The journal Webbia was founded in 1905 in Florence by Ugolino Martelli (1860-1934), a botanist well known for his studies of and contributions to the systematics of the tropical genus Pandanus and our knowledge of the Flora of Sardinia.
In the 19th century Florence represented one of the most important European centres in Systematics and Phytogeography with several notable Italian botanists worth mentioning such as Filippo Parlatore, Teodoro Caruel, Eugenio Baroni, Stefano Sommier, Odoardo Beccari and Ugolino Martelli himself. Since 1842 Florence has been become the place where one of the most important herbaria of the world, was created: the Herbarium Centrale Italicum (FI). The herbarium was established by Filippo Parlatore (1816-1877), and most of the specimens described and/or cited in Webbia are still kept in it.
In 1905, and as a consequence of this multitude of activities in Plant Systematics and Phytogeography, Ugolino Martelli established the journal Webbia-Raccolta di Scritti Botanici, firstly published annually in a single issue, and later twice a year.
Webbia had been created in honor of Philip Barker Webb (1793-1845), a deep friend of Filippo Parlatore, who before passing away entrusted his personal herbarium and a library rich of old botanical books and publications to the Botanical Museum in Florence.