A personal selection of photographs with their stories.
MARCH 2008: Imperial palm trees
The famous Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden) in Rio de Janeiro hosts more than six thousand – mostly tropical – plant species. One of the tallest and impressive species is the imperial palm tree. More than four hundred palm trees are planted in two straight rows that flank some principal paths in the Botanical Garden. It is believed that het Portuguese Prince Dom João VI himself had planted the ‘mother palm tree’ in 1809. The actual imperial palm trees are descendants of this so-called Palma Mater, which, incidentally, has succumbed to a lightning strike in 1972. Thirty years after the plantation, the Palma Mater started to flower and carry fruits. The then director of the Botanical Garden commanded to collect all flowers and fruits, in order to trying to maintain exclusivity of the imperial palm tree in the Garden. However, his policy wasn’t successful, and thus more imperial palm trees are found outside the Garden. Nonetheless, the imperial palm trees are very famous, and are now shown in the Jardim Botânico logo.
© Adriano Antoine Robbesom 2008, 2016