Since the 17th century Madeira Island had been waiting for a botanical garden, a dream that came true in 1960. Located 3 km from the centre of Funchal, at Quinta do Bom Sucesso – a private Quinta belonging to the Reid’s family – where the climate conditions are much in favour of exuberant vegetation.
With about 35,000 m2, the Botanical Garden boasts harmonious forms, contrasting colours and more than 2000 exotic plants. It is owned by the Regional Government of Madeira and, apart from being a beautiful place of leisure, it also serves as a Science and Culture Centre.
Throughout the gardens visitors can find the plants labelled with their scientific names, common name and origin.
There are five main areas to visit:
- Indigenous and endemic plants: This is the place where one can see plants exclusively from Madeira and other Atlantic islands, like the Azores, Canaries and Cape Verde. There are about 100 indigenous plants exhibited, ranging from those characteristically found on the more exposed slopes of Madeira to those typical of mid-altitude vegetation and trees found in Madeira’s natural forest, the ‘Laurissilva’ forest.
- Tree Garden: Here you find plants from ecologically opposed areas of the Earth, like the Himalaya and the Tropics.
- Succulents: The capacity of storing water is what distinguishes the plants in this department, most of them coming from South America.
- Tropical/Cultivated/Aromatic/Medicinal: Several tropical and subtropical fruit trees, such as mango, papaya and avocado, as well as coffee trees, sugar cane and popular medicine plants can be seen in this area.
- Loiro Park: Loiro Park gathers some of the most exotic and rare birds. Cockatoos and 'Loricos' (a parrot species) from the Asian tropical islands, Australian parakeets and dwarf parrots are only some of the many bird species that you can find in this park.
In 1997, this area was expanded, allowing the introduction of new species and the creation of a viewpoint and an amphitheatre.
In 2009, this garden received the name of Eng. Rui Vieira, an agronomist who died that year and was the founder of this garden in 1960. This homage recognises his dedication to the public cause and to scientific research.
In 2017, the Botanical Garden celebrated its anniversary with renovated lakes, a garden of Portuguese camellias and access to information via smartphone.
This is a simply unforgettable garden and a mandatory presence in the itinerary when visiting Madeira.
Address: Caminho do Meio, Bom Sucesso, Funchal
Hours: From October 1 to April 29 - 9:00 to 18:00 h (last entry at 17:30 h)
From April 30 to September 30 - 9:00 to 19:00 h (last entry at 18:30 h)