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  • Ottonella Botanical Garden, Portoferraio.zoom in altra finestra
  • Photographic print depicting scientist, photographer and collector Giorgio Roster, 1894 ca. Roster Fund, Institute and Museum of the History of Science, Florence.zoom in altra finestra

"Ottonella" Botanical Garden

Situated on the roadstead of Portoferraio, "Ottonella" Garden was founded in 1896 by scientist, photographer and collector Giorgio Roster. It was one of the first acclimatization gardens for exotic species in Italy. It was indeed not so much an ornamental garden, as it was especially a place destined to study the adaptability of species to climate. Already in 1911, the good results obtained were visible in the presence of about 700 species. Roster wrote: "That at Ottonella one can see species of palm that can not be found in open air in other gardens, I owe to my excellent friend Dr. Garbari, as I also owe the numerous splendid specimens of cycas which he brought to Ottonella from his rich collections to be planted in open air". Garbari’s garden, known as the "Ottone" Garden, was located a short distance from Roster’s. Many of the garden’s specimens, palms and cycas, in particular, were planted in the gardens of the Elban residences of Napoleon at Mulini and San Martino, and were widely diffused on the island.


Texts by Graziano Magrini

English translation by Victor Beard

Last update 09/gen/2008