The San Juan Botanical Garden covers nearly 290 acres and includes 30,000 plants. The garden features an orchid house, an aquatic garden, lowland moist forest, a heliconia garden, a Monet garden, a palm tree section, a Taíno garden, a bamboo chapel, and an herbarium. The garden includes two Sculpture Gardens with large sculptures.
Our Visit to the Jardín Botánico of the Universidad de Puerto Rico
After a day of solid rain in the mountains, we were glad to see the sun again on our last day in Puerto Rico. As we headed for the airport, we made a short stop at the San Juan Botanical Garden.
While the majority of plants in the garden had no botanical labels, I spent some time on Google searching to discover as many of the names as I could.
Our visit is 3 years after Hurricane Maria and as with many things in Puerto Rico, there have been changes and slow recovery. At this time, the orchid house was abandoned.
Starburst or Shooting Star – Clerodendrum quadriloculare
This shrub grows well in full sun but can also tolerate some shade. Its name derives from the tiny little flowers it produces that look like burst of stars. It is native to New Guinea and the Phillipines.
Red Ginger – Alpinia purpurata
This plant is introduced to Puerto Rico and is native to Papua New Guinea and the Southwestern Pacific.
This guy was in the Heliconia garden. Nothing says the tropics to me more than heliconias.
This was another plant this is new to me. Gorgeous white, lavender, and purple flowers. It’s in the nightshade family.
In the water garden, there was a pond covered in water lettuce where we saw this Little Blue Heron feeding.
This large papyrus was gracing the edge of the pond. Isn’t it beautiful?
Hibiscus plants were everywhere, but these two really caught my eye – particularly the variegated hibiscus. I had never seen one before. Stunning!
The bamboo chapel was a large walkway with enormous bamboo plants growing on either side and leaning over the walkway.
While there were a few birds in the garden, we saw a snake (appeared to be a brown racer), turtles, anoles, and lots of Puerto Rican ground lizards (Pholidoscelis exsul).