From its roots in a citrus grove, a nonprofit botanical garden sprouted through the efforts of Floyd and Lula Wray. In 1927, they purchased 320 acres to grow citrus and a year later, Floyd hired Frank Stirling to create a botanical garden for test planting of tropical fruit and flowering trees.
Fees: $18 adults, $15 seniors/students/military, $10 ages 4-11.
Open: 9:30 AM to 5 PM daily, closed Christmas and Thanksgiving
Many of the trees in the gardens are or have been Florida or National champions for their species, including carambola, paper mulberry, Haiti catalpa, and Indian jujube among them. Most of these tropical giants are concentrated at the southwest corner of the gardens, but the trees throughout are equally impressive in crown spread.
The 60 acres of gardens include themed groupings plus zoo-like open air wildlife habitats, a bird rescue operation, historic home, and citrus groves.