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About Tropical Plants

Monochaetum vulcanicum is endemic to Costa Rica and found up to 3,000 m altitude. This photo was taken near the crater of Volcan Poas.
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Cycas micronesica is the dominant forest tree on Guam. This tree was photographed in Talofofo, Guam in 2006 and had not yet succumbed to the introduced cycad
aulacaspis scale.

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The fruit of Pandanus dubius in
Tumon, Guam

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As you browse this website you will notice that there is one common thread throughout, and that is plants from the tropics. Whether it is a photo of a plant in situ or an article about Integrated Pest Management for growing tropical plants in theme parks or gardens, I have attempted to provide a source of information on tropical plant horticulture based upon my experience as a professional horticulturist.

I believe that there is nothing more fascinating than learning how a particular tropical plant fits into its own ecosystem or niche. No plant stands alone. Each has relationships with other plants, animals, insects, and countless numbers of microscopic soil organisms that either allow it to thrive, or force it to evolve into a new form or species; sometimes to go extinct. While some of these relationships or symbiosis are well documented and can be clearly elucidated, most others are still fairly mysterious. My collection of articles in this section is an eclectic one and reflects my personal interests from pollination and horticulture of tropical plants to raising large trees after a hurricane. There are also articles and many photos featuring species of plants that I have encountered on my travels. Seeing a plant in its native habitat and learning about that habitat or ecosystem is sometimes the key to understanding how to grow it successfully in cultivation. As always, your comments, suggestions, and corrections are greatly appreciated.

This Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum was photographed in a private garden in Sharm El Sheikh, Sinai, Egypt. From South Africa, this salt tolerant plant has the potential to become invasive in tropical
pastures worldwide.

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The terrestrial orchid Epidendrum radicans growing on the old lava fields below Volcan Arenal in
Costa Rica

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Costus pulverulentus near Volcan Arenal in
Costa Rica

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Bauhinia divaricata
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Renealmia alpinia with fruit from the slopes of Volcan Arenal in Costa Rica.
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Tropical Designs of Florida

Contact: Jeff Shimonski
Cell: 305-773-9406
Email:
jeff@tropicaldesigns.com