This diverse family of succulents is comprised of approximately 90 genera and thousands of species. All are native throughout the New World from North to South America and throughout the West Indies. They are characterized by beautiful densely petaled flowers with whorls of stamens that come in an array of bright colors, such as yellow, red, pink, magenta, white and orange. These attract a wide variety of pollinators, depending on the species, such as birds, bats, moths and bees. Many plants are...
(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...
(Angel Wings, Caladium, Fancy-leaved Caladium)
Caladium is a tender tropical perennial plant grown from tubers. Native to South America, this plant is grown for its large, showy, colorful leaves that can be variegated in a variety of colors including green, red, rose, pink, white, silver and bronze.
As a rule, caladiums should be planted in partial sun to partial shade and fertile, moist, well-drained soil. Warm soil temperatures are essential as cool soil temperatures cause plants to stop growing and encourage rot. Fancy-leaved cultivars...
James H. Schutte
(Aaron Caladium, Angel Wings, Fancy-leaved Caladium)
The Aaron caladium is a tender tropical perennial plant grown from tubers. This cultivar is not among the showiest, but it does have a very obvious heart-shaped leaf that is primarily white with edges that wane to dark green. It is considered a "fancy leaf" type with its more delicate heart-shaped leaf.
Grow 'Aaron' in part sun to part shade in fertile, moist, well-drained soil. The more sun this cultivar receives, the more moisture that should be provided to the roots. All caladiums resent...
Carol Cloud Bailey
(Angel Wings, Autumn Beauty Caladium)
Caladiums are tuberous tropical perennials grown for their colorful leaves. The hybrid 'Autumn Beauty' forms clumps of large, heart-shaped, yellow-green leaves with apple-green blushing and vibrant magenta-pink veins.
This caladium needs partial to full shade and warm, fertile, moist soil with good drainage. Cool moist conditions encourage tuber rot. It is nearly evergreen where conditions remain warm and humid year-round. Plants go dormant in prolonged dry weather.
Caladiums are perfect...
Carol Cloud Bailey
(Angel Wings, Avalon Pink Caladium)
Caladium is a tuberous tropical perennial grown for its colorful leaves. The hybrid 'Avalon Pink' is a fancy-leaved selection with heart-like green foliage that has a white and pink-blushed central core with large speckles of rose throughout.
This caladium needs partial shade and fertile moist soil with good drainage. It resents cool moist soil temperatures which can encourage tuber rot. It's a clumping plant that can remain nearly evergreen in tropical regions that are consistently warm and...