G. Laghetti, P. Basso, D. Pignone, P. Perrino
Italy is the centre of origin and/or diversification of several species belonging to this group of plants. Official statistics indicate that in Italy about one thousand hectares are grown under specialised intensive crop system, largely represented by the most commonly used species such as lavender, lavendin, Florentine iris, sage and gentian. An unestimable surface is occupied by a collection of minor species consisting essentially of various forms of gardening of practically no economic value.

Prior to 1945 Italy could be listed among the countries producing and exporting officinal plants; conversely it now depends on imports from abroad for about 90% of its requirements, including those species which find their natural habitat on Italian soil.

Many of these species originated in the Mediterranean are threatened of genetic erosion, hence the safeguard of this germplasm has become an important task. For this group of plant, it appears that in situ conservation is the most logical solution. In addition to this, regional centres

Laghetti, G., Basso, P., Pignone, D. and Perrino, P. (1993). GERMPLASM OF MEDICINAL AND AROMATIC PLANTS FROM ITALY. Acta Hortic. 344, 323-333
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1993.344.38

Acta Horticulturae