Located near Window By The Pond in the lower east side of the Gardens, the Endangered Plant Garden provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see some of Florida’s rarest plant species. Approximately 30 species from north and central Florida are displayed, including Godfrey’s Blazing Star (Liatris provincialis), Britton’s beargrass (Nolina brittoniana), Lakela’s Mint (Dicerandra immaculata), Florida Jujube (Ziziphus celata), Four-petal pawpaw (Asimina tetramera) and Florida Goldenaster (Chrysopsis floridana). With species that include annuals and perennials, and deciduous and non-deciduous species, the Endangered Plant Garden is ever-changing, with various lifecycle stages, such as flowering times and seed production times, providing a different show with each season.
The location of the Endangered Plant Garden was chosen for its openness and full sun. This area was a former citrus grove and not part of the original Olmsted-designed gardens.
David Price, president of Bok Tower Gardens, designed the quarter-acre garden in a circular pattern, inspired by the layout of the Botanical Garden of Padua University in Padua, Italy. Founded in 1545, it is the oldest university garden in the world.
The garden’s circular plan makes efficient use of space, allowing visitors to view plants up-close. Many of the plants grown here have a loose and informal form so that the contrast of the garden’s layout provides structure and stability to the design through the growing year.
Information panels placed along the garden’s path identify the plants and tell about their habitat and life history. Paths for visitors to stroll along are laid out on compass points, offering vistas out to the adjacent longleaf pine grove. Benches are placed around the garden among sabal palm trees and other drought tolerant native plants. An analemmatic sundial is located at the center of the garden. Visitors can stand on the calendar to cast their shadow on the hour marker, giving them Eastern Standard time. This garden is an area for the public and school visitors to learn about the rare flora of our state, as well as a place to sit and contemplate our role as stewards of these fragile plants.
Construction of this garden was made possible through a grant from the State of Florida’s Division of Plant Industry.
For more information about these and other rare plant species, visit our National Collection page below.