Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

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The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (7 acres; 2.8 hectares) are extensive botanical gardens dedicated to research and collections of epiphytes, especially orchids and bromeliads, and their canopy ecosystems. They are located on the grounds of the former home of Marie and William Selby (of the Texaco Oil Company) at 811 South Palm Avenue, in the heart of Sarasota, Florida, USA, and open to the public during business hours every day but Christmas.


The Gardens reportedly maintain the most diverse collection of bromeliads in the world, and feature over 20,000 plants from some 6000 species in 1200 genera from 214 plant families, including 6,000 live orchids. More than 150 expeditions to the tropics and subtropics have contributed to these collections.

For the casual visitor, the Gardens maintain over 20 habitats, with banyans, bamboo, live oaks, palms, mangroves, succulents, wildflowers, cycads, bromeliads, and a koi pond, on a site bordering Sarasota Bay and the Hudson Bayou neighborhood of Sarasota.


Christy Payne House
Sarasota FL Selby Gardens Payne Mansion02.jpg
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is located in Florida
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Location Sarasota, Florida
Coordinates 27°19′40″N 82°32′25″W / 27.32778°N 82.54028°W / 27.32778; -82.54028Coordinates: 27°19′40″N 82°32′25″W / 27.32778°N 82.54028°W / 27.32778; -82.54028
Architectural style Colonial Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 98001201[1]
Added to NRHP September 25, 1998

Major divisions of the Gardens are as follows:

  • The Mulford B. Foster Bromeliad Identification Center was established in 1979 in honor of Mulford Foster, one of the leading bromeliad collectors to provide information on the horticultural and botanical aspects of the Bromeliaceae. It maintains taxonomic files for over 2800 species, genera, and subfamilies, and houses more than 2000 photographic slides for use by individuals, institutions and societies. It is supported by local and international bromeliad societies.
  • Gardens contain approximately 2300 recorded tropical and subtropical plantings, representing some 1200 species, 620 genera, and 165 plant families. A significant portion are well-documented, vouchered species collected from native habitats.
  • The Orchid Identification Center was established in 1975 to study and curate wild-collected and conservatory grown orchids, and to serve as a center for their identification. It has amassed a collection of more than 20,000 taxonomic reference files, a collection of photographs, and 24,000 spirit preserved specimens, with particular strengths in collections from Mexico, Central America, Andean South America, and Venezuela.
  • The Christy Payne House serves as the Garden's gallery for changing exhibits of botanical art and photography. It is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, to which it was added on September 25, 1998.
  • The Research Library houses approximately 7000 volumes, dealing primarily with tropical plants, and especially epiphytes. It includes a rare book collection dating to the late 18th century, 14,000 issues of scientific journals, 2500 microfiche of early botanical references and herbaria, a photographic slide collection, and other related holdings.

Selby Botanical Gardens Press[edit]

The Selby Botanical Gardens Press publishes the research journal Selbyana – The Journal of The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, botanical books, proceedings, field guides, and posters. Selbyana (ISSN 0361-185X, OCLC 612168862),[2] published since 1975, is a peer-reviewed scientific journal issued twice a year, focusing on research on canopy biology and tropical plants, especially epiphytes.[3] This includes many papers on gesneriads, including valuable contributions by Hans Wiehler and Larry Skog, bromeliads and orchids.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  3. ^ "SBG Press". Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  4. ^ John R. Clark (January 22, 2009). "Selbyana - a source for gesneriad publications". Gesneriad Research Center. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 

External links[edit]