My bromeliad garden is oblivious to the season

I just have to show off the true jewels of my garden, my bromeliads.  I have painstakingly researched and searched for these fascinating treasures and I meditate on God's thoughtfulness and eye for design every time I stare at these epiphytic marvels.  They are drought tolerant, sun tolerant, house treefrogs and green anoles, have gorgeous blooms, and look like huge rosettes of flowers all by themselves.  I have chosen primarily the specimens hardiest to cold, mostly hailing from southern Brazil.  Here's a little sampling.

Vriesea Philippo-Coburgii and Neoregelia Spectabilis hybrids
The Vriesea Philippo-Coburgii's are known for their outstanding cold hardiness, and will not flower unless they get some frost.  If that weren't amazing enough, they also turn a lovely yellow-green color in high light and have dramatic tall red and yellow flower spikes.  Their leaves are tough, yet glossy and smooth to the touch with dark purple "fingernails", and they're so shiny that it looks as if they've been polished.  The surrounding "Painted Fingernail" bromeliads are also notably hardy, as I have seen them growing in trees with no protection surrounded by ice.  I put these two together in the brightest and most exposed spot, where their painted fingernails can mingle.

Aechmea Distichantha
These are among the most cold hardy bromeliads, as well as the most painful.  Armed with backward pointing spines with needles at the tip of each rigid leaf, these guys will not get a good division til its absolutely necessary... they hurt a lot, yet I still cherish them for their dramatic form and beautiful pink and purple flowerspikes in spring, evoking cotton candy on sticks.

Vriecantarea "Inferno"
This guy is huge.  The flowerspike has been blooming for at least 3 months and will get even bigger than it is now.  In its pot it is tall as me.  I found this hybrid of a Vriesea and Alcantarea at a Kanapaha plant sale, and the growers promised it was cold hardy.  Since one of those guys planted the amazing bromeliads at the front of the garden, I'm going to take his word for it and protect the flowerspike from frost anyways.  The plant at the base is Philodendron "Burle Marx".

Aechmea Cylindrata and Aechmea Gamosepala
A. Cylindrata from the first picture will bloom much like gamosepala below it.  The main difference is the size, as Cylindrata is 4 times as big.  The neon colors are an added bonus to the novel shape of the inflorescence.  Both of these are known to be very cold hardy, and are planted as groundcover at the Jacksonville Zoo.

Neoregelia "Beau Geoff"
Probably my favorite neoregelia, this is a rarity that was hybridized just north of Orlando.  The rigid leaves are actually metallic, and seem to glow with lavender.  I was told its hardy, but I'm going to wait for it's pup to finish devoloping before I take the chance.  This one is a favorite with my treefrogs.

More pictures to come!


  1. Its good to see bromeliads that can survive here! I have Aechmea gamosepala, Bilbergia pyrimidalis, and queens tears here but none have been through a winter yet!

  2. Krishna Rao
    You have some good broms that take the cold really well! You might try giving vriesea philippo coburgii a shot, as it did really well for me in several nights of 20F lows with only some burnt leaves. Bilbergia pyramidalis is pretty common in this are if you know where to look, and I love the glossy leaves and vibrant flower spikes!

  3. Your Painted Fingernails are Neoregelia spectabilis


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