When we first "snowbirded" here, 2010-2012, still living in Missouri, we marveled at the large variety of beautiful exotic plants blooming all winter long as we walked the riverwalk. We picked seed pods from many; I planted a bunch indoors, many proving to be "flops", a few, including Date Palms, fluorished. One tiny plant, origin and species unknown, made it through about 2 years indoors, and got "planted" off our new patio in 2012. Turned out to be the Mexican Bird of Paradise. Today, longest day of the year, battered by recent winds which stripped it of many leaves and blossoms, it is at it showiest best. The flowers are iridescent deep chrome-yellow colored. At it's base, the trunk is now thicker than my forearm. This has been very rewarding!