Rio Garden Diary

P1120533Last month we were in Rio (nothing to do with the football). It was my first ever visit to Brazil, and I found the exotic, towering, abundant flora fascinating, each plant and tree so huge and vital due to the year-round humidity and warmth. The plants and trees contrasted so dramatically and interestingly with those at home in Scotland. By the way, I was warned to leave my DSLR camera at home so had only my camera phone and a point-and-shoot (kindly donated); apologies if some of the photographs are a bit fuzzy!

Please correct me if you know more about the names of any of these plants, or if you know Rio, or if you know Portuguese, or if you just like correcting people…

Orchids growing on tree trunks in the suburb of Leblon. Orchids commonly decorate the upmarket apartments of Leblon, and once they stop flowering they are sometimes given to the doormen who then tie them on to the trees outside.
Walkway in the Jardim Botanico
‘Loja de flores’ – a pavement garden centre in the Praça Sibelius.
And another garden stall, this one specialising in cactuses.
One of the ‘carnivoras’ in the hothouse at the Jardim Botanico
‘Carnivoras’ – a venus fly trap at the Jardim Botanico
Fruta Pão – the ‘bread-fruit’ tree
Bark of one of many species of palm tree
Who could think that so barbarous a plant would produce so delicate and tiny a flower?
Another of the ‘carnivoras’ – the insect crawls in to the vase where it meets a sticky, enzymatic end.
The trees grow enormous in the tropical Rio climate.
Another fabulously large tree: ‘Planta cipo’ with its trails of overground roots on the pavement in Leblon.
This extraordinary shrub hanging off the edge of Sugarloaf Mountain had not a single leaf, branches of vicious spikes, and a solitary white flower.
Red ‘cloak flower’
Anthurium commonly grow outdoors under trees, in parks and along the streets.
In the Jardim Botanico
Snake-like tree roots in the Jardim Botanico
Purple star-like flowers of an unknown plant growing in Rio street.
Another unknown flower…
Unknown flower growing in garden on apartment block.
‘A grande escapada’ – roots of tree attempting to break through the apartment security fence.

6 thoughts on “Rio Garden Diary

  1. Yes, a bit different to Edinburgh! I believe your purple flowered plant is Bougainvillea. Your “escapee” looks, to me, like a gorilla grabbing the rails to wrench them apart! The horticulture is amazing, and reminds me of our visit to Tenerife’s Botanical Garden. Hope you enjoyed your trip!

  2. Not even like Cornwall! It’s the roots which are the most astonishing. We already knew about the little orchids whose roots like the light and escape from the top of the pots. Now it seems they are the tip of the Brazilian iceberg (not the best of metaphors), rootwise. That tree on the pavement in Leblon has surely escaped from the jungle. The roots look made for swinging from tree to tree. I can’t identify any of the plants – the fluffy pink flower below the bougainvillea looks like a bottlebrush flower (Callistemon) but the leaves are all wrong.

    1. Rio IS the jungle! The forest and the city intermingle a great deal, due to the steep sides of the mountains that can’t be built on so easily, as well as great efforts by the city to replant and maintain their urban jungle areas. This makes the city incredibly green, one of the things I adored so much about it.

  3. Joanna, I really enjoyed your photos and comments about Rio! The red cloak flower, we call it Alpina, don’t like much sun, likes humidity and hates wind. The “planta cipó” is a Figueira, a very big tree with very powerful roots. Next time you come to Rio we can go to the “Sitio do Burlemarx”, an amazing Brazilian artist and revolutionary garden architect. Looking forward to see you in Rio again!

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