Nicknamed "the Sunshine State," Florida is home to an enviable climate that ranges from temperate to subtropical and even tropical. With seemingly endless sunny coastlines and a number of parks such as Everglades National Park and Crandon Park on the north end of the Florida Keys, Florida is a nature lover's paradise. Many plant species, both native and foreign, thrive in the state's ideal growing conditions.
For those seeking a truly exotic flower to grow in Florida, the voodoo lily (Amorphophallus spp.), also known as a snake lily or a corpse flower, must be at the top of the list. The distinct looking perennial lily boasts a deep crimson purple spathe and a long, protruding, almost black spadix. The plant can reach heights of up to 6 feet high. An excellent plant for gardeners in Central Florida, voodoo lily prefers shade or partial sunlight with well-drained soils. Voodoo lilies should be planted away from doorways, as the plant sometimes produces a foul odor to attract flies, the plant's pollinators.
Originally native to China, the Meyer lemon (Citrus meyeri) is a stout tree that produces beautiful fragrant blooms and clusters of edible lemon fruits. The Meyer lemon thrives in temperate regions throughout Florida, flourishing in full sun and tolerating mild frosts. A great tree for gardeners with limited space, the Meyer lemon reaches a diminutive height of between 6 and 10 feet. The flowers will often attract scores of butterflies. Meyer lemons should be grown in full sun locations with moderately moist soil.
Native to Central America and Mexico, Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundiflora) is a bushy annual that produces clusters of lovely warm orange flowers. The plant boasts rich green foliage, with flat, three-lobed leaves. The plant is ideal for the Florida heat, and will often bloom twice if planted in spring. Mexican sunflower prefers full sunlight, although it will tolerate filtered or partial shade. Mexican sunflower should be planted in well-drained soil.