Plant Common Name
Aechmea , Bromeliad
There are approximately 200 diverse species in the genus Aechmea. The great majority are epiphytic (tree-dwelling) but a few are terrestrial (ground-dwelling). All species are evergreen tender perennials distributed throughout the forests of the American tropics.
The leaves of these plants are alternating, stiff and usually form bold, upright rosettes. Leaf color varies widely. Aechmea flowers are three-petaled and borne from branched clusters of floral bracts. These vary in color and may be spiny. The flowers and hummingbird pollinated and the fruits are berry-like.
Bromeliad culture is species dependent, but overall epiphytes prefer consistently warm, humid environments. Some terrestrial species can be quite drought tolerant once established, but rainforest species need consistent moisture. Most prefer partial sun or filtered bright light. Hardiness is species dependent but overall, Aechmea are tender.