Tropical flowers can be grown outside in any USDA Zone 9 and 10 gardens. For those living in colder climates, these exotic beauties are best as houseplants or as potted plants that can be taken indoors at the first hint of cold weather. Many tropical flowers have names that are as intriguing as the plants themselves.
Hibiscus, the state flower of Hawaii, is noted for its vibrant, trumpet-shaped blossoms. Hibiscus are best-suited to tropical (frost-free) climates, but may be grown as annuals in pots in other areas and brought inside during the winter. Hibiscus flowers are red, pink, yellow, lavender, gold or white and come with single or double flowers.
A native of South America, this colorful, flowering shrub can grow up to six feet tall. The Bougainvillea is a mainstay of tropical gardens and is noted for its pink, red and orange three-leaf blossoms. There are 14 species of Bougainvillea.
This tall, elegant plant grows from rhizomes and is native to forests in Asia and tropical areas of North and South America. Cannas are known for paddle-shaped leaves that grow up to 24 inches long and three-petal, lily-shaped flowers in warm hues: red, pink, orange and yellow. Cannas are hardy in growing zones 8 and above, but are frequently grown in colder climates and dug up and replanted each year.
Orchids have been tantalizing plant enthusiasts for centuries. Even Charles Darwin includes the orchid in his writings about evolution. According the Britain's Kew Gardens, there are at least 22,000 species of orchids. The most common of these dainty tropical beauties are the Dendrobium, Epidendrum and Pleurothallis. Orchids thrive in humid conditions and moist, almost wet, soil. Vanilla is also a member of the orchid family.
This evergreen, flowering shrub is native to rocky hillsides of tropical Africa and South America. These flowers are known for their spiky cone-shaped clusters and are usually found in shades of light pink. They thrive in growing zones 9 and 10.
These heart-shaped flowers with cylindrical spadices are commonly associated with Hawaii. The red, white and pink flowers are commonly used in tropical bouquets and as houseplants. These rain forest natives thrive outdoors in only very moist, tropical climates
Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise, the common name for the Heliconia plant, is noted for its spiky orange and yellow flowers on long, green stalks. This evergreen plant is native to tropical rain forests in Central and South America as well as parts of Southeast Asia. There are around 100 species of this plant.