Pops of Color: Nature’s Works Of Art Like an artist’s painting rising in brilliant strokes high up toward the sky, the bark of the legendary Rainbow Eucalyptus glistens in seven-hued rainbow colors. Native to the Philippines, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, it thrives in lawns and backyards across South Florida and can grow to a whopping 250 feet tall with an equally impressive shade span. These prickly plants thrive on neglect and being ignored. But that’s not to say Bougainvilleas aren’t high maintenance. Too much rain, they get too bushy. Too little rain, their branches start breaking off. When you water them just right and the sun is shining extra bright in the sky, that’s when their magnificent blooms emerge. Take in the show each season and make sure to immediately prune them once the flowers start falling off, or about once a quarter. Ah, the elusive Jade Vine. If you’ve never laid your eyes upon one of these beauties, you’re not alone. The Jade Vine, or Emerald Creeper, as it is also nicknamed, is nearly extinct. But savvy gardeners and landscapers know how to get their hands on one. Before you add this to your greenhouse wishlist, go check out one of the world’s biggest specimens proudly hanging from an entry trellis at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. The darlings of terrariums, offices, libraries and desktops the world over, Begonias come in a variety of deeply dynamic hues including purple, pink, green, cream, teal, red, gold, bronze, silver and black. Fairly low-maintenance, they thrive in every direction except North-facing. Serving as a showpiece in award-winning gardens across the globe, Iris plants bloom Spring to Summer in the most unusual way. As the morning dew begins to lift off the leaves of this plant in the early dawn, the buds start to twitch ever so slightly, the first indication that they are about to awaken from a peaceful slumber. And then, in the blink of an eye, a majestic burst of color explodes and one of the planet’s most breathtaking flowers has graced the world with its presence. With several hundred species, color combos and flower textures around the tropics, Hibiscus is revered and respected for its beauty, medicinal properties and spiritual qualities. Several varieties bloom often all year long and thrive in ornamental pots or in-ground. The first thing a newbie orchid enthusiast learns is there are 4 main types of Orchids readily available: Phalaenopsis, Vandas, Cattleyas and Dendrobiums. The second thing they learn is that are an estimated 25,000-30,000 different species of orchids, with new ones popping up every day, so identifying an orchid on social media or in the wild is next to impossible. And just like art, there are orchid appraisers, avid collectors and even “artists” creating their own hybrids around the world. On The Wild Side: Plants With animal Nicknames Here birdy, birdy! All 5 species of this evergreen perennial known as Birds of Paradise are native to Africa and resemble exotic birds of the tropics. But don’t be fooled: It’s a flying bird they resemble, not a goofy cartoon head version of a bird! It’s OK to do a double-take! The White Bat Flower looks like a regular plant until it starts to bloom and spreads its “bat wings” and long whisker-like bracts that can reach a foot in length! Growing up to 3 feet tall at maturity, this exotic plant thrives in partial shade and indoors. Usually blooms mid-Spring to early Fall. With jagged fishtail-shaped leaves that sway to and fro in the wind, the Fishtail Palm adds an instant tropical island vibe to any landscape. Whether you are an avid equestrian or just enjoy watching re-runs of Mr. Ed, one thing’s certain, there’s no denying this Horsehead Philodendron resembles its namesake! Giddy up! No it’s not an all-you-can-eat buffet, but the dangling Lobster Claw Heliconia will definitely have you coming back for more. The large, bright hanging showcase is a feast for the eyes and for hummingbirds too — the flowers produce a fragrant nectar and dark blue fruit that attracts them from spring through late summer and into the fall. Fans of Dumbo, rejoice! Growing almost as large as an elephant at 8-12 feet tall, spongy-stalked and wide-leafed Elephant Ear Plants thrive any which way you grow them — planted, potted, indoors, outdoor, wherever you put them, make sure you talk and sing to them regularly — their “ears” are always listening. Turtles have very few predators, and thus have really, really long lifespans. Owners of the very slow-growing perennial succulent and appropriately monikered String of Turtles will reap those benefits as well. Longevity, endurance, persistence and the ability to survive against incredible odds means the tortoise wins the race, indeed. As Luck Would Have It: GOOD JUJU Indoor Plants Touch it and get an instant positive energy boost. Angle it in a sharp corner and watch your anxiety and stress melt away. An age-old token of luck and imagination, the aptly named Money Tree exudes the motivational edge you need to make all of your dreams come true. Your bank account will thank you. The sweet spice-scented String of Pearls hanging succulent smells like a cross between carnations, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon, especially when it flowers its puffy blooms throughout the entire winter. Way to bring a whiff of the holidays to The Sunshine State! Just like its namesake implies, these rare plants symbolize affection, love and good luck. The calming effects of Peace Lilies have long been studied and the emotional benefits are well worth having them around. Symbolizing rebirth of the soul, tranquility and hope, and known for their air purifying qualities, there is perhaps no better addition to a healthy, well-balanced home. Although the ZZ Tree may come last in alphabetical order on most plant lists, this thick-leaved beauty is the first pick for those wishing to remain “steady” and “growing.” According to Feng Shui theory, this plant represents virility, health and eternal peace and happiness. The powerful Pothos plant brings fortune, health, wealth, abundance and prosperity to your home or office. Bright, indirect sunlight works best. Hang one over a window and watch its long leaves grow down to the floor. Easy to propagate so you can spread the love. You won’t need a Rottweiler, yappy Yorkie or full-time security detail around when you have a Snake Plant in your home. Known to absorb poisonous gases from the air and eliminate toxins from the environment, this ancient plant exudes a strong protective energy that shields you from harm’s way.