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Welcome to The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai, an ethnobotanic teaching garden opened to the public on March 21, 2011 in Key Largo, Florida. Our mission is one of Education, Transformation and Restoration. As an ethnobotanic teaching garden, we aim to “Transform Your Understanding of Plants,” by explaining to the general public “Why Plants Matter.” We believe by fighting “plant blindness” people acquire a better understanding and appreciation of the major issue facing humanity in the 21st Century – understanding our biosphere. While lack of funding forced us to close our physical location in February of 2016, suspending our 90 minute guided public TYUP™tour, our website,, continues our goal of enhancing your knowledge of the significant role plants play in our everyday lives.

For a five year period, The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai was the only south Florida botanic garden with a resort hotel incorporated directly into our gardens. Resort guests were able to stay in the garden enjoying our plants day and night, while tourists from around the world visiting The Florida Keys were invited to join our unique 90-minute TYUP™ tour to learn “Why Plants Matter.” And, functioning as a “satellite partner” of The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens Fairchild Challenge program, local students had the opportunity to learn, in-school, more about our biosphere and “Why Plants Matter.” Until such time as we find a new location for our tropical ethnobotanical garden which featured over 350 tropical species, you can enjoy learning more about “Why Plants Matter” at