Agave is a genus of monocots native to the hot and arid regions of the Americas, although some Agave species are also native to tropical areas of South America. The genus Agave is primarily known for its succulent and xerophytic species that typically form large rosettes of strong , fleshy leaves. Agave now includes species formerly placed in a number of other genera, such as Manfreda, ×Mangave, Polianthes and Prochnyanthes. Plants in this genus may be considered perennial, because they require several to many years to mature and flower. However, most Agave species are more accurately described as monocarpic rosettes or multiannuals, since each individual rosette flowers only once and then dies; a small number of Agave species are polycarpic. Maguey flowers are considered edible in many indigenous culinary traditions of Mesoamerica. Along with plants from the closely related genera Yucca, Hesperoyucca, and Hesperaloe, various Agave species are popular ornamental plants in hot, dry climates, as they require very little supplemental water to survive. Most Agave species grow very slowly. Some Agave species are known by the common name "century plant".
Alocasia is a genus of rhizomatous or tuberous, broad-leaved, perennial, flowering plants from the family Araceae. There are 97 accepted species native to tropical and subtropical Asia and Eastern Australia. Around the world, many growers widely cultivate a range of hybrids and cultivars. Alocasia are tropical plants that are increasingly becoming popular as houseplants. The hybrid A. × amazonica has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. They are typically grown as pot plants, but a better way is to grow the plants permanently in the controlled conditions of a greenhouse. They can tolerate dim light and cannot withstand direct sunlight. They should be cared for as any other tropical plant with weekly cleaning of the leaves, frequent fertilization and medium to high humidity. They rarely survive cold winters or the dryness of artificial heating, but an attempt to slowly acclimatize plants from the summer garden to the house can help. Once inside, the watering period must be reduced and the plants should be protected from spider mites or red spider attack.
Anthurium is a genus of about 1,000 species of flowering plants, the largest genus of the arum family, Araceae. General common names include anthurium, tailflower, flamingo flower, and laceleaf. The genus is native to the Americas, where it is distributed from northern Mexico to northern Argentina and parts of the Caribbean. Like other aroids, many species of Anthurium plant can be grown as houseplants, or outdoors in mild climates in shady spots, including Anthurium crystallinum and Anthurium clarinervium with its large, velvety, dark green leaves and silvery white venation. Many hybrids are derived from Anthurium andraeanum or Anthurium scherzerianum because of their colorful spathes. They thrive in moist soils with high organic matter. In milder climates the plants can be grown in pots of soil. Indoors plants thrive at temperatures of 16–22 °C (61–72 °F) and at lower light than other house plants. Wiping the leaves off with water will remove any dust and insects. Plants in pots with good root systems will benefit from a weak fertilizer solution every other week. In the case of vining or climbing Anthuriums, the plants benefit from being provided with a totem to climb.
Begonia is a genus of perennial flowering plants in the family Begoniaceae. The genus contains more than 2,000 different plant species. The Begonias are native to moist subtropical and tropical climates. Some species are commonly grown indoors as ornamental houseplants in cooler climates. In cooler climates some species are cultivated outside in summertime for their bright colorful flowers, which have sepals but no petals. With 2,002 species, Begonia is one of the largest genera of flowering plants. The species are terrestrial (sometimes epiphytic) herbs or undershrubs, and occur in subtropical and tropical moist climates, in South and Central America, Africa, and southern Asia. Terrestrial species in the wild are commonly upright-stemmed, rhizomatous, or tuberous. The plants are monoecious, with unisexual male and female flowers occurring separately on the same plant; the male contains numerous stamens, and the female has a large inferior ovary and two to four branched or twisted stigmas. In most species, the fruit is a winged capsule containing numerous minute seeds, although baccate fruits are also known. The leaves, which are often large and variously marked or variegated, are usually asymmetric (unequal-sided).
Bonsai is a Japanese version of the traditional Chinese art penjing or penzai. Unlike penjing, which utilizes traditional techniques to produce entirely natural scenery in small pots that mimic the grandiose shapes of real life scenery, the Japanese "bonsai" only attempts to produce small trees that mimic the shape of real life trees. Similar versions of the art exist in other cultures, including the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese Hòn non bộ. It was during the Tang dynasty, when penjing was at its height, that the art was first introduced in Japan. A bonsai is created beginning with a specimen of source material. This may be a cutting, seedling, or small tree of a species suitable for bonsai development. Bonsai can be created from nearly any perennial woody-stemmed tree or shrub species that produces true branches and can be cultivated to remain small through pot confinement with crown and root pruning. Some species are popular as bonsai material because they have characteristics, such as small leaves or needles, that make them appropriate for the compact visual scope of bonsai.
Caladium is a genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae. They are often known by the common name elephant ear (which they share with the closely related genera Alocasia, Colocasia, and Xanthosoma), heart of Jesus, and angel wings. There are over 1000 named cultivars of Caladium bicolor from the original South American plant. The genus Caladium includes seven species that are native to South America and Central America, and naturalized in India, parts of Africa, and various tropical islands. They grow in open areas of the forest and on the banks of rivers and go dormant during the dry season. The wild plants grow to 15–35 inches (40–90 cm) tall, with leaves mostly 6-18 inches (15–45 cm) long and broad.
Calathea is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Marantaceae. They are commonly called calatheas or (like their relatives) prayer plants. About 200 species formerly assigned to Calathea are now in the genus Goeppertia. Calathea currently contains around 60 species. Native to the tropical Americas, many of the species are popular as pot plants due to their decorative leaves and, in some species, colorful inflorescences. The young leaves and bracts can retain pools of water called phytotelmata, that provide habitat for many invertebrates.
Ceropegia is a genus of plants within the family Apocynaceae, native to Africa, southern Asia, and Australia. It was named by Carl Linnaeus, who first described this genus in his Genera plantarum, which appeared in 1737. Linnaeus referred to the description and picture of a plant in the Horti Malabarici as the plant for which the genus was created. In 1753 he named this species as Ceropegia candelabrum. Linnaeus did not explain the etymology but later explanations stated that the name Ceropegia was from the Greek word keropegion κηροπηγɩον. This means candelabrum in Latin, which has a broader range than the modern word - "a candlestick, a branched candlestick, a chandelier, candelabrum, or also lamp-stand, light-stand, sometimes of exquisite workmanship". Ceropegia species are traded, kept, and propagated as ornamental plants. In Africa, the roots and leaves of some species are eaten raw and the tubers in India are eaten raw or stewed in curries.
Colocasia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae, native to southeastern Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Some species are widely cultivated and naturalized in other tropical and subtropical regions. The names elephant-ear and cocoyam are also used for some other large-leaved genera in the Araceae, notably Xanthosoma and Caladium. The generic name is derived from the ancient Greek word kolokasion, which in Greek, botanist Dioscorides (1st century AD) may have inferred the edible roots of both Colocasia esculenta and Nelumbo nucifera. The species Colocasia esculenta is invasive in wetlands along the American Gulf coast, where it threatens to displace native wetland plants.