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Flamingo Botanical Gardens: Davie, Florida

Originally founded as Flamingo Groves, a citrus orchard, in 1927 by Floyd L. and Jane Wray. The Wrays came to Florida in 1925 and were deeply intrigued with the horticultural possibilities of the subtropical locale.

They purchased 320 acres of land around and including Long Key in the Everglades. On January 2, 1927, Floyd L. Wray incorporated Flamingo Groves, beginning what was to become one of the first botanical gardens and tourist attractions in South Florida.

When Floyd Wray and his business partner Frank Stirling founded Flamingo Groves in 1927 it was largely a naturalized hammock surrounded by reclaimed land of the Everglades. They planted the first citrus tree on February 22 and the grove grew to 2000 acres with over 60 varieties of citrus including a 20-acre citrus laboratory.

In the 1930s, the botanical gardens received foreign plants and seeds from the federal government for test planting, and to showcase rare tropical fruit, flowering trees, and shrubs, further expanding the botanical collection.

The Wrays welcomed the public to the gardens. They built a weekend home atop the Live Oak hammock in the groves where annual barbeques were held on the vast lawn.

Tours of the citrus groves and botanical gardens, as well as the fruit shipping area, were given daily. It is said that there were nesting Flamingos on the property when it was bought and Mrs. Wray introduced Peacocks to the gardens in the 40s to the delight of the visitors.

Of course alligators were indigenous to the area, and in the 1960s an exhibit was introduced with daily demonstrations and shows.

And, I almost forgot, plenty of flamingos to see!!


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