Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica : Journal of the Malta Historical Society. 1(1954)3(187)

PENZA, C., Argotti Botanic Gardens. In “Times of Malta,” 23 and 26 November, 1951.

The first part of this interesting article outlines the history of the Botanic Gardens, first started in the ditch at St. Elmo by Dr. Joseph Zammit in 1675, and subsequently transferred to Floriana in 1800. The second part deals with the training of apprentices in the art of gardening but includes also information on the publication of the Index Seminum, first compiled and published by Rev. Carolus Hyacinthus in 1805, and subsequently republished on various other occasions. We also find a list of Directors and Curators of the Gardens. The article is interspersed with interesting out-of-the-way information, e.g. during Dr. Lucano’s directorship (1771) “the Oxalis Cernua Thumb, its English name “Wood Sorrell” and the Maltese “Haxixa Ingliża” or “Qares” were introduced to Malta from the Cape of Good Hope.” The list of Directors compiled by the writer, who was Curator from 1919 till 1952, is given hereunder:

Dr. Josephus Zammit (1676-1740); Dr. G. Lucano (1771); Father Carolus Hacinthus (1805-1824); Dr. C.A. Naudi (1824-1829); Dr. S. Zerafa (1829-1859); Dr. G.C. Delicata (1859-1880); Dr. G. Gulia (1880-1889); Dr. F. Debono (1890-1919); Dr. E. Meli (1919-1921); Dr. J. Borg (1921-1933) ; Dr. S.L. Vella (1934- ).

J.[oseph] C.[assar] P.[ullicino]