My wife discovered the paradise tree in a book of Florida native plants and hunted them down at a local native plant nursery (specifically, Plant Creations in southern Dade County). They were moderately priced - $10 for a 6’ tree. The challenge is that we have really not been able to see what a large specimen looks like – according to the book, they can grow to be quite large, but they are so rarely used that we have never really encountered one. They are attractive trees with small green leaves; new foliage emerges with a pretty red hue. We had a lot of trouble when we first planted them… we started out with several, but some died very soon after planting. Currently, we have four or five that have rooted and seem to be thriving. Initially they were very sensitive to any kind of shock – any cold or dry spell would cause them to drop their leaves. However, they seem to be less fickle now that they have rooted and started to thrive. I am always on the lookout for large specimens, but it is a rare tree to find outside the natural hammocks of the Everglades.
|Folliage of the paradise tree.|