Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Botanical Garden of Florence

After a very warm morning visiting the Uffizi Gallery in Florence our group decided to head over to the botanical garden in town to enjoy the plants and the shade that they provided. The garden was run and maintained by the local university, but open to the public with a small fee. While touring the gardens we saw many different plants ranging from Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) to tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum). 

The garden was centered around a single focal point which happened to be a fountain in this case. From there the garden was divided up into a flower section, a poisonous plant section, a carnivorous plant section, etc. Among the flower section we saw roses and hydrangeas colored pink, blue and even purple. Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers and to see that many in so many bright and beautiful colors was amazing!!

Within the poisonous plant section Dr. Starman showed us the tobacco plant as well as a Opium poppy plant (Papaver somniferumand the seeds inside of it. Another interesting addition to the garden was a miniature Japanese garden where small rocks were displayed to look like water and a small Japanese-styled building sat perched up on a boulder. Some other plants that I was introduced to included the Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirtaas well as the Sarracenia rubra plant which is a carnivorous plant made up of tube like petals that trap insects inside to later be digested. 

I learned about many new plants on this little adventure. The garden was almost like a hidden gem within the city. I did not expect something so big and full of plant life to be smack dab in the middle of one of Italy's busiest cities. This trip was a treat and the shade throughout our tour was an added bonus! Plants provide us with so much more than we realize and I think it's time that we change our perspective!


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