Botanic Conservatory of Mascarin , Réunion IslandBotanic Conservatory of Mascarin , Réunion Island

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    This a local famous spot!
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      Very good description Fritz!
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A rich botanic garden to discover the Réunion island flora and see chameleons if you are lucky!

My experience, Explo description: 

Antoine Sosthène de Chateauvieux was a French noble man who was ruined by the French Revolution. Then, he escaped from France and was hired by family DesBassyns, who were the Réunion island main land owners during the 19th century. He was passionate by botany, and settled in 1857 in Colimaçons, a place on the heights of Saint-Leu. There, he constituted a 600 hectares domain. He introduced many vegetal species : eucalyptus, jacaranda, grevilleas and, above all, quinquina, which was at that time the only medicine against paludism...

Localized in the De Chateauvieux ancient domain, the conservatory is a 7 hectares parc, with a magnificent view over the plain, the village and the Saint-Leu lagoon...

Mascarin Conservatory protects the Réunion local flora species.

The Conservatory garden displays 7 flora collections :

  • >3 of them are typical of the Réunion flora heritage :

1)The "Réunion" collection shows the semi-dry forests original species (west side of the island), with many species that are nowadays threatened to disappear.

2)The "Verger" collection displays more than 50 fruit species that are cultivated on the island.

3)The "Plantes lontan" collection shows the evolution of the local landscape and the introduction of new species in the island : coffy, tobacco, spices, sugar canes, geranium...

  • >The other collections are more universal :

4)The "Succulentes" collection proposes an amazing range of cactus.

5)The "Palmiers" collection (palm trees).

6)The "Orchidées et Fougères" collection (orchids and ferns)

7)The "Ravine Bambous" collection (bamboo trees)

The marquess built a 36 room house for his 10 kids family and his domestics.

The building, covered with colourful walls, hosts a conference room and a shop.

Have a look at the close Sacré-Coeur des Colimaçons church, which was also built by De Chateauvieux.

Do not also forget to visit the Stella Matutina museum, which is the island most interesting museum (with the volcano museum) !

How getting there: 

Address :
Conservatoire Botanique de Mascarin
2, rue du Père Georges, Route des Colimaçons. Saint-Leu.

A tip to eat: 

There is a little restaurant in the Conservatory garden.

Useful information: 
Open hours: 

Opened from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00am to 17:00pm

Guided tours :
10:00am and 14:00pm : "Réunion" collection
11:00am : "Verger" collection
15:00am : "Plantes lontan" collection

Visit duration: 

At least 2 hours for a short visit, and 1/2 day for those who are really interested in flora.
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Access security: 

There are chameleons in the garden. Most of the time, it is hard to see them standing on the tree trunks, because of their camouflage. If you make pictures, DO NOT USE FLASH !! It will make chameleons blind, and then they will quickly die...