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Tropical Flora & Champion Trees at Flamingo Gardens

One of the oldest botanical gardens in South Florida, Flamingo Gardens today is a not-for-profit facility with more than 3000 tropical and sub-tropical species of plants and trees. Within its 60 acres also resides an Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary and aviary, which is home to the largest collection of Florida native wildlife in the state.

Sausage Tree

Within the gardens, over 60 commercial and ornamental types of citrus remain from the original groves, including oranges, limes, and grapefruits. The Tropical Plant House features orchids, calatheas, and other plants; specialized gardens include the Croton Garden, the Butterfly Garden, the Hummingbird Garden, the Bromeliad Garden, the Flowering Tree Walk, the Amaryllis Garden, the Reflection Pool and Garden, and the Fragrance Garden. Some unusual flora can be found within the collection as well — such as the sausage trees, with their dangling fruit and a dynamite tree, with pods that explode and send seeds flying.

The Wray Botanical Collection at Flamingo Gardens also includes 21 of the largest trees of their species in Florida — “Champion Trees” — and a unique hammock of 200-year-old live oak trees. In most cases, these trees are also the largest in the continental United States, due to the location’s ideal tropical growing conditions for their species — star fruit, wampi, pink trumpet…. While walking through these beautiful giants, it’s mind-boggling and heartbreaking to think that without the efforts of the Wrays — who simply didn’t allow these trees to be logged like so many others, and fought for the land’s protection — this jungle growth, some of the last in South Florida, now represents the oldest in the state. A narrated tram tour (which we didn’t take) leads visitors through some of this last natural South Florida growth, located in the back 50 acres of Flamingo Gardens. But you can certainly stroll through the centuries-old live oaks and enjoy the towering Champion Trees on your own….

Champion Tree

For more information on Flamingo Gardens, its Wildlife Sanctuary, or its history, check out my last post or their website!

From the website:

Flamingo Garden’s mission is to depict and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of South Florida and the Everglades in our botanical gardens and wildlife sanctuary:

* by providing a repository for endangered plant and wildlife species and a living library of specific taxa available for research and education.
* by inspiring an appreciation for the beauty and diversity of tropical and subtropical plants from around the world that can be grown in our area.
* by guiding the public in environmentally responsible and aesthetic horticultural practices.
* by encouraging environmental awareness and Everglades preservation to visiting tourists, residents, and school children.

Contact Information:

3750 S. Flamingo Rd.
Davie, FL 33330
Phone: 954-473-2955

Hours & Pricing:

$9.00 child (ages 4-11) / $15.00 seniors, students and military / $18.00 adult
(Check online for coupons!)

Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. / Closed Monday (June 1 – Oct. 31)
Open Year-Round

For More Information:

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow, this is an interesting site. Thank you, too, FeyGirl for following me over to my cold cold land. Don’t freeze! I’m really interested in exploring everything here, and I did glimpse something about a water crystal book that I have to come back to see. I’m cheating at work right now, so I’d better go. But I’ll be back.

    March 22, 2012
    • Thanks so very much!! I absolutely love your site… Can’t wait to explore more — the content, the images, everything! I wouldn’t mind swapping locations in the *least.*

      March 22, 2012
      • HaHa. What time of year do you want to make that little switch?

        March 23, 2012
      • Truly, I’m not picky; anytime from March – December would work — HAH! (I’ve been quite homesick for my West Coast/PNW, and looking that way again.) 🙂

        March 23, 2012
      • Clearly I have not done my homework on you. I missed that you are from the Pacific Northwest. No wonder trading places appeals to you. I’m not certain I would enjoy the south so much. I have escaped it and have no intention of returning. Except to visit.

        March 24, 2012
      • The PNW was one of my stops as an army brat, but sigh… I understand *thoroughly* your desire to travel northbound — you’re exceptionally lucky to have found your nirvana. I just need to get that firm kick-in-the-heinie going, and…get going…northwards! 🙂

        March 24, 2012

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