South America is in the Western hemisphere and is connected to North America by the isthmus of Panama. The climate in South America varies from the Atacama desert in Chile to the largest rainforest, the Amazon rainforest. This makes South America an excellent place for a wide variety of plant life to grow.
Alstroemeria (Alstroemeria aurea) is also known as the Peruvian lily. It is an annual, flowering plant native to South America. The flower blooms from late spring to early summer. Colors vary from orange, yellow, white, purple, red, pink and lavender. The plant grows to nearly 3 feet tall and prefers full sun and moist, acidic soils. Alstroemeria is an extremely invasive plant because it self seeds. It spreads quickly and can take over a flower garden.
Frangipani (Plumeria rubra) is a perennial flower that is the most common flower used in leis. It is native to South America and the warm tropical areas of the Caribbean and Mexico. The flowers bloom from early spring to late summer and range in color from white, pink, yellow, red and pastel colors. The leaves of the plant are narrow and corrugated. Frangipani can reach heights of nearly 40 feet tall in tropical regions. It prefers full sun and well-drained soils.
Sapphire Tower (Puya alpestris) is an evergreen plant that can grow up to 6 feet tall. The plant is native to Patagonia and is slow growing. The leaves are sharp and pointy and the flowers are blue-turquoise and spike-filled. It is grown as an ornamental flower and is extremely hardy. It prefers full sun, well-drained soils and can withstand temperatures as high as 100 degrees F.
Cattleya (Cattleya labiata) is a species of orchid that is native to South America and Costa Rica. It is an exotic perennial that is known for its large, showy flowers. The plants grow between 1 and 2 feet tall. The plant prefers bright, indirect light and the soil should be allowed to completely dry before it is watered. It prefers high humidity and warm temperatures. The flowers can bloom year-round and range in color from pink, purple, white and yellow.
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