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 with Extended Hours to 7 PM on Tuesday and Thursday (from March 20th and ending Thursday September 6th, 2018)
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 2018
A Butterfly Magnet
Porterweed is a common name for plants in the genus Stachytarpheta. Some of these plants are cultivated for their attractive flowers and their traditional medicinal uses. Some for so long that their origins are no longer clear. Names of these cultivated species are commonly confused in literature and nurseries. Most are tropical and serve well as summer annuals in Jacksonville. One is a perennial, tolerating winter temperatures in the upper teens Fahrenheit.
With some searching, four species can be found in Florida. All of them produce flowers that are very attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. The name, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis has been confused with more than one species by various authors. Commonly known as blue or native porterweed, the true Stachytarpheta jamaicensis is native to Florida and the Caribbean. It is a low-growing plant with lavender flowers. Stachytarpheta cayanennensis (previously known as S. urtifolia) is probably native to the American tropics but is widespread now in the world’s tropics. Its common names include blue snakeweed because of its long slender flower spikes or nettleleaf porterweed. It is an upright plant to three or four feet tall with dark blue flowers. This species is used in traditional medicines in the Americas and Asia – especially for respiratory problems, fever and liver disorders. Stachytarpheta microphylla is the red porterweed. Frequently called Stachytarpheta sanguinea in garden literature and the nursery trade, it is a compact plant with red flowers. These three flower through the summer and are great summer annuals here. They may survive mild winters but are not reliably cold hardy in Jacksonville.
Stachytarpheta mutabilis is called coral porterweed, giant porterweed, pink snakeweed and even changeable velvetberry (by the USDA). This species grows to six feet tall or more. Its flowers are coral-pink to royal purple in color. A plant of this species is in the pollinator garden at the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens. It flowers hold a great attraction for butterflies, moths, hummingbirds and other pollinators. In local gardens, a few seedlings volunteer near the parent but the plant has not spread aggressively. Although most references state that this is a plant for south Florida (USDA Zone 10), this species has proven to be cold hardy to brief winter drops into the upper teens Fahrenheit. It may die back in winter but will return from the crown in spring. In traditional medicine, its leaves are reported to have been used as an external treatment for wounds, as an internal treatment for intestinal worms and as a laxative.
Thanks to all the volunteers who helped weed and add new plants throughout the gardens on June 9. The Jacksonville Arboretum is run 100% by volunteers. Please visit the website to volunteer, join, or donate. We need each and every visitor to be involved at some level.
Dear Friends and Supporters,
We are asking for your support of our Tribute Brick and Tribute Bench fundraising projects at the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens. This time of the year is great for making tax deductible gifts and, as a reminder, we are a non-profit organization and not a city park. We have no paid staff and rely solely on volunteers – and your charitable contributions – to operate the Arboretum for everyone to enjoy.
Consider supporting us by purchasing an engraved brick paver or an engraved bench with the name of your choice, permanently imprinted on the brick and on a plaque on the bench, to honor or memorialize those who are dear to you. This is a visible honor that you can use, and that other visitors will appreciate as they enter the arboretum to walk the trails and enjoy the grounds. The Tribute Brick area will create a living monument of pathways bridging the past, the present and the future. Your placement of a bench will also be appreciated, creating places of rest for you and other guests. Your donation helps us today – and will be enjoyed now and for generations to come.
Your Tribute Brick will be located at the kiosk at the entrance to the Gardens, with benches placed in strategic locations throughout the arboretum grounds.
This year marks our 10th anniversary – and a great opportunity to celebrate the success of what’s being called “the hidden jewel of Jacksonville” for its lakeside gardens focused on people’s use of plants and extensive walking and hiking trails.
Thanks for considering the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens Tribute Bricks/Benches fundraising program in your annual giving.
Tribute Brick Coordinator
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
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