For over 100 years, the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Gardens have housed a collection of bromelias among the plants in its assets. Leading botanists from the past were already co lecting these specieslor research: Brade, Santos Lima, Kuhiman, Pereira and Duarte, among others. In 1975, Dr. Raulino Reitz, a well-known specialist in bromeliads, at .that time director of the Botanical
Gardens, opened the Ecological Bromeliarium at the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Gardens. The same event witnessed the foundation of the Brazilian Bromelia Society, with Dr. Reitz elected president, and Dr. Lyman Smith (of the Smithsonian Institution, U.S.A.) honorary president.
In 1976, Dr. Felisberto Camargo, a specialist in the Ananas genus (pineapple), donated to the bromeliarium a collection of species of this genus, expanding the institution s collection. The files from this time record the existence of 148 species in the collection. The collection has been expanded by various scientifi expeditions,
among which we may highlight those led by Dimitri Sucre and Gustavo Martinelli, through the Bromelia Project.
The Roberto Burle-Marx hothouse was opened in 1996 to house the collection and allow public visits. With the renovation supported by Amil, in 2006, the hothouse now contains the species of interest to visitors, gaining a special structure to receive the public.
At present, the bromeliarium consists of some 10,000 examples, distributed in two large hothouseS and in beds. The main hothouse (Roberto Burle-Marx) contains examples from the Botanical Gardens OWfl collection and from Roberto Burle-Marx s este, along with donations made by private persons and examples obtained the development of scientific projects. In the hothouse we can enjoy species from various formations (from Amazonia, the Atlantic Forest, salt marshes and brush-land), as well as examples from Central and South America. The Dimitri Sucre hothouse contains the scientific collection of Bromeliads from the Brazilian Atlantic woodlands, with some 3,000 samples, destined to scientific research and presetation.