Machu Picchu is such a pregnant ecosystem, that it is difficult to include or categorize the many beautiful plants that you encounter. I have decided to arbitrarily divide descriptions of the plants into several posts; orchids, flowers, plants and herbs. The combination of the humid tropical greenery with the towering peaks of the eastern mountain ranges gives Mach Picchu a unique and remarkable quality. As one travels by train from Ollantaytambo to the Ecological Reserve of Machu Picchu, the Andean landscape transforms into a deep canyon festooned by a dense tropical jungle that seems impossible to penetrate through its soaring slopes. The valuable 32,592-hectare Reserve has an enormous ecological variety. That is why there is such scientific interest in their original genetic diversity. The primary forest ecosystem has an incredibly diverse flora with a lush forest vegetation (such as cedar, romerillo, laurel, among others), shrubs, ferns and ancient tall palm trees. In the higher parts, endemic mountain species can be found such as the beautiful queñual tree or Polylepis. It is pretty much impossible to describe it all but I hope these posts will form a helpful beginning.
We decided to visit Eden Garden which is a garden on Mount Eden in Auckland, set in 2 hectares (5 acres) of former quarry land, sort of like the Butchart Gardens in Victoria but on a smaller scale. It was established in 1964 and is open to the public for an admission fee. Eden Garden was donated to the people of New Zealand in 1965 and is managed by The Eden Garden Society. The garden’s many collections of plants include what is reputed to be the largest collection of camellias in New Zealand, vireyas (tropical rhododendrons) some of which are always in bloom, Japanese maples, magnolias, hibiscus, bromeliads, native trees, interesting rock formations, waterfalls, and a spectacular perennial garden. At the entrance they had the spectacular red Bougainvillea pictured above.