The Guzmania bromeliads were named in honor of Anastasio Guzman, an 18th century Spanish naturalist. They range from southern Florida to Brazil.
The great majority are found in the highlands of Colombia and Costa Rica. Although most are epiphytic, a number of the larger ones grow in the ground. Guzmania probably adapted to the ground by necessity. It was possibly easier to learn to grow in the ground than to learn how to climb back up into a tree.
The shiny leaves have smooth edges. The brightly colored, usually red, orange, or yellow bracts last a long time. The flowers are usually white or yellowish.
The Guzmania bromeliad bears beautiful bracts.See more pictures of bromeliads.
See more pictures of bromeliads.
Guzmania lingulata is available in a number of varieties. The plants are two or more feet wide. It is one of the more spectacular bromeliads, especially when the plants are grown in a large clump. The inflorescence has the appearance of a large flower. The floral bracts spread like petals around the greenish-white true flowers in the center.
Guzmania musaica has leaves about two feet long covered with marks that resemble dark green scribbling of a delinquent doodler. The waxy, white flowers appear in the club-like top of the orange flower spike. It sunburns easily.
Guzmania zahnii 'Tricolor' is tougher than it looks. The slender, eighteen inch leaves have a transparent quality and tend to turn reddish in the sun.
Give guzmanias shady to filtered light and watch out for sunburn. Keep them evenly moist with excellent drainage and air circulation.
Has reading about bromeliads encouraged you to start flexing your green thumb? For more information on gardening, see: