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CRYPTANTHUS bromelioides var. tricolor

Image of Cryptanthus bromelioides var. tricolor

James H. Schutte



Botanical Name

CRYPTANTHUS bromelioides var. tricolor

Plant Common Name

Stripe Star, Tricolor Earthen Star

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

With varigated wavy-edged foliage that resembles an ackward starfish with rosy center, Tricolor stripe star adds visual texture to the tropical dappled shade garden. A tender terrestrial (growing in soil) bromeliad with a stemless rosette of leaves, it's from Brazil.

There are many flattened strap-like leaves that have tiny teethed edges and taper to a point. A light green, they are waxy but matte finished with wavy edges and ivory stripes with hints of pink. At leaf bases, there is an intensified blush of pink to magenta-red. In summer's warmth, small white flowers appear in the crotches of leaves in the center of the rosette. Also, small plants, called pups, are forming at the plant's base and will grow to replace the mother bromeliad which will slowly degrade and die after flowering.

Grow Tricolor Stripe star in a well-draining moist soil that is friable with lots of organic matter; sandy ground is best. Place in a partially shaded spot, although some sun is tolerated in mornings and evenings and in more humid elevations. Too much shade diminishes the foliage striping. Use it as a massed tropical groundcover or accent in the front of the border under tropical ferns and begonias. It also makes a nice houseplant near a very bright window. Pup plants can be pulled away from the mother plant and placed in a new spot before the mother dies; this allows for regular renewal of a massed colony without the visual messiness of dying brown plants. This variety is sometimes dubbed 'Rainbow Star'.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade

  • Height

    3"-5" / 7.6cm - 12.7cm

  • Width

    7"-10" / 17.8cm - 25.4cm

  • Native To

    South America, Brazil

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Flower Petal Number


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edging, Groundcover, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing