Bromeliads are plants that belongs to the Bromeliaceae family. A common example of a bromeliad fruit is pineapple. Thought it might seem strikingly unusual and strange, but it has been used by humans more than a thousand year ago for various purpose. There are over two thousands species and about fifty plus genera of bromeliads. Little wonder, they are said to be one of the most differentiated plant with regards to their texture, shape, size, color, markings or scales.
Many bromeliads lives on other plants, and they are not parasitic to these plants. They are regarded as epiphytes because of this characteristics. They are very good for landscaping purposes and as pot plants. Their size ranges from few inches to about or more than 10m. Caring for bromeliads plant is very easy and their water requirement is very low, though they are hardy in nature. More bromeliads are being discovered time after time and are becoming natural gifts to the nature.
Bromeliaceae family consist of groups that get old slowly, groups such as perennial group and monocotyledon trees. They are valuable economically and are easy to cultivate. They are important ornamentals and a good source of food and medications. They contain anthocyanin, substance that is responsible for the formation of pigments. These anthocyanins give the colors of the leaves an attractive foliage and amazing hue flowers.
Bromeliaceae family is subdivided into three subfamilies namely, Tillandsioideae, Pitcairniodeae, Bromelioideae. They are subcategorized based on the position of their ovary, floral, pollen morphology, and their habit. They grow mostly in the geotropically region of the world ranging from Southern part of Argentina to Virginia. The specie that originated from Africa is Pitcairnia Feliciana.
Bromeliaceae family share the same basic appearance of when growing by developing series of branches and an inflorescence in a repeating pattern. However, this basic appearance and structure are being modified in each different subfamilies. The basic structural pattern of the family includes sympodial branching, and a typical growth of axis which is developed by some sequence of linear shoots with each lateral unit growing from the axillary bud that is situated on the previous shoot. The resulting growth pattern leads to some set of compressed ramets. In a case where there are roots, they usually evolve from the lower part of each ramet. Their roots are developed in a special way in which they can easily get attached to the trunk of trees, branches, and sometimes, rocks. Bromeliads that possesses such epiphytic characteristics are usually known as Saxicolous.
Bromeliads usually derive their nutrients from rain and air when they are present in their innate environment. Most bromeliads are found in terrestrial habitat, growing like other plants do. They have go adaptability features and they can survive in a new environment. They grow excellently in warm and humid environments, but they can also be cultivated indoors. The plants usually blooms once in their life cycle and the blooms are usually beautiful. They are good alternative for home decoration and gardens.
Bromeliaceae flowers are mostly hermaphrodites. They can be slightly asymmetric or radial in shape and their sepals and petals, collectively known as the floral parts, are always in threes. The stamesn are arranged in two whorls consisting three stamens each. The position of the ovules is generally axial and the ovary can either be inferior or superior. The sepals can be differentiated from the petals through their size and color. The sepals can maintain their green hues while the petals are usually bright in colors. The fruit of bromeliads are winged and are normally a berry or a capsule.
When the flowers of most bromeliads blooms, the blooming are usually odorless. However, there are some flowers that have scent when they bloom, this is as a result of pollination caused by butterflies or nocturnal moths. If the flowers secrete abundance nectar, it shows that the pollination is caused by birds.