A Visit to Costa Rica’s Wilson Botanical Gardens

Sarah Jordan (Tico Times) takes the reader on a tour of Costa Rica’s Wilson Botanical Gardens:

Around every corner, you will find such beauty in Costa Rica. It is what attracts so many of us to this special country, the jungles, towering lush trees, colorful flowers and foliage, and its natural beauty. The Wilson Botanical Garden holds all this magic within its breathtaking 25 acres.

If you are in the southern region of Costa Rica, this is one stop you will want to make the effort to see. Not far from the Panama border, is where you will find the internationally recognized Wilson Botanical Garden, about 6 kilometers from San Vito. Wilson Botanical Garden is located within Las Cruces Biological Station which is overseen by the Organization for Tropical Studies and is part of La Amistad Biosphere Reserve.

History of Wilson Botanical Gardens

However, its journey began when a couple running their own tropical nursery in Miami Florida made their way to southern Costa Rica. Robert and Catherine Wilson started to create their tropical landscape in 1962 as they developed their botanical garden and farm with inspiration from the world-famous Robert Burle Marx.

Using influences of his tropical landscape design and creativity for modern landscape architecture they paired this with their skills and knowledge. It was a perfect combination for brilliance. The paradise design of their remarkable grounds began to unfold through the years.

It was in 1973 when Robert and Catherine Wilson agreed to sell the special property to the nonprofit Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) where it would be sustained and protected responsibly. Maintaining the name in honor of the originating founders, Wilson Botanical Garden was now part of Las Cruces Research Station operated by the Organization of Tropical Studies. The focus of the organization is that of research, education, increasing knowledge and awareness of using natural resources responsibly and is made up of research institutions and universities. [. . .]

Tropical Plants and Birds

With tropical plants featured from all around the world, you will be continuously amazed, just the palm tree collection alone has over 700 species. Not all the flowers smell beautiful though, like the Aristolochia Grandiflora. Keep your eyes open for this signage before you lean in to appreciate its grandeur.

Although the odor may not be that appealing and perhaps a bit offensive, it makes up for it in its stunning beauty. Also known as the Dutchman’s Pipe, it is the largest flower in Costa Rica growing upwards of 20 centimeters.

Throughout the beautiful grounds, there are several different trails to take in all of its glory and are even grouped according to species of relation to help you identify all that surrounds you. The paths are very well kept and maintained so there is no need to prepare for a day of hiking and exploring. It is a great way to familiarize yourself with the beauty that you may have already seen in Costa Rica or prepare you for what you may see on your explorations. [. . .]

 The hummingbirds love to feed on the plant’s nectar and attract the aerobatic performers with just the right bill to fit perfectly into the small flowers. It is a remarkable performance and a sight to watch.

Fruit is set out regularly for the birds at feeding stations which makes for a perfect spot to stop and have the opportunity to birdwatch as they gather for their fresh fruit. Look throughout for the striking blue and green honeycreepers, the distinguishable blue-crowned motmots, and the brightly decorated cherry tanagers.

All the colors of the rainbow can be spotted within the botanical gardens of over 1,000 species of plants and decorated amongst the birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds. [. . .]

For full article, see https://ticotimes.net/2021/12/01/a-visit-to-costa-ricas-wilson-botanical-gardens

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