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The Master of Decoration ─ Bromeliads
How could the leaves of the pineapples be so bright? How could the fruits and flowers be so peculiar? How could so many colorful and sizes of pineapples grow on the ground or trees? These plants are similar to pineapples in shapes but could not be eaten, and most parts of them like leaves, flowers, and fruits are utilized in ornamental ways. They are collectively called “bromeliads”. They are members of the family Bromeliaceae and the endemic plants of the American continent. They could be classified into 3 subfamilies, including 52 genuses and about 2,000 species. The genus Aechmea , Guzmania , Neoregelia , Vriesea, and Tillandsia are mostly used as the ornamental plants.
The colorful leaves, fruits and flowers of bromeliads all have excellent ornamental values (Fig. 1). For instance, the leaf colors of genusNeoregelia and Vriesea, the flowers of genus Guzmania and Tillandsia, and the fruits of genus Aechmea are all excellent for ornamental purposes. They are epiphyte s, so they only need a little of media to grow. The media mostly used in cultivation would have good permeability, drainage, and moisture retention, such as fern chips, coconut fibers, barks, mosses, etc. In cultivation, the condition with high humidity, good aeration, and full/partial sun is appropriate. In addition, they are outstanding and useful materials for landscape or floral designs and could be found in all kinds of indoor or outdoor exhibitions in Taiwan (Fig. 2). Because they are easy to grow and hard to wilt, so that they are gradually becoming to be the popular ones for yard and office decorations.
Bromeliads have many morphological types, from mini one about one-half palm size to the giant one with a diameter of 2 meters. They are generally used in some ways, such as cut flowers, floral bonsais, landscape gardening, and interior designs. Taiwan Seed Improvement and Propagation Station, COA indicates that it has collected more than 300 speicies of bromeliads (Fig. 3) and would display some common species in the Xinshe Flower Sea Festival. By the time everyone is welcome to visit the festival and appreciate the master of colorful decoration ─ Bromeliads.