This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Revue de V Horticulture Beige has an interesting paper on Italian Botanists, many of whose names are familiar to all. At Naples were the gardens of Sallust, who loved horticulture as well as botany. Dioclesian, after he abandoned the throne, became eminent as a botanical student. Columella and Pliny, well-; known plant lovers, followed him. There seems a long gap between Pliny to the revival of learning. In 1842, Zanto published at Milan a treatise on botany. In 1486, the Hortus Sanitatis appeared. In the sixteenth century came Gesner, i Mathioli, and Andrew Laguna, and Frederick Cesi, born in Rome in 1485. Cesi was banished by the pontificate, and his works are lost. His studies comprised every department of botany, but his specialty was the anatomy of plants. He had a large museum and a botanic garden. His observations are said to have been a long way in advance of his time, and to have included the discovery of the sexes of plants, and all the phenomena of fecundation through means of the pollen; but this does not seem to be a certainty, his actual work having been swept away. Colonna followed. He first gave the name petals to the floral leaves.
Other Italian botanists of note about this period were Maranta, Luca Ghini, Anguillara, G. B. Porta, and Caesar Alpi-no. Caesalpin was the father of botanical classification, and to this day some of his points are regarded as sound. About the same time numbers of great names appeared which have mostly been honored by attachment to genera of plants. Pona, Zanoni, Becone, Pontedera, Micheli, Za-nichelli, Martigli, Triumfetti, Fozzi, and Allioni. In 1450, Pope Nicholas V. ordered the founding of a botanic garden at Rome, but he died before his project was accomplished. The first botanic garden that history speaks of with cer tainty was founded by Laurent de Medicis in the Villa Careggi. That at the University of Padua followed in 1545. The author of the paper is proud of Italy's great botanical names, and remarks that the only fault that can be found with Italy's botanists is that they have not been great travellers, but have contented themselves with studying the indigenous flora, - but the reproach does not reach the Italian botanists of to-day, who are receiving a world-wide reputation.