Exotic Tropical Blooms Ideal for Giving

Bold colors and unusual shapes make tropical flowers unique

Tropical flowers are often called "exotic" and never fail to provide a special wow given their colors, shapes and textures. In this post, Exotic Tropical Blooms Ideal for Giving we take a deeper dive and profile our favorite tropical flowers and blooming tropical plants. 

Often bold in color, it is not usual to see tropical flowers in vibrant reds, yellow, orange, green, pink and of course, white. But the color is only one aspect that make tropical flowers dazzle. As you will quickly see from our profiles, the shape of tropical blooms are often very unusual and unlike flowers we see in typical flower arrangements that rely on roses, tulips, peonies and dahlias depending on the time of year. From the Bird of Paradise to the anthurium, ginger to the orchid, it is easy to see why the term "exotic" is associated with tropical flowers.

Colorful, unique blooms that thrive in heat

The unusual shapes and bold colors of tropical flowers make tropical flower arrangements unique and distinct from most flower arrangements and popular for gift giving. And tropical flowers are ideal for fun, festive celebrations be it a special birthday, to cheer someone up who is feeling ill, or to thank someone. Next time you are thinking of sending flowers to someone, be sure to take a tour of the selection of tropical arrangements on our site.

Color Punch Tropical Floral from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Color Punch Tropical Floral from Green

Another benefit of tropical flowers is they are often long-lasting, can tolerate warm temperatures, and actually prefer humid environments. True to their nature, tropical flowers and plants thrive in environments with humidity and benefit from regularl misting. Unlike roses or tulips, tropical blooms do not like cold temperatures. In fact, if they are refrigerated they can turn brown or black in color so tropical flowers should not be stored in coolers or at temperatures below 60 degrees.

In the following discussions of our favorite tropical flowers we include a tropical flower arrangement with the tropical flower we are profiling to show you how they look in a tropical arrangement. The tropical designs are created by the owner and creative director of Green Fresh Florals + Plants, Carlos Franco. These contemporary tropical florals are available on our webiste, www.greenfreshflorals.com, and in our Hillcrest flower and plant shop. We will gladly make a custom tropical arrangement for you. Call us during normal business hours at 619-544-0504, or email us at orders@greenfreshflorals.com. 

Now, it's time to share our favorite tropical flowers with you follwed by images and information on tropical greenery we often use in our tropical arrangements. We hope you find this blog informative.

1. Lobster Claw (Heliconia rostrata)

Lobster Claw Tropical Flower

Heliconia, or Lobster Claw, is a plant related to bananas, cannas, and gingers and has around 200 species that grow in tropical regions of the globe. The part of the heliconia used in tropical flower arrangements is not actually a "flower" but rather a series of colorful pointed leaf structures known as bracts. The heliconia’s actual flowers are hidden inside the bracts. The heliconia bracts resemble lobster claws, thus the common name. The bracts grow in shades of red, orange, yellow, and green and can display a golden yellow or green tipping on the edge.

Tropical Helicone from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

The Tropical Fuego Heliconia Arrangement from Green

Heliconia is native in Central and South America with about 100 individual species and each species having a large number of hybrids. The signficiant number of variations mean the "flower" or bract styles can vary. The leaves of heliconia leaves look similar to banana leaves: glossy, oval, and paddle-shaped. Individual plants can grow up to 15 feet tall. Generally green in color, some are tinged slightly with color when young. The leaves and stems can also be colored or patterned.

2. Anthurium (herbaceous epiphytes) 

Red Anthurium Bloom from Green Fresh Florals + Plants Green Anthurium Blooms from Green Fresh Florals + Plants Burgundy Anthurium Bloom from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Anthuriums also called the “flamingo flower” or “Hawaiian heart,” are native to tropical regions of America from Mexico to northern Argentina and Uruguay. In Greek, the name Anthurium means tail flower. The anthurium is open, heart-shaped spathe and grows in a variety of colors from red, wine and white to green.

Tropical Escape Designer Floral from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Tropical Escape Designer Floral from Green

Though the anthurium looks like a flower bloom, it is a spathe or shield-like leaf. It functions to protect a spike of miniature flowers known as the spadix that is carefully arranged around a fleshy axis and typically enclosed in the spathe, characteristic of the arums. Like other tropicals, they have long-lasting flowers making them popular as hostess or hospitality gifts.

