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Jardim Botânico
The Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden or Jardim Botânico was founded in 1808 by John VI of Portugal. It is located in the Jardim Botânico district of the citymarker. Originally intended for the acclimatization of spices like nutmeg, pepper and cinnamon imported from the West Indiesmarker, the Garden was opened to the public in 1822, and is now open during daylight hours every day except 25 December and 1 January.

The 140-hectare park lies under the right arm of the statue of Christ the Redeemermarker and contains more than 6,000 different species of tropical and subtropical plants and trees, including 900 varieties of palm trees. A 750 m line of 134 palms forms the Avenue of Royal Palms leading from the entrance. These are descended from a single tree, the Palma Mater, now destroyed by lightning. Only about 40% of the park is cultivated, the remainder being Atlantic Forest rising up the slopes of Corcovadomarker. The park is protected by the Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional and was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCOmarker in 1992.

The Botanical Garden has an important research institute, with a diverse development of Botany studies in Brazil. There are taxonomists commited with identification and conservation of the neotropical flora. The School of Tropical Botany is resposible for an important part of science production:

The houses collections that include bromeliads, orchids, carnivorous plants, and cacti. It houses Brazil’s largest botanical library and collections of dried fruits, rare Brazilian plants, and many photographs.

The park contains 140 species of birds, many of which have become accustomed to humans and consequently much easier to see than in the wild. These include the Channel-billed Toucan, Dusky-legged Guan and Slaty-breasted Rail. Howler monkeys and Tufted-eared Marmosets also frequent the Botanical Gardens.

Features include an old gunpowder factory, the Victoria Lilies in the Lago Frei Leandro pond, the Japanese Garden, and many sculptures and fountains.

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