The neotropic ecozone covers all of Central and South America. It also spans parts of Florida and the Caribbean islands. The rich flowering plant life of the neotropics is rich in variety and abundance from low-growing herbs and wildflowers to enormous flowering trees and vines. Knowing about the flowering plants of the neotropics teaches you about some of the different plants you can grow in your greenhouse or tropical garden.
Commonly referred to as bear's britches, the acanthus plant presents itself as an interesting spectacle among neotropical foliage. It's an herbaceous flowering perennial that grows as a stout mound of deep green fanlike leaves. The flowers of the plant shoot up like spikey tubes from the center of the foliage that erupt into several blooms of white, pink and red. Growing acanthus in your neotropical garden only requires that you provide plenty of moisture and black mulch-enriched soil. The warmth of the spring and summer months in neotropical climates keep the acanthus plants blooming for years.
The begonia family of flowers spans over a wide variety of blooming flowers, flowering shrubs and herbaceous blossoms. One such neotropical variety is the Begonia plebeja, which sprouts from a low-lying groundcover of evergreen colored leaves.The blossoms of the begonia plebeja are ivory white with canary yellow centers that bloom together in tight bursts of small flowers. A shade-loving plant, the begonia plebeja of the neotropics thrives beneath taller flowering plants and as a wall-facing border plant.
An aquatic perennial flowering plant, the white lotus proves to be an eye-catching addition to a neotropical waterscape. The plant has a tall, woody stem that produces the white blossom and distinctive seedpod that rise above the water. The leaves are large and flat and rest on the water surface. The yellow centers of the white lotus flowers are bright and attractive to flying insects and hummingbirds.