September 16, 2013

Tropical plants in Portugal and Spain

Portugal and Spain were the first countries in Europe to get in contact with Tropical Nature. Sailors, missionaries, colonial authorities, militaries, cartographers, drawers, physicians, and naturalists recorded, described, transplanted and domesticated tropical plants during more than five centuries - because of economic, practical, pedagogical and aesthetics purposes. Nineteenth century onwards, botanists have analyzed and reinterpreted this legacy, as Jacques Huber, who repeatedly expressed his admiration for several traveller naturalists. One can find part of this history in Lisbon and Madrid, preserved in Botanical Gardens.

Real Jardim Botânico da Ajuda (Lisbon, 1768)

Unfortunately, the beautiful greenhouses are not in good condition.

Jardim Botânico Tropical (former Jardim-Museu Agrícola Tropical, Lisbon, 1906)

Colonial collections and the naturalist's cabinet.


The monumental greenhouse is almost ruined.




Real Jardín Botánico (Madrid, 1755)

Two tropical greenhouses - the first built in 1855 and the second in the 1990s - put together a wonderful collection of Amazonian plants.