. . .Bromeliads are members of the plant family Bromeliaceae, containing more than 3,000 described species. The most well known bromeliad is one that you may find in your fruit salad – the pineapple. But this family includes others that look nothing like that fruit, such as Spanish moss (which incidentally is neither Spanish nor a moss).The more common bromeliads are terrestrial species, which means they are found growing in the ground, which is typical of most of our garden plants. . . .
Saxicolous species grow on rocks. . . .
The third species is epiphytic. These are found growing on other plants, usually trees, shrubs or cactus, but sometimes they can be found on telephone poles or even on the telephone lines themselves. This capability to take their nutrition and moisture from the atmosphere has earned these bromeliads the name air plants.”
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This spiral arrangement ( of leaves ) causes the plant to grow in a flattened configuration with its leaves lined up in a single plane. In many, if not most, of the bromeliads the bases of the leaves overlap to form a water reservoir. Those with this central cup are often called tank bromeliads. They rely less heavily on their roots for nourishment than others. This tank is used to hold water and nutrients used by the plant.