The folks at GardeningGoneWild have a new contest.Take a photo of a plant indigenous to our region.So,here ya go......
It's the Broad Needleleaf Bromeliad(Tillandsia simulata),found frequently in Florida,and nowhere else.In fact,it is the only bromeliad species known only from Florida.Mainly,central Florida. This is an "only the Lord knows"generation that originally came from the Florida Oak in our backyard.It was found quite by accident,one day,when my husband and eldest son were thinning out some dead limbs.Eldest son says,"Hey!Look at this thing growing on this branch.Is it a plant or something?"
Needless,to say,I grabbed it from the cut limb,plopped it in with some orchids and it has been growing magnificently ever since.With many subsequent generations,of which,this is one. Not only did we get firewood for our fireplace,but I acquired the easiest plant to take care of.Actually,it takes care of itself.As all native plants do.
The scientific description lists it as epiphytic,single or in clusters;8-16 inches tall;gray pointed leathery leaves;simple flower spike with reddish bracts;5-30 violet flowers,1 3/4 inches long.Flowering in spring-summer.
No matter where I have placed these beauties in our yard,they just grow and grow.Ya just gotta love native plants,dontcha?
For more(and probably better)photos of native plants,head on over to Gardening Gone Wild.