Plants that are normally considered exotic in the United States and other countries are commonplace in Thailand gardens and landscapes. Most of the garden and landscape plants that thrive in Thailand do so because they are amenable to thriving in warm summers and mild winters. Combine Thai garden plants with open-air salas, water features, Buddhist statues and other hardscape elements to tie together the Thailand-inspired landscape design.
The Lady Palm
The Lady Palm is also known as fan palm or Rhapis and is native to China, although it finds itself in many landscapes throughout Thailand, both urban and rural. This plant tends to grow in batches, featuring a plethora of fan-shaped leaves. It performs well in darker and shadier regions, and so works well in garden areas that are normally difficult to grow in. This plant also works as part of an indoor garden and is capable of growing to several feet in height. The lady palm is used in Thai resort gardens, mall gardens and in street gardens as well.
Jasmine comes from the botanical family Oleaceae and several different varieties exist, including shrub and climbing varieties. Jasminum sambac or Arabian Jasmine is the most well known of all the climbing varieties, and it is an evergreen plant that climbs to several feet in height. The leaves of the plant are dark green, and the flowers are small and pink or brilliant white. Another type of Jasmine native to Thailand, Royal jasmine or Jasmine grandiflorum has large white star-shaped flowers.
More than 1,500 different species of plants are found in the Begonia genus, and many originate from tropical and subtropical areas. Many begonia plants are cultivated specifically for the development of attractive, colourful flowers and leaves, including ornamental foliage in yellow, pink and white. Begonia is a genus that does especially well in moist soil with good drainage and plenty of shade.
More than 2,500 different species of plants within the Bromeliad genus exist, in 52 different genera. These plants are native to tropical jungles in the Caribbean and South America, but they perform well in Thai gardens, though not as common. The pineapple is an example of a bromeliad. Most species are epiphytic, meaning that they grow out of rocks or trees without requiring soil. Often, they feature brightly accented leaves with reds and purples.
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