Università degli Studi di Perugia

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Teaching: Botany and cultural heritage

Degree CourseDegree course in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences [L-25] D. M. 270/2004
CurriculumVERDE ORNAMENTALE - Regulations 2014
PrerequisitesInformation currently not available - Italian version
Assessment methods


Examinations' grades statistics

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Examinations' dates

See the Exams calendar on the web site

Recommended optional coursesInformation currently not available - Italian version
LecturerMarco Maovaz
TypeBasic formative activities
Implementation proceduresConventional
Course content

Introduction to the relationship between botany and cultural heritage. The biodeterioration and vegetables as a cultural asset.

The botany and history of the gardens. The birth of the concept of garden. The garden of the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean. The Greek garden. The Roman garden. The Byzantine garden, the Arabian garden. The garden in medieval Europe. The garden between humanism and the Renaissance. The Italian garden between Mannerism and Baroque. The spread of the Italian style in France, Spain, Germany, and England. The garden of the French Grand siècle. The spread of French style in England, Germany, Spain, Russia, Scandinavia, Italy. The gardens in China and Japan. Birth and evolution of the English style. The spread of English garden in France and Germany. The garden in Europe in the nineteenth century. The garden in Europe between the Belle Epoque and the artistic avant-garde of the twentieth century. The protagonists of the twentieth century.

The botany of ornamental plants. General botany and physiology of ornamental plants. The modifications of the corm of ornamental interest. The ecology of plants and gardens. The groups of cultivated ornamental plants. Systematics of the following divisions: Monilophyta; Cycadophyta; Ginkgophyta; Gnetophyta; Pinophyta; Magnoliophyta.

The restoration of historic gardens. Birth and development of the concept of historical garden. law and the restoration of gardens. The historical analysis and analysis of the status quo. The fundamentals of restoration of historic gardens. After the restoration. Maintenance, Management and Development of the gardens.



The course aims to make students aware of the relationship between plant biology and the humanities. In recent years they have been put in place numerous collaborations between botanists and scholars engaged in knowledge of cultural heritage. The relationship between botany and cultural heritage covering different areas, such as: the biodeterioration; ethnobotany, the archaeobotany and recognition of plants for the interpretation of the artistic representations (phyto-iconology). The main subjects of study remains: a) the role of botany in the historical evolution of the garden; b) the botany of plants of ornamental interest; c) the preservation and restoration of green areas.

Mode of delivery

Lectures, educational visits - Tutorials

Recommended reading

Handouts provided during the lessons.

La biologia vegetale per i beni culturali. 2: Conoscenza e valorizzazione, edited by Giulia Caneva, Firenze, 2005.

Marie Luise Gothein, Geschichte der Gartenkunst, Jena, 1914; trad. it. Storia dell'arte dei giardini, edited by Massimo De Vico Fallani and Mario Bencivenni, Firenze, 2006.

Mariachiara Pozzana, Giardini storici. Principi e tecniche della conservazione, Firenze, 2006.

Penelope Hobhouse, Plants in garden History, London, 1992.

Learning outcomes

During the course the student will be informed of the relationship between the botany and the cultural heritage, in order to tackle the topics that, due to the specialization of applied botany, are increasingly being studied and deepened by botanists.

The botany of ornamental plants will bring the student to learn the major groups of plants cultivated in the gardens and allow selecting the most suitable plants for different types of gardens.

The historical evolution of the gardens will enable the student to interpret the changes of green spaces in the course of time and make it easier to understand the issue of restoration of the garden.

The theoretical and practical foundations of the restoration will be the basis for understanding the particular issues related to the conservation of the garden: a material work consists of living and non-living materials.

Teaching period

see the web site

Teaching calendar

see the web site

Teaching support

Information currently not available

Teaching languageItalian



Borgo XX Giugno, 74 - 06121 Perugia – Aula didattica dell’Orto botanico a San Costanzo

Individual study
Integration to teaching activity
Giuseppe Frenguelli
PeriodII semester
NotesInformation currently not available - Italian version
Consulting hours

Tuesday and Wednesday, from 9.45 am to 11 am, except academic or educational commitments. Please contact: marco.maovaz@unipg.it

Consulting location

Classroom of the botanic garden

ECTS code2014 - 1628

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