(Sedum, Vera Higgins Sedum)
This plant is the result of an unusual cross between two Mexican genera, while most hybrids are a cross between two species. One parent is the ghost plant, Graptopetalum paraguayensis, which features a rosette of leaves in a mother of pearl like coloration. The other is hardier Sedum stahlii, known as coral beads which resembles a round pearl leaf form of donkey tail. This hybrid features the rosette form and the ghostly color of one parent on the new growth and the purple-red or...
(Arrowleaf Elephant Ear)
Grown by gardeners for spectacular bright exotic look foliage, and for edible tubers. Elephant ear tubers are an important part of the diet for many in Central and South America. Xanthosoma sagittifolium is a tropical perennial. The leaves that are very large, quilted, slightly ruffled and ribbed on the lower surface and dark green. The plant grows from a large tuber-like corm (an energy-storing underground stem). The arrowhead-shaped leaves rise directly from the tuber on tall, thick,...
James H. Schutte
(Aloe Yucca, Variegated Aloe Yucca)
This beautiful white yucca is favored in southern gardens where it is often found in pedestal urns around old homes. Aloe yucca is native to southeastern America, from the Carolinas to Louisiana, and can also be found on some Caribbean Islands. It tends to grow along dunes and ancient shell mounds with little fertility. Surprisingly, it is not well-adapted to the dry, inland deserts of the western United States.
Aloe yucca has flexible, linear blades that rise from a dense, tight rosette. Each...
The compact, palm-like cycad, West Indian coontie, produces small mounded clumps of evergreen foliage that look great year round. This slow-growing native of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic spreads over time to form substantial clumps. It has whorls of arching, fern-like leaves with flattened, leathery leaflets. Newly emerging leaves are glossy. Coontie is dioecious, which means separate plants have either male or female reproductive cones. The male cones are smaller and pollen-producing...
Carol Cloud Bailey
(Aroid Palm, Arum Fern, ZZ Plant )
A large, seasonally dormant perennial from eastern Africa, this curious aroid resembles a cycad or palm. It's known as the ZZ plant in the United States, as its botanical name looks intimidating to pronounce.
Waxy, feather-like, compound leaves with long upright stalks arise from clumps of fleshy cone-shaped leaf bases. The dark green leaflets alternate along the knee- to waist-high leaf stalks. Fallen or detached leaflets can root to form new plants. The foliage withers during dry seasons,...
Forest & Kim Starr
The bright, canary-colored flowers of yellow rain lily shine like stars amid its graceful tufts of deep green, grasslike foliage in summer. Tough, easy to grow and quick to multiply, this perennial is native to tropical regions of South America. Its slender, hollow, upright to arching leaves rise from dense clumps of small bulbs. Evergreen in warmer climates, the foliage disappears only in cold winter weather or during pronounced droughts. Once the soil warms in spring, many single, yellow, six-petaled...
(Black Ginger, Midnight Ginger)
Hybrid ginger ‘Midnight’ displays glossy, deep chocolate-black foliage touched with subtle hints of purple and deep green. The elongated leaves are held alternately on short, fleshy, light green stems, and are fragrant if crushed. In the heat of summer, large, cone-like bracts rise from the base of the plant. The bracts are yellow blushed with pink, and bear small, cream-colored flowers.
Grow this tropical beauty in full to part sun and moist, fertile, well-drained, acid to neutral soil. ...