Let Nature Challenge You
The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens is a 120-acre urban woodland full of trails for you to explore and enjoy.
From the trailhead next to the parking lot, a stabilized walkway encircles a beautiful two-acre lake. This trail gently descends about 25 feet to the foot of the lake and then returns up a gentle slope on the opposite side to the trailhead. Interpretive signs and over 100 labeled plants enhance the loop.
In addition, over three miles of rustic hiking trails wind quietly through a series of distinct ecological habitats. Along the trails, benches invite you either to pause and enjoy the view or to get in a good stretch during a vigorous walk.
The Arboretum is developed and managed by the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens, Inc., a non-profit entity that leases the land from the City. Except for special events, there is no admission fee. $3 non-member visitor donation requested to help pay operations.
Open to the public 7 days a week from 8 AM to 5 PM.
NOTE : Starting March 14, extended hours on Tuesday and Thursday from 8 AM – 7 PM
Entry gates are locked promptly at closing so plan your visit so that you exit the Arboretum prior to closing.
ADA – For accommodation please contact email@example.com
News – June 2017
NEW! Leave a Legacy with a Tribute Brick
Dedicate your brick here.
If daisies are a symbol of good cheer, then huge sunflowers must symbolize pure bliss. Different people find happiness in different things. While you might enjoy the overall beauty of a sunflower, a botanist would note that the sunflower, like any other daisy, is not a flower. It is a cluster of many flowers. The central disk of a sunflower contains many small, seed-producing flowers. The colorful, petal-like structures surrounding the disk are infertile flowers that help attract pollinators to the disk. A mathematician might find joy in a search for a Fibonacci sequence of the spiral of flowers in the disk. This is a set of numbers in which each number is the sum of the previous two (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, …).
Depending on which reference you read, the sunflower genus, Helianthus, includes about fifty to seventy species. All of the sunflowers are native to North and South America. The Florida Atlas of Vascular Plants lists fifteen species that are native to our state. Sunflower species may be annuals or perennials. They range in size from the low, spreading beach sunflower, Helianthus debilis, to the ten foot tall swamp sunflower, Helianthus angustifolius. Although most sunflowers produce bright yellow daisies, the rayless sunflower, Helianthus radula, produces only a purple-brown disk with no yellow ray flowers. The Jerusalem artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus, is a species to our north that produces edible roots.
The common sunflower, Helianthus annuus, is a garden flower, a florist’s cut flower and an agricultural crop. It is ranked as the fourth largest oil crop in the U.S. The seeds are eaten raw and roasted. They are mashed for an oil that is used for cooking, salad dressing and in processed foods. The oil has also been used for paints, candles and cosmetics. The pressed cake that remains after pressing and the leaves are used as livestock food. The petals are recommended by some as a colorful addition to a salad. Discarded seed coats have been used to make wall paneling and fuel pellets that are used just like wood. Traditionally, native Americans used various parts of the sunflower to treat respiratory and other problems. Lab tests indicate that sunflowers may have some modern pharmaceutical uses.
At the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens, we planted a few silverleaf sunflower, Helianthus argophyllus, near the walk-in entry. It is a Texas native that has naturalized in a few Florida counties. This is a tall species with large leaves that are covered with silvery hairs. It is closely related to the common sunflower and has been hybridized with it to increase the disease resistance and salt tolerance of the common sunflower.
Discovering Nature Nearby Programs for 2017
Wild Survival: Florida Plants
Held May 20
Amy Morie’s program was wonderful. I believe everyone had a great time learning about the native plants around them. As you can see in the photos, she brought great examples, resource information, told stories and took us on a plant identification walk. She showed examples of two native grapes, Simpson’s Stopper, redbud, Spanish needle, palmettos and their uses to mention a few. She gave away Browne’s savory, Micromeria brownei, a roadside plant that smells like mint and can be used fresh or dried to make a very nice tea or flavoring according to Green Deane. On the walk, she answered lots of questions from the children telling fun facts or why the common native plants are important. She showed them a leaf that had circular cutouts made by a leafcutter bee.
Thank You Discovering Nature Nearby Program Sponsors And Participants
The Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens board would like to extend sincere thanks to Alice Shinkos for running the opening 2016-2017 season of Discovering Nature Nearby programs. Alice has done a terrific job. She has also graciously accepted the volunteer position of Program Manager for the Arboretum.
Discovering Nature Nearby (DNN) would not have been possible without funding from TD Bank and the Rayonier Foundation. We would also like to thank the many speakers and educators who lead DNN programs covering everything from nature photography to climate change. They include: Tony Daly-Crews, Alex Diaz, Larry Figart, Jessica Spencer, Jack Hernandez, Kenneth Rainer, Emma Hanson, Joan Kramer, and Amy Morie. Many of these speakers went above and beyond expectations by volunteering their time and expertise.
We hope to restart DNN in the fall, once temperatures have declined and it is comfortable to be outdoors again. If you would like to donate funds to help make this possible, volunteer your time by helping to organize a program or give one yourself, or if you have a suggested topic you would like to learn more about through a DNN program, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!
Show the World You Love the Arboretum
Directions/Map, Facilities, Hours of Operation
Rules about your visit are on this page including information about dogs and Photo policy (.pdf)
Photos collections covering the arboretum, our events, some of the plants and much more
Envision your wedding or special event in the beautiful natural settings of the Jacksonville Arboretum – a lush, forested oasis in the midst of the city.
Coverage of our events, awards and other news
E-newsletter sign up and archive
Who Our Supporters Are
Links to Websites
Links to Places to Visit