Tropical Evergreen Plant Identification

Overview

Since the weather in tropical regions doesn't change much throughout the year, most plants found there are evergreen. These plants have developed a variety of characteristics that allow plant enthusiasts to identify them. These plants can be identified not only by their features, but also by how they adapt to their conditions.

Environment

Tropical evergreen plants must be able to survive in environments where the temperature ranges from 20 degrees to 25 degrees Celsius (68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit). In tropical regions, there are only two seasons that evergreen trees experience: rainy and dry, according to EO Earth. In evergreen tropical rainforests, there is only one season with consistent amounts of rain. Tropical evergreen plants can grow in very unusual locations. For example, the asplenium nidus can be found growing on pieces of driftwood and on the branches of trees, according to Tropical Plants, Flowers and Decor. They are capable of growing completely without dirt.

Altitude

In semievergreen rainforests, the evergreen plants tend to be closer to the ground, while the deciduous evergreen trees are found higher up, according to EO Earth. Taller plants tend to crowd out the smaller ones, so the smaller plants usually need to climb really well to reach areas where they can acquire available sunlight, according to MBGnet.

Flowers

Tropical evergreen shrubs tend to have very bright and colorful flowers to attract animals away from a variety of other competing flowers, according to Tropical Plants, Flowers and Decor.

Leaves

Many evergreen plants have to develop very long leaves to compete for sunlight, such as the long and ruffled leaves found on the Asplenium Nidus, according to Tropical Plants, Flowers and Decor. Many tropical evergreen plants have developed leaves that have "drip tips." Drip tips allow water to run off of the plant's leaves very quickly so that warm and moist conditions do not encourage the development of bacteria and fungi, according to MBGnet.

Water

Generally, a tropical evergreen plant can be identified by its tolerance of a great deal of water. These plants tend to need a lot of water to grow. However, there are some evergreen plants, like the bougainvillea plant, that are capable of drying out and surviving for a long period of time, according to Tropical Plants, Flowers and Decor. When the soil has clay in it, water tends to collect and stagnate because the water does not drain very well, so most plants must be able to survive being soaked in water. However, there are some plants in the rainforest that need very well-drained soil, according to Online Plant Guide. They have adapted to continuous water coming down and draining through their soils. An example of a plant that needs well-drained soil is the David Viburnum, an evergreen plant that has broad leaves and forms a very large cluster of these leaves. In the spring, these plants bloom and create white flowers.

Bark

Rainforest evergreen plants tend to have very thin bark because they do not need the thicker bark required by plants in drier regions to prevent moisture evaporation, according to MBGnet.

Keywords: rainforest evergreen, tropical evergreen, evergreen plants, evergreen shrubs, semievergreen rainforests

About this Author

Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer for two years. He has a B.S. in Literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written three ebooks so far: Karate You Can Teach Your Kids, Macadamia Growing Handout and The Raw Food Diet.