(Bulbine, Hallmark Bulbine, Hallmark Cat's Whiskers)
Hallmark cat's whiskers is a tough, evergreen perennial with airy spikes of orange-yellow flowers. It originates from South Africa and has round and juicy leaves reminiscent of chives. It is low-growing plant, which spreads slowly by underground stems to form large clumps. The cultivar ‘Hallmark’ is a little more compact than standard Bulbine. It bears many tall, leafless flower stalks above the foliage. These are topped with spikes of small, star-shaped, orange flowers with masses of yellow stamens....
Touting fine, rich green foliage and unique, radial, yellow flowers through the warmth of summer, vera wood is an exceptionally beautiful tropical tree. Native to Colombia and Venezuela, this slow-growing evergreen can be found inhabiting dry tropical forests. Its reddish brown bark flakes off in a visually appealing way, and the wood is dense and desirable for furniture making.
The fine, compound leaves of vera wood are comprised of eight or nine small, oval leaflets. These are arranged alternately...
Carol Cloud Bailey
(Gumbo Limbo, Tourist Tree, Turpentine Tree)
Numerous, laugh-inspiring common names abound for the gumbo limbo, which has beautiful bark and lustrous bright green leaves. The smooth, swollen limbs and trunk base are the reason it's called red belly tree. The thin, peeling, reddish bark -- which looks like sunburned skin -- gives rise to the name tourist tree. The strong odor of gumbo limbo's wood is the reason for the name turpentine tree.
Gumbo limbo is native to the dry lowland thickets and woods across the Caribbean Basin, including...
(Climbing Palas, Flame-of-the-forest)
Three-parted leaves and showy orange-red flowers that look like bird beaks are the two chief ornamental highlights of the climbing palas. This woody vine (liana) is native to the forests of Southeast Asia, from eastern India and southern China into Thailand, Laos and southern Burma. It quickly colonizes sunny, open areas clambering across the ground or growing upward on the trunks of trees. Climbing palas grows from a plump, yam-like root that is yellow and contains mild toxins, often used in traditional...
(Pindo Palm, South American Jelly Palm)
Pindo palm is an evergreen single-trunked palm with blue-green to gray-green fronds that beautifully arch downward. Native to the seasonally wet/dry regions of southeastern Brazil and adjacent Uruguay and northern Argentina, it is the most cold-hardy feather-leaf (pinnate) palm. The thin leaflets of each frond are held at an angle, making it have a V-shape in cross-section. The lower part of the frond stem, called a rachis, has small teeth. Summertime flowers are yellow, borne on short but many-branched...
(Brazilwood, Indian Savin Tree, Peachwood)
Lustrous dark green foliage is the perfect background to see the pretty, long-lived yellow blossoms of peachwood in autumn and winter. An evergreen, frost-tender small tree with an interestingly rounded form, it is native to limestone soils of eastern Central America and islands of the Caribbean. Its stout trunks and branches have a nice corky bark that has scattered spiny thorns. Its heartwood is finely grained and tough, sometimes favored for making musical instruments.
Leathery and rich green,...
(Mexican Bird-of-Paradise, Mexican Holdback, Mexican Poinciana)
This lovely desert shrub fills many roles in the subtropical, water-conserving garden. It is native to the dry washes and rugged landscape of the northern Mexican hill country. It has an upright habit and open branching, but its foliage is dense. The rich green compound leaves have small oval leaflets are look crisp and pretty. It naturally becomes quite large, but cultivated specimens are typically pruned to remain shorter or single-trunked.
Mexican holdback has deep yellow flowers held in...
(Dwarf Poinciana, Paradise Flower, Pride-of-Barbados)
Pride-of-Barbados is a deciduous shrub or small tree that is evergreen in locales with mild winters. Leaves are dark green and compound with many small leaflets. In warm weather this shrub bears colorful flowers in combinations of orange, red and yellow with showy, long, curving, red stamens. Butterflies find these flowers irresistible.
Pride-of-Barbados prospers in moist, well-drained soil in a location with full to partial sun. Responding strongly to any necessary pruning for tidiness, be aware...
Carol Cloud Bailey
(Congo Pea, Gungo Pea)
A plant of many uses, Congo pea is grown in developing countries as a source of food, fiber, animal forage and green manure. It’s a shrubby, short-lived perennial able to thrive in drier locations due to its extensive, deep taproot. Like many old crops, Congo pea no longer exists in the wild. It has been long-cultivated in Africa but is believed to have originated from India and introduced to Africa thousands of years ago via old trade routes.
The fast growing and free branching Congo pea...