Garden Photo of the Day

Florida Botanic Garden

Preserving plant diversity in the subtropics

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).


Have a garden you’d like to share?


Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/13/2018

    I am especially glad that you included the photo of the Baobob tree, Erika...what an incredibly handsome hunk of a trunk. In fact, if I were to see it in person, a garden docent would probably have to approach me and politely say, "Excuse me, Ma'am, you have to move along now. You are embarrassing yourself by spending too much time time staring at this tree."

  2. hontell 04/13/2018

    Fairchild is an amazing garden and must see. My wife and i have visited it numerous times. Two other great gardens in the area are the Fruit and Spice park in Redland, take the guided tour, and the Kampong, David Fairchild's home. enjoy, Howard

  3. cheryl_c 04/13/2018

    Erika, two of these pictures absolutely made my day, and will serve to carry me through to Monday without any more GPOD. The crinum is spectacular -what a wonderful flower. And, of course, the baobob tree - can you give us something to help establish the scale of this trunk? Like an estimate of the diameter at ground level? It looks big enough to be a mountain! Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. user-7057486 04/18/2018

    Wooowww. Great shots, really cool. I also visited this park last year. There really is the spirit of the rain forest and nature flying all over the place. But walking around this park is just so silly enough. You better book a guide or read about these plants yourself. After all, their stories are no less interesting than their kind, honestly! Together with a group of writers WriterCheap walked around this park for about 5 hours, learned the history of plants and enjoyed tropical palm trees. You are right, some plants that appeared in the fossil record about 280 million years ago. I would recommend visiting the Florida Botanical Garden for all lovers of nature, this is pure pleasure.

  5. sarahleach 06/19/2018

    The palms are so beautiful! I wish they could grow in the climate where I live but unfortunately, it's impossible. I hope that in August I'll be able to take a holiday and to have a rest from my hard work at EssaysWorld. I'm sure I will my soul will finally have a tranquility after enjoying tropical plants.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest