CDMX / Jardin Botanico UNAM
Mexico City is a plant lover's dream, sprinkled with beautifully tended public parks and greenery literally bursting through the concrete seams- we lost count of how many giant agaves were growing seemingly unattended on the sidewalks and medians.
About a 20 minute car ride south of the city center is la Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), a large campus that includes a biological preserve and botanical garden run by their Biology department. The garden includes over 1600 species of plants, with over 300 species that are on the verge of extinction. The garden is small in terms of footprint but its impact is in the sheer size and amount of species, growing in beds made of the native black volcanic rock in striking contrast to the lushness of the foliage. Staff and students tend to the grounds and greenhouses without overly landscaping the space, allowing visitors to get fully immersed in the range of the collection.
The Jardin Botanico UNAM is a must visit for plant lovers, we easily could have spent half a day there but its best to allow for at least a couple hours to explore and take in the grounds. To make a day of it take a quick ride to the picturesque Coyoacán neighborhood, home of Frida and Diego's Casa Azul and garden (full post on our visit there to follow).