Gerald L. Klingaman
Native to Brazil, this frost-sensitive tender perennial is commonly grown as a houseplant. Dumbcane's large, waxy, green leaves are mottled with blotches of white, cream or yellow. As its lower leaves are shed its stem becomes more evident. All parts of this plant are poisonous if eaten and its sap may cause skin irritation.
Dumbcane should be given bright indirect light or dappled sunlight and shade that occurs under teres. Direct sunlight is appropriate only in midwinter or when it occurs very...
Mark A. Miller
(Chulta, Elephant Apple)
Everything about the chulta is big and elephant-like: the leaves, flowers, fruits and overall tree habit. It's a beauty to behold in any season. This large, evergreen tropical tree is native to forest riverbanks across tropical Asia: India and Sri Lanka to southern China and Indonesia. It develops a handsome, rounded but spreading canopy. Bark becomes reddish brown.
The leaves are simply beautiful. Each is papery, glossy dark green and the size of a man's foot. Undersides are downy and parallel...
Carol Cloud Bailey
(Gum Palm, Spiny Dioon)
The gum palm is a slow growing cycad with stiff, fern-like leaves radiating outwards from a central, trunk-like stem. A native of southern Mexico, this cone-bearing plant is not a real palm, but is more ancient: recorded in fossilized rock along with dinosaur bones. Its fronds are covered with smooth, stiff, dark green leaflets held almost perpendicular to the leaf stem, and have occasional little spines. The fronds are held upright but gracefully curve or droop to make a lovely silhouette. Male...
(Rivers Royal Trumpet Vine, Royal Trumpet Vine)
Royal trumpet vines are cold-tender broadleaf evergreen climbers grown for their lush foliage and spectacular displays of showy flowers. Bearing large lavender-purple trumpet-flowers with golden-yellow throats, 'Rivers' is the center of attention when in bloom, which is most of the year in tropical climates. The flowers are hummingbird magnets. Large seed pods follow the blossoms. Somewhat more vigorous and leafy than most others of its kind, this presumed hybrid has large rich green compound leaves...
One of the all-time favorite houseplants, false aralia is a small shrub to large tree in its native rainforest habitat of New Caledonia. The palmate leaves are grouped around the ends of the branches and look different when the plant is young. Its juvenile leaves are large, with deep, thin, finger-like lobes and toothed edges. Leaf color is dark green with brown tones on the top and pale brown-green underneath. When mature, the leaves become larger, brighter green and their lobes become very broad.
Forest & Kim Starr
(Hopbush, Hopseed Bush)
Native throughout much of the tropics, this large broadleaf evergreen shrub thrives just about anywhere that winters are mild. Willowy, firm, yellow-green leaves are densely borne on upright spreading stems, often standing erect on the branches. Inconspicuous blooms in late spring and summer give rise to large colorful seed capsules which may be red, purple, pink, tan, yellow, or green. They dry to a papery texture. The cultivar 'Purpurea' has bronze or burgundy foliage.
This tough shrub...
(Hopbush, Purple Hopseed Bush)
Native throughout much of the tropics, hopbush thrives just about anywhere that winters are mild. The cultivar 'Purpurea' has bronze or burgundy foliage. The willowy, firm, often upright leaves are densely borne on ascending, branching stems. Inconspicuous blooms in late spring and summer give rise to large lobed maroon seed capsules. They dry to a papery texture.
This tough shrub does well in sun or partial shade and almost any well drained soil. It tolerates salt spray and drought. Although...
Mark A. Miller
(Christmas Rose, Dombeya, Pink Snowball, Tassel-Tree, Tropical Hydrangea)
Large, maple-like leaves that have fuzzy undersides are a hallmark of the tropical hydrangea, and are a gentle background for the pendent clusters of pink to magenta-pink flowers that occur from winter to spring. A large shrub or small tree that is native of eastern Africa and Madagascar, it is tender to cold and will defoliate if frost occurs.
The large leaves are a bright green, heart-shaped with teeth on their edges as well as maple-like lobes. Leaf undersides are fuzzy. From winter into spring,...
Forest & Kim Starr
(Corn Plant, Dracaena)
Corn plant is a slow-growing, upright evergreen shrub or small tree native to tropical Africa. Its lush, arching leaves are sword-shaped and rise from upright stems. These are concentrated towards the upper part of the stems and look somewhat like the blades of corn plants. Mature landscape specimens produce long panicles of strongly scented white flowers in late summer to fall, followed by orange fruit.
Where hardy, corn plant may be grown in a sheltered, sunny site in fertile, well-drained...