The welcome center is the main entrance and exit to the Gardens. All ticketing, admissions, visitor services, occurs here and it is home to the Cooley Theatre and connected to the Garden Shop.

The Garden Shop offers Selby’s finest plants, memorable gifts, and exceptional home decor. Custom arrangements can be created for your special occasion.  Gift cards are available for purchase and can be applied to membership, purchases in the Garden Shop and classes.   With easy access from Palm Avenue, the Garden Shop is accessible without admissions to the Gardens.

Immerse yourself in a lush rainforest habitat brimming with our spectacular collection of orchids, bromeliads, and other epiphytes (plants that grow in trees).  This is one of eight greenhouses that house collections used for scientific research and plant identification. You can visit every day and see amazing new displays.   

Bonsai (pronounced ‘bone-sigh’) is the ancient Asian art of dwarfing trees in pots, in this case created using sub-tropical species.  Bonsai is an artistic way to portray a scene from nature. This display is provided by the local Sho Fu Bonsai Society.

See a gorgeous display of cycads from tropical Asia, Mexico, Japan, and Central America, as well as native species from Florida.  Sometimes mistaken for palms or ferns, cycads are a group of seed plants that have a large crown of compound leaves and a sturdy trunk.

Relax on a bench and enjoy the tranquil motion of Japanese koi fish while listening to a waterfall amid luxuriant tropical plants.   Children love to feed the koi and they are always eager to be fed.  

Relax on a bench and enjoy the tranquil motion of Japanese koi fish while listening to a waterfall amid luxuriant tropical plants.   Children love to feed the koi and they are always eager to be fed.  

Follow a zigzag path as you explore a dense grove formed by over a dozen different species of tropical clumping bamboos, woody members of the grass family. Bamboos are the fastest growing plant in the world.  They are capable of growing up to 24 inches or more per day, depending on climate and soil conditions.

The Mediterranean Revival-style home built by William and Marie Selby in the early 1920’s.  It now houses Local Coffee + Tea and the convenience of WIFI for those visiting the Gardens.

An onsite Café provided by Local Coffee + Tea, serving salads, sandwiches, soups, cookies, ice cream, coffee, tea, beer and wine.  Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Local Coffee + Tea also provides catering services for events within the Gardens.  

A banyan is a fig that begins its life as an epiphyte when its seeds germinate in the cracks and crevices on a host tree.   As mature trees, they develop aerial roots that strengthen into prop roots to support heavy limbs.  These large fig trees were planted by the Selbys in the 1920’s.  The banyan grove creates a lovely setting for a gorgeous wedding.  

A showy collection of tropical Hibiscus (rosa-sinensis) cultivars.  These tropical shrubs produce magical blooms in a wide variety of color.   They are located on the winding path to the Gazebo.

Take a rest in the shade next to a massive red silk cotton tree while enjoying a view of the Great Lawn. This enchanting little gazebo is a popular spot for intimate weddings, photo shoots, and children’s parties.  It was relocated to this spot several years ago prior to its intended demolition, but visitors so enjoyed its quaint charm that it was spared and is typically surrounded by colorful annuals year-round.

We often think of tropical climates as being moist, yet there are many hot, dry habitats as well.  This garden shows the diversity of plants adapted to this harsh environment, including a collection of rarely displayed dry-growing bromeliads and even a sun-tolerant orchid. Succulent plants frequently have interesting adaptations including thick leaves and swollen stems so they may store water for the frequent dry spells. 

Wildflower Garden – This lovely small garden, located next to Hudson Bayou, is planted with a colorful mix of native and exotic wildflowers designed to attract wildlife and please the eye. The Wildflower Garden is a memorial to Rosa Berliner, a longtime Selby Gardens volunteer and lover of wildflowers.  Like Marie Selby, Mrs. Berliner adored roses and filled her homes in both Florida and New England with flowers. 

Enjoy unparalleled views of shimmering Sarasota Bay from the shade of the stately Pavilion, our most popular nuptial site.  Visitors on weekend mornings often find rose petals from a wedding the evening before scattered over the lawn. Take time to appreciate the workmanship of the stained glass frieze overhead and to read the story of the sacred bo tree. The Schimmel Wedding Lawn and Pavilion was the gift of Stephen and Rosalba Schimmel.  

