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Longboat Key Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 2 months ago

A tree species with a-peel

Tourist Tree is one of the attractions at Joan Durante Park.
by: Eric Garwood Managing Editor

Oh, those wacky botanists.

Next time you’re plying the upland trails of Joan Durante Park, keep an eye out for a tree scientists have whimsically dubbed the Tourist Tree.

No, it doesn’t insist on wearing a hoodie with the words Longboat Key printed on the front and no, it doesn’t drive through St. Armands Circle with its blinker on.

The Gumbo Limbo is so nicknamed for its propensity to peel its bark, leaving patches of red that resemble the aftermath of a tourist’s first visit to the beach.

James Durante donated $750,000 in 1994 to develop the park and restore its pristine state in honor of his late wife.

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