Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a respected center for research and education, as well as a famous showplace that delights more than 130,000 visitors each year.  Our visitors see beautiful horticultural displays and learn from our many educational programs.  They also take away with them a better understanding and greater appreciation of the natural world and the challenge it faces.


Nested in 14 acres and amongst 12 buildings in a brick-laid residential section of Sarasota, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is an open-air and under-glass museum of thousands of colorful and exotics plants. Many of these plants have been collected from the wild on more than 200 scientific expeditions to tropical rain forests by Selby Gardens research staff.  

Mission and Research

Seven greenhouses are the heart of the botanical research and plant identification programs for which Selby Gardens is recognized around the world.  The Gardens’ mission is to provide an oasis of inspiration and tranquility, while furthering the understanding and appreciation of plants, especially epiphytes.  Selby Gardens is perhaps best known for its living collection of more than 6,000 orchids, but it is also an established authority on other epiphytes including bromeliads, gesneriads, and other plants.


The stunning Tropical Conservatory with its lush rain forest atmosphere displays unusual flora that can be seen all year around.  It is one of eight greenhouses that house collections used for scientific research and plant identification.  Throughout the grounds of the historic Selby estate one will find many distinct gardens

  • Towering Bamboo and Banyan Groves
  • Cactus and Succulent Garden
  • Bonsai Garden
  • Cycad Collection
  • Hibiscus Garden
  • Tropical Fruit Garden
  • Fern Garden
  • Native Florida Plants
  • Mangrove Forest
  • Tropical Hardwood Hammock
  • Green Roof Exhibit 
  • Trees filled with orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads, and other epiphytic plants
  • Former Christy Payne Mansion, a unique example of eclectic Southern Colonial architecture, houses ever-changing botanical art and photography exhibits as well as providing facilities for meetings and special events. The Mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Arts Organization of the Year by the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce
  • Number One Garden in Florida by Florida Monthly Magazine readers
  • One of America’s Top Ten Botanical Gardens” by Country Living Gardener Magazine
  • Number One of the Top Ten “Must Do’s in Sarasota” by Sarasota Magazine
Map of the Gardens-July 2012.pdf235.21 KB