The Caribbean islands offer a wide array of colorful and fragrant flowers. Some of the more popular species grown in this tropical region are the hibiscus and the allamanda. One of the most unique Caribbean flowers is the red hot cattail, with long flowers shaped like tails.
Hibiscus and Allamanda
Hibiscuses are plants known for their bright, showy flowers. The rose of Sharon and scarlet rose mallow are two of the most popular varieties. Hibiscus flowers range from white to bright red.
Allamandas, also called yellow bells or buttercup flowers, are used as either shrubs or vines. They produce large trumpet-shaped flowers that are typically yellow, although there are also purple varieties.
Craw Crab Flowers
These red and yellow flowers resemble small crab claws. Also called banana flowers, crab claws have blossoms that grow in opposite directions, giving the appearance of being woven together. Other species have blooms that look like they're growing from the bracts beneath them.
Just as their name implies, these heart-shaped flowers grow on large heart-shaped leaves. The heartflower has what looks like one large petal, called a spathe or bract. Also known as flamingo lilies or flame flowers, heartflowers produce shiny spathes that are mostly pink but also come in shades of red, orange and purple. A spadix, shaped like a small cigar, protrudes from the center of the spathes. A spadix contains tiny flowers jammed onto a thick, fleshy axis.
Monkey Trail Flowers
Monkey trail flowers have leaves shaped like teardrops. They grow in long clusters that resemble trails. Monkey trails are also known as chenille plants or hot cattails. They have soft blooms resembling tails or caterpillars. These plants grow as tall as 8 feet with tails as long as 18 inches.
Red Hot Cattail and Bleeding Hearts
The red hot cattail is a tropical shrub known for its brightly colored leaves. The shrub produces fuzzy red flowers from midsummer through early fall. Grown in either containers or in gardens, red hot cattails need full or partial sun. To control height, these plants should be cut back or pinched.
Bleeding hearts are perennials that love shade. They're so named because their unusual flowers look like tiny white or pink hearts with drops of blood.
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