The Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid, a beautiful secluded place in the heart of the Spanish capital, is just across the Prado Museum. Nature lovers and gardening enthusiasts should not miss it, as the garden is home to flora from diverse climatic zones. The garden comprises greenhouses, pavilions, a bonsai section, kitchen garden, orchid section, rose garden and aromatic plant section.
Greenhouses present exotic plants from different parts of the earth. Catroviejo Bolibar Santiago, a computer-managed greenhouse, has three plant sections: tropical, subtropical and desert. Graells Stove or Las Palmas greenhouse features tropical species, mosses and ferns. There are dedicated pavilions: pavilions of bananas and buckeyes.
The bonsai collection comprises the Iberian native plants, such as beech, black juniper, boxwood, elm, hawthorn, oak, wild oak and yew; and the South American, Canadian, Chinese and Japanese species. The kitchen garden has a collection of edible plants. The orchid section turns into a riot of colors during December and the end of winter. The rose garden offers hybrid and wild varieties of roses. The garden has hybrids of rose varieties grown in the Western countries and the Chinese antique roses.
The aromatic plant section features a number of plants used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. For instance, Romans used purple flowers of lavender for bath, scent and salads. Essential oil from the flower is also an important ingredient of modern perfumes. It also acts as an insecticide. The Mediterranean people enhance food flavor with laurel. Leaves of laurel prevent damage done by moths. In the ancient times, crowns for sports competitions and war victories were carved from laurel wood. Pink flowers of thyme are used in soaps, perfumes, fish and meat dishes and liquors. Cosmetics and toothpastes are flavored with thyme oil.
The garden has several unique trees. For example, yew was used to make bows in the past. Recently, its anti-tumor properties are discovered, making it suitable for cancer treatment. The Himalayan weeping pine is an ornamental tree. Hackberry can endure pollution and drought but cannot survive the cold conditions. You can sample its edible fruit in autumn. Tool handles, agricultural implements are carved out of hackberry wood. It is also used to make charcoal.
Walk of the Statues features statues of noted botanists of eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. You can also stroll around beautiful Linnaeus Pond with lotus flowers.
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