Not only do tropical flowers look exotic, but many also exude evocative fragrances that can evoke memories of sultry nights spent in faraway island paradises. Here are the names of some of my favorite tropical flowers.
There are many different species in the anthurium family. The most popular flower variety is Anthurium Andreanum which produces heart shaped flowers of many different sizes and colors. Some popular names include: Flamingo Flower, Obake, Midori, Ozaki, and Princess Lily.
The torch ginger, or Etlingera elatior, originally comes from Asia. It is pink, red or yellow-orange in color and it kind of looks like flames coming off a torch, hence its name. The seed pods of certain varieties may be used in cooking fish dishes in some parts of Asia. Sometimes the flower buds are also used in cooking. But I’d much rather look at these beautiful flowers than eat them. Sometimes they can grow up to fifteen feet high.
Bird of Paradise Flower
These flowers are originally from South Africa. It received its name because the flower it produces looks like a bird of paradise, which is a species of bird found in New Guinea.
These are a genus of roughly two hundred species that are found in the pacific and in South America. They produce bright red and orange flowers and when they are not in bloom they sort of resemble plantains or banana plants. Some variety names include: Yellow Christmas, Red Holiday and Yellow Dancer.
These types of anthuriums have a shape that may remind you of tulip flowers. These varieties were produced by crossing Amnicola with Andraeanum. They may come in white, pink, red and purple. Unlike other anthuriums, several varieties have a sweet, pleasing fragrance.
There are many different varieties of ginger flowers like torch ginger, red ginger and pink ginger. And I have not even begun to scratch the surface. The roots of some varieties of ginger plants are also used to make the ginger spice that is used in cooking.
This variety of flowers was named after the greek god Proteus, who could change form at will. It is a very ancient variety of plant that originated over 300 million years ago and is originally from South Africa. It has feather petals that could easily be mistaken for feathers. Some common names include: King, Pink Ice and Carnival.
The plumeria originated in Central and South America. It produces a flower with a very lovely scent. In Hawaii, it is frequently used in lei-making, because it is both beautiful and it smells good.
Orchids are probably the most popular tropical flower in the world. They are grown by millions of people. There are thousands of species of orchids and many more are being created each year. They can grow just about everywhere, except on glaciers. There is even an edible variety of orchid: you may know it as vanilla.
“Obake” means “change” or “ghost” in the Japanese language. These flowers usually consist of two or more colors. Most of the time one of the colors is green and the other colors may be orange, red, pink or white. Obake anthuriums usually produce some of the biggest anthurium flowers and they are often elongated in shape and very curly or wavy. They are usually the fanciest and most pricy type of anthurium flowers, but they are well worth every penny.
Red gingers (which are also known as Alpinia purpurata) are another plant from Asia, Malaysia to be specific. It produces red flower (of course) and it can also be found growing in Hawaii and South America. The red cone is commonly thought to be the flower, but it really is consists of bracts which are reddish colored modified leaves. The real flowers are whitish and form inside of the reddish cone.
Pink ginger looks a lot like red ginger, but it is pink. (Now this is a big surprise.) They are very closely related to red ginger and come from the same place, Asia. It belongs to the same family as edible ginger.
The yellow hibiscus is the state flower of Hawaii. This genus of plants grows through out the world, where ever tropical climate conditions exist. Most of the time it is grown as an ornamental plant, but a few varieties are used to make tea.
Pink Mink Protea
These flowers come from South Africa. Their petals resemble pink feathers and they look quite exquisite. Did you know that Proteas are the national symbol of South Africa? They also grow very well in Hawaii, but the emissions from the Kilauea volcano have been causing heavy damage to the crops of protea farmers in Kau. So this has been hurting the supply of proteas from Hawaii. Proteas also make excellent dried flowers. You can hang them upside down and let them dry out and they will continue looking almost as good as when you first got them.
These interesting flowers are also from South Africa. Based on their name, I’m sure that you can guess what they look like. They look like pincushions with pins sticking out of them. This is probably the perfect flower for someone who likes sewing.