Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park

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Lignumvitae Key Archeological and Historical District
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Map showing the location of Lignumvitae Key Archeological and Historical District
Map showing the location of Lignumvitae Key Archeological and Historical District
LocationMonroe County, Florida, USA
Nearest cityIslamorada, Florida
Coordinates24°54′7.18″N 80°41′57.56″W / 24.9019944°N 80.6993222°W / 24.9019944; -80.6993222Coordinates: 24°54′7.18″N 80°41′57.56″W / 24.9019944°N 80.6993222°W / 24.9019944; -80.6993222
Area2,800 acres (11 km2)
EstablishedFebruary 16, 1999
Governing bodyFlorida Department of Environmental Protection
DesignatedOctober 1968

Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park is a Florida State Park located on 280-acre (1 km2) Lignumvitae Key, one mile west of U.S. 1 (Overseas Highway) at mile marker 78.5, and can only be reached by private boat or tour boat.

The park was also added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 16, 1999 under the designation of Lignumvitae Key Archeological and Historical District. According to the National Register, it contains 3 historic buildings, 3 structures and 8 objects.


Tropical hardwood hammocks dominate the key. Trees found on the island include Holywood Lignum-vitae (Guaiacum sanctum), False Mastic (Sideroxylon foetidissimum), Florida Strangler Fig (Ficus aurea), Poisonwood (Metopium toxiferum), Pigeonplum (Coccoloba diversifolia) and Gumbo-limbo (Bursera simaruba).


Among the park's wildlife are a variety of shore, wading and migratory birds.


The key has also been known at various times as Cayo de la lena, Jenkinson Key, Lignum Vita Kay and Lignum Vitae Kay.

A wealthy chemist from Miami, William John Matheson, bought the island in 1919. He built a small home, with a windmill to supply power and a cistern to capture fresh rainwater. The renovated building is now the visitor center for the park.


Hour-long guided walks occur twice daily, Friday - Sunday. There is no fishing or swimming allowed off the dock or within 100 feet of it. No more than 50 people are permitted on the Key at one time - 25 on the trail and 25 in the clearing. Visitors are warned to bring shoes and mosquito repellent.


The park is open from 8:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. daily except Tuesday and Wednesday.

Due to state cut backs, tours are only given on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 10am and 2pm.

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