The Botanic Garden, which covers an area of about three hectares, is divided into sectors.
The Scuola Botanica (Botanical School) corresponds to the oldest, late sixteenth-century portion of the Botanic Garden. Six sandstone basins survive from that period, while the current organization in rows of rectangular flowerbeds dates back to the second half of the nineteenth century. The name of the sector derives from the fact that its large portions make it possible to organize the plants in the flowerbeds with a systematic criterion, according to the family they belong to, in order to facilitate students in the comparative study of the salient characteristics of the various botanical families. Other important collections of the Botanical School are the edible wild plants, geophytes and about 150 species of Salvia from all over the world. A flowerbed is dedicated to “plants in research”: there are cultivated plants that have been the subject of study programmes for systematic or conservation purposes.
The Orto del Cedro (Cedar Garden), which owes its name to a majestic example of Lebanese Cedrus (Cedrus libani), unfortunately uprooted by a storm in 1935, was annexed to the Botanical School in 1783. In this area there are the two oldest trees of the Garden: a magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) and a maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba). Of note in this area are the presence of a collection of hydrangeas and a collection of ancient cultivars of camellias. Particularly appreciated by visitors is a bamboo grove.
The Orto del Mirto (Myrtle Garden) owes its name to an imposing specimen of common myrtle (Myrtus communis) planted in 1815. This sector has a reduced extension and now houses a collection of medicinal plants, of particular interest to Pharmacy students.
There are five greenhouses in the Botanic Garden, all grouped in its central portion.
Piazzale Arcangeli corresponds to the central portion of the Botanic Garden, where open spaces prevail. Noteworthy is the presence of numerous species of palm trees, including two imposing specimens of chilean wine palms (Jubaea chilensis) planted in 1890, a collection of aquatic plants (idrofitorio) and a small reconstruction of a dune environment.
The Orto Nuovo (New Garden), obtained from land acquired by Gaetano Savi in 1841, is today mainly used as an arboretum. The same destination also has part of the adjacent Orto Del Gratta (Del Gratta Garden), the last piece of land annexed to the Botanic Garden in chronological order, which also has a ‘relax’ area with a small artificial lake, particularly appreciated by university students as a place of study surrounded by greenery. In the Del Gratta Garden there are also two elevated areas, which currently house collections of Mediterranean plants and mountain plants.