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30 Prettiest Tropical Flowers (Bursting with Color)

A collage of some of the prettiest tropical flowers.

Tropical flowers brighten the mood as well as any indoor space or garden. They also offer unique attributes and colors. Check out this collection of the 30 prettiest tropical flowers to find inspiration for your next indoor or outdoor gardening project.

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.” Iris Murdoch, the British novelist and philosopher, certainly knew what she was talking about.

Flowers offer a delicate intricacy in each leaf, stem, stigma, and petal. I certainly feel a sense of joy and relief when I see the first flowers emerging out of the ground after a rough winter and find peace in my houseplants. Just looking at pictures of flowers can cure a light case of the blues.

Here are the 30 prettiest tropical flowers. Simply marvel at the beauty nature beholds, shop for your next houseplant, or plan your garden if you live in an area suitable for tropical plants.

African Violet (Saintpaulia)

A close up of a gorgeous African violet.

African violet is most often seen as a houseplant, as they are only found outdoors in eastern tropical Africa. They flower throughout the year and keep nice dark green, fuzzy leaves. There are many varieties of African violets. A deep purple is the most common, but more varieties have become available, with pink, white, and multicolor options. The flowers look like a violet, but the plants are actually unrelated.  Growing them at home takes research and patience, but it is a rewarding experience.

  • Sun needs: Moderate (they like light, but not direct light)
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic to neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 12

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)

A beautiful cluster of vibrant amaryllis.

An amaryllis plant produces large, Lilly like flowers. The blooms span about four inches in diameter and the stalks grow up to 23 inches tall. Find between two and 12 flowers on each stalk. Common colors include orange, red, pink, white, salmon, and striped varieties.

These plants can do well in a garden of an appropriate zone, but the bulbs do well in a pot and can be taken inside when the weather is poor.  Blooming time can be enjoyed December through late June.

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic
  • Hardiness zone: 9 to 11

Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia genus)

A close-up of lovely yellow angel's trumpet flowers.

These drooping bell-shaped flowers are gorgeous and plenteous. Not only are they a sight to behold, but they also produce a sweet fragrance to be enjoyed in the late summer. Color varieties include white, peach, yellow, orange, and pink. Add one of the small trees/shrubs to your garden if you live in a proper zone, or consider growing it in a pot and bringing it inside when conditions are not ideal.

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots
  • Water: Moderate to plenty
  • Soil pH: Acidic
  • Hardiness zone: 9 to 11

Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum)

A bunch of heart-shaped anthurium flowers.

Also known as flamingo flowers, these heart-shaped beauties come in burgundy, pink, red, and white colors.  The flowers are very shiny and stand out beautifully in the sun.  They grow in the wild in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, and the Caribbean and have also made themselves at home in Hawaii, although they are not native to the islands.  They have proven to be great house plants.

  • Sun needs: Moderate
  • Water: Little to moderate
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic to neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 10 or higher

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

A close up of the beautiful bid of paradise flower.

The bird of paradise may be the most unique tropical plant. The flowers are gorgeous, with bright orange and a deep blue. They are likened to a crane and native to South Africa. It may be surprising that this lovely plant is suitable for container gardening, but it is. Those in cooler climates can successfully raise this plant in a container outside during the summer and inside during the winter.

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots
  • Water: Little, moderate or plenty
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic to neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 9 to 11

Blood Lily (Scadoxus multiflorus)

A close up of a vibrant spherical blood lily flower.

Native to sub-Saharan Africa and the Arabian peninsula, this brilliantly colored plant is a showstopper. The large puff of tiny reddish-pink flowers is sure to draw an eye. It has been known to grow in southern California and Florida and it can be planted outdoors in colder climates if the bulbs are dug up and brought inside during cold weather. It is also suitable for container gardening. Be aware that this plant is toxic and its poison has been used in arrows and in fishing poisons. It is known by many names, such as pincushion flower, blood flower, capt tulip, and Katherine-wheel.

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic to neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 9 to 10

Blue Passion Flower (Passiflora Caerulea)

A close inspection of a blue passion flower.

This twining vine can grow up to 30 feet. The white and purple-blue flowers are gorgeous in the summer with the shiny deep green foliage that surrounds them.  Butterflies will flock to this plant, which is native to South America but has been widely introduced to other warm, tropical areas.

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots
  • Water: Moderate to plenty
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic to neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 7 to 9

Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea Glabra)

A close up of deep purple bougainvilleas.

These vines love sunny and dry climates and is native to South America.  They come in a variety of colors and have a soft paper-like petal with small white middles that look like tiny flowers.  They are now found in the warmer areas of the United States and also have become very popular throughout the Mediterranean Basin.

