Since 2018 the members of the Florentine Section of G.I.R.O.S. (Group for the Research of Wild Orchids), are carrying out a systematic census of the spontaneous orchids growing inside the Boboli Gardens. The goal is to raise awareness and protect the orchidological heritage of the historic gardens of the Province of Florence. It started as usual from a bibliographical and herbarium survey: the first mention of Orchidaceae in Boboli dates back to 1716 and appears in the manuscripts of the illustrious botanist P.A. Micheli, preserved in the Botanical Library of the University of Florence.
The data collected indicate that the orchidological contingent within the Boboli Gardens amounts to 15 species and 3 varieties, belonging to 7 genera. The total number of individuals is more than 2300.
The presence of such an abundance of spontaneous orchids in a public city park, frequented by thousands of visitors, testifies to the presence of a well-preserved natural environment which, in spite of the human interventions necessary to maintain the typical vegetal structures of the Italian garden, leaves a remarkable biodiversity.
The G.I.R.O.S., which includes members from Italy and various European countries, has been studying the Italian and European orchidological heritage since 1994 and promotes research in the field and the enhancement and protection of Orchidaceae and the natural environments that host them, starting with a census as detailed as possible of the spontaneous orchids on the territory.