Anthurium Planting from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Blush Anthurium Planting from Green 

Anthurium are also a popular houseplant because they are low maintenance and can have blooms lasting months. Ensuring well-drained soil to prevent stems and roots from rotting is the trick so pick a pot for your anthurium planting that has a drain hole and saucer. 

3. Ginger (Zingiberaceae)


Ginger Bracts from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

The flowering ginger is part of the Zingiberaceae family, a flower that includes 52 genera and more than 1300 species and grows throughout tropical and subtropical regions of Southeast Asia. Some of the more common genus names include Alpinia, Costus, Hedychium. Several species of Alpinia are cultivated as ornamentals while the Hedychium produces blooms used in garlands and floral arrangements. The red-colored ginger is used often for tropical arrangements.

Tropical Blush Floral from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Tropical Blush Designer Floral from Green

Flowering gingers sold as garden plants reach an average height between four and five feet tall. Ginger spreads and emerges from the thick fleshy root-like structures known as rhizomes with leaves that are usually lance-shaped or oblong and deep glossy green. The ginger flowers vary significantly from one genus to another. Below is an image of a bright yellow Maraca ginger and in the back of the image a hot pink ginger can be seen.

4. Maraca Ginger (Zingiber spectabilis)

Tropical Fuego

The Maraca Ginger often referred to as the beehive or pinecone ginger because of its ornamental shape, is a popular addition to tropical arrangements. Beehive ginger is fragrant and makes an excellent cut flower, with the bracts holding both colors and shape a week or more once cut. It is a gourd-like structure filled with pebbles, and its scientific name is Zingiber spectabilis. Maraca ginger is cherished for the medicinal properties making it fashionable to use for sprains, indigestion, stomach pains, and toothaches. The milk found in the cone has been an ingredient in commercial shampoos and hair care products for centuries.


Deluxe Tropical Delight Floral from Green Fresh Florals + Plants


Deluxe Tropical Delight Floral from Green

The Maraca ginger is believed to have originated in India and can reach 7 feet in height, with long narrow leaves arranged oppositely on the stems. About mid-way thru summer, separate stalks grow out of the ground with green cone-shaped bracts that resemble, you guessed it, beehives or pinecones. While initially green, the bracts turn red over several weeks; then small creamy yellow flowers appear on the cones.

5. Mokara Orchid (Vandaceous genera)

Mokara Orchids from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Mokara Orchids belong to the Vandaceous genera and are a human-made tropical orchid not found in nature. It was created in Singapore in 1969 and originates from the cross-breeding of orchids of the genera Ascocentrum, Arachnis, and Vanda. Dozens and dozens of other types have been created since then.

Mokara orchids are long-lasting and have starfish-shaped blooms and thin, almost wire-like stems holding 7-15 flowers per stem. With most varieties available year-round in stunning red, purples, pinks, yellows, burgundy and orange, these flowers are hugely popular for use in wedding and event decor. Some breeds exhibit dotted petals while others are solid, or opaque.

Island Tropical Floral from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Island Orchid Floral from Green

Mokara orchids are relatively easy to care for and thrive inconsistent temperatures between 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit in environments with at least 80% humidity. These orchids do not tolerate any disturbance or damage to their root system, which, can make them unlikely to bloom and force them into decline for a season or more.

6. Bromeliad (Bromeliaceae)

Bromeliad Planting from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Bromeliad plants add an exotic touch to any arrangement and to add to a garden as they are hearty, long-lasting, and require minimal care. They are an excellent addition to any plant collection and add color and texture to any home or patio. Bromeliads work well in contemporary, modern, and tropical decor styles due to their shape and color. They have adapted to withstand drought and should not be over-watered, or it can cause root rot.

Bromeliads can often be epiphytic, meaning they use the structure of other plants like trees to provide stability and structure. They are not parasitic and do not live off the other plant; they use it to assist in holding itself up. There are 51 genera and more than 3400 known species of bromeliads, growing mostly in the tropical parts of Central and South America although they are highly adaptable.

