When it comes to exotic plants, the South American country of Brazil hardly needs an introduction. Brazil boasts the Amazon rainforest (the largest rainforest in the world), as well as the Mantiqueira and Espinhaço mountain ranges and vast coniferous forests. Some exotic plants native to Brazil may be cultivated in subtropical and tropical climates elsewhere in the world.
Rain lily (Habranthus robustus) is a low-growing perennial native to Brazil. The plant gains its common name from its sudden profusion of blooms, which quickly appear after heavy summer rain. The rain lily reaches an average height of 6 to 12 inches, producing waxy pink lily blooms that sit atop purplish blue leaves. Rain lily is fairly pest- and problem-free, and may be cultivated in USDA zones 7 to 10. Plant rain lilies as a dense ground cover or border, preferably in a somewhat moist, fertile soil with a pH that is between neutral and alkaline. Full sun is optimal for this plant,
Santa Cruz Waterlily
The Santa Cruz waterlily (Victoria cruziana) is a species of giant water lily that hails from the Amazon River in Brazil. The plant reaches a staggering size, with broad green lily pads that may be up to 8 feet across and sturdy enough to hold a small person without capsizing. The exotic Santa Cruz water lily produces large flowers that have a sweet, fruity fragrance. The flowers of the plant, which may be 16 inches across, last for two days during summer and change from white to pink after pollination. The water lily requires a significant amount of space, at least 100 square feet of water. Santa Cruz water lilies must be cultivated in a greenhouse pool or in full sunlight in USDA zone 10.
A member of the dogbane family, mandevilla (Mandevilla spp.) is a flowering evergreen vine native to southeastern Brazil. The fast growing vine may grow to be up to 10 feet, and can be trained to grow up or across garden structures and walls. The plant is popular for its exotic, showy trumpet-shaped blooms, which are a brilliant shade of pink. Grow the mandevilla vine is USDA zones 9 to 11 in either full sun or sun with afternoon shade. The vine will look its best in a moist, well draining soil. Enhance the soil with fertilizer throughout the summer for the showiest, most colorful blooms.