I would like to know whether a tulip tree is something worth trying to grow in Tampa, or would this be a waste of my time? The furthest south I've seen one is Gainesville (120 miles north of here). If so, any advice?
Tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera), the state tree of Tennessee, are grown in hardiness zones 4-9, so you might want to give them a try. They prefer moist, fertile, acid to neutral soils with good drainage. However, they will not tolerate locations with a seasonally high water table.