Anyone lucky enough to be vacationing on a tropical island can take advantage of the crystal-clear blue water, the pineapple or coconut drinks and the beautiful scenery that includes tropical flowering trees and miles of white beaches. While you can walk by those trees and admire them, wouldn't it be even nicer if you knew some of their names? There are quite a good number of them, and some can even be grown indoors.
Flowering Tropical Trees
One of the loveliest flowering tropical trees is the flowering maple, which has leaves that resemble maple tree foliage and colorful, deep pink flowers; it makes a great houseplant. The Hawaiian plumeria is another good choice, with its creamy-white-petaled, pink-tipped flowers. These flowers are commonly used to make Hawaiian flower leis. Powder puffs hail from South America, are easy to grow and produce bright pink fuzzy blooms.
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There are also many hardy tropical trees and plants that you can grow outdoors even in cold areas, some of which include the hibiscus, bird of paradise, canna and African lily. Bougainvillea is very popular in the Southern part of the United States, but it can be cold tolerant in temperatures as low as 23 degrees Fahrenheit. Mandevilla can survive at 35 degrees, and the pineapple lily can survive at 21 degrees, but if it gets any lower, the lily is unlikely to survive.
Beautiful Tropical Flowers
Gardeners and other experts disagree on which tropical flower is the most beautiful to behold, but the fun part is looking at all of them and choosing favorites. The blood flower (Mexican butterfly weed) is a top contender, with its six-petaled red flowers with bright yellow centers. The canna 'Striata' grows from bulbs and produces large orange flowers with a yellow underside. Anthurium is native to South America and does well indoors and in humid locations. Bromeliads have vibrant purple, white, mauve or pink flowers and make excellent houseplants.
Amaryllis flowers are also large and look like lilies. They have two to 12 flowers per stalk that can be orange, coral, white, red, pink or striped. The angel's trumpet flowers are bell-shaped and can be yellow, orange, pink, peach or white. You can't forget the bird of paradise, with its bright orange and deep blue flowers. They are so-named because they call to mind a certain kind of bird: the crane. Blue passion flowers are also mesmerizing and grow on twining vines; the white, purple-blue flowers attract butterflies.
Most Popular Tropical Trees
Depending on your location, you may be able to grow other kinds of beautiful tropical trees in your yard. The royal poinciana has prolific fire-engine-red blooms, while the pink trumpet tree has lovely pink flowers. There's also a yellow trumpet, the cassia tree, and the incredible purple jacaranda tree. The eucalyptus, rubber and mango trees are other tropical trees that aren't known so much for their flowers. Whether you can grow these in your area will depend on your local conditions.
Beautiful Tropical Islands
Speaking of the tropics, some beautiful tropical islands aren't even in the Caribbean. One is the secluded Seychelles, which are on Africa's east coast. The 1,000 islands making up the Maldives are in the middle of the Indian Ocean and offer white sand beaches, friendly locals and top-notch diving and snorkeling. Other exotic locales include Ko Lipe in southern Thailand, Bali, Fiji and the Cook Islands. These islands all have their own flora that brings uniqueness to their location.