BOTANICAL

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Selby Gardens is perhaps best known for its living collection of more than 6,000 orchids. The 9.5-acre bay-front property is an open-air and under-glass museum of more than 20,000 colorful plants, many collected in the wild on over 150 scientific expeditions to tropical rain forests by Selby Gardens' research staff. Seven greenhouses are the heart of botanical research and plant identification, for which Selby Gardens is internationally recognized. 811 South Palm Ave.
Call for details: 941-366-5731



Sarasota Jungle Gardens

10 acres of lush tropical vegetation, winding shaded trails and entertaining, educational bird and reptile shows twice daily. The "Kiddie Jungle" features a tree house, haunted tree, tiger swings, slide and a custom wooden train for the children to play on. Zoological gardens with flamingos and peacocks roaming the gardens. Bring your own picnic lunch or purchase food from the Flamingo Caf'e.  Hours: 9 am - 5 pm, Daily (Closed Christmas & Thanksgiving Days).
3701 Bay Shore Road
Call for details: 941-355-5305 or Toll Free: 877-861-6547



Sarasota Garden Club

The garden club is located on more than an acre of beautifully maintained grounds with native and tropical plants featuring a butterfly garden, hibiscus and bromeliad gardens. The butterfly garden provides plantings especially appealing to a large variety of butterflies and hummingbirds. It is a non-profit organization of about 200 women and men volunteers. It maintains the gardens and clubhouse, and offers educational programs to its members and the community. Program topics include, among others, horticulture, ecology, floral design, and landscaping. All are freely accessible on the park-like grounds and can be viewed and appreciated at any time.
1131 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota - 941-955-0875


Historic Spanish Point - Osprey

This museum complex and archeological site showcases the creativity of Bertha Palmer, who preserved the pioneer dwellings and Native American remains while creating lovely garden landscapes, including the Sunken Garden and Pergola, the Duchene Lawn and the Fern and Jungle Walk with the scenic aqueduct. 337 N. Tamiami Trail - Osprey
Call for details: (941) 966-5214


Ringling Gardens - Sarasota

John and Mable Ringling Gardens is a 66-acre estate on Sarasota Bay that features the spectacular Ca' d'Zan ("House of John"), a waterfront mansion and acres of parkland and gardens with banyan and palm trees with a wide variety of native and exotic plants. Mable Ringling's 27,225 sq. ft Rose Garden is patterned after a traditional Italian circular garden design. The garden consists of roses introduced between 1867 and 2002. There are Tree Roses, Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, Grandifloras, miniature roses, shrubs, and Old Garden Roses.
5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota - 941-359-5700


Gamble Plantation - Ellenton

This antebellum mansion was home to Major Robert Gamble and headquarters of an extensive sugar plantation. It is the only surviving plantation house in South Florida. It is believed that Confederate Secretary of State, Judah P. Benjamin, took refuge here after the fall of the Confederacy, until his safe passage to England could be secured. In 1925, the house and 16 acres were saved by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and donated to the state. Today, the mansion is furnished in the style of a successful mid-19th century plantation. 3708 Patten Avenue, Ellenton
Call for details: 941-723-4536


Sunken Gardens - St. Petersburg

Sunken Gardens is perhaps best known for its living collection of more than 6,000 orchids. The 9.5-acre bay-front property is an open-air and under-glass museum of more than 50,000 colorful plants, many collected in the wild on over 150 scientific expeditions to tropical rain forests by Selby Gardens' research staff. Seven greenhouses are the heart of botanical research and plant identification, for which Sunken Gardens is internationally recognized.
811 South Palm Ave., St Petersburg  Call for details: 727-551-3102


Fl Botanical Gardens - Largo

Shares it's campus with Heritage Village, a living history museum, and the Gulf Coast Museum of Art. Having these three entities so close to one another gives visitors a rare opportunity to explore Pinellas County history, local artists' work and the beauty of the gardens - all in one visit. With over 30 acres of cultivated gardens and 90 acres of natural landscapes to explore, be sure to plan your visit accordingly. A Day Planner, offering a reasonable timeline to help you to make the most of your time, is provided.
12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo   Call for details: 941-727-582-2100


USF Botanical Gardens - Tampa

Explore collections and displays that include: orchids, begonias, mallows, bromeliads, gingers, ferns, aroids, fruit trees, palms, cycads, carnivorous plants, butterfly garden, herb and scent gardens, and much more. The Gardens maintain a living collection of over 3,000 taxa of plants and natural habitats that emphasize the rich botanical diversity of our area. Through out the Gardens, visitors will find many animal and insect species, from gopher tortoises to butterflies to over 60 species of birds. 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa
Call for details: 813-974-2329


Eureka Springs Park

Preserving the land and providing a proper setting for her creations was the vision of the late artist This 31 acre botanical garden features rare and unusual plants and a greenhouse, trellised walks, boardwalk and picnic area. 6400 Eureka Springs Road, Tampa
Call for details: 813-744-5536


