Tibouchina retreats at a winter's frost, but returns quickly to her splendor and reclaims her throne when spring's warmth stirs her from her slumber! Princess Tibbs (only I can call her that) resides in my zone 9a garden, but she has the will and spirit of a Brazilian Capoeira fighter! She's resilient, even when locked away in a castle tower... or a flowerpot.
Rhipsalis are more your thing. Hey, I'm not here to judge! This epiphytic cactus' draped hairdo kind of turn me on too. Also known as Mistletoe Cactus, she's also sure to help you out a little in the relationship department, assuming that you actually need mistletoe to get a kiss in the first place. I mean, come on Romeo.
The stems of mistletoe cactus are deep green and hang down in verdant waterfalls from her perch in the trees of the rainforest's boughs. Sometimes her 'hair' becomes adorned with little white flowers that sparkle in the light, only to give way to glistening berries, interspersed like beads. One of Rhipsalis' best features is her willingness to share her locks with you as cuttings that you can share with your friends. Once again, I'm not here to judge.
Lola loves the sultry heat of the tropics and flourishes in a shady spot where she struts her stuff like Carmen Miranda, only without the basket of fruit atop her head. She already has what it takes to stand out and a fruit hat would snuff her burning flame, leaving you bereft of her playful charms.
Are you immune to these flower's many charms? Maybe one of these will satisfy your insatiable lust for exotic flora.
Jaboticaba only gets better with age! Once she's reached maturity after as many as thirty years, buds begin to form along the trunk, which then explode into bountiful blooms! Then they start to swell into ripe and succulent fruit that beg to be devoured.
Queen Palm is a most convenient mistress, despite her royal heritage. She really gets around here in Florida, and is the most loved palm tree on any block. Though she's quick, easy and sure to get the job done, she does it with the grace and sensuality of a Samba serenade.
Vriesea bromeliads live on a Brazilian supermodel's diet of leaves and animal feces to attain their perfect symmetry and perfection. Don't be so quick to poke fun at her eating habits, lest you poke the coals of her fiery temper! She'll then erupt like a volcano, with a flaming flower spike with fiery hues!
Dyckia is another mistress most unwilling. She will coyly seduce you with her tight and succulent rosettes and feign reluctance, only to ensnare you with backwards pointed spines! Dyckia is impervious to the advances of your wandering hands, and she'll bite back like the tempestuous harlot she is.
Lacy Philodendron is her stage name, but bring her into your garden and you'll find that she holds many secrets. You'll enjoy her company and finely cut foliage, coming to love her more as the year progresses. Then in spring comes the biggest surprise of all! This Philly, is actually a Phil.
Time to stop skimming through those romance novels, huh?