The Great Lawn, located on the west side of Lake Orth, is an open area and the site of many events and exhibits. Abutted by the Children’s Maze, the Butterfly Garden and both the Bulb and Trial Gardens, the Great Lawn is currently home to our Stickwork masterpiece, Cutting Corners, a sculpture created entirely of willow by renowned artist, Patrick Dougherty.
Highlighting this open area are the Gumbo Limbo and Baobab trees.
Gumbo Limbo (Bursera simaruba)
Nicknamed the tourist tree by its fellow South Florida natives, this tree is covered in peeling red bark, reminiscent of a sunburned tourist. The wood of the gumbo limbo is soft and easily carved. This made it a great choice for carousel horses before the advent of plastics. It is considered one of the most wind-tolerant trees, which helps it thrive through hurricane seasons.
Baobab Tree (Adansonia)
This African native, nicknamed the “Tree of Life,” has been traditionally valued as a source of food, water, health remedies, and shelter. The baobab tree’s large trunk is approximately 80% water. It can grow to an incredible size in its long lifetime. The largest Baobob known is over 1,700 years old and the trunk is 109 feet wide! It is known as the upside down tree because its branches grow in a pattern that resembles roots. After hundreds of years, the enormous trunks start to hollow out, providing shelter for all living creatures. It’s fruit and leaves can be eaten.
Photo by Jacek Gancarz