Society of South Florida (BSSF) meets THE FIRST TUESDAY
of each month at 7:30
PM at Fairchild Tropical Garden 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables, Florida.
and Guest Plant Sales
Really Good Company
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.
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.
The commercially grown pineapple, Ananas comosus is a member of this
There are around 60 species of Billbergia, which are colourful 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.
This is a terrestrial group from Brazil, which needs plenty of room
for root development. They are best suited to warm climates.
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.
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 metres
(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.
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