IntroductionThere are many interesting facts about the Bromeliads. All of the almost 3,000 members of the tropical plant family Bromeliad belong to the family called Bromeliaceae. They are almost exclusively grown in the tropics and subtropics of the New World, where growing conditions are ideal - with one exception. In 1493, when exploring the New World, Columbus, who found the pineapple growing in the West Indies, brought it back with him to Spain. Its popularity spread and he is the reason why the pineapple is now cultivated throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. More information about Bromeliad characteristics such as what they look like and how they grow are listed below.
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Bromeliad Flowering Facts
- Many mature Bromeliads only bloom once but there are occasional exceptions. Typically when the plant no longer makes leaves, it flowers for a few months (some up to six years) and then dies.
- Although there are two types of flowers in the Bromeliad family, each contain several parts including three sepals, three petals, six pollen stamens and a pistil and stigma.
- Bromeliads do not have just one main flower, but a cluster of flowers that are bright and tall and form a rosette shape. These striking flowers have leaves that may either curl delicately or remain long and stiff.
Bromeliad Foliage Facts
- The characteristic that all Bromeliads share is the fact that they all have trichomes which are very small scales that help the plant trap and absorb water.
- While the plant is maturing, new leaves will continue to grow from the center of the plant.
- The foliage of the Bromeliad is known for being vibrant and eye-catching. Colors include yellow, red, green, purple, brown and orange.
Other Interesting Bromeliad Facts
- Before the plant dies, pups, or new offshoots, are produced which feed off the original plant until they are large enough to produce their own roots. They will one day become mature and flower as well.
- Bromeliads are a favored plant for ornamental purposes because of the fact that they are easy to grow and care for, inexpensive, and produce beautiful, long lasting blooms.
- From pineapple to Spanish moss to Achmea, Bromeliads have a wide variety of plant species in a wide range of sizes, from miniature plants to giant plants.
- The roots of the Bromeliad do not form in the ground. Instead they grow on top of things like rocks (saxicolous) and trees (epiphytic) and are therefore often referred to as "air plants".
- All of the Bromeliad species fall under one of three sub-families: Tillandsioideae, Bromelioideae, or Pitcairnioideae.
- Because of the shape of the leaves, most Bromeliads are able to hold a lot of rainfall. Because of the constant moisture, a food chain is created with the growth of algae, making them a small self-contained ecosystem. Tree frogs, worms, snails and other tiny insects will often make a Bromeliad home for their entire life.
- The greatest number of Bromeliad species is found in Brazil.
- Bromeliads can be grown both indoors and outdoors when temperatures do not fall below freezing. They can grow easily in hot and dry climates as well as cool and moist conditions.