Tropical Plants Found in Beaufort, South Carolina

Located in the southeast part of South Carolina (the "Palmetto State"), about 20 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, Beaufort, South Carolina is located in zone 8 on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Temperatures in this region can drop to 10 degrees F during the coldest winters, while summers are hot and humid. Palmettos grow well in Beaufort, as do many tropical flowers.


Native to the tropics and sub-tropics, cannas (Canna) are tuberous-rooted perennials that produce large spikes of colorful flowers and have large leaves that resemble those on banana trees. In Beaufort, South Carolina, these plants may be used in landscapes to provide showy color. Depending on the variety, canna leaves may be rich green, red or have bronze overtones. As a whole, cannas thrive in full sun with ample water during the blooming season, which is late spring to fall. Blooms are available in blues, oranges, pinks, reds and whites. Several varieties, including "Cleopatra" have bi-color blooms. The Siberian Bellflower (C. poscharskyana) variety has a star-shaped lilac blue, lavender or white bloom on a 1-foot stalk, while the Canterbury bell (C. medium) variety has an urn-shaped bloom available in purple, blue, lavender, pink or white on a 4-foot stalk.

Carolina Lily

Carolina Lily (Lilium michauxii) was designated as the state wildflower for North Carolina in 2003. This plant grows to 6 feet and has a crown of up to six flowers that are brilliant red-orange with brown spots. The Carolina lily can grow to 3 feet and is a tuberous-rooted plant. Carolina lily prefers acidic soil, should be planted in partial to full shade and requires average water. In Beaufort, South Carolina, the Carolina Lily blooms in mid-summer; the blooms make good cut flowers.

Sabal Palmetto

The Sabal palmetto (Sabal) is a slow-growing group of cold-hardy fan palms that are found throughout South Carolina. In general, these trees prefer full sun to partial shade and moderate water, and produce large, fan-shaped leaves and clusters of white flowers. The Hispanolian palmetto (S. blackburniana), which is native to the Caribbean, can grow to 90 feet and has fans that may be up to 9 feet across. Among the more common varieties is the cabbage palm (S. Palmetto), which is native from North Carolina to Florida, and can also reach 90 feet. Fans may be up to 8 feet across and usually form a globe at the top of the trunk.

Keywords: tropical plants, southern tropical plants, plants South Carolina, palmetto, Carolina lily, canna

About this Author

J.D. Chi is a professional journalist who has covered sports for more than 20 years at newspapers all over the United States. She has covered major golf tournaments and the NFL as well as travel and health topics. Chi received her Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University and is working toward a master's degree in journalism.