The island boasts exceptionally rich and varied plant life. At the heart of this lush vegetation, we find the tamarind on Les Hauts, as well as the latanier and the screwpine, all endemic plants that make Réunion something of an earthly paradise.
To fully appreciate the diversity and learn how to identify each plant, the easiest thing is to visit one of the island's botanical gardens.
Botanical gardens : samples of a rich and varied flora
The Parc Exoticaat Saint-Pierre welcomes amateurs, connoisseurs and children. It reveals various endemic and exotic species from Réunion, including palm and coconut trees, orchids, anthodiums, bonsais and cacti, which flourish side-by-side helping visitors learn more about the island.
At Saint Denis, the island's main town, you will be able to visit a public garden, listed as a Historical Monument since 1978 - the jardin de l’Etat or State Gardens. This is another great place to discover a number of exotic trees, including the talipot palm (centenary tree that only flowers once before dying), the baobab or the traveller's tree.
The Jardin des Parfums et des Epices (perfume and spice garden) is located at Mare Longue, in the middle of the forest on an 800-year-old lava flow. It is the ideal place to learn about some 1,500 species of fragrant and aromatic plants, as well as other species used in woodworking, decoration and medical plants.
Réunion's themed botanical gardens are a way of taking a closer look at local crops such as the Bourbon Pointu coffee variety at the Domaine des Caféiers in Saint Paul or bourbon vanilla at the Réunion vanilla cooperative. Some of them also offer a more fun, hands-on approach to plants, such as the Labyrinthe en Champ Thé maze at Saint Joseph or the Bonsaï Garden in Saint Louis.