Flamingo Gardens

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Quick Summary

Location
26°04'25"N
080°18'46"W
Country
 United States of America
Categories
  • Nature
Rating
Take me there!

Description

Flamingo Gardens is a 60-acre (24 ha), Tropical Botanic Garden and Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary, aviary and zoo, located just west of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and north of Miami at 3750 South Flamingo Road, Davie, Florida, United States. It is open to the public for a fee.

History

The Gardens, a tropical oasis in South Florida, were originally the property of Floyd L. and Jane Wray, who in 1927 built a weekend home, citrus grove and laboratory on what was then the edge of the Everglades, where they started a botanical collection of rare and unusual tropicals and subtropical exotics, fruit trees and specimens collected from around the world. The non-profit Floyd L. Wray Memorial Foundation was established to preserve the property and its gardens for future generations. The Wray Home is now a museum illustrating a country home in the early 1930s. Guided tours are provided daily.

Collection

Plants

The grounds contain more than 3,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants, including 200-year-old Southern live oaks, and 300 plus species of palms. A narrated tram ride leads through the site's tropical rainforest, native hammock, wetland areas and exotic flora. The gardens are home to nationally noted collections of heliconias, gingers, calatheas, bromeliads, flowering trees, palms, crotons, aroids, succulents, orchids, ferns and cycads as well as a mango orchard, and pollinator's garden. On the grounds is a jungle-like arboretum featuring 16 Champion trees, many the largest in the state or the country including a massive Enterlobium cyclocarpum (Ear Tree). The arboretum contains one of the largest collection of non-indigenous champion trees in the region. Among the specimens include pink trumpet tree, yellow poinciana, dynamite tree, Indian jujube, bread nut tree, wampi, and white sapote among others. The Xeriscape Garden demonstrates low maintenance, minimally-watered gardening.

Animals

Fauna include an American black bear, otters, alligators, bobcats, Florida panthers, tortoises, fresh water turtles, geese, swans, blue-beaked ducks, flamingos, bald eagles, golden eagles, owls, toucans, peacocks, and scarlet macaws. The 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) Everglades aviary houses one of the largest collection of wading birds in the United States. Species include, white pelicans, roseate spoonbills, American white ibis, wood storks, brown pelicans, great blue herons, great egrets, snowy egrets, anhingas, double-crested cormorants, tricolored herons, night herons and seagulls. The aviary exhibits five native Florida ecosystems; coastal prairie, mangrove swamp, cypress forest, sub-tropical hardwood hammock, and sawgrass prairie.
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