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Located in the Coral Gables in South Florida, the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a privately owned garden that boasts an immense array of unique and gorgeous flora. This ensemble of exotic plants from all over the world is of immeasurable importance to humanity, as the Botanic Garden holds the record for housing the largest collections of various plant families, such as bamboo and palm. Who would have thought that the largest collection of bamboo in the world would be in Florida, of all places? Visitors can see it all and more at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

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How Big Is The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden?

How much land does it take to house the world's most comprehensive and diverse collection of flora? This may sound like an unanswerable, speculative question, but there is a real answer, and that answer is 83 acres. That is the size of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Florida. In layman's terms, that is roughly equivalent to 83 (American) football fields. It would easily take an entire day to cover the area on foot, which is why this Garden is an excellent day trip opportunity.

Related: Spring Is Right Around The Corner And These Botanical Gardens Are Great For Some Fresh Air

What To See At The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden?

The list of attractions at the Botanic Garden is too long to recite, so in this article, some of the more impressive highlights will be covered. Visitors who have a penchant for cool and shady East Asian forests will want to head to the bamboo exhibit, which contains 125 distinct tropical bamboo species -- the largest collection of its kind in the world. Who knew there were so many kinds of bamboo in the first place?

In many ways, the ecosystem determines the climate, and on a scorching Florida summer day, walking through dense bamboo plantations will definitely cool the blood and bring it to peace.

For a more tropical island feel, head to the Montgomery Palmetum, which boasts the most comprehensive collection of palm trees from all over the world, with rare palm species originating everywhere from Madagascar to Goa to desert islands in the Pacific. This might be one of the greatest ways to symbolically commemorate a warm and sunny beach vacation in the Coral Gables.

Over at the Flowering Trees Collection, there are 740 species of flowering trees from all over the world. In the springtime, imagine thousands of blooming dew crested flowers releasing their mellifluous scents at the same time. Breathe in the heavily perfumed air to indulge the senses in a type of luxury that man was probably never meant to experience.

Related: Florida Might Be Known For Its Beaches, But These Botanical Gardens Are Just As SerenePossibly one of the most impressive features of the Fairchild Botanic Garden is the rainforest. That's right, Florida is home to the only tropical rainforest in the continental United States. The Garden has a two-acre rainforest complete with waterfalls and mist. The flora was imported from the Amazon to give the forest an authentic feel, and misting technology has been installed to recreate the wet and fertile atmosphere that can otherwise only be experienced deep in the Amazon Rainforest.

There is also a butterfly conservatory in the Garden called the Wings of the Tropics. Here, thousands of rare, technicolor butterfly species flutter around. Most of the butterflies come from South and Central America as well as parts of Asia. As more funding comes in, the collection continues to expand.

On the whole, many strange, prickly, hairy, sweet, and sour fruits grow in the Garden, and visitors are sometimes invited to sample them. Ever wondered what the smelliest fruit in the world is? Well, at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, visitors will find out that it is the Durian, and they can see how it grows and maybe even have a lick if the Garden staff allows it.

Apart from being a circus of plants, the Fairchild Garden does some serious work. For example, the Garden is partnered with the Kennedy Space Centre to innovate methods of growing edible plants in outer space. Given that the Garden already uses artificial conditions to maintain many plants that are not evolved to survive in Florida, it's not a long shot to assume that some really practical research might come out of the project if it hasn't already.

Visiting The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

The Fairchild Garden is less than a half-hour drive from central Miami, making it easily accessible to anyone who might find themselves in the area. The Garden is open every day of the week between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM. General admission is $25 per adult, though there are several discounts available to minors, seniors, students, and veterans.

  • Address: 10901 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156, United States
  • Hours: 10 AM - 5 PM
  • Admission: $25 for adults, $12 for children
  • Contact: 305-667-1651
  • Size: 83 acres

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