Sarasota’s Selby Gardens is perhaps best known for its living collection of over 6,000 orchids.
The 9.5-acre bay-front property is an open-air and under-glass museum of more than 20,000 colorful plants. Many were collected in the wild on over 150 scientific expeditions to tropical rain forests by Selby’s research staff. Seven greenhouses are at the heart of botanical research and plant identification, for which Selby Gardens is internationally recognized.
Selby is a “must-see” for serious plant lovers…and a should-see for shutterbugs seeking great photo ops.
Over 9 acres nestled along Sarasota Bay, this peaceful retreat, just south of downtown, is said to be the only botanical garden in the world specializing in the preservation, study, and research of epiphytes— bromeliads and orchids. It’s home to more than 20,000 exotic plants, as well as a bamboo pavilion, a butterfly and hummingbird garden, a medicinal-plant garden, a waterfall garden, a cactus and succulent garden, a fernery, a hibiscus garden, a palm grove, two tropical-food gardens, and a native shore-plant community with a boardwalk traversing a mangrove forest.
The property opens to a lovely pergola and seating area with gorgeous bay views. Head back through awesome and beautiful banyans. Cross the short but interesting canopy walkway and… don’t forget to photograph the “Bodi tree”. This species was considered Buddha’s source of enlightenment.
Also located on the grounds is the Nationally Registered Selby family home as well as the Payne Mansion. This is where traveling art exhibits are displayed. During the holiday season, the homes and grounds are beautifully decorated with poinsettias garlands and lights.
Take a relaxing moment by the waterfall and koi pond then sip and munch at the Café under a canopy of banyans. Don’t forget to stop at the plant shop for wonderful finds.
Beginning Mid-March, enjoy a Sunday afternoon at the Gardens to hear musical concerts under the banyan trees. A complete schedule of performers will be posted mid-March.
The Gardens are open 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM every day except Christmas Day. See Hours & Admission for early holiday closings.