Marie Selby Botanical Gardens' Downtown Sarasota Campus

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens' Downtown Sarasota Campus

Welcome to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens!

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens provides 45 acres of bay-front sanctuaries connecting people with air plants of the world, native nature, and our regional history.  Established by forward thinking women of their time, Selby Gardens is composed of the 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus and the 30-acre Historic Spanish Point campus in the Osprey area of Sarasota County, Florida. The Downtown Campus on Sarasota Bay is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of epiphytic orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns, and other tropical plants. There is a significant focus on botany, horticulture, education, historical preservation, and the environment. The Historic Spanish Point (HSP) Campus is located less than 10 miles south along Little Sarasota Bay. The HSP Campus, one of the largest preserves showcasing native Florida plants that is interpreted for and open to the public, celebrates an archaeological record that encompasses approximately 5,000 years of Florida history.

Selby Gardens is a respected center for research and education. Selby Gardens is an open-air and under-glass museum of thousands of colorful and exotic plants.  Many of these plants have been collected from the wild by Selby Gardens’ research staff on more than 200 scientific expeditions to tropical rainforests. Our guests see beautiful horticultural displays and learn from our many educational programs.  They also take away with them a better understanding and greater appreciation of the natural world and the challenge it faces.

In 2013, Selby Gardens opened the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden at their Downtown Sarasota campus to attract children of all ages and further enhance Selby Gardens’ mission to provide an oasis of inspiration and tranquility, while furthering the understanding and appreciation of plants, especially epiphytes.

Extend your classroom to Selby Gardens by taking your students on an engaging, informative journey in our unique, tropical botanical gardens.  We offer specialized age-appropriate programs designed with curriculum in mind.  We are also happy to tailor a program in support of the unique needs and interests of your students.

Click here for our School Programs Guide.

Ready to book? Fill out the School Tour Booking Request Form here.

(A minimum of 10 students is required for the group rate.)


  Sarasota, FL

941-366-5731 x 273

Look at Those Leaves! Leaf Lab at Downtown Sarasota Campus (Grades 3-5)

Program description

Explore the forms and functions of leaves at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus (grades 3-5) 

In this interactive hands-on study, students will observe both the intricacy and diversity of leaves found amidst the unique plant community at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus. Using specialized flat crayons to create leaf rubbings, students will discover the unique vein structure and texture of different plants. Next, high-powered hand lenses will be used to magnify the exterior features of the leaves. Inquiry-driven discussions throughout the lab include the function of leaf veins, simple vs. compound leaf structure, vascular vs. non-vascular plants, the purpose of varying leaf shapes, i.e. the bo tree’s drip tip.

Ready to book? Fill out our School Tour Booking Request form here! 

Booking / scheduling contact

Anastasia Sallen, Director of Environmental Education

   941-366-5731 x273

Program detail
Artistic discipline:
Cultural Origin: Array, Array
Program type: Off-Campus Field Trip
Population served: 3-5
Subject: Science
Bilingual: No

1534 Mound St

Sarasota FL 34236

Fees / Ticketing:



Is transportation needed for this exploration?: Yes
If Yes, who arranges transportation?: School
Is financial assistance offered?: Yes

Program info

Summer or Family Programs Offered?: yes