Gerald L. Klingaman
Sometimes called the traveller’s palm, the traveller's tree is an exceptional, large, tropical, tree-like perennial. It is a unique plant closely related to the famous bird-of-paradise (Strelitzia reginae). It hails from the island of Madagascar off the coast of Africa.
The thick, unbranched, palm-like stem is topped by a flat-planed, fan-shaped crown of leathery, banana-like green leaves. The base of the leaf stems features a near perfect chevron pattern, this plant’s most valued feature....
Ravenea is a small genus of palms, all native to Madagascar and the Comoro islands. There are approximately 17-species each with a very different look and habitat preference.
The solitary trunks of Ravenea range from short to tall and thin to stout, and are usually lightly colored, tan or gray, and sometimes swollen at the base. They are topped with dense whorls of feather-like or pinnate leaves, often twisting at the tip and gracefully arching.
Gerald L. Klingaman
(Majestic Palm, Majesty Palm)
Graceful and truly majestic in appearance, majesty palm originates from the riverbanks of Madagascar. This adaptable tropical palm has fine, gently arching, palm fronds of medium to dark green. The middle of the frond typically twists 90 degrees so that the outermost tip is oriented vertically. These arise from a solitary, smooth, broad-based trunk of gray to sandy brown that has horizontal striations and tapers towards the top. In summer it produces showy, bright orange-red flowers and fruits.
James H. Schutte
Graceful lady palms are among the best for shade. Native to southern China, they are petite, clumping and moderate to slow growing. The straight, thin stems or trunks are clothed in dense, dark brown, matted fibers and leaf bases. Clumps may eventually have hundreds of stems. The leaves are often clustered at the ends of the stems, divided and shaped like a hand – palmate. The tips of the leaflets are bluntly toothed, pointed and the leaf color is very dark, shiny green. Small flowers are produced...
Charming in scale, this small broadleaf evergreen shrub bears fragrant, ruffled white flowers in the spring. Native to the montane rainforests of Laos, Vietnam and Burma (Myanmar), it grows in soil and as an epiphyte, clasping its roots onto the moist bark of trees. Its smooth bark is rusty reddish brown and exfoliates, often seen on this upright, somewhat rangy plant.
Deep green leaves have sparse golden scales on their undersides. In spring, fragrant white flowers don the branch tips, usually...
(New Guinea Vireya Rhododendron)
A magnificent tropical rhododendron with spectacular fiery orange-yellow flowers, Rhododendron zoelleri is native to the Moluccas of Indonesia eastward across the highland rainforests of New Guinea. It is usually found growing in mossy cliffs but also is an epiphyte, growing upon the trunk of trees high up in the forest canopy.
Being a shrub or small tree, there is much variation in growth rate, mature size, flower color and profusion as they are most often grown as seedlings. Their...
Leathery leaves are a lovely foil above the dense flower clusters of small white and violet-purple flowers of the giant rhynchostylis orchid in autumn and winter. A large clumping tropical orchid, this species is from the hot, very humid forests of southeastern Asia from Myanmar (Burma) to Vietnam. It is an epiphyte (growing upon another plant) that experiences lots of humidity and rain in summer but a markedly drier winter.
This orchid grows from stout, short stemmed pseudobulbs that have long,...
(Castorbean, Red Castorbean)
The Carmencita variety of castor bean has showy red flowers and bronze-red leaves . This native of northern Africa and western Asia is grown for its large, bold, sharply lobed leaves and spikes of red flowers followed by spiny, oval red to brown fruit capsules. In tropical regions, castor bean grows as a tall, evergreen subshrub, but in temperate zones it is commonly grown as a tender perennial.
Castor bean prefers full sun and average well-drained soil. It provides a bold accent to any mixed...