The floristic inventory work carried out in the Historical Gardens of the National Palace of Queluz, allowed to verify the presence of species of the spontaneous flora of this region, considered to be an area target for constant management. Most of the species are autochthonous protected areas, with young cork oak (Quercus suber), as well as gilbardeira (Ruscus aculeatus) and an orchid. Globally, 117 taxa were observed in the Historical Gardens of Queluz. Of these it was possible to identify 50 families and 101 genera and 91 species.
Regarding the origin and area of distribution of the taxa identified in the studied plots:
- 20 are introduced / exotic, of which 7 are invaders;
- 76 are indigenous, of which 3 are protected;
- 21 correspond to the remaining taxa that, due to the impossibility of identification to the species, it was not possible to determine their origin.
Considering the species with significant importance for conservation in Queluz (although in the inventory area, no endemic, rare or endangered species occur), three species appear to be under national protective law. Although each of them is covered by a statutory different, all Decrees are aimed at safeguarding the species in question and preservation of the natural heritage values.
Protected species in Queluz include:
- The cork oak (Quercus suber) – species protected by Decree-Law no. 169/2001, amended by Decree-Law no. 155/2004 with a wide distribution in our country;
- The gilbardeira (Ruscus aculeatus) – species protected by Decree-Law no. 140/99, as amended by Decree-Law no. 49/2005 – Annex B-V. Annex B-V includes the species of Community interest whose harvesting in the wild and management measures;
- An Orchid (family Orchidaceae) – taxon protected by the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)
Additionally, in close quarters to the Palace and its historical gardens, we can find a small walled forest, inserted in the urban network of the city of Queluz, the Matinha. Having become property of the Royal House after the restoration of 1640, with the construction of the Palace of Queluz, begun in 1747, it became a space destined to the hunting and the accomplishment of bullfights. In 1975, she was assigned by the General Directorate of Public Finance to the General Directorate of Forestry and Aquaculture Services, and in 1986 a ministerial decree recognized her recreational and leisure skills and integrated her into the then National Parks, Nature Reserves and Conservation Service, current Institute of Nature Conservation.
The Matinha compasses a set of spontaneous vegetation, and its considered a residual testimony of the vegetal formation that covered the area in ancient times. Regarding the Matinha, its ecosystem is sensitive and its conservation was a priority, since is also considered a relic settlement of cork oaks and other natural vegetation, being comprehended, in the scientific environment, as a potential genetic reserve.