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Little
  • Soil pH: Acidic
  • Hardiness zone: 9 to 11

Bromeliad (Guzmania lingulata)

A close look at the beautiful bromeliad flower.

The bromeliad is most often seen as a houseplant.   It is an evergreen plant and the flower is torch-like with vibrant colors, including mauve, pink, purple, and white.  It is a beautiful addition to any home, and native to the area of the Southern United States to South America.

  • Sun needs: Moderate
  • Water: Little, plenty
  • Soil pH: Neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 10 to 12

Canna (Canna indica)

A pair of beautiful and vibrant canna flower.

The canna is a popular choice for gardens because they are readily available and also grow rapidly.  They will grow tall and love moist environments.  Sunshine, combined with compost or manure, will make them thrive.  Beautiful pops of color of red, orange, and gold are a lovely addition to any garden.

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Plenty
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic to neutral (but can thrive in a variety of soil types)
  • Hardiness zone: 8 to 11

Chenille Plant (Acalypha hispida)

The vibrant red flower of the chenille plant.

Also known as the red-hot cat’s tail, this plant is an eye-catcher.  The Tiny vibrantly red flowers look like little tails draped all around the plant.  It is native to Hawaii and Oceana but can be grown as a houseplant in cooler areas.

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: Acid, alkaline, or neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 9 to 10

Clivia (Clivia Miniata)

This is the orange blooming clivia flower.

This houseplant is a great option for anyone who has trouble keeping plants alive, as it is not too fussy.  The green is rich and the little flowers are cute and beautiful.  Most often orange, the flowers can also be yellow or almost red.  They look like small Lillies and are also called natal Lillies.

  • Sun needs: Minimal
  • Water: Little
  • Soil pH: Neutral to slightly acidic
  • Hardiness zone: 9 to 11

Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)

A close look at three cyclamen flowers.

The cyclamen is native to the Middle East and Greek islands.  The leaves are several shades of green and heart-shaped, making them attractive even without flowers.  When the plant does flower, the result is lovely, with blooms being white, light pink, deep pink, or red.  As a house plant, be aware that this plant is toxic to dogs and cats.

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic
  • Hardiness zone: 9 to 11

Kahili Ginger (Hedychium Gardnerianum)

A close up of a beautiful kahili ginger flower.

This plant features little flowers that look like trumpets ready to announce the amazing fragrance they behold.  The deep green leaves and flowers of yellow, red, pink, or orange require little light, but warm temperatures.  Those who have visited Volcano Village or Hawaii Volcanoes National Park have probably seen this plant, as it can grow up to two meters tall.

  • Sun needs: Minimal to moderate
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: Neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 7 to 10

Hanging Lobster Claw (Heliconia Rostrata)

A cluster of vibrant hanging lobster claw flowers.

Known by several other names, including toucan peak, parrot flower, wild plantains, or false bird of paradise, this unique plant offers vibrant red flowers with hints of yellow and green.  The flowers stretch down a stem, offering a large, attractive display.  It is native to Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and Columbia. This plant needs plenty of humidity and flowers to not appear until the plant reaches two years old.

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic to neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 10 to 13

Hibiscus (Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis)

A beautiful orange hibiscus flower.

The hibiscus is one of the flowers that immediately comes to mind when thinking of tropical flowers.  These gorgeous flowers can reach 8 inches in diameter and come in a variety of colors, such as white, yellow, purple, orange, pink, red, and multicolor.  The colors are brilliant and readily attract butterflies.

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots
  • Water: Moderate  to plenty
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic to neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 5 to 11, depending on the variety

Ilima (Sida Fallax)

A close look at beautiful ilima flowers.

Ilima is the official flower of the island of Oahu and the yellow flowers are often used to make leis.  It is native to Hawaii as well as many of the Pacific Islands.  The lovely flowers will appear on the shrub within a year of planting, but be aware that these plants do not live very long and will need to be replaced every five to 10 years.

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots
  • Water: Little
  • Soil pH: Acidic to neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 9 to 11

Jasmine (Jasminum officinale)

A bunch of beautiful jasmine flowers.

This simple white flower looks very pure.  The jasmine plant smells heavenly and will produce flowers starting in the spring all the way into early fall.  Jasmine is native to western China, the Caucuses, India, and several countries in the Middle East.  It has been cultivated in many other countries around the world where the climate works well for the plant.

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic to neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 7-10

‘Ohia Lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha)

A cluster of colorful ohia lehua flowers.

These flowers look like bright pom-poms and are usually bright red.  However, they can also be orange, orange-red, pink, salmon, or yellow.  The flowers form on the plant, which can grow to be tall trees in lower, wet environments, or stay shrubs in drier, higher environments.  This is the most common native tree on the Hawaiian Islands and it is an important part of Hawaiian mythology.

