By: Editors of Consumer Guide

The Vriesea splendens bromeliad.See more pictures of bromeliads.

The Vriesea were named after Professor W. H. de Vriese, a Dutch botanist. They are found from Mexico to Brazil. Many of them grow well indoors and have been favorites of indoor gardeners for years.

Hybridizing started with great earnestness at the end of the last century, and many hybrids are available. Most vrieseas are epiphytic and have definite vases and strap-like, blunt-ended, green leaves. The plants vary in size from five inches to five feet.


Vriesea platynema var. variegata, from Trinidad and northwest South America, has leathery leaves with fine striping. The blunt end of the leaf is marked with a dark, greenish-purple blotch. The stiff flower stalk rises above the center of the plant; it has purplish bracts and greenish-white flowers.

Vriesea 'Poelmanii', a cross between Vriesea 'Gloriosa' and Vriesea 'Vangeertii', has a full rosette of light green leaves. The tall flower spike has bright red bracts that are edged with greenish-yellow. The flowers are yellow.

Vriesea splendens (flaming sword, painted feather), from northwest South America, has a rosette of slender, stiff, blue-green leaves with purplish cross-bands that are darker on the underside of the leaf. It gets its common name from the long sword or feather-shaped, bright red flower stalk. The flowers are yellow.

These bromeliads prefer warm to intermediate temperatures, shady to filtered light, and high humidity. Keep them evenly moist during the growing season and drier during the rest of the year.

Has reading about bromeliads encouraged you to start flexing your green thumb? To learn more about gardening, see: