The Creation of The Botanical Garden of Rio

The Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro was created in 1808, with the arrival of the Portuguese royal family. Its first challenge was to adapt to the Brazilian climate the so-called Eastern spices: vanilla, cinnamon and pepper, among others. Acclimatizing a specific plant meant firstly improving the transportation of seedlings and seeds, often brought from other continents in travels that took months. Afterwards, they had to be transplanted to the ground, according to their needs. The acclimatization and cultivation of exotic species were so crucial for the Portuguese Crown that rewards, medals and privileges were offered to the farmers who cultivated such plants.