Bromelia

Guzmania: A high-class Copacabana feel in your home

The most noticeable thing about Gazmania are the brightly coloured bracts that emerge from a beautiful rosette to form a funnel. Those bracts come in fantastic colours: bright red, deep orange, yellow, green, pink, purple, white or bicoloured. The rosettes contain absorbent hairs and scales which act like biological blotting paper, enabling the plant to absorb water and nutrients. Small flowers bloom amidst the bracts. Guzmania is a plant that gives it’s all, and then gives up after flowering.

Origin

Guzmania is a member of the Bromeliad family, and occurs particularly in the north-west of South America and the Caribbean, mainly in tropical rainforests. There it grows on trees with threadlike roots without damaging its host: Guzmania gets its food and water from the air. The plant is named after the person who discovered it, Spaniard Antonino Guzman. He was a pharmacist, botanist and collector of historic items. The first species were imported into Europe in around 1900.

bromelia1

Symbolism

Guzmania is the symbol of the Brazilian wilderness: the funnel is said to capture all the ‘blessings from above’ (rain, sunlight) in order to store them. As a houseplant, it’s particularly the colours that a significant: yellow represents fortune and wealth, red represents fiery love, pink means lasting love and orange represents passing something (driving test, examination, course).

Guzmania Care

Guzmania likes a light spot, but not in full sun.

  • Water generously in the rosette which acts as a reservoir, and sparingly on the soil.

  • If the air indoors is very dry, Guzmania loves being misted with a plant spray.

  • Plant food once every three weeks will keep it flowering beautifully. 

 

bromelia2

Vriesea: Pure passion in the form of a green Latin

Vriesea is a houseplant that makes you realise that Mother Nature has her mad days too. It comes in blindingly bright colours such as red, orange, yellow, green, pink, purple and white, and in bizarre shapes such as long spikes, flattened spoons and broad feathers that grow out of a rosette of leaves. What we often think of as flowers are actually coloured bracts. The real flowers are very small and not particularly spectacular. Like all bromeliads, Vriesea can also survive without soil, for example in a terrarium. The plant gets food and moisture from the air with tiny ‘mouths’ on the leaves.

Origin

Vriesea is one of the stars of the South American tropical rainforest, where you can find more than 150 different species. The plant usually grows high up in the trees in order to get as much light as possible. Vriesea is named after the person who discovered it, Prof. Hugo de Vries. He was professor of botany in Amsterdam and Leiden, and co-founder of the Dutch Botanical Association in 1845.

Symbolism

Vriesea lives on rainwater, fallen leaves and bird droppings. The plant catches all those materials in the rosette, where they create a reservoir full of nutrients. It’s not just Vriesea that lives on this - animals also make use of this store of water. Birds, monkeys, frogs and insects like to drop by for a drink. The plant is particularly vital for poison dart frogs, which use the water in the plant’s funnel to lay their frogspawn and thus reproduce. For that reason, Vriesea is commonly known in Brazil as ‘sala de parto’ or ‘delivery room’. it’s a classic gift to celebrate a new life, a new home or a new start.

Vriesea Care

Vriesea likes a light spot, but not in full sun.

  • Water generously in the rosette which acts as a reservoir, and sparingly on the soil.

  • If the air indoors is very dry, Vriesea loves being misted with a plant spray.

  • Plant food once every three weeks will keep it flowering beautifully.