James H. Schutte
(Canary Island Date Palm)
A large evergreen plant with dark green, arching leaves atop a massive trunk, Canary Island date palm is architecturally stunning. The trunk is decorated with ridges and old frond boots, often making the crownshaft resemble a large pineapple. Its fronds are pinnate (like a feather) and can have a slight blue-green or silvery tinge. Lowest leaflets on the front are stiff, vicious spines. Early summer-occurring flowers are pale yellow and produce semi-dry, yellow-red fruit. It is a native of the Canary...
Carol Cloud Bailey
(Senegal Date Palm)
With multiple narrow, arching trunks and lush, gracefully arching green fronds, Senegal date palm is a picturesque garden specimen. Native to the moist tropics of sub-Saharan Africa, it is an evergreen that grows as a thick, impenetrable clump.
The fronds can become quite long and gently arching, bearing many glossy, mid- and dark-green leaflets. The lower leaflets are modified into brutally nasty spines, called acanthophylls, which are never forgotten once a hand reaches into the base of the...
Carol Cloud Bailey
(Pygmy Date Palm)
One of the smallest of the date palms, this native of Laos bears an arching canopy of feathery, dark green fronds with sharp spines at the lower ends. The leaves appear in a crown atop a short, relatively slow-growing trunk. It sometimes suckers to produce multiple stems. Large, dense clusters of cream-colored flowers appear in the warm months succeeded by small, oval, black edible fruits.
Pygmy date palm likes warmth, humidity, well-drained soil, and protection from hot sun. Highly alkaline...
(Carpetgrass, Carpetweed, Fogfruit, Lippia)
Carpeting the ground around rocks in the sunshine, the lush green foliage of carpetgrass is accented in summer's warmth with flattened clusters of pale pink flowers that attract bees and butterflies. An evergreen, mat-forming perennial that can tolerate heat and humidity as well as chilly winters, it is native to the southwestern United States southward into South America as far as Chile and Argentina.
The sprawling stems have tufts of oval-shaped leaves that have tiny teeth on their edges. The...
Forest & Kim Starr
(Fogfruit, Frogfruit, Lippia, Turkey Tangle Frogfruit)
Carpeting the ground around rocks in the sunshine, the lush green foliage of fogfruit is accented in summer's warmth with tiny clusters of pale pink flowers that attract bees and butterflies. An evergreen, mat-forming perennial that can tolerate heat and humidity as well as chilly winters, it is native to the southern half of the United States southward into South America.
The sprawling stems have tufts of lance-shaped leaves that have tiny teeth on their edges. Begin medium to light gray-green...
Kurt Stüber, Wikimedia Commons Contributor
(Cape Gooseberry, Peruvian Groundcherry)
Believed native to the coastal highlands of Peru and northern Chile, the cape gooseberry was widely grown in southern Africa and Australia in the 19th century as a fruit to make tasty deserts and jams. This tender perennial - often grown as a summer annual in temperate climates - becomes a bushy herb about waist high. Both winter frosts and extreme summertime droughts kill the plant. It now grows as a naturalized weed across Hawaii, southern Asia, central Africa and the Caribbean.
(Aluminum Plant , Pilea, Watermelon Pilea)
Bringing brightness and visual contrast to shady tropical beds, the dark green leaves of aluminum plant are beautifully marked with silver. Also called watermelon pilea, because its watermelon rind leaf patterns, this low tropical plant from Vietnam will briefly tolerate light frosts, though these will cause the foliage to die back to the roots.
The glossy, deep green and silver leaves are bright green when newly emerged and line the stems in opposite pairs. Too much sun or dry air can cause...
James H. Schutte
Steamy environments in the West Indies, Panama and north South America are the home to the Friendship plant. It is a trailing to erect, tender, herbaceous perennial grown for its attractive leaves. Bronze-hued quilted leaves are oval with toothed edges and are purple underneath. They are without stinging hairs, which many plants in the family exhibit. The small flowers are pink-green, inconspicuous and produced on airy, branched stalks held above the foliage. These are followed by petite pear-shaped...
James H. Schutte
Both charming and sprawling, creeping Charlie's small, crinkly foliage add a pretty flair to tropical gardens and houseplant collections. A low, trailing or creeping herbaceous perennial that is not tolerant of freezing temperatures, it is native to tropical South America and the West Indies.
Each round to oval leaf is a bright to medium glossy green with small scalloped edges. The blade has depressed veins that creates a quilted or crinkled texture. When temperatures are warm, small whitish...
(Ayautla Butterwort, Butterwort)
This tender tropical perennial is grown for its showy flowers and its curious rosettes of bug-trapping leaves. It may be synonymous with Pinguicula gigantea.
In spring and summer this butterwort produces rosettes of fleshy, elliptical, yellow-green leaves that glisten with droplet-producing, insect-snaring hairs. In contrast to most other butterworts, the trapping hairs and associated meat-digesting glands occur on both sides of the leaves rather than just their upper surface. In fall,...