and trees, and a rose garden that houses 200 species of roses.

A “Garden of simples” (Giardino dei Semplici) welcomes the visitors with more than 100 species of
Phytotherapic and “useful” plants, like the ones used for textiles, dye-works, perfumes – e.g. common flax (Linum usitatissimum), levant cotton, (Gossypium herbaceum), topped lavender (Lavandula stoechas), and common poppies (Papaver rhoeas).

The palm grove area is home to several species that can also grow thanks to the soil heated by the underground water, despite being species that cannot withstand low temperatures, such as the date palm (Phoenix dactilifera).
Another corner of the garden recalls the Mediterranean scrub, imagined as a hill that slopes down to the sea.
In another area, a collection of Italian spontaneous orchids has been set up.

The arboretum is the most characteristic and largest part of the botanical garden, and collects the plants arranged according to their place of origin:

From Asia: Maidenhair trees (Ginkgo biloba), sago palms (Cycas revoluta), chinaberry trees (Melia azedarach);

From Europe: Acer spp., Alnus spp., Quercus spp., Sorbus spp., Viburnum spp., Pinus spp., Abies spp., Picea spp., Taxus spp., Juniperus spp.;

From South America: monkey puzzle trees (Araucaria araucana), and pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana);

From Canada: tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera), and sugar maples (Acer saccharum);

From California: giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum), and Port Orford cedars (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana);

From the southern hemisphere: cabbage palms (Cordyline australis). This area is sheltered from the cold winds, presenting a microclimate suitable for plants that would not withstand harsh climates.

In addition to the collection of Italian and exotic ferns, there is a huge array of tropical forest plants, with some cycads (cicadaceae), numerous ficus tree, coffee shrubs of Arabia (Coffea arabica), peppers (Piper geniculatum), and Japanese banana trees (Musa basjoo).
The desert-like environments recreated inside the garden host succulent plants of African and American origin: Opuntia spp., Cereus spp., Euphorbia spp., Agave spp., and Aloe spp.

The specimens most sensitive to low temperatures, such as Kalanchoe spp., and Euphorbia spp., are grown inside a heated greenhouse.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


Strada Santa Caterina - 01100 Viterbo(VT)

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Lunedì - venerdì 9.00 – 12.00. Sabato e domenica aperto in occasione di eventi.

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