All the Colors of the Tropics
elephant ears fountain grass banana tree
Purples
coleus

Coleus

Thanks to: Southeast Africa/Malaysia

  • good for shade gardens / hanging baskets
  • if planting in beds, go for mass plantings
  • this annual becomes perennial the further into the tropics you go.
  • caterpillars like to eat
Passion Vine

Passion Vine

Thanks to: Eastern U.S.

  • grows 20-30 ft. in season or 2
  • attracts butterflies and birds
  • can grow fruit
  • high drought tolerance
Sky Flower Vine/Blue Trumpet

Sky Flower Vine/
Blue Trumpet

Thanks to: North India

  • can grow 50 ft. a year!
  • invasive? In Australia it's considered a weed.
Cordyline

Cordyline

Thanks to: Hawaii
This example:Ti plant (Fuscia ones are called "red sisters")

  • needs deep soil for long roots
  • if you're not in a tropical clime, confine to containers
  • high salt tolerance
purple Waffle

Purple Waffle

  • low light causes leaf color to fade
  • hanging containers or ground cover
Pinks
Hidden Lily

Hidden Lily

Thanks to: Malaysia/Thailand
this example:pink or Siam tulip

  • good for containers, but grow bigger in the ground
Caladium

Caladium

Thanks to: South America

  • shady / no direct sun
  • goes dormant in winter
Hibiscus

Hibiscus

Thanks to: Southeast Asia

  • a shrub
  • likes it hot and humid
  • tolerant of salt air
Golden Rain Tree

Golden Rain Tree

Thanks to: Southwest China

Blacks
Amazonia

Amazonica

  • is an elephant ear
  • also called African Mask
  • goes dormant in winter
tacca

Tacca

Thanks to: Malaysia, India, Thailand

  • a.k.a. bat plant
Oranges
Heliconia

Heliconia

Thanks to: Brazil

  • itrue tropical plants: need constant humidity
  • not drought tolerant
Canna

Canna

Thanks to: tropics
this example:tropicanna

  • plenty of moisture, full/almost full sun, protection from wind
  • green striped version is called "bengal tiger"
  • can grow to 5 ft. high
  • caterpillar attractor
bird of paradise

Bird of
Paradise

Thanks to: South Africa

  • does well in containers
  • high drought tolerance
  • may reach 6 feet in height
Croton

Croton

Thanks to: Pacific Islands

  • more sun = more color
  • not drought tolerant (despite being used all over Florida)
Greens
Bromeliad

Bromeliad

  • can be a ground cover
  • as water holders, they can be home to small creatures
  • pineapple is a bromeliad, as is spanish moss!
  • drought tolerant
Coontie

Coontie

Thanks to: Florida native
this example:cardboard palm

  • cycads, not palms
  • as old as the dinosaurs!
  • roots used as flour by the native indians
  • slow growing; high drought and salt tolerance
Sago

Sago

Thanks to: Japan

  • cycads, not palms
  • as old as the dinosaurs!
  • slow growing; high drought and salt tolerance
Philodendron

Philodendron

Thanks to: Brazil

  • not just an indoor plant
  • can grow to 10 x 10 feet!
Snakeplant

Snakeplant

  • a.k.a. mother-in-law tongue
  • all sansevierias are succulents
  • blotchy with yellow outline are known as "magic swords"
  • very drought tolerant
sea Grape

Sea Grape

Thanks to: Florida, Caribbean, South America

  • dune plants nearest the ocean shield other plants from wind and spray
  • berries are edible
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