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Fairchild Tropical Garden
Text and photos provided by Katherine Maidman, Palm Curator, FTG

Located on Old Cutler Road in Miami, Florida, is an 83-acre botanical garden with a world-renowned collection of tropical plants. It was born of the need for a place to grow, test, and learn about tropical exotic plants collected by the famous plant explorer David Fairchild.vista04.jpg (47066 bytes) His friend, Colonel Robert Montgomery, a New York accountant, lawyer, and great plant enthusiast, launched the creation of the garden by choosing the site and buying the initial acreage. The Garden is on the shore of Biscayne Bay and straddles the rim of a high limestone escarpment. Fairchild and Montgomery hired the master landscape architect, Wlliam Lyman Phillips, to design the garden, who foresaw a smaller upland area that would provide breathtaking vistas of open lowlands (right), with lakes and the ocean sky beyond. Montgomery had only one real requirement of his own for the Garden: a palmetum. Today, the Montgomery Palmetum represents the heart of the Garden’s palm collection, which is one of the largest and most diverse in the world. There are more than 1500 palm accessions planted in the Garden, with 128 genera and more than 500 identified species represented.

 

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