The Lankester Botanical Garden was officially opened in 1973, and its mission is primarily the study and protection of the tropical epiphytic flora. Nevertheless, the history of the local botanical garden dates back to the 1940s. In those times, an English botanist Charles H. Lankester gathered a large private collection of epiphytes on his farm. Later, this collection became the property of the University of Costa Rica, which turned it into a botanical garden.
By the present days, the Lankester Botanical Garden has become a world-leading institution devoted to professional plant care. On the 11 ha of the garden, we can see more than 3,000 plant species, a large part of which are tropical orchids. That is one of the reasons, why this collection is world renowned. The second important collection of the Lankester Botanical Garden is composed of bromelias, of which over 200 species grow in Costa Rica . The next significant collection is formed by cacti and succulents. There is even a remarkable collection of plants of the genus Heliconia, as well as a forest of the bamboo Phyllostachys aurea.
The Lankester Botanical Garden is open all year round, daily from 8:30 to 16:30. (Visitors can stay in the garden until 17:30.) In the Lankester Botanical Garden is naturally a shop selling specialized literature, plants and souvenirs. The shop is open daily from 8:30 to 16:30. The Lankester Botanical Garden also publishes its own journals called Lankesteriana and Epidendrum.