Anyone who has ever been to Belize knows that the raw beauty of nature and the thriving wildlife are two of the best reasons to visit the country. Established in 2008, the Caves Branch Botanical Gardens provide visitors an excellent way to witness and learn about the importance of the flora and fauna in Belize.
The Caves Branch Botanical Gardens have an incredibly diverse selection of indigenous plants that dazzle the senses with their brightly flamboyant colors. Other plants are more subtle in their charm, displaying their ingenuity in adapting to the competitive natural world of the rainforest. The Caves Branch Botanical Gardens are much like a living textbook, introducing visitors to the multitude of unique and beautiful plant species that thrive in Belize.
The gardens are home to the largest collection of epiphytes found anywhere in Belize. Epiphytes are plants that grow on other plants and include orchids, bromeliads, ferns and many other families. Among those epiphytes you can find at our garden are a myriad of fragile but yet beautiful orchids and bromeliads. Some of the most popular plants living on the grounds are the Black Orchid, the national flower of Belize, vanilla orchids, and micro orchids with the flowers measuring just 2 millimeters (0.078) inches in diameter.
The gardens also serve as an important conservation area. The curators of the Caves Branch Botanical Gardens collaborate with the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens of Sarasota, Florida, to conduct scientific surveys and studies of the many epiphytes (orchids, bromeliads, and ferns) in Belize. Joint expeditions are regularly conducted to the most remote and untouched corners of Belize to study, record, identify, and collect a wide diversity of indigenous plants.
Another important function of the Caves Branch Botanical Gardens is as an educational center. Beyond introducing visitors to the wonders of nature found growing throughout the grounds, the staff of Caves Branch Botanical Gardens have founded a number of garden clubs at elementary schools in Belize. The garden clubs help teach the children of Belize about the importance and value of protecting and understanding the environment, planting more than 3,000 schools together in the past two years alone. The staff also regularly lead workshops both on the grounds as well as in local communities to help spread the message that the environment is an important resource to understand and protect.
In addition, the staff operate the Tamandua Refuge. This non-profit center focuses on treating, rehabilitating and releasing tamanduas( local anteaters) back in the wild. Tamandua refuge actively promotes protection of the indigenous wildlife as well as leading workshops about these magnificent creatures.
The Caves Branch Botanical Gardens is an official member of the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network, an organization devoted to protecting the delicate balance of modern civilization and wildlife.