The Botanical Garden of Salento is a structure managed by a public-participation Foundation, responsible for carrying out cultural, social, educational, study, research and educational activities and tourism in the environmental field and the protection, conservation and enhancement of plants biodiversity.
The garden is located adjacent to the eastern Lecce's ring road, extending for approximately 13 hectares in a sub-flat area previously used for sheep grazing. It maintains unchanged small areas of pseudosteppes populated by Stipa austroitalica Martinovský subsp. austroitalica with wild orchid blooms.
The Botanical Garden recently took part in a regional project on the conservation of biodiversity, which allowed the development of thematic collections of fruit cultivars. The area develops according to habitat reconstructions compatible with the climatic and pedological characteristics of the area and thematic collections.
The visitor can visits areas cultivated with natural agriculture practices and by a small sensory garden dedicated to the blind. Various examples of Mediterranean scrub follow, with myrtles, lentisks, thorny brooms, rockroses and phillyreas and of garrigue with shrubby thyme, Apulian heather and rosemary.
Collections include an olive grove and the "pomario", with cultivars of pear, quince, apple and pomegranate. The fig grove preserves around 50 different fig cultivars from the Salento area. In the "field of minor fruits" walnuts, mulberries, jujubes, rowans, azzeruoli and carobs are grown.
Following, the "path of the oaks", it is possible to observe specimens of thorny oak, holm oak, cork oak, vallonea, oak and downy oak. Continuing, you arrive in a pine forest, which frames a small hygrophilous grove with southern ash, white poplar, elm and tamarisk.
Other sectors are in the planning stage.