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 – July 2017
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What Can a Canna Do?
Photo by Chuck Hubbuch
When gardeners think of canna, they are likely to think of the bold-leafed, large-flowered garden hybrids. These are hybrids of a few of the ten or more Canna species. Cannas are placed by scientists in their own family, the Cannaceae, and are part of the larger group (order) that includes prayer plant, heliconia, ginger and banana.
Golden canna or wild canna, Canna flaccida, is native to the southeastern United States and can be seen growing wild in wet areas of the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens and throughout the region. It is reported that the hard seeds of this species were used in rattles and as shot for shotguns when lead was not available. This is one of the species used to create the garden hybrids.
Canna edulis is one name given for a species that has edible rhizomes. Some botanists consider Canna discolor to be the correct name for this plant. It is native to valleys in the Andes in South America but is cultivated around the world. In particular, it is cultivated as a food plant in Asia and Australia. Its rhizomes are steamed or baked like potatoes, or ground into an arrowroot-type starch. The young leafy shoots can be steamed and eaten as greens and the immature seeds can be ground into flour. A plant is growing in a low area near the pavilion at the Arboretum. This plant produced slender orange flowers for the first time this month.
Canna indica is another species that is sometimes cultivated in gardens. Its flowers are bright red or yellow and narrow in shape. Its leaves may be green or red. The rhizomes of this species are eaten, also. The seeds of this species are used as beads, and to make rattles of gourds. This species is not growing in the Arboretum at this time.
Photos: Alice Shinkos
A great big thanks to Bonnie Nackino, UF Master Naturalist, who did an excellent job leading the second Saturday nature walk on June 10. She gave us a history of the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens and then took the group for a walk around the lake and along the Jones Creek trail. She pointed out the devil’s walking stick, the ornamental gardens, the gopher tortoise burrow, the champion Loblolly bay, the river birch trees and the firespike along the lake. She told us that the beautiful butterfly, on the firespike, is our state insect, the zebra longwing butterfly, Heliconius charitonius. Along the Jones Creek trail, she indicated the rise in elevation as we climbed along the ridge above the creek. As we dropped in elevation, she asked us to notice the change in vegetation such as the ferns, golden club, alums and mosses that grew along the riverbed. It was a beautiful morning to enjoy nature and get some exercise in the great outdoors and learn at the same time. Please join us for the second Saturday of each month at 9:30 starting in the picnic area for these educational and fun nature walks.
Air Potato Efforts
Bill Lester with UF/IFAS Extension in Hernando County and Dr. Chris Kerr from FDACS DPI are working on a citizen science project involving air potato beetles. The goal is to educate residents on how to identify and better control air potato vines, and to gather data important to current research and beetle tracking. The team created a website with educational videos, pre and post tests and a blog to educate the participants and to keep them updated. Please check them out!
June 16, our most stalwart trail volunteers, spent the morning recovering a bridge from the creek, moving a washed-out bench and planting maidencane to discourage erosion along Jones Creek. Florida Department of Environmental Protection speculates that increased development with inadequate storm retention upstream of the arboretum is responsible for discharging water that was, until recently, held in wetlands following heavy rains.
Jones Creek Trail was rerouted around a yellow-bellied slider nest that was dug in the middle of the trail June 21.
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