Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tillandsia cyanea, Aechmea chantini, and Aechmea fasciata....there will be Bromeliads in his displays, Brad says

Colorfully evoking tropical rain-forests, bromeliads are members of the Pineapple family and often depend upon water reservoirs, "tanks", to supply both water and minerals. While many are epiphytes, others grow on rocks, utility wires, or other hard surfaces. Spanish Moss, if it truly is a Bromeliad, is the least typical member of the family. Various species of Tillandsia live in Live oaks in the Florida garden, but none flower so spectacularly as the aptly named T. cyanea, in the top picture. The Aecheas in the bottom two pictures have the typical "tank"; apparently entire macroscopic ecosystems exist in the tanks of arboreal bromeliads in the rain forests, sometimes with an amphibian as  the top heterotroph.

Sometime last year Brad admitted his growing interest in Bromeliads. He's been accumulating them for a while now, but I hadn't been in the "warm house" recently and was excited to see these plants this afternoon.  I expect we will see them and others next summer in his seasonal displays.

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