Located in the tropics, south of Miami, Florida, Cuba is an island nation with lush vegetation. According to DTCuba.com, the island has not only good growing weather, but good soil, making it easy to grow a range of tropical plants. Many plants, including flowering vines, shrubs and perennials, are native to Cuba; ironically, the Mariposa, Cuba's national flower, is not native. Plants native to Cuba may be grown in the U.S. in U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 10 and 11.
The heliconia (Heliconia) is a perennial tropical flowering plant that may have leaves resembling those of cannas or banana trees. The flowers are big, waxy and showy and make long-lasting cut flowers. The blooms are groups of brightly-colored bracts that have vibrant shades of reds, yellows or oranges. Similar to bird-of-paradise (Strelitzia), many varieties have clumps of large foliage and blooms are on sturdy, succulent stems. Heliconia is truly a tropical plant and cannot withstand frost. It should be planted in light shade and requires ample water.
Golden Chalice Vine
Golden chalice vine (Solandra longiflora), also known as cup of gold vine, is native to Cuba, Hispanola and Jamaica. A tropical shrub, the key feature is large yellow flowers that resemble wine goblets, both in shape and size. The blooms age to gold. Leaves are glossy green and may be up to 6 inches long. The golden chalice vine is a climber, and vines can reach 40 feet.
Yellow Morning Glory
Yellow morning glory (Merremia umbrellata) is native to Cuba and is found growing all over the island. A vine that can grow to 16 feet, it produces clusters of bell-shaped, yellow flowers in the winter (December to March) and may be planted only in tropical climates. After the bloom is spent, a wood-like seed, often called a "wood rose" forms. These may be used in dry flower arrangements. Yellow morning glory may be invasive. It should be planted in full sun and requires moderate water.
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