USF Botanical Gardens – Tampa, Florida3 min read time

The USF Botanical Gardens are tucked away in a corner of the large campus of the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. Besides being available for students in the various colleges, these gardens are open to the public for their enjoyment.

Details from Wikipedia:

The University of South Florida Botanical Gardens 15 acres (6.1 hectares) are located on the campus of the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, United States, and consist of 7 acres (2.8 hectares) of developed gardens plus 6 to 9 acres (2.4 to 3.6 hectares) of natural greenbelt. It is a member of the American Public Gardens Association, American Horticulture Society Reciprocal Admissions Program, Greater Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce, and Visit Florida and receives about 35,000 visitors annually. The gardens are open to the public during weekday business hours, and on shorter weekend hours.

The botanical gardens were established in 1969 for use by the Biology Department in the USF College of Arts and Sciences. In the early 1970s many of today’s temperate, subtropical, and tropical trees and shrubs were planted. During the late 1970s and 1980s, the palm garden, the wetland forest, and sand scrub beds were planted. New structures and demonstration gardens were built in the 1990s. Today, it is part of the Department of Geography, Environment and Planning in the College of Arts and Sciences at USF.

The gardens contain over 3,000 taxa of plants including: fruit trees, bonsai trees, grasses, begonias, orchids, bromeliads, palms, aroids, bamboo, gingers, carnivorous plants, cycads, cactus and succulent plants, an herb and scent garden, wetland forest, temperate forest, subtropical shade garden, and Florida upland scrub and sandhill habitats. The gardens also has a medicinal herb garden, which is used by the USF College of Pharmacy for research purposes.  While not part of the collection, native wildlife, including butterflies and over 60 species of birds, can frequently be found in the garden.


The conservatory has a collection of orchids that are colorful and beautiful.


There are different garden areas including Cactus, Water, Pollinators, Rainforest and many more.

Palm Frond

There are some special spots such as the Faery Garden and the Meditation Garden.

A little friend to join you while you rest!

There are many species of trees to enjoy and sit under to get out of the hot sun.

Kapok Tree

And as usual I was on the look out for trees with interesting branch shapes for my infrared camera.

Sprawling branches

There is a plant shop & several times a year the USF Botanical Gardens has events such as flower festivals, where visitors can learn about and purchase plants from vendors.  The gardens also host workshops such as beekeeping. The USF Botanical Gardens is also a wedding venue.

Event Pavilion

If you are in Tampa, check out these lovely gardens. Visit their website for details. It is just minutes from Busch Gardens and the beaches. While there check out the USF campus.

Go USF Bulls!!  Please indulge an alumnus!

And visit my gallery for these and additional images from the USF Botanical Gardens.

That is all for now.


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