Michael Charters, www.calflora.net
(Amazon Sigmatostalix Orchid, Miniature Orchid)
Dainty on all counts, Amazon sigmatostalix is a miniature orchid that displays an arching cluster of yellowish green and ivory blossoms in winter and early spring. This tropical evergreen orchid is native to the hot, wet rainforests of northernmost South America. It is an epiphyte meaning it grows on other plants, most notably rainforest trees.
The plant is comprised of compressed clustered pseudobulbss of yellowish green. Each bears one light green leaf that is wide and lance-shaped. From spring...
James H. Schutte
Florist’s gloxinia is exquisite when in bloom with its large, bell-shaped white, red or violet-blue flowers. This evergreen, frost-intolerant perennial is native to southern Brazil and grows from a tuber, an enlarged underground stem. Numerous cultivars have been developed from this original species to introduce a broader range of colors, floral shapes and petal numbers. They are most commonly grown as houseplants.
This gloxinia grows as a rosette of oblong-oval leaves with velvety hairs. The...
Marco Schmidt, Wikimedia Commons Contributor
(African Eggplant, Scarlet Eggplant)
The scarlet eggplant, sometimes colloquially called "pumpkins on a stick," resembles an eggplant but with small, colorful, gourd-like fruits. This tender perennial is native to tropical, sub-Saharan Africa. Scarlet eggplant is highly variable across its native range, as some plants have prickly leaves, while others produce fruit that are either round, tear drop-shaped or flattened and grooved. Horticulturists place these different strains into one of four groups: Gilo, Kumba, Shum or Aculeatum. In...
(African Eggplant, Scarlet Eggplant, Striped Togo Scarlet Eggplant)
A curious alternative to growing tomatoes and eggplants in the edible garden, 'Striped Togo' bears golden orange fruits with green stripes. This tender perennial species is native to tropical, sub-Saharan Africa and is commonly called the scarlet or African eggplant.
Scarlet eggplant is a herbaceous, semi-woody subshrub, but it may be grown as a perennial or annual crop. Its large pointy leaves with short pointed side lobes look like those of an eggplant or oak. The leaf blades may or may not...
(Christmas Cherry, Jerusalem Cherry)
Some of the prettiest holiday plants are tropical, and Jerusalem cherry is one of them. This small evergreen shrub has simple leaves and showy scarlet fruits that lend a festive holiday look. Native to eastern South America, it naturally inhabits open forested areas. Its berries are pretty but inedible and quite toxic, so this is not a plant to keep around small children or mammalian pets that might want to nibble them.
Jerusalem cherry has elliptical leaves of deep emerald green and with...
Ernst Benary® Inc.
(Jerusalem Cherry, Joker Jerusalem Cherry)
The very compact and bushy 'Joker' bears festive bright orange-red berries through summer, fall and into winter. Easily grown from seed, this Ernst Benary introduction can be treated as an annual or grown as a perennial for tropical and subtropical zones.
Some of the prettiest holiday plants are tropical, and Jerusalem cherry is one of them. This small evergreen shrub has rippled leaves and showy scarlet fruits that lend a festive holiday look. Native to eastern South America, it naturally inhabits...
James H. Schutte
(Jerusalem Cherry, Variegated Jerusalem Cherry)
The compact and bushy variegated Jerusalem cherry bears festive bright orange-red berries on shrublets decorated with green and ivory leaves. Easily grown from seed, this pretty bedding plant can be treated as an annual or grown as a perennial for tropical and subtropical zones.
Some of the prettiest holiday plants are tropical, and Jerusalem cherry is one of them. This small evergreen shrub has evergreen leaves and showy scarlet fruits that lend a festive holiday look. Native to eastern South...
(Blue Potato Bush, Royal Robe Potato Bush)
Blue potato bush is a sprawling evergreen shrub native to Argentina and Paraguay. 'Royal Robe' is a compact, free-flowering cultivar that bears fragrant, violet-blue, salver-shaped flowers in warm weather throughout the year. The flowers are followed by one-inch red fruits. It requires moist, well-drained soil and full sun. Use it against a wall, in a mixed border, or as a container plant for the garden or greenhouse.