Exotic Plants for the Garden

Exotic plants are those that have been introduced to a specific region from another part of the planet. In general, these plants have evolved in totally different ecosystems from where they are presently growing. However, exotic plants can thrive in new areas, and are often popular choices for gardens. There are various exotic plants that are popular in North America.

Pelican Flower

The pelican flower is an exotic vine that is known scientifically as Aristolochia elegans. Other names for the plant include Dutchman's pipe and calico flower. This tender evergreen is notable for its vibrant flowers and striking green leaves that are shaped like hearts. The plants have dense foliage, and the woody stems are thin and graceful. The plant's flowers are a greenish-white color. Pelican flowers originated in South America, mainly Brazil, and thrive when grown under shade or partial sun. Light sandy soil and average soil types are beneficial for these plants.

Thorn Apple

Thorn apple (Datura stramonium) is an exotic shrub. It is also referred to as moonflower, devil's weed, tolguacha and angel's trumpet. Thorn apples are annual herbs that stand erect. They grow into bushes that are between three and five feet high. Thorn apples have soft, toothed leaves. The flowers are fragrant and shaped like trumpets, and can be cream, white or violet in color. Thorn apples are common in moderate and warm regions around the world.


The passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is an exotic perennial plant that originated in southeastern regions of the Americas, and commonly grows in Europe. The plant is a climbing vine that has a strong woody stem and herbaceous shoots. Passionflowers can grow to about 32 feet in height. All the flowers consist of five sepals and five petals. The petals are white. The sepals range from blue to magenta in color.

Amazon Lily

The Amazon lily (Eucharis)is part of the Amaryllidaceae family. Amazon lilies originated in South America and Central America. The plants are bulbous and have foliage that is stalked and broad in appearance. The white flowers are big and showy. The flowers appear similar to daffodils and occasionally have hints of green.

Keywords: exotic garden plants, exotic plants, exotic flowers

About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, eHow.com and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.