Banana

Banana plants are from the genus Musa and are native to tropical southeastern Asia although they are cultivated throughout the world as ornamental plants and for their edible fruit.

There are many different species and hundreds of varieties of banana.

Banyan Tree

The Banyan Tree is one of many species of large ficus with an unusual growth habit. They have an ability to produce adventitious roots from the branches.

Once these roots reach the ground, they eventually turn into massive trunks, giving the Banyan Tree its characteristic appearance of many trees growing together.

Bo Tree

The Sacred Fig, Ficus religiosa is also known as the Bo Tree. It is a species native to India, Indochina, and Vietnam.

This tree is considered sacred by the followers of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism because Siddhartha Gautama is supposed to have been sitting underneath a Bo Tree when he received enlightenment.

Bromeliads

This remarkable family is native to the New World tropics and subtropics with one species endemic to the western coast of Africa.

The pineapple and Spanish moss are well known members of this family.

Calabash Tree

The large green fruit found growing on Crescentia cujete are not edible. However, the fruit has a hard shell, and many household implements, such as bowls, are carved from them.

This relative of the Sausage Tree is native to the Antilles, Central America, and Northern South America.

Coconut Palm

The Coconut Palm, Cocos nucifera is a tropical palm that can grow over 100 feet tall.

It is the most economically useful of the palms; food, medicine and shelter are some of the more well known uses.

Cordia Lutea

This Cordia lutea is one of several species of Cordia grown at Jungle Island. It is a pan-tropical genus.

Croton

The Croton is scientifically known as Codiaeum variegatum.

It is an excellent landscape plant for South Florida with hundreds of colorful cultivars.

Cycad

Cycads are an ancient group of plants that are a minor component of tropical and subtropical flora worldwide.

During the Jurassic Period they were very common which is why this period is sometimes referred to as the “Age of Cycads.”

Playcerium

Platycerium superbum is a tropical fern that grows epiphytically often on the trunks of palm trees like here at Jungle Island.

Red Bougainvillea

This thorny vine is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and South America.

What appears to be a colorful flower is actually a modified leaf. The plant’s flower is actually only a small white structure amongst the foliage.

Sausage Tree

Sausage Trees, Kigelia africana are native to Africa, where they are found throughout the sub-Saharan region. The fruits are often quite large and can resemble two-foot long sausages. They are wood-like and not at all palatable.

Some native Africans brew beer from the fermented fruit, and the fruit is also utilized to prepare concoctions that cure a multitude of ailments from snake bites to skin problems. The flowers may contain up to a teaspoonful of nectar and are pollinated by bats in their native habitat. Here on Jungle Island they are hand-pollinated.

Tithonia Diversifolia

The Mexican Daisy or Tithonia Diversifolia has flowers throughout the year. The plant’s flowers are a favorite of bees and African farmers have many uses for the plant, the most popular use being as an organic fertilizer for vegetable crops in either compost or a tea form.