The Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden or Jardim Botânico is located in the Jardim Botânico district in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro. The Botanical Garden shows the diversity of Brazilian and foreign flora. There are around 6,500 species distributed throughout an area of 54 hectares as well as numerous greenhouses.
It is one of the great tropical botanical gardens and arboretums of the world. It was founded in 1808 by King John VI of Portugal. Originally intended for the acclimatization of spices like nutmeg, pepper, and cinnamon imported from the West Indies, 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 garden located on a 350-acre (141-hectare) site below high peaks, has a collection of more than 7,000 species of tropical plants. Native Brazilian plants such as aroids, palms, and woody members of the legume family predominate. A striking feature of the garden is its spectacular avenues of royal palms that measure about 100 feet (30 meters) high. The garden maintains an herbarium that has approximately 330,000 reference specimens, a fine library, and well-equipped research laboratories. It lies along the main avenue linking the districts of Botafogo and Gávea in Rio de Janeiro.