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Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden

Cuban Palms

Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden


The Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden showcases the historical significance of flora native to South Florida, Cuba and the Caribbean and emphasizes cultivation of threatened and endangered species of the Florida Keys.  Located in one of the six most globally important “hot spots” of biodiversity, it contains three fresh water ponds that nurture local and migrating birds and other fauna.  2, 1-1/2 acre butterfly gardens provides host and nectar plants for at the remaining 39 species of butterflies of the Florida Keys.  There are 12 self-guided tours that visitors can explore on ADA approved boardwalks, walkways and nature trails, with one-quarter mile of paths going through heavily forested areas.

Created in 1936 as a WPA project with 55 acres of dense hardwood hammock, 7,000 exotic trees and shrubs were introduced under a design by landscape architect, Ralph Ellis Gunn.  Over the years, municipal and federal projects whittled away the acreage to 7.8 acres by 1988.  Several exotic trees still remain and are considered ‘legacy’ trees. 

The grant funded Education Program has been fulfilling the Garden’s mission as an environmental educational center where over the past decade 30,000 local school children that have taken part in hands on learning in classrooms, the Garden and the Garden’s Nursery. 

As part of the strong conservation program, the Native Nursery has been working with the State of Florida Endangered Plant Advisory Council (EPAC) since 2008 to collect and propagate threatened and endangered plant species of the Florida Keys.  A portion of the Nursery is dedicated to the propagation and conservation of 68 species of plants under the EPAC Program. 

Accredited Arboretum Level II imageStone Forest PlazaNorthside Pond
5210 College Road, Key West, Florida 33040, United States,
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