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             What are Bromeliads?

These fascinating tropical American natives come in a wonderful variety of sizes,  shapes and foliage colors. They seem very 
strange and exotic, but one of our most  common fruits, the pineapple, is actually a bromeliad. Many bromeliads are epiphytes
(ie they live on other plants but do not parasitize those plants), living up in the forks of  tree branches and surviving mainly on 
the moisture and nutrients they obtain from the air.

There are bromeliads for every situation - some make very good indoor plants, while others  can be quite spectacular grown in 
the garden.

  • Aechmea: The plants in this genus are mostly epiphytic. One of the best known is  Aechmea fasciata or 'Silver King', 
    which has long lasting, pretty pink flowers and  is often used as an indoor plant.
  • Ananas: The commercially grown pineapple, Ananas comosus is a member of this genus.
  • Billbergia: There are around 60 species of Billbergia, which are colorful and well suited  to growing in the garden 
    around the base of trees. They clump up quickly to form good  flower displays, although the inflorescence (flower 
    head) on some species is short lived.
  • Cryptanthus: This is a terrestrial group from Brazil, which needs plenty of room for root  development. They are best 
    suited to warm climates.
  • Vriesea: Plants in this genus have interesting and varied foliage, and sword like eye-catching  flowers. They are easy 
    to grow and are good bromeliads for beginners to try.
  • Tillandsia: True air plants, tillandsias range in size from the tiny T. bryoides (1cm or 0.4")  to the giant T. grandis which 
    can grow up to 3 meters (9') tall. Also in this group is  T. usneoides, commonly known as old man's whiskers or Spanish 
    moss, which looks like  spider webs hanging from the trees. Apart from its ornamental uses, this material can be  used 
    for padding in upholstery.

Where most people in North America require green houses to grow their 
Bromeliads, we here in ZONE-10 can grow them in our backyards, without the 
threat of frost (usually). This makes South Florida Bromeliad Heaven.