Tropical Plants of Florida

Many tropical plants are found in the state of Florida. For gardeners, a nearly endless variety of attractive and interesting tropical flowers and shrubs are available. Favorites such as the canna lily and cabbage palm are found throughout tropical Florida landscapes. These plants have successfully adapted to the high humidity, intense heat and frequent rainfall that is common in tropical locations such as Florida. Plant them in a tropical themed garden for dramatic and colorful foliage.

Elephant Ears

Elephant ears, also known as bergenias, feature large, thick leaves with ruffled edges. The heart-shaped leaves are typically green with a leathery texture. Elephant ears are tropical perennial evergreens that do well in most soils and grow in clusters. Mulching is recommended to help conserve water and keep the soil moist, which is essential for optimal growth. Elephant ears do well in full sun exposure as well as partial shade. They commonly reach heights up to 8 feet tall in wetland areas. Since they are heavy feeders, fertilizer is recommended for peak foliage.

Canna Lily

The canna lily is a hardy tropical flower found throughout Florida. Canna lilies typically reach heights between 1 and 5 feet. Blooms appear at the top of long flower stems with large surrounding leaves. Leaves are between 6 and 12 inches in width with a glossy texture. The canna lily blooms in a wide variety of shades, including red, dark red, bronze, yellow and pink. They are often planted in container flower gardens or used as a border plant in the back of gardens. Full sun exposure and moist, organic soil are required for optimal bloom. Canna lilies will bloom from mid-summer until the first frost.

Cabbage Palm

The cabbage palm, also known as sabal palm, is famed as the state tree of Florida and is commonly used as a landscaping or street tree. It can reach heights up to 80 feet tall and is characterized by a tall, un-branched trunk ending in a cluster of leaves at the top. Leaves can be as large as 5 feet wide and resemble a half-circle or fan in shape. The leaf stalk is typically be between 4 and 7 feet long. White flowers appear in mid-summer before releasing a tiny black fruit.Cabbage palm thrives in a wide variety of soils and is most commonly found in south Florida flatwoods, coastal marshes and swamp forests to name a few. Cabbage palm is tolerant of high water tables but is salt and drought tolerant as well. It thrives in full sun exposure.

Keywords: florida tropical plants, tropical florida plants, common tropical plants

About this Author

Rachel Campbell has been writing professionally for several years. Her work has appeared in print magazines such as "Ft. Thomas Living" and "Bend of the River." Campbell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biblical studies and psychology from Cincinnati Christian University.