Nature demonstrates creativity… From primitive aquatic plants which conquered the world to drought-tolerant plants, disappear amongst the fabulously vibrant flora in the greenhouses. Return to the origins of man!
from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed on Tuesdays
Grandes serres du Jardin des Plantes
Access via the Jardin des Plantes
57 and 47 rue Cuvier
2, 10, 18 rue Buffon
36, 38 and 40 rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire
FROM €5 to €7
Nature often varies
You enter almost reverently through a cathedral-like Art Deco colonnade. And rightly so, for the tropical rainforests featured in the first greenhouse are sanctuaries for biodiversity, where a single hectare can be home to several hundred species of trees. Originally from Africa, America and South-East Asia, the plants form a perfect jungle. Make your way through the banana trees, creepers, ferns and orchids, climb up the rock and enjoy the wonderful view over the greenhouse and discover the benefits and functions of the various plant species.
In the long gallery next door, the heat is the same as you’d find in deserts and arid habitats (United States, Mexico, Sahara, Australia, etc.). For the plants, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate their creativity! There are great ways to withstand drought, such as burying yourself like living stones, storing water in your tissue like the cactus or remaining dormant in seed form during dry periods. Bizarre shapes also arise out of this need — like the ball, perfect for conserving water —, sometimes covered in spines or hairs. Some plants are even fire -resistant!
A natural Eldorado
Next it’s off to New Caledonia! The Oceania archipelago really did deserve its own greenhouse. In these lands, which were cut off for a long time, plants have become extremely specialised: 76% of the species here don’t exist anywhere else! A unique characteristic appreciated by both scientists and visitors to the Muséum. The greenhouse displays the great diversity of these plants in five different environments: the rainforest, the dry forest, heathland, the savanna and the mangrove swamp. It is an opportunity to admire majestic local tree ferns and species which have become extremely rare in nature.
Back to our roots
The last greenhouse traces the long history of the evolution of plants, from their conquest of the land to the first flower. An adventure which began at least 430 million years ago and which has seen several reproductive processes develop. Modern-day representatives of species which appeared a long time ago, such as ferns, conifers and horsetails, fossil remains and reconstructions of extinct plants paint a captivatingly beautiful picture of different shades of green. They demonstrate just how necessary plants are to the Earth’s atmosphere, as well as the appearance of animal life and therefore… Man.