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The Exotic Rainforest
Plants in the Exotic Rainforest Collection
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Billbergia sp., Neoregelia sp.,  Nidularium sp, Vriesea sp.
and other hybrid combinations 


Billbergia sp., Neoregelia sp.,  Nidularium sp, Vriesea sp.
and other hybrid combinations 
Bromeliad Hybrids

One of our Bromeliad logs

Spring can't be far away once the bromeliads begin to burst open their wildly colorful inflorescences!  Some bromeliads are terrestrial and grow in the ground but most of the species we love normally grow up in the branches of trees as epiphytes.  (see photo right)  If you're interested in finding out how they get on the branches up in the trees read this link: 

As a result of how they grow in the wild, they love bright light.  Sites that suggest you grow them in dim or diffused light have never seen a bromeliad grow in the top of the rain forest!  We have dozens of bromeliad hybrids growing like they do in nature on "fake logs".  If you haven't read any of my explanations about  "fake logs" these are our artificial "fallen trees" created by wrapping rolled cork bark around 4 inch PVC pipe and attaching it with screws.  The pieces of PVC are then assembled wherever we want a log.  The idea was borrowed from a display at Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Miami.  Once the log is in place epiphytic plants such as bromeliads and orchids are attached with Liquid Nails original formula glue.  In about 6 months the bromeliad "hold fasts" begin to attach the plant naturally .  The "hold fasts" appear similar to root systems but do not serve any purpose other than to attach the plant.  Once the hold fasts attach the plant grows and reproduces on the log just as they would if they were in the jungles of South America, the Caribbean, the South Pacific or Asia. 

It has now become almost impossible to accurately identify many bromeliads available for .  The majority available at nurseries are not species but hybrids produced by crossing species such as Nidularium sp, Vriesea sp., Neoregelia sp., Billbergia sp. and others.  Most are produced by tissue culture (cloned) at a variety of plant labs.  Still, they are wonderful plants and produce beautiful inflorescences (flowers) that will continue to reproduce as they would in nature.  The majority of ours are now second generation and were grown as pups from plants we d and attached several years ago.  Once the inflorescence is spent (which can be months)  the plant will begin to produce pups (baby plants) which are already attached to the "log".  Since the cork is not affected by water we can mist the bromeliads often in to keep their cones filled with fresh water.  Since the plants don't have root systems they get all their water and nourishment from the rain water that collects in the cone.  To keep them healthy make sure their cone always has clean water.   If you are interested in bromeliad species and their care I suggest you visit  The Bromeliad Encyclopedia  and it's subsite "Uncle Derek Says"  

Australian bromeliad expert  Derek Butcher has spent  over 20 years as a self-claimed "pseudobotanist" learning and writing about bromeliads.  His site has hundreds of species photos and a wealth of technical species information.. He is well known in Australia for his book on bromeliads.  I make no claim to any form of bromeliad expertise other than to successfully grow them  We simply enjoy watching them grow, reproduce and bloom as naturally as possible.  We believe the laterally striped terrestrial bromeliad at the front left of the log to be Billbergia  zebrina, the Queen's Tears bromeliad.   When mature it will produce an inflorescence of colorful hanging tear shaped brachts that is quite beautiful.