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“Probably excellent - but mid-May is too late” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden

Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden
2525 South 336th Street, Federal Way, WA 98063
+1 253-838-4646
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Ranked #4 of 16 things to do in Federal Way
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Attraction details
Owner description: Twenty-two acres of year-round botanical splendor make up the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden. It is home to one of the largest collections of species rhododendrons and azaleas in the world. The RSBG continues to support the conservation, preservation, distribution and display of the rhododendron species. Some rhododendrons in the collection no longer exist in their wild habitat.Wild rhododendrons have a great diversity of size and shape with flowers that range in color from white to soft pink, clear yellow, brilliant red and into deep purple. Rhododendrons can range in size from ground hugging alpines to 100 foot trees. The RSBG collection consists of species from North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.A visit to the garden will increase your knowledge of these extraordinary plants that are growing among a forest of conifers and deciduous trees. Exploring the Rutherford Conservatory will provide you with a showcase of tropical rhododendrons as well as many other tropical plants. Hundreds of these beautiful tropical plants are set along a stream with a waterfall and towering boulders. There are over 10,000 rhododendrons in this woodland garden. A newly-renovated gazebo in the center of the Garden gives an expansive overview of the landscape. Travel the garden paths to the Victorian Fern Stumpery, Alpine and Pond Gardens and the breathtaking Blue Poppy Meadow (Meconopsis. After enjoying this show come and browse the Garden Gift Shop and Nursery. Many of the plants found growing in the Garden are for sale in the Nursery or through our on-line catalog.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
45 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Probably excellent - but mid-May is too late”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

Sadly, mid-May was disappointing because almost all the rhodos had finished blooming. I'm guessing March to mid-April was probably better.
The good news - the adjacent Bonsai display was a surprise and delight.....and I think it was free.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank SentimentalLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RSBG3, Manager at Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, responded to this review, June 18, 2013
If a visitor wants to see the "peak bloom," then mid-March through April is an excellent time to visit. However, there is always something in bloom throughout the year. Many visitors spend well over an hour to just walk along all of the trails within our Garden and discover all of the beautiful display areas including the Victorian Stumpery, pond garden, gazebo, alpine garden and the Rutherford Conservatory which is filled with tropical wonders. The Garden Gift Shop hands out maps to our visitors so that they can explore and follow a self-guided tour which helps the visitor learn about the various plants which our plant hunter/explorer has brought back from around the world.

Visiting during different seasons of the year enables you to see different plants at their peak that they would have missed out on during March and April. In May and June the amazing Blue Poppies (Meconopsis) are in bloom, as well as the Azalea Garden. And fall is fantastic for colorful foliage. There is always something in bloom in the Rutherford Conservatory!
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42 reviews from our community

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English first
Cambridge, Maryland
Level Contributor
72 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Exploring”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

This is joined with the Bonsai collection. I don't know why it is named with two different locations.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Josie Mae R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RSBG3, Manager at Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, responded to this review, June 18, 2013
The Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden (RSBG) is a totally separate organization than Weyerhaeuser's Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection. The RSBG is a 501c3 non-profit organization that receives NO funding from Weyerhaeuser. That is why we are listed as two separate gardens. However, we do both utilize Weyerhaeuser's parking lot and we have a joint entrance into our gardens.

We hope that visitors will take the opportunity to enjoy BOTH gardens when they come to visit!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auburn, Washington
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Magical Nature”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

This garden has matured beautifully. If you haven't been in a while, you will be amazed. Of course, May is the peak month for rhodies in bloom, but there is at least one blooming every month. There are so many other interesting plants to see as well, such as a magnificent stand of the notoriously hard to grow Himalayan Blue Poppy. It's important to know that all the plants in the garden are species plants. No hybrids allowed. Many are native to Washington and many came along with the rhodies from expeditions to far off places like Burma. All the plants have similar needs to rhodies, thriving in this Western Washington woodland. Don't miss the Stumpery! This is the most creative use of fallen trees ever.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank ozfam51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Overland Park, Kansas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Rhododendrons and much more”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

Don't miss the Conservatory and Gift Shop with many unusual items. Bonsai collection adjoining was a favorite visit as well. Sorry not to be able to walk the entire garden as I am sure we missed seeing some of the unusual "Rhodys."

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank happyseniortravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A Spring Garden in Bloom”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

A beautiful garden – well groomed pathways, pleasant staff, and amazing plants. Everything from tiny primulas too tall, floriferous rhododendrons. We spent two days wandering the gardens, taking photos and just drinking in the beauty. Not to be missed is the Rutherford Conservatory.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank PlazaView
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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