Leu Gardens Orlando

Harry P Leu Gardens

Leu Gardens Orlando is former private residence of the late Harry P. Leu, an industrial supplies magnate and amateur botanist. Leu, an Orlando native, deeded the 50 acre estate situated on the shores of Lake Rowena to the city of Orlando, Florida in 1961.

Live oak tree at Leu Gardens Orlando. One of the many moss-hung live oaks that manufacture shade throughout the gardens.

This is the botanical garden closest to our home and Tiny and I visit frequently.

One thing that sets Leu apart from a lot of other botanical gardens around the country is that the entire display is outdoors.

This is something you'll want to keep in mind and plan your visit for a cool, clear day.

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Butterfly on butterfly bush in the butterfly garden at Leu Gardens. There are a number of different display gardens. My favorites are:

  • The butterfly garden which is as colorful in November as it is in June. Butterflies and bees abound here and, if you're lucky, you might see a hummingbird.

  • The rose garden which is the largest formal rose garden in the state. It was sunny during our last visit and the fragrances of all the different Floribundas and hybrid tea roses blended together was delicious.

  • The citrus grove, just because I adore citrus trees.
  • Mary Jane Leu loved roses, but camellias were her husband's passion.

    Consequently, Leu gardens is home to a collection of 200+ varieties of these winter blooming shrubs. This is the largest camellia collection in Eastern North America. A canopy formed by, sometimes gargantuan, moss-hung live oaks creates the dappled shade that these plants adore. December through March is the best time to visit if you want to see them in full bloom.

    Gazebo at Leu Gardens Orlando.

    Many weddings take place under this gazebo inside Leu Gardens Orlando.

    The giant leaves of Philodendron giaganteum add drama and tropical flair to the landscape design in this section of the garden.

    Wear comfortable walking shoes. There are lots of benches scattered throughout the grounds but you'll still have to spend a lot of time on your feet to explore the displays. If you love plants, as we do, it's really too much to take in in one afternoon. I think it would take three days to really see and enjoy all the gardens at a leisurely pace.

    Leu gardens is open from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. every day except Christmas. Admission is $7 +tax for adults and $2 +tax for children.

    The gardens are entered through the garden house which is the Welcome Center. There is a gift shop here along with vending machines and rest room facilities. A small botanic library is tucked into one room for guests who want to do a bit of research. The garden house is often used as a meeting place for civic groups.

    Harry P Leu Gardens
    1920 North Forrest Avenue
    Orlando, Florida 32803


    Other Florida Botanic Gardens:

    Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
    Sarasota, Fl is home to the botanical treasure chest known as Selby Gardens. The originally 7 acre (now 13) property was bequeathed to the city by Marie Selby in 1971.

    Go from Leu Gardens Orlando to Heathcote Botanical Gardens
    Heathcote Botanical Gardens in Ft. Pierce, Florida is an intimate (5 acres) green space in the midst of a city.

    Go from Leu Gardens Orlando to Plant Guides Home Page


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