William F. Whitman Tropical Fruit Pavilion

The Whitman Tropical Fruit Pavilion houses some of the tropical world's most exotic fruit in a conservatory-like structure made possible by a generous gift from William "Bill" Whitman and his family. It provides visitors with a trip to the tropics where they will be able to view, feel and even taste some of the most exotic tropical fruit species found in places like Borneo, the Amazon, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. The Whitman Fruit Pavilion features specially chosen and grafted trees that will allow them to fruit earlier, with superior quality, making them horticulturally significant from their wild counterparts. The fruit trees located in the Whitman Fruit Pavilion are indigenous to the acidic soils of the jungles, and in order to protect these trees from the alkaline rocky soil of Florida, engineers were required to excavate the area to bring in the necessary soil. The acidic soil is maintained by using mulch and water from an acidic cistern. The Pavilion must provide both a warm humid environment above and acidic soil below, protecting the rare specimens from root to canopy.