The Marsili Herbarium
The Marsili Herbarium in the Library of the Botanical Garden of Padua is composed of four packages of loose pages. The plant samples, however, are not stuck to these sheets, rather they remain completely unattached. Almost all of the dried specimens are accompanied by an information card, although these generally lack details about where the plant was collected. Within each package, the pages of the herbarium are gathered in sleeves, each one containing samples of plants from a single genus. The order of these sleeves was probably decided by Augusto Béguinot, who began his study of the Marsili Herbarium while he was “prefect” of the Botanical Garden. They are arranged in alphabetical order in respect to the Linnaean genera.
The most distinctive aspect of the Herbarium is the inclusion of both polynomial and binomial nomenclature, the latter being based on the principles laid out by Linnaeus, of whom Marsili was a contemporary.
It includes the only sample of Cistus laurifolius L. “ex Euganeis”, i.e. from the Euganean Hills, an area where it was identified as late as 1816.