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“Magical Nature”

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.
Auburn, Washington
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Magical Nature”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
2 Thank ozfam51
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
Overland Park, Kansas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Rhododendrons and much more”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
Thank happyseniortravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A Spring Garden in Bloom”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
1 Thank PlazaView
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Hidden jewel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2013

This is an awesome hidden garden, behind the beautiful Warehauser building. It is especially wonderful in spring, or for Mother's Day, but is lovely anytime. It also has a conservatory.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank carllee12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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