The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 2: Roman Gardens (500BC-500AD)

Roman Botanic Gardens

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66. Scientific assemblages of plants, or botanic gardens, appear to have been unknown to the Romans, who had formed no regular system of nomenclature for the vegetable kingdom. Pliny says that in his youth he acquired his knowledge of plants in the garden of Antonius Castor, a son-in-law of king Dejotanus, who had assembled a great number of plants in his garden. Nearly a thousand plants are mentioned in Pliny's History as used in agriculture, gardening, materia medica, for garlands or other purposes; and these appear to be all that were known, or had names in general use. (Pliny, Nat. Hist., lib. xii.�xxvi. inclusive.)