  • Sun needs: Moderate to lots
  • Water: Moderate to plenty
  • Soil pH: Acidic to neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 10 to 11

Lokelani (Rosa damascena)

A close up look at the beautiful lokelani flower.

The Lokelani, also known as the pink Damask rose, is the official island flower of Maui.  However, it is not a native Hawaiian plant and was brought to the island in the 1800s.  It smells heavenly and produces large flowers that are pink to light red.

  • Sun needs: Moderate to plenty
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic to neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 6 to 12

Medinilla (Medinilla magnifica)

Clusters of lovely pink medinilla flowers.

Unlike most tropical flowers, Medinilla prefers less sunlight.  The flowers are pink and elaborate looking, as they dangle down in front of a rich backdrop of deep green leaves.

  • Sun needs: Minimal
  • Water: Little, moderate or plenty
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic
  • Hardiness zone: 10 to 11

Morning Glory (Ipomoea Muricata)

A bunch of beautiful sky blue morning glory flowers.

The morning glory is one of the best ways people in cooler climate zones can grow a tropical flower in their own yard.  The flowers of this climbing vine come in a variety of colors, including blue, purple, yellow, red, and white.  The morning glory is an ancient flower, showing up early in China and in Ancient Meso American civilizations.

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: Neutral is best but will grow in most soils
  • Hardiness zone: 3 to 10

Orchid (Orchidaceae)

This is a close look at the beautiful orchid flowers.

Orchids come in a nearly endless variety of colors. Their elaborate and elegant shape can dress up any indoor space or outdoor garden. They are found naturally all over the world, with most growing in the tropics or subtropics.

  • Sun needs: Moderate
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic
  • Hardiness zone: 5 to 9

Penta (Pentas lanceolata)

A bunch of beautiful penta flowers.

The Penta plant is drought tolerant and likes sunshine.  They are a beautiful addition to a garden and can also be grown indoors.  The small clusters of star-shaped flowers can come in pink, purple, or red.  The flowers are a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds, adding even more natural beauty to any garden or deck.

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Little to moderate
  • Soil pH: Neutral (7.0 or higher)
  • Hardiness zone: 8 to 10

Cosmos (Cosmos Bipinnatus)

A field of grass and cosmos flowers.

Cosmos are another great way to bring a tropical flower into your yard.  These lovely flowers come in a variety of colors, including pink, red, and white.  Native to Mexico, this flower is now known across the Americas and is very popular.

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Little
  • Soil pH: Neutral to slightly alkaline
  • Hardiness zone: 9 and 10 (self-seeding) 5-10 summer annuals

Frangipani (Plumeria Rubra)

A cluster of lovely frangipani flowers.

This deciduous tree produces beautiful flowers that are also often used in Hawaiian leis.  Flowers can be found in pink, red, orange, yellow, and white.  It is native to Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, and Columbia and has become popular in Hawaii.

  • Sun needs: Minimal to moderate
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil pH: Neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 9 to 11

Protea (Protea cynaroides)

A close look at the colorful protea flower.

These unique plants boast a bloom that looks like a mix between a thistle and an artichoke.  It is a complex flower that comes in a wide variety of colors and will last a long time in a cut arrangement.

  • Sun needs: Moderate
  • Water: Little to moderate
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic
  • Hardiness zone: 8

Sampaguita (Jasminum Sambac)

A cluster of blooming sampaguita with bees.

Also known as Arabian jasmine, this plant produces lovely clusters of white flowers.  The scent is divine along this flowering vine.  The flowers open at night and close in the morning.  It can be grown indoors if not in the proper climate.

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water: Moderate to plenty
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic to neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 8 to 11

Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri)

A close look at a couple of unique bat flowers.

Native to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia, this flower is very unique and exotic.  It is also known as the Devil’s Flower and is dark purple or maroon.  It would appear that it has eyes and whiskers, making them truly a sight to see.

  • Sun needs: Minimal to moderate
  • Water: Moderate (requires high humidity to remain moist, not wet)
  • Soil pH: Neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 9 to11

Pink Flowering Banana (Musa Ornata Roxb)

A single beautiful blooming pink flowering banana.

The pink flowering banana is native to India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, and has been introduced to South and Central America and Hawaii.  The flower is lovely and sits among very large, oblong leaves.  The plant does produce small bananas, but they are quite seedy and not very pleasant to eat.

  • Sun needs: Lots
  • Water:  Moderate to plenty
  • Soil pH:  Slightly acidic to neutral
  • Hardiness zone: 8 to 11

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