Do you know about the "Shaving Brush" tree? I hadn't heard of it, but I am quite impressed with the photos of it. These pictures were taken by my mom's husband on Captiva Island. I thought it was such a unique-looking flower that I had to share.
Apparently you'll only get them to grow well in zones 9 to 11, so you Northerners are out of luck. The shaving brush tree, a native to Mexico, is a small tree at around 30 feet in height. It is suitable for bonsai and has very interesting bark with stripes of green, yellow, brown and white. The pink, brush-like flowers actually pop open and are soon filled with bees, who love the flowers. The new leaves on this deciduous tree are bright red turning green as they mature.
So there's my tropical plant excitement for the moment. Pretty, don't you think?