Busch Gardens - Tampa

Busch Gardens is the ultimate family adventure park offering an array of fascinating attractions based on exotic encounters with the African continent. If you can tear yourself away from King Tut's Tomb or the Mystic Sheiks of Morocco, visit the Tropical Gardens with over 350 different exotic flowers and flamingos and the Bird Gardens, a verdant aviary.
10001 N. McKinley Drive, Tampa  Call for details: 888-800-5447



  BOTANICAL DAY TRIPS


Bok Tower Gardens - Lake Wales

Located atop Iron Mountain, at 298' one of Florida's highest peaks, is the site of a carillon tower and 157 acres of gardens displaying thousands of flowering plants that was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead. It is also one of two state centers for propagating rare Florida plants. Look for the endangered plant garden along a circular path behind the visitor center. There are educational displays on the unique scrub and sandhill habitats plus the gopher tortoise.
1151 Tower Blvd., Lake Wales  Call for details: 863-676-1408


Harry P. Leu Gardens - Orlando

Miles of paths meander through 50 acres of ancient oaks, forests of camellias and giant camphors. The gardens include the largest Camellia Collection and formal Rose Garden in the South, an herb garden, a butterfly garden, a palm garden, and a bamboo garden. It has a two acre tropical stream garden and cycad gardens.
1920 N. Forest Ave., Orlando  Call for details: 407-246-2620


Mead Garden - Winter Park

Flourishing in Winter Park, amid homes, businesses and academic environments, is Mead Garden. This park, founded in 1937 by John H. Connery and Dr. Edwin G. Grover, began as upland hammocks, a clay pit, and lower wetlands with streams, lakes and ponds in their natural state. It is a 55-acre urban garden, complete with beautiful streams, birds, and hundreds of native and exotic sub-tropical plants.
1300 S. Denning Dr., Winter Park   Call for details: 407-599-3334


Polasek Sculpture & Gardens

Albin Polasek's art career is shown in the Main gallery, residence and chapel, featuring the works of various artists and private collections. Lakeside gardens are home to dozens of sculptures scattered through the three acres of rich Floridian gardens, highlighting seasonal plantings, greenery and unique exotics. A forty minute walking tour is available.
633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park
Call for details: 407-647-6294


Butterfly World - Coconut Creek

The first park of its kind in the Western Hemisphere and the largest butterfly park in the world. Thousands of specialized plants have been propagated to feed caterpillars with flowering specimens to provide nectar not only for butterflies but, hummingbirds, Lorikeets and many other tropical birds.
3600 W. Sample Road, Coconut Creek
Call for details: 954-977-4400


Fairchild Tropical Gardens

This 83 acre botanical research and education center displays extensive collections of rare tropical plants including palms (more than 712 species), cycads (more than 218 species), flowering trees, tropical fruit trees and vines. Features include Windows to the Tropics (a 16,500 square foot conservatory), the Montgomery Palmetum and the Bailey Palm Glade, McLamore Arboretum (a ten-acre display of tropical flowering trees), the Lynn Fort Lummus Endangered Plant Garden, the Keys Coastal Habitat (a 4 acre naturalistic garden), the Gate House Museum of Plant Exploration, and a rainforest exhibit (including People of the Rainforest, an ethno-botanical exhibit) and more.
10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables
Call for details: 305-667-1651


Edison Gardens - Ft. Myers

The inventor's fourteen acre riverfront estate exhibits the original furnishings, laboratory and tropical botanical gardens.

The gardens is one of the most complete in America containing more than 1000 varieties from around the world, including rare and exotic tropical vegetation, African sausage trees and a banyan tree from Calcutta, India that is approximately 400 feet around.
2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers
Call for details: 239-334-7419


Everglades Wonder Gardens

A natural history museum features grounds with botanical gardens and trees from around the world, not to mention exotic birds, panthers, alligators, flamingos, bears and otters. The Everglades Wonder Gardens, located in Bonita Springs, first opened in 1936 with the purpose of caring for injured animals. It is now the home to alligators, panthers, bears, deer and all sorts of exotic birds. The site also features lush botanical gardens with plants and trees from around the world. You can learn about the area's Calusa Indian history at the museum. Guided tours are also available.
27180 Old 41 Rd, Bonita Springs
Call for details: 239-992-2591


Caribbean Gardens - Naples

One of the oldest tropical gardens in the U.S., the 52 acre site along Alligator Bay and Lake Victoria features a mile long path of tropical plants and large mature trees with exotic and more familiar animals along the way.
590 Goodlette-Frank Rd., Naples  Call for details: 239-262-5409


Fruit and Spice Park

This unique 37-acre public facility is the only tropical botanical garden of its kind in the United States. It hosts over 500 varieties of fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, and nuts, and other commercially important plant specimens from around the world. The Park showcases 150 varieties of mango, 75 varieties of bananas, 70 bamboo varieties, and numerous other exotic edibles.
24801 S.W. 187th Ave., Homestead  Call: 305-247-5727




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