Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a 83 acres (33.6 ha) botanic garden, with extensive collections of rare tropical plants including palms
Arecaceae or Palmae , are a family of flowering plants, the only family in the monocot order Arecales. There are roughly 202 currently known genera with around 2600 species, most of which are restricted to tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climates...

, cycad
Cycads are seed plants typically characterized by a stout and woody trunk with a crown of large, hard and stiff, evergreen leaves. They usually have pinnate leaves. The individual plants are either all male or all female . Cycads vary in size from having a trunk that is only a few centimeters...

s, flowering trees and vines. It is located in metropolitan
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Miami-Dade County is a county located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 2,496,435, making it the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States...

 Miami, just south of Coral Gables
Coral Gables, Florida
Coral Gables is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, southwest of Downtown Miami, in the United States. The city is home to the University of Miami....

, Florida, United States, surrounded at the south and west by Matheson Hammock Park
Matheson Hammock Park
Matheson Hammock Park is a urban park in metropolitan Miami at 9610 Old Cutler Road, just south of Coral Gables, Florida. The park surrounds the north and western ends of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.-History:...



The garden was established in 1936 by Robert H. Montgomery
Robert Hiester Montgomery
Robert Hiester Montgomery was an influential accountant and educator. He was president of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for two two-year terms, starting in 1912 and again in 1935....

 (1872–1953), an accountant, attorney, and businessman with a passion for plant-collecting. The garden opened to the public in 1938. It was named after his good friend David Fairchild
David Fairchild
David Grandison Fairchild was an American botanist and plant explorer. Fairchild was responsible for the introduction of more than 200,000 exotic plants and varieties of established crops into the United States, including soybeans, pistachios, mangos, nectarines, dates, bamboos, and flowering...

 (1869–1954), one of the great plant explorers. Dr. Fairchild's extensive travels brought many important plants to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, including mango
The mango is a fleshy stone fruit belonging to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is native to India from where it spread all over the world. It is also the most cultivated fruit of the tropical world. While...

s, alfalfa
Alfalfa is a flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae cultivated as an important forage crop in the US, Canada, Argentina, France, Australia, the Middle East, South Africa, and many other countries. It is known as lucerne in the UK, France, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, and known as...

, nectarines
The peach tree is a deciduous tree growing to tall and 6 in. in diameter, belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach...

, dates, horseradish
Horseradish is a perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbages. The plant is probably native to south eastern Europe and the Arab World , but is popular around the world today...

, bamboo
Bamboo is a group of perennial evergreens in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family....

s and flowering cherries
The cherry is the fruit of many plants of the genus Prunus, and is a fleshy stone fruit. The cherry fruits of commerce are usually obtained from a limited number of species, including especially cultivars of the wild cherry, Prunus avium....

. David Fairchild retired to Miami in 1935, but many plants still growing in the Garden were collected and planted by Dr. Fairchild, including a giant African baobab
Adansonia is a genus of eight species of tree, six native to Madagascar, one native to mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and one to Australia. The mainland African species also occurs on Madagascar, but it is not a native of that island....

 tree. With the guidance of an influential circle of friends, Montgomery pursued the dream of creating a botanical garden in Miami. He purchased the site, named it after Dr. Fairchild, and later deeded it in large part to Miami-Dade County
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Miami-Dade County is a county located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 2,496,435, making it the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States...


The garden was designed by landscape architect William Lyman Phillips, member of the Frederick Law Olmsted
Frederick Law Olmsted
Frederick Law Olmsted was an American journalist, social critic, public administrator, and landscape designer. He is popularly considered to be the father of American landscape architecture, although many scholars have bestowed that title upon Andrew Jackson Downing...

 partnership, and a leading landscape designer in South Florida during the 1930s. The first 15 years saw the construction of its primary buildings and landscape features, including the Montgomery Palmetum, Bailey Palm Glade, Allee and Overlook, Vine Pergola, Amphitheatre, Gate House, Montgomery Library and Museum, 14 lakes, stone terracing walls, irrigation systems, Moos Sunken Garden, and Nell Montgomery Garden House auditorium. Later buildings included the Davis House (1953), Hawkes Laboratory (1960), Robbins Plant Science Building (1967), Rare Plant House (1968), Corbin Education Building (1972), Jean duPont Shehan Visitor Center (2002) and various additions over the years. A groundbreaking ceremony occurred in 2010 for significant new complex of buildings including the Paul and Swanee DiMare Science Village, Dr. Jane Hsaio Tropical Research Laboaratories, Clinton Family Conservatory and Burns Building. The new science complex is scheduled to be completed in 2012 and was designed by Miami architect Max Strang
Max Strang
Max Strang is an architect based in Coconut Grove , Florida. He was raised in a Mid-Century Modern home designed by Gene Leedy of the Sarasota School of Architecture....


Research and conservation

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a leading center of palm research, horticulture, and conservation. In 2002, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden launched The Fairchild Challenge
The Fairchild Challenge
The Fairchild Challenge is an environmental education outreach program of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida, USA.- Mission :...

 - an environmental outreach program designed to promote environmental awareness, scholarship and stewardship in teenagers and pre-teens.


Since 2003 Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has sponsored a series of exhibits by noted artists, including Patricia Van Dalen, Dale Chihuly, Fernando Botero, Roy Lichtenstein, Franz West, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Michele Oka Doner, Mark Dion, Joshua Levin and Francois-Xavier Lalanne. Currently featured exhibits throughout the garden include the art of Yayoi Kusama, Cameron Gainer, Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova, Mark di Suvero, Dale Chihuly, Daisy Youngblood, Freda Tschumy and Sicis. Throughout the year the garden hosts a series of seasonal weekend festivals ranging from chocolate, mango, orchid and palm festivals, and culminating in the fall Ramble. Other activities include concerts, clubs meetings, and classes.

See also

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