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“Beautiful Garden!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden

Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden
2525 South 336th Street, Federal Way, WA 98063
253-838-4646
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Ranked #2 of 13 Attractions in Federal Way
Type: Gardens, Outdoors
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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 gazebo in the center of the garden gives an expansive overview of the landscape. Travel the garden paths to the Fern Stumpery, Alpine and Pond Gardens and the breathtaking Meconopsis Meadow (Himalayan Blue Poppy.) After enjoying this show come and browse the gift show and Plant Sale Pavilion.
Merced, California
Top Contributor
150 reviews 150 reviews
45 attraction reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
“Beautiful Garden!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

This was a 2 hour stop for me on my way from WA to California. This garden is right off I-5, very convenient, and if the traffic noise wasn't so near this would be paradise.
My visit occurred in mid April, and most Rhodies were in bloom, a spectacular sight. There are also tall pines, other blooming trees and flowers, lots of ferns, a pond. The walk through the garden is about a mile, but there are loops you could add. It's not just a feast for the eyes. Some flowers and grasses give off wonderful scents. I often just closed my eyes and just let the scents penetrate. Well worth a visit!

Visited April 2014
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25 reviews from our community

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English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Breathtaking!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2014

We didn't realize how large the garden was, how much there was to see. We were there in early April, and most of the rhododendrons were in bloom. It was well worth the entry fee. The Bonsai collection was an added bonus.

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 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
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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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Cambridge, Maryland
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 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
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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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Auburn, Washington
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16 reviews 16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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