Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is located in Gainesville, Florida. Visitors to the Gardens will enjoy it’s twenty-four collections and it’s one and half mile paved walkway and appreciated the beauty of the variety of plants and flowers on display. anapaha Botanical Gardens encompasses sixty-two acres and was established, developed, operated, and funded through the North Florida Botanical Society.
KThe Society is and educational institution that is non-profit. It signed a lease with Alachua County in 1978 that gave it access to a land tract that was thirty-three acres, with the purpose of developing a botanical garden for the public. A twenty-nine-acre addition of land was added to the agreement and giving the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens it’s size of today.
The Garden was named for Lake Kanapaha. Kanapaha is a Timucua Indian word that means “palmetto leaf” and “house.” When the meanings are put together they refer to the small thatched dwellings that the Timucua lived in on the shores of the western side of Lake Kanapaha. During the years between 1978 and 1987, the structure and first plantings were finished. The Kanapaha Garden was opened to the public in October of 1987
Kanapaha Gardens offers guided tours to the public on the first Saturday of every month. Additionally, guided tours can be scheduled for other times with a two week notice ahead of time.
The various collections of the Kanapaha Botanical Garden include the Arboretum, Azalea/Camelia garden, bamboo garden, butterfly garden, crinum garden cycad garden, fern cobble, herb garden, hummingbird garden, palm hammock, rock garden, rose garden, spring flower garden, vinery and the woodland garden. Some of the specialty gardens are organized according to taxonomy, while others are organized to show the ecology principles or natural selection.
Within these gardens visitors will find unusual and rare plants from all over world. Some of these include bamboos, colorful, rare vines, giant snake arums, palms, and giant water lilies and have been incorporated into the lakeside forests and meadows of Kanapaha. The Gardens have the biggest bamboo display and herb garden in the Southeast. Some of the Gardens signature plants include giant Victoria water lilies, a stand of Chinese Royal Bamboo, and Asian snake arums.
The Kanapaha Botanical Gardes hosts a variety of events throughout the year.
Guided Walk- A guided tour is offered on the first Saturday of every month.
Camellia Show- This is a two-day event that showcases camellias of shapes, colors, and sizes. Exhibits of reticulates, japonicas, species, and hybrids will be judged. The show’s purpose to teach the public about the culture, care, and appreciation of camellias in the landscape and the greenhouse.
Trade Invasives for Beauty- The facility educates the public on the problems associated with invasive species and how to get rid of them. It teaches what Florida-friendly plants can be used to achieve a similar image.
Bamboo Sale- This the Kanapaha Botanical Garden’s Annual Bamboo Sale. Orders may be called in.
Introduction to Camellias- This class that is taught at the Gardens educates the public on the history of camellias, along with how to plant and care for them. It also teaches about the insects, pests, and diseases that are a danger to them. After the lecture portion of the class, a tour of the Camelia/Azales garden is given.
Spring Garden Festival- This is the number one horticultural event in Gainesville. It offers around one hundred and fifty booths that offer landscape displays, garden accessories, plants, crafts and arts, foods, and educational exhibits. The Festival also features live auctions and entertainment.
Moonlight Walk- This Walk offers laser lights, twinkle lights, and about one thousand five hundred luminaries strategically placed along the walkway through the gardens. Live entertainment, food, and refreshments are available to participants.
Paint Out- This event gives local artists the opportunity to gather and create paintings of the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens on site. It is a three-day event that is affiliated with the Worldwide Artist Paint Out. The Worldwide Artist Paint Out connects artists and places all around the world and promotes art as a language with no borders.
Fall Plant Sale and Orchid Show- This event is meant to celebrate the “birthday” of the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and is always held in October. In addition to visiting the gardens, about fifty booths are set that sell a variety of plants.
The Gift Gallery is the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens’ giftshop. It offers a wide variety of unusual and rare items for the home and garden.
Drinks such as water and soda and snacks such as chips and crackers are sold at the entrance building to the garden but there is not café. Guests are allowed to bring in food and picnic baskets for use at the picnic areas.
4700 SW 58th Dr, Gainesville, FL 32608, Phone: 352-372-4981