Williams grove genetic resource center: a scientific and outreach facility for South Florida

Noris Ledesma, Richard Campbell

Abstract


In 2004 Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (FTBG) received a donation of 20 acres in the agricultural district of Miami-Dade County from Mr. Frank Williams. The property had approximately 19 acres of commercial avocados, consisting of modern varieties with current commercial potential. A preliminary master plan is under development for the property. The property will be divided into a commercial avocado orchard of approximately 16 acres and a 4-acre public outreach facility. The commercial component will be maintained according to standard agricultural practices for Miami-Dade County. The proceeds of the commercial farm will be used to help offset the costs of the overall project. The public outreach and research center will house the living genetic bank for avocado, mango, jackfruit, mamey sapote, sapodilla, canistel, abrico (Mammea americana), caimito, spanish lime (Melicoccus bijugatus) and tamarind. Each crop has its own scientific focus for development and use. A public education facility will be developed with a point of purchase outlet for specialty fruit, products and outreach materials. A teaching and research building will be constructed to house staff of the Tropical Fruit Program of FTBG, a classroom and a synoptic teaching collection. Williams Grove will serve as a valuable fruit genetic resource and outreach facility for Florida and Tropical America.

Keywords


germplasm; living collections; mango; avocado; jackfruit; mamey sapote; sapodilla

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283