"I'm not really a career person.I'm a gardener,basically.".....George Harrison

Monday, April 20, 2009

Broad Needleleaf Bromeliad-----

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.


Gayle said...

This encourages me to take a look to see if there are an native Alaskan plants that might be yard worthy. Sure would help fill up spaces and wouldn't be so much work!

Gail said...

That was a great find! I ripped out some invasive vinca and a few days later up popped trout lily...there it was under the soil waiting for the sun to bring it to life. Natives are so perfect for our gardens! gail

garden girl said...

Very nice! I'm adding more natives to the garden as well. I'm very happy so many of them are thriving, especially in our tough dry shade under the canopy and among the tangled roots of three mature silver maples. The tree roots make gardening here a real challenge, but the natives seem to settle in very nicely, and the butterflies and bees seem to love them too.

Even the trilliums that never came up last year are growing - hooray!

Dani said...

Love our natives!

Saxon Holt said...

Well the contest is done and results posted over at GGW early next week. Thanks for your entry and I am giving each photo bit of constructive criticism.
Love seeing Florida natives. Photo for a contest needs stronger composition, not sure what the white area at the bottom is.


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