• As famed corpse flower blooms, take a look at the best botanical gardens in the world

    2013-07-11

    Botany enthusiasts have flocked to Belgium recently to catch a glimpse, and a whiff, of one of the most unique plants in the world. The so-called corpse flower - whose official name is titan arum - has attracted nearly 5,000 people to the country's National Botanic Garden of Belgium recently, NBC News reports. That's nearly 10 times the number of visitors the garden typically sees in a given week, and all to see this unusual 8-foot plant. You don't have to see the corpse flower to appreciate the allure of botanical gardens, and there are many to visit whether you're looking into United States or Europe Travel. Here are some of the best:

    Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden - South Africa
    Table Mountain is arguably the most recognizable feature in Cape Town, and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden sits along its majestic slopes. At 89 acres, there is plenty of ground for you to cover, and the park is unique in that nearly all of the plants housed there are indigenous to South Africa. There are plenty of highlights to this century-old garden, but most people make a point to visit the famous Crane Flower, named Mandela's Gold.

    Jardin Botanique de Montreal - Canada
    More than 7,000 different plant species call this sprawling botanical garden home. While its flora is undoubtedly a highlight of the Jardin Botanique de Montreal, it may be most famous for its fauna, specifically in the form of its insects, especially the monarch butterflies. You should also make a point to check out the First Nations Garden, where you are given a tour on how the native population cultivated everything from tobacco and corn to squash and beans, Travel + Leisure reports.

    Biltmore Estate - North Carolina
    This landmark may be most famous for the enormous Châteauesque-styled mansion that dominates its grounds, but the estate, which was built in the late 19th century, is also a popular destination thanks in large part to its impressive on-site gardens. Visitors can stroll through acres of beautiful scenery, including an Italian Garden and one of the first managed forests in the U.S. Many tourists elect to check out the All America Rose Garden, which features an estimated 250 different varieties of the popular plant.

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