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Tropical Plants

The hibiscus (above) is native to rainforests around the world. It has been cultivated to live in different habitats, however. sql domain The tropical hibiscus plant is a member of the mallow family. This makes it a relative of cotton, okra, and the Confederate Rose. The flower is used most often as an ornamental plant, but all species of hibiscus except one are edible, so remember that if you are ever stuck in the rainforest.

The poinsettia, a native to Central America, naturally grows quite high and has flowers only near the terminal end of the stems. We have cultivated them, however, to grow much smaller and produce many flowers. The actual flower of the poinsettia is small with yellow petals, and large red bracts growing around the flower. The poinsettia was named after J.R. Poinsett, the first Ambassador from America to Mexico. The Aztecs called the flower “cuetlaxochitl,” while the Spanish referred to it as the Christmas-Eve flower. The plant is a popular Christmas flower, and represents 85% of the potted flower sales during the Christmas holidays, and America grows 60 million pots of poinsettias every year.

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