Mossèn Costa i Llobera Garden
Regular access to the entrance to Mossèn Costa i Llobera Garden is temporarily closed. We propose an alternative access to find Forestier upstairs and following the panels indicatives. Sorry for the inconvenience!
The garden, devoted to succulent plants, is home to an important collection of Cactaceae, palms, Euphorbiaceae and other families of succulents coming from warm and tropical climates.
Just at the starting of the route, you can see an African fig tree and a Mexican fan palm. At the foot of Montjuïc, at Carretera de Miramar, there is an important group of Mexican fan palms; that plantation, unique in Barcelona, goes back to the 1960s and was planned to be integrated into the arid landscape of the Eastern side of Montjuïc. Mexican fan palm such as the Agave salmiana var. ferox , the Indian fig, thegolden torch and the Caracus wigandia are from American origin.
Further on, the path splits up into three. Along the central path you can see the tree aeonium, a small Crassulaceae bush, and the resin spurge, a big fleshy plant that, although it looks like a cactus, it is not. The word cactus is commonly used to refer to any plant with fleshy stem, especially if prickly, but it should be kept for species of the Cactaceae family. The route continues to Mirador de la Puntaire, which has its name because of the sculpture La puntaire (The lacemaker), by Josep Viladomat. From this point, you can enjoy an amazing sight over the harbour of Barcelona and the cliff El Morrot, on the Southern Western side of Montjuïc. El Morrot is a rough area with very steep slopes coming from old quarries (the stone exploitation was alive until mid 20th c.) and colonised by Mediterranean and foreign vegetation. This vegetation has a big biological value, because it is the habitat of several birds, among which the kestrels.
La puntaire is not the only sculpture in this garden. L’au dels temporals (Storms’ bird), by Joaquim Ros i Bofarull, can also be found here, as an homage to Miquel Costa i Llobera, the poet that gives name to this garden, as well as a monolith by Txell Duran honouring Joan Pañella i Bonastre (1916 – 1992), the cactuses studious that created this garden together with architect Joaquim Casamor.
Coming down from the sightseeing mirador and back to the path, you can see a group of singular plants (Eastern Cap giant cycad, Sago cycad, Queen Victoria´s agave, Echinopsis atacamensis, old man cactus) and some further on several specimens of golden barrel, one of the most cultivated and well known cactus in the world, despite to be threatened in its natural habitat.
Most of the vegetation in this garden are exotic species making it one of its main appeals, but there are also Mediterranean trees (pomegranate) that coexist harmoniously with Australian trees (Australian flame tree) and American trees (queen palm and sandpaper sotol, that lives almost without irrigation). In spite of the different origins, one common characteristic to some of the plants in this part of the route is, precisely, their resistance to drought conditions and poor soils: the chilayo, cactus from semidesert areas; the carob, tough tanks to its deep roots; the littleleaf fig, also found in gullies; the dwarf fan palm, one of the two only European native palms; the false agave, characteristic from rocky arid calcareous terrains. Many of these plants, as the elephant's ear, bear badly low temperatures and frosts.
Further on at the route, you can see a palm, the Bermuda palmetto, a giant yucca, a dragon tree (a tree considered holly by the ancient Guanches) and a Namibian grape, as well as a blue fan palm, very ornamental.
The central square of the garden, a very appealing spot, mesmerizes us to desert landscapes. There can be seen good sized succulent plants, with special colours and shapes and spectacular flowerings: Alluaudia ascendens, Cylindropuntia tunicata, silver torch, candelabra tree, orange apple cactus.
Further on there is a blackboy, characteristic from Australia, and, past the square and heading to the stairs, a bird of paradise, with very beatiful and spectacular flowers, an Australian silky oak, a cow’s foot, with cow’s hoof shaped leaves and big flowers, and finally an Oreopanax nymphaeifolius, characteristic from American tropical and subtropical mountains.
The route finishes on the top of the stairs, on the access gate located at the gardens of Miramar, beginning of the next route.
Comfortable clothes and suitable footwear to walk, binoculars and camera. In summer, at sunshine hours, cap and sunglasses. The characteristics of some of the plants of this garden (prickled, toxic...) make necessary to avoid touching them and observe the garden's instructions. That is especially important with children.