Monday, February 29, 2016

Xerophytes at Madeira Botanical Garden

One of the many places that we make sure we visit whenever we are in Madeira is their botanical garden. If Monte is great for staging, size, and atmosphere (but lacking in variety except for cycads), the botanical garden is a great complement to it due to the variety of plants that can be found in it.

Spikies and colourful bedding galore! I've given up waiting for that moment when no one was ambling along the view so this is the least populated photo I've managed to take.

With the favourable temperate and year round spring like conditions for most of the island, plant specimens that not only thrive there, they get too huge proportions too!

Towering aloes. They are probably a good 20 feet or more so tall.
Being a botanical garden it has many different sections and for this instalment I'll be highlighting the xerophyte and desert plant section.

As you enter the botanical garden this is the first view you'll see of this xerophyte section
As you start walking into the paths things rapidly become more dramatic


Gaz for scale

No label, perhaps Yucca faxoniana?

A few close ups...




They have an impressive collection...




Tourists can come in handy for scale purposes when Gaz has wandered off










For all the shots with the blue sky as backdrop, not once did I had to squat. The plants really were that tall!

This botanical garden is well maintained except for one thing: their plant labelling. It has been gradually declining and on our visit very few have have labels on them.

But it's a minor inconvenience compared to how huge and dramatic a lot of their specimens are!

Mark :-)

17 comments:

  1. Gosh, Mark, that is a fantastic botanical garden! Great that you put in the photos with people as a reference point for the size of the plants. They are huge. I don't think that I have ever seen aloes that tall! I really enjoyed visiting this place through your post. It might have even inspired me to re-visit our local botanical garden... If I ever do, one thing is for sure though, it won't be as grand!
    Wishing you a wonderful week!
    Christina

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    1. Thanks Christina! The big specimens there I presume won't be dissimilar to what Californians and Arizonans see locally :)

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  2. It's a dramatic garden to be sure! I absolutely love that tapestry-style succulent bed in the second to last photo.

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    1. It's the signature area of that garden. Makes me wonder how many years they have been doing that display!

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  3. Wowsa! I think it's the Opuntia trees that I liked best of all.

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    1. Definitely not a safe place to slip and fall over :)

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  4. Glorious! What a paradise. No wonder you return again and again.

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  5. Awesome pictures of an awesome collection.

    I think the 'No label, perhaps Yucca faxoniana?' is a Furcraea, possibly F.selloa. The leaf margin is serated where as in Y.faxoniana it 'peels' to leave free threads dangling from along the edge.

    Chad.

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    1. Thanks Chad, more likely it is a furcraea as they also have so many majestic specimens of it in the island!

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  6. I could forgive the lack of labeling for the experience of wandering amongst those giants, spectacular! Wonder if the labeling is a funding issue, certainly should be a reliable feature of anywhere calling itself a botanical gardens.

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    1. It could well be Janet. Several areas look like they are well maintained by a gardener but not by anyone else.

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  7. Looks like San Diego, Calif!

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  8. Desert plants are certainly dramatic. With all the sharp thorns and spikes I doubt signs are needed to warn visitors to stay on the path! This garden has a marvelous variety. I love that first photo!

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