Bordering the United States with the Pacific Ocean to its west and the Gulf of Mexico to its east are the fertile soils of Mexico's ecosystem. With is abundant biodiversities of plants and animals, Mexico's tropical and temperate climates provide ideal growing conditions for its many native plant species. Proliferating within and across its climactic zones are native plants that thrive within the country's protected natural areas and others that have spread as far north as the Sonoran desert in the southwestern United States and as far south as South America.
Native to the desert terrain of southeastern Mexico, Mexico ponytail or ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata or Nolina recurvata) of the Agavaceae or agave family, is actually not a palm, although its shape and foliage greatly resemble palms. It is a plant that grows to 30 feet in the wild, but is a favorite houseplant species that grows to smaller heights in containers. Its unique trunk expands out at the base, which is why it is also called elephant's foot tree. Larger Mexican ponytail trees form a large cluster of small pink or white flowers on a branch that extends upward from the top of the tree. Mexican ponytail is known as bottle palm, ponytail palm and nolina.
Native to Mexico and the Central American region, Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundiflora) is a full-bodied, bushy annual flowering plant of the Asteraceae (aster) or Compositae (daisy) family that grows to 6 feet in height. Its vibrant orange-reddish flowers greatly resemble zinnias, and multiple flowers bloom from a single plant. Mexican sunflower needs well-drained, moderately moist soil and full sun to partial shade. Other common name: tithonia.
Native to Xalapa in Veracrux, Mexico, as well as South America, Central America, the Caribbean and the southern region of the United States, butter daisy (Melampodium divaricatum) is an annual flowering member of the Asteraceae (aster) or Compositae (daisy) family. It thrives in full sun and moist to dry soils. Butter daisies' small yellow, 10-petaled flowers bloom all summer and self-seed to produce more plants, even during the current blooming season. Its botanical synonym is Melapodium paludosum.
A bushy flowering perennial plant member of the Asteraceae (aster) family, toothleaf goldeneye (Viguiera dentata) is native to the Chiapas area in Mexico and the southwestern United States---Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. It grows up to 6 feet tall and produces many small yellow flowers that resemble daisies. Other common names include sunflower goldeneye, golden-eye and plateau goldeneye.