Despite their common name and habit of producing edible fruit, wild plum trees (Harpephyllum caffrum) are not closely related to the plums trees that produce the fruit that fills the shelves of your local grocer (those plums belong to the genus Prunus).
The common mango tree is the most widely planted and well-known member of the genus Mangifera. Designated by botanists as Mangifera indica, the tree is most famous for its delicious fruit, which is enjoyed by people all over the world. Mango trees are also grown ornamentally in yards large enough to accommodate their impressive size.
Yuccas (Yucca) are iconic perennials, found across a wide geographic area, stretching from Canada to South America. The fifty-odd species that comprise the genus inhabit a variety of different climate zones across this range, but most are native to arid habitats.
Most famous for the delicious nuts they produce, cashew trees (Anacardium occidentale) are medium-sized evergreen trees, historically native to Brazil.
Smoketrees (Cotinus spp.) derive their common name from their wispy, filamentous flowers, which appear like puffs of smoke when viewed from a distance. Because they are very easy to grow and add unique beauty to suburban landscapes, smoketrees are very popular ornamentals, often planted as borders or hedges.
While most beargrasses (Nolina spp.) look rather similar, two traits characterize every species in the group: tall, pale inflorescences and serrated, grass-like leaves.
About 15 woody plant species form the genus Cordyline. While botanists and horticulturists typically refer to the plants by their scientific names, laypersons often use names like cabbage trees, lily trees, or ti trees to refer to members of this genus.
Native to Central and South America, the plants of the genus Furcraea are popular and interesting ornamental succulents. However, these plants – which go by an incredible array of names in nurseries and garden centers – are not only important to homeowners and landscapers; they play a large role in the lives of rural communities that have benefited from these plants for hundreds of years.
Blessed with an impressive form, a hardy nature and unique leaves, maidenhair trees (Gingko biloba) are as attractive as they are interesting. With evolutionary roots extending deep into geological time, these leftovers of an ancient world have proven to be resilient survivors, who are even capable to thriving in 21st Century urban habitats.
Maples (Acer ssp.) are some of the most beautiful and familiar trees in the world. In most places, they are an inescapable component of the natural world.