Monday, December 13, 2010

Chapman Botanical Gardens - Apalachicola, Florida

Chapman Botanical Garden
A beautiful memorial to one of Florida's best known botanists, the Chapman Botanical Garden is a beautiful landmark of Apalachicola, Florida.

Dr. Alvin W. Chapman, for whom the gardens are named, came to Florida in 1834 and lived in both Marianna and Quincy before moving to Apalachicola, where he lived out the rest of his life, in 1847. Trained as a physician, he fell in love with the botanical wonders of Florida and the South and devoted his life to exploration and discovery.

Dr. Alvin W. Chapman
Dr. Chapman is credited with discovering numerous species of rare plants in Florida, including Chapman's Rhododendron, the wild Florida azalea and others. He was a friend of Hardy Bryan Croom, who discovered the Florida Torreya, and was the author of a landmark volume on the plants of the South.

Dr. Chapman was also an important figure of the Civil War in Florida. A devoted Unionist, he remained in Apalachicola although his wife relocated to Marianna after Confederate troops withdrew from the city. He is mentioned often in the records of the Union blockade ships that were stationed offshore. Local legend also holds that he sometimes hid in Trinity Episcopal Church when occasional Confederate patrols entered the city.

The Chapman Botanical Garden, located adjacent to Orman House Historic State Park and the Three Soldiers Monument on Market Street in Apalachicola, features winding paths, footbridges, butterfly gardens, unique plantings and much more. The garden is one of the most beautiful in any small city in the South and is well worth a visit.

To learn more and see additional photos, please visit

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