The “Giardino dei Semplici” (Garden of Simples) Botanical Garden is part of the Museum of Natural History of the University of Florence. It was founded in 1545 on the orders of Cosimo I de’ Medici and got its name because “semplici” was what medicinal plants were called at the time.
The 16th century garden was designed by Tribolo, and despite having undergone several alterations to the original design, the central part of the garden today still has a plan which has maintained the former 16th-century architectural shape.
The garden stretches for almost two hectares and has around 6,000 plants. There is an arboretum with centuries-old trees, including a Taxus baccata planted in 1720 and a majestic cork oak.
Among the many collections in the gardens and in the greenhouses, the most impressive are the palms, cycads and medicinal plants.