Kanapaha Botanical Gardens – the Southeast’s Largest Herb Garden

November 22nd, 2019 by Corey A Edwards

Bamboo Grove Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Looking up in the bamboo grove at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.

If you, like so many visitors to Florida, are fascinated by the local vegetation and what can be grown here, you owe it to yourself to visit Gainesville’s Kanapaha Botanical Gardens! Kanapaha is not only home to the biggest herb garden in the southeast, it also has Florida’s largest public display of live bamboo!

Perhaps we here at Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast are biased. Our Gainesville area inn is surrounded by 60 acres of open field and the shores of a natural cypress lake – Hampton Lake.

We feel lucky, surrounded by so much natural beauty. Many of our guests seem to feel the same, spending much of their time enjoying the lake and open fields around our B&B.

If this sounds like you, you’re going to have a great time in Florida¬† – and we recommend making some time for a visit to Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.

Visiting the Gardens

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens started off as a 33 acre public botanical garden in 1978. The gardens added an additional 29 acres in 1982. The combined acreage is currently home to 24 major plant collections, grouped into thoughtfully sculpted gardens.

The collections include an arboretum, confer garden, cycad garden, rose garden, palm hammock, butterfly garden, and a great many others. The gardens are both functional and gorgeous, designed with both the plants and aesthetics well in mind.

Victoria cruziana leaves in a pond at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Massive Victoria cruziana lily pads at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Two of the most popular attractions are the bamboo grove, which is like a forest, and the giant water lilies. Victoria cruziana pads get so huge they don’t even seem real. In fact, they broke a record with a 7.75 foot wide one earlier this summer.

And whose record did they break? Their own, from 2016!

Paved walkways meander from garden to garden, separated by ponds, waterfalls, meadows, and forested areas. There are picnic areas, gazebos, mazes, a gift shop, fish feeding stations, and other areas for fun or relaxed contemplation.

The gardens offer guided tours the first Saturday of every month, 10am to noon. The gardens also host a variety of special events throughout the year that can draw thousands. This is particularly true of events like the annual Bamboo Sale, the Spring Garden Festival, and Moonlight Walks. Recommended!

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

4700 SW 58th Dr, Gainesville, FL 32608
M-W/F: 9am to 5pm | Sat/Sun – 9am to dusk/7pm | Closed Thursdays

While there is never a bad time to visit the gardens, they are at their best June through September. Visit the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens website. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Gainesville Area Lodging

Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast is nicely situated between Jacksonville and Gainesville, FL. Our convenient location provides easy access to the fun and excitement of both cities as well as a quiet lakeside retreat to return to. Book your North Florida getaway today at Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast.

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