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 from 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.
Extended hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays (starting March 15) 8 AM to 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
News – July 2016
Hummingbirds and other Bird Pollinators
In Jacksonville, the ruby-throated hummingbird is the most important bird pollinator. Flowers that are pollinated by hummingbirds tend to have long, tubular shapes and are bright blue, pink, orange or red in color. More important to a hummingbird, however, is the sugar content of the nectar. They will check a wide variety of flowers and then return repeatedly to flowers with nectar that they like. They move pollen from flower to flower on their feathers. Typical hummingbird flowers are those of aloe, firecracker plant, firebush, red buckeye, erythrina, pentas, salvia, honeysuckle, cross vine and trumpet creeper. However, hummingbirds are adaptable. They explore our gardens and learn quickly that bottlebrush, butterfly bush, porterweed, necklace pod and other plants produce flowers that are good sources of nectar.
In the western United States, white-winged doves feed on the nectar and help pollinate the flowers of the saguaro cactus. Lorikeets with specialized tongues feed heavily on nectar and are considered to be the primary pollinators of some Australian plants. Sunbirds, sugar-birds, white eyes, honeycreepers and honeyeaters feed on nectar and pollinate flowers in other parts of the world. Some of them carry pollen on their feathers while others move pollen from flower to flower on their feet.
When bird-pollinated plants from other parts of the world are brought to Florida gardens, other native birds may learn to feed on their nectar. The common yellowthroat warbler has been observed by a few people feeding on the nectar of bird-of-paradise flowers. Prothonotary warbler, catbird and mockingbird have been observed feeding on the nectar of bottlebrush trees. However, these birds do not appear to be important pollinators for these exotic plants.
Hummingbirds and several plants with flowers that attract them may be seen at the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens. Typically, hummingbirds are at the Arboretum from March to October.
Ravine Marsh Restoration
On May 21st, five of stalwart volunteers and one newbie arrived for three hours of fun in the mud at the Ravine Marsh Demonstration Area. Plantings from last year were weeded and areas were cleared for new plantings next month.
Want to come help in June?
If so, contact email@example.com to join our conservation corps and help with small restoration areas throughout the property. If it is a particularly nasty workday (like the one in May), there are homemade chocolate chip cookies as a reward.
Some New Plants at the Arboretum
The Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens plant collection is based on plants that are useful to people. Looking for plants that are suitable for the collection turns up some interesting plants and surprising uses. Many of the traditional uses as medicines have not been substantiated in labs. Some of the other traditional uses have little value in modern society. However, some of these plants have become important in our modern culture.
For example, we tend to think of bottlebrush trees (Callistemon) as having little value other than their landscape use. In Australia, the wood is used for a variety of purposes, their leaves are used for tea and the leaves have been used as antibiotics and as insect repellents by the Aboriginal people. Recent studies verify that leaf and flower extracts inhibited bacterial growth in the lab. With so many reports of antibiotic resistant bacteria, there is a great need for effective new antibiotics. A modern commercial drug from one bottlebrush species is already on the market to treat a rare inherited disorder. Bottlebrush compounds have been shown in labs to be effective in killing insects and intestinal worms. One Australian website reports that a couple of Callistemon citrinus flower spikes in cold water makes a refreshing tea. It was not explained but, presumably, this is due to the sweet nectar in the flowers.
The split leaf philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum) is used in local landscapes to provide a bold, tropical look. Care must be taken in handling this plant because its sap will irritate the skin. Traditional uses include splitting the roots to use the pieces as cordage and broom straw, applying the irrigating sap externally to treat small wounds and rheumatism, and eating the seeds to kill intestinal worms.
We knew that the olive tree provided us with edible fruits and oil but the number of uses was surprising. If you read your labels, you will find that many soaps, shampoos and cosmetics identify olive oil as an ingredient. Olive wood is a close-grained, dense wood that is not used often because of the great value of the living tree. However, it has been used in turnery, carving and in furniture. Olive leaves and leaf tea uses from around the world include traditional treatments as a mouthwash, for infections, as a sedative, to treat diabetes, for gout, to treat for tapeworms, for ingrown toenails, for diseases of the digestive tract and to treat high blood pressure. Oil from the fruit has been used as a traditional treatment for burns, wounds, arthritic joints and even broken bones.
Each of these plants may be found in the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens. Many new plants have been added this year and we continue to search for more interesting plants and plant uses to add to the growing collection.
Many people around the world do not have ready access to doctors, hospitals and pharmacies. They must turn to the resources at hand to treat their injuries and disorders. These reported uses are offered as items of interest not as recommendations for you to try at home.
Please keep up with those Arboretum picture posts to Instagram #jacksonvillearboretum and facebook
www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleArboretumGardens. It helps the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens non-profit identify Arboretum inhabitants and encourages more visitors to the on-site donation box. Thanks!
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