Tropical plants are plants which are native to the tropical regions of world. Thanks to the consistent climate conditions in the areas where these plants evolved, they have a number of very specific adaptations which make them very unique. Many people in tropical and subtropical regions like to use tropical plants in landscaping, and they are also kept as houseplants and conservatory specimens all over the world, with especially distinctive examples fetching very high prices from specialty purveyors.
Although all tropical plants have developed to live in the warm and very humid environment of the tropics, these plants are quite diverse. Some, for example, are designed for life in the understory, with large leaves to capture sunlight and dripping water, brightly colored flowers to attract birds in the dimly lit conditions of the understory, and sturdy roots which are accustomed to very rich soil. Others have adapted for an arboreal lifestyle among the branches of trees in the forest canopy, with epiphytic roots or vine-like growth habits designed to help the plant cling to a tree. Many canopy plants are well suited to container gardening.
Many tropical plants have large, vivid flowers, which is one reason they are so appealing in landscaping and homes. Some of these flowers are incredibly elaborate, looking more like modern art than flowers, with exotic spikes, plumes, and feathering. Tropical plants may also have rich scents which some people find pleasing, and their flowers and leaves are very long-lasting, as long as conditions around the plant are kept warm and humid.
Trees, shrubs, and vines can all be found in the tropics. Some examples of tropical trees include plumeria, ylang-ylang, ebony, teak, and palms. Hibiscus, orchids, gardenia, bird-of-paradise, and fire brush are some commonly-grown tropical shrubs and plants, while bougainvillea, morning glory, passion vines, and rubber vines are some well-known tropical vines. In the tropics and subtropics, these plants grow almost like weeds, although they may require a bit more work in greenhouses and in regions with marginal climates.
The tropics are one of the most biologically diverse regions of the world, and there are thousands of known tropical plant species, some of which have uses beyond pure decoration. Some nurseries specialize in the cultivation and sale of tropical products, and they are a good resource for gardeners. It is also possible to peruse large catalogs and sourcebooks of tropical plants divided by color, growth habit, or size, making it easy for gardeners to find the right plant for their needs.