Erika Shank of Amagansett, N.Y., recently visited Florida and shared these images from the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden just south of Miami. This 83-acre botanic garden’s main mission is to preserve plant biodiversity, and it houses extensive collections of rare tropical plants, with a particular focus on palms and cycads. The garden is named after Dr. David Fairchild (1869–1954), one of the most famous plant explorers in history.
Botanic gardens like these are not only great vacation destinations; they are also key to preserving diverse plants, many of which are threatened in their native range.
What could be more tropical than these palm trees reflected in the water of Pandanus Lake?
Part of the cycad collection. Despite looking like palms, cycads are actually more closely related to conifers and ginkgos. This ancient group of plants appears in the fossil record of some 280 million years ago! The individual plants can also be very old, with individual specimens known to be more than a thousand years old. Part of the palm collection at the garden. Palm trees are, of course, an iconic part of tropical and subtropical landscapes, and the botanic garden houses an extensive collection of these beautiful plants.
Crinum pedunculatum × procerum (hybrid swamp lily, Zones 8–11) has incredible spidery white flowers.
A colorful Dale Chihuly sculpture in the Tropical Plant Conservatory.
The amazing giant African baobab tree (Adansonia sp., Zones 10–11). This incredible tropical tree has many beautiful features, but check out this bark! (Erika is a great lover of bark. In case you missed it, here is her earlier GPOD post all about her favorite barks).
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