Opened to the public in 1933, this garden brings together a wide variety of extravagantly shaped “succulent” plants in a prestigious outdoor setting.
Built on the cliff face, it offers a breathtaking view of the Principality of Monaco. Its name was chosen based on the plants found there, which originate from several distant dry areas: south-western United States, Mexico, Central and South America for the cacti and agaves, South Africa, the East and the Arabian Peninsula. In addition, the plants regularly produce flowers in order to reproduce. These flowerings are spread throughout the year depending on the place of origin of each species: winter for African Aloe and Crassula, spring and summer for most cacti. Contrary to popular belief, only a small proportion of cacti flower at night. And many produce large, colourful, flowers in the daytime.
The garden’s other special feature? At the base of the cliff, at an altitude of 100 m, there is an underground cavity for people to visit. The limestone rock, dug out by water charged with carbon dioxide, is strewn with caves decorated with indicatively named concretions, such as stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, columns and spaghetti. The presence of prehistoric man in the vicinity of this cave is attested to by the remains of animal bones which they had eaten the meat from. These remains also bear witness to the changes in the climate that have occurred over the last 250,000 years. In addition, the visit to the cave is included in the entrance ticket to the Exotic Garden and visitors will be taken round by specialists.
Nevertheless, regular visitors, tourists and Monégasques will have to be patient as the renovation work for the rocks has been delayed. The reopening should take place in the summer of 2022.