Established in 1820, the Botanical Garden of Lucca is a 2 hectare garden with a collection of several plants of scientific and naturalistic value.
The "Arboretum" is the largest section of the garden and holds a collection of trees and shrubs, most of which are exotic, first planted in the 19th century. Suffice it to mention, the imposing cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani A. Rich.), which was planted in 1822 and that currently has a five-metre girth. Banana shrubs (Michelia figo Spreng.) and a specimen of fragrant olive (Osmanthus fragrans Lour. var. aurantiacus) are noteworthy.
At the far end of the arboretum is situated a pond overlooked by a bald cypress (Taxodium distichum L. Rich), a native of Florida swamplands. A small acid bog is home to extremely rare species, among which are the extraordinary sundews (Drosera spp.), marsh gentians (Gentiana pneumonanthe L.), royal ferns (Osmunda regalis L.), yellow water lilies (Nuphar lutea L.), white water lilies (Nuphar alba L.), and spurges (Euphorbia palustris L.).
The "Hortus Sanitatis" (Herbal Garden) is currently being redesigned. It will hold a comprehensive collection of medicinal plants that is included in the updated list of FAO.
Two monumental greenhouses are home to succulents that include several Cactaceae from the New World, and Euphorbiaceae of African origin.
A significant collection of Ericaceae (including the exotic and endangered Rhododendron lochiae F. Muel, a native of Australia) and of Theaceae (Camellia spp.) can be seen.
Finally, the collection of edible wild plants of Tuscany is not to be missed.
Since the 1980s, the Banca del Germoplasma Regionale (Regional Germplasm Bank) has been based in the Garden. It preserves the gene pool of horticultural, cereal, and fodder varieties, which are endangered in Tuscany. The bank activity is coordinated by A.R.S.I.A.- Agenzia Regionale per lo Sviluppo e l´Innovazione nel settore Agricolo-forestale- (Regional Agency for Development and Innovation in Agriculture and Forestry).
Via del Giardino Botanico 14
Type of collection
Rare or significant plants.