Bromeliad Planting from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Bubblegum Bromeliad Planting from Green

The foliage of a bromeliad usually grows in a rosette with patterns and a variety of bright colors but varies greatly and can be broad and flat or thin, spikey, or soft. Leaf colors range from green and gold to maroon, red, and yellow while others can be spotted. The common pineapple plant is a bromeliad. 

7. Ornamental Banana Bloom (Musa ornata)Ornamental Banana Bloom from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Musa Ornata, the ornamental or flowering banana plant, is one of more than 50 species of banana in the Musa genus. They are large, tropical evergreen perennials originating in southeast Asia. The blossoms grow on stems of up to 3-4 feet in length and arise from the center of the plant. The blooms are usually long, tapering buds that present upright or they can also fold over in a draping manner, depending on the variety. Musa thrives in high temperatures and humid environments and produces flowers in mid-summer in a range of whites, purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows. The plant can grow up to 50 feet tall in the wild.

The banana bloom is usually available year-round in floral shops that showcase unique and unusual flowers. The Musa Ornata, in all its varieties, is grown commercially in Hawaii and South America for North American consumers.

Plus: Five exotic foliages for tropical arrangements

With every tropical arrangement comes a selection of foliage that also is tropical in nature and compliments the look and feel of exotic tropical blooms. We decided to share a few of these with you as well to give you a sense of what we combine to create our custom arrangements. Always soak your foliage correctly for several hours in water before you arrange it even if it is cut fresh from your garden.

Split-leaf Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa) 

Monstera Deliciosa Leaf from Green Fresh Florals + Plants

Taken directly from the Monstera deliciosa plant native to Mexico and Panama, the tropical leaf is exotic in shape with holes and ridges throughout the adult leaf. The foliage is a base element in our arrangements (to cover the edge of the container) and to create horizontal lines.

Song of India (Dracaena reflexa)

Song of India

Song of India plant is a species (Dracaena reflexa) that is also a popular houseplant. Like the monstera leaf, the action here is with the dracaena leaf as well. Glossy and wide, they can grow up to 1 ft long — various cultivars of this genus display different leaf variations. The dracaena serves as color contrast and textural interest in tropical arrangements.

Ti Leaf (cordyline fruticose)

Ti Leaf

The Ti leaf, known as the Hawaiian Good Luck plant, is a staple in floral shops with its smooth blade-shaped leaves that can measure about four inches wide and range from one to two feet in length. Available in hues of green, orange, yellow, purple, pink, and red (depending on the variety), the Ti leaf is a crucial ingredient of Hawaiian leis. While ti leaves are inedible, they are commonly used as wraps when preparing foods.

The leaves are versatile, and their shine and shape make are a perfect complement to many floral arrangements, mainly tropical. The ti leaf is used to line the inside of clear glass vases and as vertical backdrops for bright, tropical flowers. They can be twisted and curled to add interest as well.

Majesty Palm (Ravenna rivularis)

Majesty Palm

As the name implies, they are the leaves of palm trees which can be any number of varieties depending on the store. Most tropical floral arrangements contain either a fan palm or an areca palm which has long and narrow fronds with multiple leaves extending from the main stem.

The palm leaf is a universal element for tropical arrangements due to their leafy green hue and fan-like shape. They are perfect building blocks in a large tropical arrangement, and they provide a great background to pinks, oranges, and yellows. Palm leaf can be part of a tropical bouquet as well.

Fig Leaf Palm (Fatsia japonica)

Fatsia japonica, commonly called the paper plant or fig leaf palm, is an evergreen shrub that produces large, glossy hand-shaped leaves that can be up to 16 inches across although they come in a range of sizes. Architectural in shape, the Fatsia is native to southern Japan Korea, and Taiwan. In the fall and winter months, the fatsia produces globe-shaped clusters of white flowers followed by small black fruits. There are also several variegated fatsias to choose from in addition to the solid green. Fatsia serves as a background or base element in arrangements, mainly tropical florals.

Summer + Tropicals

Summer is a perfect season for tropical flowers and plants. Take a look at our tropical flower arrangements and don’t hesitate to send a tropical arrangement as they are bright, colorful, and usually last an extended length of time. Plus, they are exotic and sure to create a conversation piece for whomever you send one.

Be sure to follow Green on social media and share.

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