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Travel Guides > Parks and Gardens in Madeira Island

 


Botanical Garden
 



The wish to endow Madeira with a Botanical garden dates back to the 17th century. That dream finally came true in 1960.  For that purpose, Quinta do Bom Sucesso, property of the Reid’s family, was acquired. Madeira's botanical garden, 3 km away from Funchal, has a privileged geographical location – on the southern slope of a valley, at an altitude between 200 and 350 m – offering several conditions enabling it to have exuberant vegetation.

The whole garden constitutes the liaison between harmonious shapes and contrasting colours. Throughout the garden, you have magnificent views of the bay and the surrounding mountain ranges.  In the garden you can find more than 2000 exotic plants from the 5 continents, namely orchids, birds-of-paradise, anthuriums, magnolias, azaleas,  bromeliads, cactus, palm trees, ferns, and many other, which are adapted as if they were in their original habitat, conferring to this garden characteristics of rare beauty and uniqueness.

This garden is a government owned institution. Besides being a beautiful leisure setting, it is also a science and cultural centre of excellence.

Madeira's Botanical Garden is also a Preservation Centre, fighting the increasing loss of biodiversity and habitats worldwide. Several plants from Madeira that have been threatened by extinction are being studied here. In the garden, you can find the propagation of plant life that has been considered threatened and extinct.

This institution performs vital activities for the knowledge and preservation of the madeiran flora. It has living collections of plants for study and scientific research purposes, and for preservation and environmental educational initiatives.

 

For most people, a botanical garden is nothing more than a beautiful place; a place that is well kept and pleasant, where you can observe many different and unusual plants. Although a botanical garden may be a beautiful and pleasant location, its main purpose is scientific. Moreover, all scientific and educational work of a botanical garden centres on an important and vital problem: that of maintaining a living collection of plants alive.

 

Besides knowing the importance of the plants and respecting nature, the organisation of the garden must not be disregarded, and efforts should be made in making it more attractive and eye-catching. In fact, many people, who would otherwise be indifferent to botanical work in general, are initially attracted by the beauty of its plants. Without this form of initial attraction, they might never come to realise the importance of botanical gardens and the scientific work carried out in them.

This Botanical Garden, has a great quantity and diversity of species, some of which endangered, or even already extinct in their countries of origin.

 

Also worth pointing out is the extraordinary microclimate of this Botanical Garden, which enables the existence, side by side, or plants from ecologically diverse areas of the globe, such as for example the Himalayas, Siberia South America.

 

Throughout the Botanical Garden, the plants are identified with their scientific names, their popular name, family and place of origin. Some plants have been grouped together by family or by ecologic and/or geographic affinities. In addition, many species are provided with an identification plate describing their main characteristics.  

 

In the cultivated areas, some 2,500 different plants from all around the world grow and develop just as they would in their original habitat.

 

Naturally, we place a special emphasis on those plants that are indigenous to Madeira. And some plants that are either under threat of extinction or no longer survive in their original habitats are specially targeted for detailed study and propagation. All this work can be seen in the Garden.

 

The Madeira Botanical Garden increased in size and importance substantially after 1997, when all the area 200 meters or more above sea level was included. This area (reachable over the road tunnel) has allowed us to introduce a large number of plant species with great scientific, botanical and amenity value. Notable among these species are the cycads, palm tress, and examples of the indigenous flora of the Madeira, Porto Santo, Desertas and Selvagens Islands in this archipelago.

 

A new viewing point was created that allows visitors to look out over these new areas of the Gardens and for the northern part of the Garden. And, after alterations to the area occupied by the greenhouses have been made, we have planted species ideally suited to the art of topiary or plant sculpture. The remainder of the space has been planted with a wide variety of trees and ornamental shrubs, an orchid garden, lawns and other. It is worth noting that in this newly planted area are some plants that are both new to the Garden, and to Madeira itself. Of course, we will have to be patient. The newly-planted areas will only be seen at their best when the plants reach maturity in years to come.

 

In 1997, we also completed construction of an amphitheatre in this area. The new structure has been designed for teaching purposes, within the scope of environmental education and entertainment.

 

Finally, the Botanical Garden and Loiro Parque have been interconnected, meaning that visitors can now use a single ticket to gain access to both sites.

 

Caminho do Meio

Quinta do Bom Sucesso

Funchal
Phone: +351 291 211200; Fax: +351 291 211206
Opening Hours:
every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed: December 25
Admission: Adults 3 Euro; Children and Youths from 7 till 18 years of age, 1 euro



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