South Florida has a subtropical environment. Sub is the controlling prefix. That means that at times it freezes. When it freezes, certain plants may suffer significant damage or even die. It is the northern-most range for some species; gumbo limbo is very small here compared to tropical environments in South America and the Caribbean. The same could be said for the tamarind tree. On the other hand, some northern species suffer in the extreme heat of south Florida summers. Maple trees are small and scrawny - barely noticeable.