(Bulbine, Cat's Whiskers, Rankkopieva)
Bulbine is a tough, evergreen perennial native to South Africa. It is a low-growing plant, which spreads slowly by underground stems to form large clumps. Its dense leaves are round and juicy and reminiscent of chives. Bulbine bears many tall, leafless flower stalks above the foliage that look somewhat like cat whiskers. These are topped with spikes of small, star-shaped, yellow flowers with masses of stamens. Blooms appear throughout the year in warm climates, but are most plentiful spring through...
(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....
Intrigue, murder and thievery have followed the orchid; world explorations have been launched and fortunes won all in the pursuit of these exotic flowers. Since the 19th century, when tropical orchids were first introduced to Europe, orchids have inspired human desire and greed because of their rarity, collectability and indescribable beauty.
Measured in geologic time Orchidaceae was once thought to be a newer family but recent research has shown it is much older. One of the largest plant families,...
Despite the malodorous nature of the greenish brown cap-like flowers of Burford's bulbophyllum, this fall-blooming orchid is a reliable performer and conversation piece. A tropical epiphyte from the hot and humid forests of New Guinea and eastern Indonesia, it dots upper tree branches and produces slightly stinky flowers that attract flies as pollinators.
The slender, bright green leaves of this orchid are thick and leathery. The plants are comprised of many pseudobulbs, each carrying only one...
Large, flopping, tongue-like leaves and clusters of dark red flowers that reek of rotting meat, make Bulbophyllum spiesii an orchid that should be encountered at least once! (But maybe not twice.) A tropical epiphyte from the hot, humid forests of New Guinea eastward into the nearby Pacific Islands, it thrives along low and mid-level tree branches and trunks. The rotten stench of the flowers attracts green bottle flies, which pollinate the blooms.
Plants are comprised of a small group...
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...
(Flame-of-the-forest, Parrot Tree)
Easily misidentified as a coral tree (Erythrina spp.) because of its pointed, beak-like flowers, the flame-of-the-forest lacks thorns on its branches and bears fuzzy black and vermilion-orange flowers. Native to the humid, lowland forests of India and Sri Lanka, it may fail to flower or partially die back if winter conditions become too cold, dry, or wet. Flame-of-the-forest almost always attains an upright, tattered, crooked habit that's intriguing when limbs are devoid of leaves in winter,...
(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...