Borghese Gardens Seed Catalog
Tree Seedling and Bulb Emporium





A catalog of heirloom seeds, seedlings and bulbs from the 17th Century Villa Borghese (Secret Gardens) in Rome. Working from the original lists of rare and unusual flowers, trees, herbs, fruits, vegetables, and plants carried back to Rome from the explorers of the Americas...



... the restoration of the Villa Borghese to its seventeenth-century appearance was begun in 1997 and has been based on extensive historical research of numerous documents preserved in the Borghese family archives at the Vatican. Among the most important recent projects has been the refurbishment of the secret gardens known as the Flower Garden, the Garden of Blooms and Views, and the Garden of the Bitter Oranges. (including citron/ etrog)

Using this historical information the designs of the gardens were reconstructed with flowers used for the original plantings. Within the three gardens, more than 250 varieties of plants permit three rounds of seasonal flowering that include rare and precious flowers and fruit of the beautiful tree (peri eitz hadar, literally "a fruit of the beautiful tree." - Leviticus 23:40.) that have disappeared from Roman gardens and have been reintroduced for the first time. These include such flowers as fritillaries, numerous varieties of antique tulips, old roses, many aromatic plants, and flowers such as the sunflower, marigolds, and four o'clocks that were rarities in the seventeenth century because of their recent importation from the Americas. The gardens thus have returned to their original state as true living museums.



The Borghese Gardens Calabria Etrog: A few interesting things about Etrogs. The word Etrog is Aramaic, which means "delightful." The English equivalent word, Citron, is derived from the Greek word "Kedros" -- the same as "Hadar" in Hebrew -- which also means Citrus. Kedros was Latinized as Cedrus, which evolved into Citrus, and then Citron.
In Second Temple times, the Etrog was the only known Citrus fruit, according to Eliezer Goldschmidt, a horticulture professor at Hebrew University. As such, it was the only choice for the Sukkot ritual, as the Talmud states that every Jew should take the fruit of the Hadar tree.
Most Citrus species arrived in the Middle East from China and India, with the Citron first, followed by the Lemon and other Citrus species. The Etrog is still grown in Morocco and Italy. The Italian varieties are mostly Yanaverim types, and there are those who prefer the Italian Yanaver species of Etrog to the typical Israeli Etrog. "Some people believe that the Italian Etrog is the ultimate Etrog," Israeli grower Yaakov Charlap says.





The citron in Calabria was celebrated by poets like Byron and D'Annunzio, but is only saved from extinction, thanks to the Jewish tradition of Sukkot. A Jewish delegation comes from Israel to Santa Maria del Cedro every year between July and August to choose the best fruit to be used in the holiday for the Jewish community. The selection of the best fruit is a virtual ritual. The mashgichim, each followed by a peasant carrying a box and a pair of scissors, go to the citron farms at five in the morning. The mashgiach proceeds slowly looking left and right. Then he stops and looks at the base of the tree, right where the trunk comes up from the ground. A smooth trunk means the tree has not been grafted and the fruit can be picked. The mashgiach lies down on the ground to examine better the lower branches between the leaves.
Once the good fruit is found, the mashgiach shows it to the peasant who cuts it off leaving a piece of the stalk. Then the mashgiach analyses the picked citron one more time and if he decides it is worthy he wraps it in oakum and puts it in the box. The farmer receives the agreed sum for each picked fruit. Then the boxes are sealed and sent to the Lamezia Terme airport with a final destination Tel Aviv Most adherent to the Diamante variety of Calabria are still the Chabad's who's late Rabbi's were always in support for this traditional variety. Among the other Hasidic sects it is most used by the Satmars.



Caravaggio: Still Life with Flowers, Fruits, and Vegetables in the Galleria Borghese in Rome, contains a large citron (Citron medica). The citron is considered a sacred tree to Jews who know the fruit as the etrog, still used for the celebration of Sukkot, the Feast of the Tabernacles.

Burpee Gardening Seed Catalog - Gurney's - Breck's Bulbs - The Cook's Garden
Send Flowers Abroad - Borghese Gardens Blog - Tree Seedlings


The entire Borghese Gardens park was organized on a formal, symmetrical plan with lanes and small squares lined with statues and fountains. The giardini segreti (secret gardens) located on either side of casino were the most important and well-tended of the gardens. Since the Renaissance, secret gardens, whose roots lie in the kitchen gardens of Medieval convents, have been a common garden type. Their name is an allusion to the fact that they are enclosed by walls that form outdoor rooms, thereby creating a private passage from the closed, interior spaces to the open air of the surrounding park. [1] Alberta Campitelli

Seedlings from DirectGardening:

Passion Flower

Passion Flower

Astounding blooms symbolize the crucifixion. The Passion Flower thrives easily in your home to produce fragrant blooms that will fascinate you with their religious significance. Blue-purple blooms measure up to 4" across and are set off with delicate pink filaments. According to legend, the Passion Flower's petals relate to the Apostles, the cornea to the Crown of Thorns, the five anthers to the Five Wounds and the three stigmas to the three nails.




Pear, Bartlett Dwarf Jumbo

Pear, Bartlett Dwarf Jumbo

A large, yellow pear, very sweet and aromatic. Bartlett Dwarf Pear Trees bear quickly and are highly productive. Shipped 3-4' jumbo trees. Early season producer. Self-fruitful , but will produce heavier yields if pollinated with another variety. Other standard pear varieties available include the Kieffer.



The Borghese Gardens in Rome were built in 1605, when Cardinal Scipione Borghese converted the existing vineyards into one of the largest landscape gardens in all of Rome. Scipione Borghese was nephew to Camillo Borghese - Pope Paul V - who oversaw the completion of St Peter's Basillica at the Vatican. When you visit Rome be sure to look for the name inscribed at the main entrance portico. It reads BVRGHESIVS - Latin for Borghese.


"Borghese" at the Vatican

Borghese Gardens "Temple of Aesculapius"

In Rome, Pope Paul V (Camillo Borghese) financed the completion of St. Peter's Basilica, and improved the Vatican Library. He restored the Aqua Traiana, an ancient Roman Aqueduct (named after him Acqua Paola), bringing water to the rioni located on right bank of the Tiber (Trastevere and Borgo). Like many Popes of the time he was also allegedly guilty of nepotism, and his nephew Scipione Borghese wielded enormous power on his behalf, consolidating the rise of the Borghese family. Paul V also established the Bank of the Holy Spirit in 1605.

The Secret History of the Ancient Borghese Family:
The Jewish Pope that built the Vatican - Pope Paul V (Camillo Borghese)
Semi-Gotha: The Borghese Family and other Noble Famililes of Jewish Ancestry
The 'Conversos,' Secret Jews, the Pope and the Inquisition

Emporium (medieval Latin from Greek emporos = 'merchant') is a term used for a store selling a wide variety of goods, and for marketplaces or trading centres in ancient cities (see emporia (ancient Greece) and emporia (early medieval)).

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