The Acclimatizing Garden was created in June 1808 by D.João, Regent Prince at the time, later D.João VI, in order to acclimatize the spices brought from the West Indies.
Threatened by Napoleon's military forces, the Portuguese Nobility moved to Brazil and established their Government headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. Among other benefits, the city got a gunpowder factory, built where the old Rodrigo de Freitas Sugar Mill used to be.
Delighted by its nature exuberance, D.João installed the Garden, which on October 11th became the Royal Horticulture. The first plants were brought from Gabrielle Garden in France by Luiz de Almeida Vieira e Silva as an offer to D.João VI. The Palma Mater was among them.
The Garden opened officially after 1822, and since then, has been visited by many distinguished personalities: Albert Einstein, the United Kingdom's Queen Elisabeth, the King and Queen of Sweden, and more recently, the Princess Sayako of Japan came especially for the opening of the Japanese Garden.
Several naturalists and administrators helped the Botanical Garden on its course. Frei Leandro, Serpa Brandão, Cândido Baptista de Oliveira, Custódio Serrão, Karl Glasl, João Barbosa Rodrigues, Pacheco Leão, Campos Porto and João Geraldo Kuhlmann.