Formerly known as the Corpus Christi Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center is a botanical garden and nature center spanning 180 acres in the heart of South Staples.
Established in 1987 with a nature trail and cottage garden, the gardens have grown into one of the city’s most popular attractions and feature a variety of specialty gardens, including an arid garden, and hibiscus and hummingbird gardens, as well as landscape demonstration beds, and an orchid house.
The mission of the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center is to encourage the appreciation of the environment and the plants that live in it, as well as inspire the conservation and preservation of flora and fauna of South Texas.
Blending vibrantly colored floral exhibits with natural and native habitats and wetland, the gardens form an integral part of the Oso Creek Greenbelt system and play a vital role in the Texas Watchable Wildlife Program and the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Renowned for its diverse variety of woodland songbirds and beautiful shorebirds, the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center is also a popular birding site.
Situated on the on the city’s south side near the world-famous King Ranch, the 180 acre Botanical Gardens & Nature Center features a variety of specialty gardens, exhibits, and displays relating to flora and fauna of South Texas and further afield.
The Arid Gardens feature some a range of plants that offer natural shade in dry and desert conditions, the whimsical Hummingbird Garden is filled with flowers that attract a myriad of the tiny birds, and the Tree Demonstration Garden features a variety of region’s hardiest, most pest and disease-resistant plants.
The Tropical Garden features lush, shady foliage and vegetation and abundant brightly colored blooms that thrive in hot, tropical environments. The Tropical Garden is also home to ‘Parrot Talk,' a family-friendly program that offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy an interactive experience with personable and talkative exotic birds. Donated by the Coastal Bend Companion Bird Club, the parrots are housed in rustic thatched huts and visitors can walk around and interact with the birds.
The stately Rose Garden features 12 raised rose beds, brick-lined pathways, and a beautiful fountain, and over 300 rose bushes of various varieties. The Bates Rose Pavilion boasts spacious manicured lawns, large shady trees, and gorgeous views, creating a stunning wedding venue.
The Sensory Garden is a unique garden exhibit that takes visitors on a journey through the five senses of touch, smell, see, hear and taste with a variety of plants and stunning sculptures.
The Anderson Bromeliad Conservatory is a new state-of-the-art facility that houses over 800 Aechmea bromeliads and other genera collected by leading bromeliad collectors and growers. The Plumeria Garden & Willoughby Viewing Platform displays over 100 fragrant tropical plumeria – the Hawaiian lei flower native to the Caribbean. The flowers are green-housed during the winter months to protect them from freezing.
The new Butterfly House is a 2600 square-foot octagonal walk-through, interactive ‘flight cage’ exhibit that houses a massive display of nectar and larvae-heavy plants that attract myriad butterflies. Species of butterflies in the exhibit include both native and migratory butterflies, such as Tiger and Giant Swallowtails, Queens, Gulf Fritillaries, Red Admirals, Buckeyes, Monarchs, White Peacocks, and Zebra Longwings.
The Resident Reptiles exhibits more than 40 reptiles in a variety of tanks and enclosures that have escaped from captivity or have been donated due to being too large for domestic life and include a Texas Spiny Lizard, a Mexican Milk Snake, and a Red Foot Tortoise.
The Samuel Jones Orchid Conservatory is an 1800 square-foot display with 14-foot sidewalls and a 22-foot high roof, and features species including Cattleya, Dendrobium, Paphiopedilum, Phalaenopsis, and other genera in abundance. The collection was started from an orchid collection in 1996 and now produces nearly year-round blooms.
A special Children's Play Area features a storybook playhouse tucked into a 400-year-old tree trunk called the Monkey Mansion Treehouse.
The nature section of the gardens offers an ideal way of exploring all that the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center has to offer. The shaded Brennecke Nature Trail has an impressive birding tower and bronze wildlife sculpture, while the rustic Palapa Grande boasts breathtaking views of Gator Lake. The Wetland Awareness Boardwalk offers an educational walk through some scenic natural wetlands, which are home to White Pelicans and Roseate Spoonbills, amongst other birds, and the Oso Creek Loop Trail features a variety of birds and wildlife.
The South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center is located at 8545 South Staples in Corpus Christi and is open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm year-round.
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8545 South Staples, Corpus Christi, TX, 78413, Phone: 361-852-2100