A Glimpse at What You’ll See!

South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center


Botanical Garden mingles with Nature PreserveThe South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center in Corpus Christi is a leading South Texas tourism destination showcasing a unique blend of colorful, exotic floral exhibits bordered with vast conserved areas areas of native habitat and natural wetlands. Strategically situated on the city’s affluent south side nearly touching the world-famous King Ranch, the 180 acre site is an integral part of Corpus Christi’s growing Oso Creek Greenbelt system, is a Texas Watchable Wildlife Program site, and is on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Recognized for both its beautiful shorebirds and woodland songbirds, it is a key birding site in Corpus Christi, which repeatedly has been named the Birdiest City in the United States. A hub of horticultural and environmental conservation education actively benefiting South Texas economy and Coastal Bend quality of life, STBGNC provides a beautiful respite and source of conservation and environmental learning for residents and visitors.

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.


Butterfly House

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.


Resident Reptiles

Beginning with a few reptiles “rescued” on site at the Botanical Gardens, the total Resident Reptiles Exhibit now numbers at least 30 to 40 occupants, in tanks and other enclosures filling the renovated former classroom in the Visitors Center, including a Texas Spiny Lizard, Red Foot Tortoise, Mexican Milk Snake . . . MORE!  Many of the 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, now housed with other friends in the large outdoor IGUANA HOUSE adjacent to the Visitors Center Arbor, where you’ll also find new Turtle Tanks! Tortoise pens can be found at the mesquite tree line on the way to the Children’s Play Area


Tropical Garden

The first phases of the Tropical Garden were completed in 2015, adjacent to the Orchid and Bromeliad Conservatories.  Besides, beautiful shaded tropical foliage and lush, colorful abundant blooms, it’s also where you’ll find “Parrot Talk” happening; and comfortable seating has been installed.  When the future Rainforest Conservatory is built, the master plan calls for an aviary to be added.

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.


Sensory Garden

The Sensory Garden creatively and subliminally hones our five senses. Admire plants, infrastructure and stunning sculpture in this unique garden exhibit.


Samuel Jones Orchid Conservatory

The 1800 square-foot Samuel Jones Orchid Conservatory, completed in 2015, is home to one of the largest public collections in the Southwest, featuring Cattleya, Phaleonopsis, Paphiopedlum and Dendrobium genera in abundance. The collection, which grew from the original Don Larken orchid collection, produces nearly year-round blooms and has been curated since 1996 by Sam Jones, assisted by trained orchid volunteers.  The Conservatory has 14-foot sidewalls with roof peaking at 22 feet.  Its twin adjacent structure is Sweet Adeline’s Support Greenhouse.  Once funded, both will be joined by a third—the Rainforest Conservatory!


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.


Tropical Parrots


The Coastal Bend Companion Bird Club donated approximately 40 colorful exotic parrots to the Botanical Gardens in 2011. Rustic thatched huts were built in exhibit areas. You’ll see more beautiful birds in the Bromeliad House. ‘Parrot Talk’, a popular visitor interactive half-hour segment, began in 2015, featuring our most personable and talkative parrots.  The birds join the Resident Reptiles exhibit in the Visitors Center and outdoors, completing our FLORA, FAUNA, FUN approach to Nature Tourism!


Children's Play Area

The highlight of the Children’s Play Area is Monkey Mansion Treehouse, a story book play house, which sits atop a 400-year-old tree trunk section shipped here from California.

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