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Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden
Ranked #4 of 19 things to do in Federal Way
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

Went to the "Rhody" Botanical Garden in Federal Way last weekend while in town for a wedding. The paths made for an enjoyable walk, and the numerous species & varieties of flora made for something to see at just about every turn, but this isn't the ideal season to view rhododendrons. Only a few species were in bloom, and just a couple were in their glory.
The Bonsai collection, though, was to DIE for! They had SO MANY, LARGE & small, evergreen & deciduos -- even BLOOMING bonsais (one designed from a bougainvillea, of all things!!) The bonsai collection was simply spectacular, and the weather/season had no effect on that.
If you are a local, I hear it's worth a visit just to buy their fantastic specimens for really reasonable prices. We're from Montana, so if a rhody does survive the weather, it won't survive the deer :(
So, I went for the rhodies, but would return again the very next week just for the bonsai.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Margaret K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Federal Way, Washington
Level Contributor
221 reviews
112 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“A sensory delight for the whole family”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2012

The rhody garden takes you over a gravelled path through so many different colors and species, your head will swim with the sheer sensory overload. Bring a camera! Photograph the family happily grinning in front of these beauties. If you come during the annual special event in May, the bonsai collection will also be open, and that is another and even more special delight. Even kids will be entranced by the intricate designs in the bonsai. There are plants to buy as well. This place is a delightful walk even in fall and winter, when the rhody's are quiet, just for the tranquility and natural beauty of the walk.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank Victoria L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
159 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Stop by if in the area to "kill time"”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2012

This place is worth a stop if you are trying to "kill time." I enjoy the trails more and the fact that I can walk my dog in the open areas . It is very pretty and well kept. Just takes about 15 minutes to see the garden. Not sure if this is Weyerhauser grounds or not.

Visited October 2012
Thank nano262
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RSBG2, Manager at Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, responded to this review, December 12, 2012
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.

We hope that you'll visit again during the different seasons of the year and learn more about the Garden.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sumner, Washington
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A hidden gem.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2012

Interesting place. Easy to get to, seems a worls away yet right off of freeway. Even my 5 year old enjoyed it.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank Sally N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sumner, Washington
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“a must to visit in May”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2012

A beautiful park with great flowers. And we loved the
gift shop! Easy walking trails. A great family trip for
a spring afternoon.

Visited May 2012
Thank sixspencers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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