Bromeliads: Variations on a Theme

All plants species provide an enormous variation on a theme.

A few weeks ago I was looking at plant structures, in particular the ‘rosette’ structure, where the plant forms leaves form out the centre in a type of spiral. There was such a variety of plant species that have this particular structure that I just focused on three: Succulents, Agaves and Bromeliads. Now I want to show the individual variety just within the Bromeliads (Bromeliaceae) themselves!

These Bromeliads are in Puerto Vallarta’s Botanical Garden, a garden that’s well worth a visit if you’re ever down there. Bromeliads at the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden on the Pacific coast of MexicoSimilar Bromeliads growing high on the trees in the Costa Rican jungle.
Bromeliads growing high on the trees in the Costa Rican jungleBromeliads have strap-like leaves in variations of pinks, reds, yellows and greens, sometimes plain, sometimes striped or spotted, often prickly.Tillandsia (Bromeliad) in the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden, MexicoThe centre of the plant forms a cup which is meant to hold a pool of water. This catches the rain and allows them to thrive if they are situated high up in the tree tops. Looking down into the centre of a bromeliad in the Puerto Vallarta Botanical GardenCentre pool of water of a Bromeliad in the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden, MexicoThis Bromeliad not only has a pool of water in the centre, it has an entire ecosystem! 
Looking down into the centre of a bromeliad in the Puerto Vallarta Botanical GardenA Bromeliad from the Costa Rican jungle. The plant puts out a flower spike that is often very dramatic. bromeliad in bloom in Santa RosaAnother Costa Rican bromeliad with the flower spike just starting to form.Red bromeliad in Costa RicaA group of exuberant Tillandsia bromeliads from the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden with fully formed flower spikes. Bromeliads in the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden, MexicoTillandsia is unique among bromeliads in that it doesn’t form a water cup in the centre but instead just lives off of moisture in the air; the best known Tillandsia being the ‘air plant’. This sign in the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden describes the ‘Air Plant’ as a perfect pet!A sign in the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden describing the Tillandsia 'Air Plant' as a perfect pet!Some more fully-formed flower spikes that show the variety of forms that the flowers take. Flower of a Bromeliad in the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden, MexicoA pink and purple bromeliad flower in the Dublin Botanical Garden, Irelandbromeliad with red flowerbromeliadA baby Pineapple in bloom, one of the best known (and delicious) Bromeliads.
A baby pineapple in flower, one of the best known BromeliadsAn oil pastel drawing of a Bromeliad called the ‘Flaming Sword’ because of its dramatic red and yellow flower spikes. 
Oil pastel drawing on watercolour paper of a BromeliadIn my painting of the same plant there are figures diving in and out of the pools in the centre of the plant.Bromeliad acrylic painting on paperA larger painting of a similar scene.More of the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme.

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