The peninsula on which Selby Gardens resides supports a mangrove forest of red, black, and white mangroves.  These salt-tolerant trees are a critical part of the marine ecosystem.  The mangroves are spread throughout the gardens.  Look for hermit crabs in the water below and, when the tide is low, you may spot the tracks of some of Selby Gardens’ resident raccoons!

The peninsula on which Selby Gardens resides supports a mangrove forest of red, black, and white mangroves, critical part of the marine ecosystem.  The mangrove walkway takes visitors through a typical coastal habitat, filled with native Florida plants, to an overlook with a breathtaking view of Sarasota Bay. The Baywalk is stroller and wheelchair friendly.

Quintessential symbols of the tropics, palms capture the interest and imagination of many.  Early Floridians relied on the sabal palm to provide them with food, shelter, and clothing and other varieties of these popular plants play similar roles in their native habitats. Besides being beautiful, palm trees have a wide variety of economic uses around the world. Selby Gardens is filled with a tremendous variety of palm trees, including date, oil, fishtail, triangle, zombie, and cabbage palms.

The Great Room, with its stunning view of Sarasota Bay, is one of Sarasota’s most popular sites for parties, receptions, business meetings, and other special events.  Besides amenities including a kitchen, tables, chairs, and audio-visual facilities, the Great Room has a classroom which hosts classes in watercolor, nature printing, orchid care, and other topics. 

Crowned by a tiered fountain dripping with bromeliads, this garden displays a colorful diversity of epiphytic and terrestrial members of the pineapple family.  Bromeliads, one of Selby Gardens’ specialties, make wonderful, durable landscape plants. Noted especially for their exotic inflorescences, they flourish in a variety of settings.

Two green projects in one:  The 55,000 gallon cistern collects rainwater and provides water to several areas in the garden and has a green, living roof..  Listen to an audio interpretation and enjoy different plant communities growing on this ground-level exhibit.

This small building once housed the Christy Payne family’s cars. Now a unique tea room, it offers Selby Gardens guests complimentary daily tea tastings. In addition to several varieties of teas available only from its proprietor, Local Coffee + Tea, the shop sells loose leaf teas and a wide range of accessories indispensable to tea lovers. 

Many tropical plants provide sustenance as well as savory delights.  The Tropical Fruit Garden, newly replanted in 2009, is filled with a wide range of edible tropical plants, many of which also have medicinal uses. From sugar cane and coffee bushes to mangos, papayas, and exotic plants like loofahs and Philippine weed, this garden offers a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the many uses of plants.

The best gardens engage not just the eye but all the senses. Follow your nose to this intimate, semi-formal garden brimming with plants that titillate your olfactory nerves. This delightful garden is planted with fragrant blooming plants such as jasmine, herbs used in a wide variety of foods, and many other plants whose leaves are used to create perfumes and flavor our food.


Both a child’s and photographer’s delight, this lively cottage garden of butterfly-attracting plants provides both larval and adult food sources for graceful native butterflies. Southwest Florida’s pleasant climate ensures a plentiful supply of butterflies year-round, and guests used to viewing them only in butterfly houses enjoy wandering this garden’s brick walkways or sitting on a wrought iron benches while butterflies waft from flower to flower.

This graceful colonial home, built in the mid-1930s, now houses Selby Gardens’ Museum of Botany and the Arts.  The Museum hosts a variety of botanical and conservation-related art exhibitions throughout the year. Its spectacular view of Sarasota Bay makes it a popular site for meetings, private dinners, and receptions.  The Christy Payne House closes to the public at 4:30 p.m.  

The Tidal Lagoon and its surrounding plantings are the result of a major shoreline renovation undertaken in 1997.  Visitors can observe abundant wildlife among interesting Florida native plants in several distinct habitats, including a tidal marsh, upland hammock, mangrove forest, and shell mound. Photographers love this spot, where they often find  an egret or heron resting among the trees. Besides offering scenic natural beauty, the Tidal Lagoon plays an important role in the ecosystem, helping to remove pollutants carried by rainwater from nearby Tamiami Trail before they enter the Bay.

Behind the Mansion lies a beatiful tidal lagoon and a verdant lawn.  This is a popular are for a wedding, dedication, or reception.