Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - a bromeliad

This time of year regular visits to our glasshouse help your mental health.  The greeness, the humidity, the earthiness are all very comforting and rejuvenating because it's so alive.  Quite a few of these tropical plants flower during our winter season, which is sort of strange if they are generally day-neutral.  At any rate, here's a rather nice Friday Fabulous flower, a largish flowered bromeliad (pineapple family) that has been in our collection for decades.  It's never been labeled and so TPP simply must make a guess based on some general features that it's Billbergia pyramidalis.  The 3-parted corolla always has a bluish tinge to it, which together with the 3 pale pink sepals and all the pink bracts on a fist-sized inflorescence makes for quite a display standing above the vase-like whorl of leaves.  The stigma and stamens are exerted from the corolla to make contact with the head of a pollinating hummingbird.  Enjoy. 

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