Royal James “Roy” Wilmot, a horticulturalist with the Agricultural Experiment Station at UF and a renowned camellia expert, established these gardens in the 1940s.
At one time Wilmot Gardens was home to the largest public collection of camellias in the United States. The gardens served as a site for the classification and propagation of virtually every known principal species and variety of camellia.
Following Wilmot’s death in 1950, the gardens received more than 300 rare varieties of camellia from every region of the United States as a tribute to his many achievements. These camellias became the centerpiece of Wilmot Gardens, a place that continues to radiate life, growth, and peace, and reflects nature at its best.