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Apart from the historical structures, the Argotti Botanic Gardens & Resource Centre is made up of different sections, each offering a unique combination of botanical specimen immersed in history. The most important historical structures which date back to the eighteenth century are the Nymphaeum and the Summer Villa. The Nymphaeum was once completely lined with a decorative motif using black obsidian and white marble pebbles, red coral and calcite crystals. The coat of arms of bailiff Ignatius de Argote y Guzman from which the garden name is derived, is on the ceiling.

The old summer house of Bailiff de Argote has been recently renovated and converted into an exhibition hall, museum of garden history and plant science. It serves as a visitor’s center for visiting school children. The most recently built structure is a modern purpose-built herbarium housing the old dried plant collections together with the Director’s office and laboratories.

The different plant collections in the garden have a predominantly Mediterranean climate focus. Collections include family beds where part of the garden is divided into plots that represent the different plant families. A section is dedicated to Maltese Flora where indigenous and endemic plants are present. The national tree – the Sandrac Gum tree, and the national plant – the Maltese Rock Centaury as well as the Carob, Olive, Aleppo Pine and Maltese Cliff Orache are also present. 

Several plant collections are housed in the three Greenhouses where a variety of hot house plants including a large collection of cacti and succulent plants are hosted. A small greenhouse acts as a Fernery with several species of ferns including aquatic species and the rare and endangered species of Marsellea. It is good to note that hardy cacti and succulents especially Agaves, Aloes, Gasterias and several members of the Aizoaceae are grown in the open as well; indeed a large outdoor collection forms part of the herbarium roof garden.

Other garden features include the Water Lily Pond located between the greenhouses which hosts aquatic plants including several species of Nymphaea and Nelumbo nucifera, and the Japanese Garden - a small enclosure with a number of oriental features dedicated to plant species from this region. The garden has several old plant specimens in its collections.

One of the oldest specimen in the garden is a truly impressive Dracaena draco or Dragon Blood tree which is estimated to be over 250 years old. The huge Moreton Bay fig trees Ficus macrophylla trees have become a landmark for the garden with their entwined aerial roots fused together. Also impressive are several Cereus species including the Mexican Giant Cardon Pachycereus pringlei and Cereus pecten-aboriginum, all of which are around 100 years old. 

Please click here to view the photo gallery.

Last Updated: 1 March 2017

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