Not just herbaria: treasures and other botanical collections

In the same building of the Central Italian Herbarium and of the other historical herbaria are preserved important collections that enrich and extend the story of the herbaria.

Plant finds in cans or boxes constitute the largest Italian Fruit Collection, with about 16 thousand samples.

The Botanical Collections also include an important collection of fossils, more than 5000 wooden tablets, and numerous other objects of great value both from a scientific and historical point of view (galls and botanical ‘monstrosities’, artifacts of vegetable origin, mycological models, seeds, pollen, drawings and photographic plates).

The still nature paintings of the late 1600s by Bartolomeo Bimbi and other authors are an example of extension of the botanical tale of the herbaria; they constitute clues to identify species and varieties of vegetables and fruits mostly disappeared or exceptional in size.

The “artificial garden” consists of hundreds of wax models of life-size potted plants and fruits, and anatomical tables – unique in the world in terms of beauty, variety and number of subjects, realized in the waxworks workshop between the end of the 18th century and the middle of the 19th century.

Both paintings and wax models await to be valorized once the project to redevelop the ‘La Specola’ Museum comes to its conclusion.


The Collections:

ancillary collections


drawings and photographs

books and documents

botanical models

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