An exotic flowering plant is a term used to refer to plant species that have been brought into a country from another region of the world either accidentally or on purpose. Synonymous terms for exotic plants include non-native, alien or non-indigenous plants. Many gardeners enjoy growing exotic flowering plants as a hobby. These plants are often used in gardens, kept in greenhouses or used as houseplants.
King Protea are unique exotic flowers that originated from South Africa. They can grow as large as a foot in diameter and have an outside pattern of pointed narrow petals known as “bracts” that are shaped as cups. There are more than 370 species of this plant, of which 120 of them are considered endangered, according to ExoticFlowersDirect.com. Most King Protea are cultivated in nurseries and greenhouses.
Bird of Paradise
One of the most beautiful exotic plants is the Bird of Paradise, also called Crane flowers. This exotic plant is named for its unique flowers that look like colorful birds in flight. A native of South Africa, the Bird of Paradise has bluish-green leaves with a red midrib. Its dense evergreen foliage looks like small banana leaves. The Bird of Paradise has brilliant orange-colored petals that bloom in continual succession over time. According to GardenKnowHow.com, the Bird of Paradise can grow as high as four to five feet tall.
As flowering exotic plants, irises are often confused with lilies. However, the iris is not related to the lily, but instead belongs to the same family that includes crocuses, gladioluses and freesias. The plant takes its name for the Greek word for "rainbow" because an iris has flowers of every color except for red. This exotic plant is a native of Egypt and was brought over by Muslims when they invaded Europe. It's been grown in countries of Muslim conquest ever since. Irises have flat upright leaves and brightly colored drooping sepals.
The lily comes from a family that includes tulips, asparagus, onions and hyacinths. Besides offering beauty, lilies have also served as food in many countries. Ancient Romans and Greeks used certain types of lilies to make ointments and salves. True lilies have underground bulbs that contain stored food. The flowers of a lily have three sepals and three petals. Although there are various shapes and colors, the most beautiful lily is the white Madonna or Easter lily. Other common colors include orange, red, pink, purple and gold flowers. Lilies are raised in the United States as well as Japan, Bermuda and various regions of Europe.
Yucca plants belong to the lily family.These exotic plants have enormous bell-shaped clusters of drooping flowers. Usually white, the flowers have sword-shaped leaves. Yuccas are found growing wild in regions of the southern United States, Mexico, Central America and the West Indies. The pollen of yucca flowers can’t be carried by the wind because it’s too moist, so the Yucca moth fertilizes its flowers. Yuccas need regular trimming to keep them manageable.