South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
Anderson Bromeliad Conservatory
The New Anderson Bromeliad Conservatory Inside, scheduled to open in spring 2009, is a state-of-the-art facility housing 800-plus Aechmea bromeliads and other genera collected world-wide by Nelwyn and the late John Anderson, internationally known as leading bromeliad collectors and growers.
Plumeria Garden & Willoughby Viewing Platform
The Plumeria Garden & Willoughby Viewing Platform showcases more than 100 fragrant tropical plumeria—one of the largest public outdoor displays in the continental United States. Plumeria, best known as the Hawaiian lei flower, are native to the Caribbean so are green housed formant during winter months here to protect from infrequent freezes.
Hummingbird, & Arid Gardens
The Tree Demonstration Garden, delightful and whimsical Hummingbird Garden and intriguing Arid Garden help South Texans design shade, hummingbird attractors and ‘aridscape’ into personal outdoor spaces, utilizing the Earth Kind Demonstration Trial Gardens to help select the hardiest, most pest and disease-resistant plants.
Another new exhibit is the New Butterfly House where massive blooms of nectar and larval plants attract Gulf Fritillaries, Tiger and Giant Swallowtails, Red Admirals, Monarchs, Queens, White Peacock, Zebra Longwing, Buckeye and many others. Stout trellises have been added for climbing varieties of butterfly attractors. An octagonal 2600 square-foot, open air screened Butterfly House, is a walk-through, interactive ‘flight cage’ housing both native and migratory butterflies.
Beginning with a few reptiles “rescued” on site at the Botanical Gardens, the new Resident Reptiles Exhibit now numbers 30 to 40 occupants, in tanks and other enclosures filling the renovated former classroom in the Visitors Center. Many of the newer residents were donated pets grown too large for residential living; or creatures escaped from captivity and “on the lamb” roaming the streets, as was the case with Ivan “the terrible” Iguana! Other residents include Texas Spiny Lizard, Red Foot Tortoise, Mexican Milk Snake . . . MORE!
Rose Garden & Bates Rose Pavilion
The stately, contemporary Rose Garden displays 300 rose bushes in 12 raised beds with a massive fountain midway down the long, brick ‘bridal path.’ The impressive spacious Bates Rose Pavilion, with expansive adjacent lawn areas, is a popular wedding venue.
The Sensory Garden creatively and subliminally hones our five senses. Admire plants, infrastructure and stunning sculpture in this unique garden exhibit.
Don Larkin Memorial Orchid Greenhouse
The Don Larkin Memorial Orchid Greenhouse, home to one of the largest public collections in the Southwest, features Cattleya, Phaleonopsis, Paphiopedlum and Dendrobium genera in abundance. The 2000 plant collection produces nearly year-round blooms
Wetland Awareness Boardwalk
Stroll down the shaded Bird & Butterfly Trail, stopping at the Birding Tower and Palapa Grande on Gator Lake, heading on out to the Wetland Awareness Boardwalk and, for the really energetic--Oso Creek Loop Trail for a hike down to Oso Creek.
The Coastal Bend Companion Bird Club donated approximately 40 colorful exotic birds to the Botanical Gardens in 2011, also building rustic enclosures with thatched roofs for birds living outside. You’ll see more beautiful birds in the Bromeliad House. The birds join the new Resident Reptiles exhibit, completing our FLORA, FAUNA, FUN approach to Nature Tourism!
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