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BILLBERGIA nutans

Image of Billbergia nutans

Jessie Keith

Family

Bromeliaceae

Botanical Name

BILLBERGIA nutans

Plant Common Name

Queen's Tears

General Description

Queen's tears is a clump forming, epiphyte to semi-epiphyte with narrow, pendent, unusually colored flowers. The tubular blooms have reflexed green petals with narrow bands of purplish blue around their edges and are supported by showy reddish pink bracts. The plant resembles a fountain-shaped grass until the short red flower stalks and blooms appear. Native populations of this bromeliad exist from southern Brazil to Paraguay where they grow on both trees and the forest floor.

In warm climates, Queen's tears can be grown in well-drained, sandy or coarse loam and is often used as a groundcover under trees. It can also be grown in trees, with its roots wrapped in sphagnum moss and leaf mold. In cool and cold climates it is grown as a container plant. It needs a lot of water, bright filtered light and fluffy potting mix with good drainage. Water the plant in its center, which serves as a reservoir, and moisten the potting mix. If water stagnates in the reservoir, pour it out and renew it. Queen's tears spreads via short rhizomes and new plants are easy to propagate. Just cut them free from the mother plant and place them in their own pot of medium.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Epiphyte

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade

  • Height

    15"-20" / 38.1cm - 50.8cm

  • Width

    12"-20" / 30.5cm - 50.8cm

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    South America, Brazil

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Red, Green, Purple, Pink

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Groundcover, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No