Back to Biodiversity Explorer main pageGo to Iziko Museums of Cape Town home pageAbout Biodiversity Explorer - history, goals, etc.Send us your questions about southern African biodiversityPeople who have contributed content and images.Search Biodiversity Explorer

Family: Bromeliaceae (pineapple family)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Poales

About 57 genera and 1700 species, almost all of which are native to subtropical and tropical America. There is, however, one species native to tropical West Africa. There are no species native to southern Africa. The most familiar cultivated bromeliad is the Pineapple Ananas comosus. In southern Africa, 31 genera and 297 species have been recorded in cultivation, mainly as ornamental plants, probably the most familiar being the air plants which are epiphytic species in the genus Tillandsia.

Genera cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002) with updates to the nomenclature from FCBS Bromeliad Species Online Database.

Acanthostachys strobilacea

Native to Brazil.

 

Aechmea

About 204 species, native to southern Mexico, Central America, South America and the West Indies, with 42 species cultivated in southern Africa.

Aechmea gamosepala var. nivea

Ananas comosus (Pineapple)

Native to Brazil and is cultivated as a fruit in southern Africa (e.g. in the Eastern Cape).

Araeococcus

Two species cultivated: Araeococcus flagellifolius (native from Colombia to Brazil) and Araeococcus pectinatus (native from Costa Rica to Colombia).

 

Billbergia

About 60 species, native to Mexico, Central America and South America. Ten species are cultivated in southern Africa.

Brocchinia reducta

Native to Venezuela and Guyana.

 

Bromelia

Two species cultivated: Bromelia balansae (Macambira) (native from Colombia to Argentina) and Bromelia pinguin (Pi˝uela, Pinguin) (native from Mexico to Ecuador).

 

Canistropsis

Eleven species, native mainly to Brazil. Five species are cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Catopsis

Over 20 species, native from Florida to Brazil, as well as the Caribbean. Five species are cultivated in southern Africa. 

 

Cryptanthus

About 20 species, native to Brazil. Three species are cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Deuterocohnia

Two species cultivated: Deuterocohnia brevifolia (= Abromeitiella brevifolia) (native to Bolivia and Argentina) and Deuterocohnia longipetala (native from Peru to Argentina).

 

Dyckia

Over 100 species of rosette-forming, stemless, evergreen succulents, native to South America where they are found mainly in rocky areas near the coast and in the mountains. Ten species are cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Edmundoa lindenii

[= Canistrum lindenii]

Native to Brazil.

 

Fascicularia bicolor (Chupalla)

Native to Chile.

 

Fosterella penduliflora (Parmera)

Native from Peru to Argentina.

 

Guzmania

About 170 species of epiphytes, native to tropical regions of the Americas. Forteen species are cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Hechtia

About 45 species, native from southwestern USA through to Central America. Three species are cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Hohenbergia

Two species cultivated: Hohenbergia augusta (native to Brazil) and Hohenbergia penduliflora (native to Cuba and Jamaica).

 

Mezobromelia hutchinsonii

Native to Ecuador and Peru.

 

Nidularium

About 44 species, native to eastern South America - mainly Brazil. Seven species are cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Neoregelia

About 71 species, native to tropical and warm regions of South America, especially Brazil. Twenty-two species are cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Orthophytum saxicola

Native to Brazil.

 

Pitcairnia

About 263 species, native from Mexico through to South America and also including the West Indies. An outlying species is found in West Africa and is evidently the only non-American species in the Bromeliaceae. Within its native distribution species in this genus are mainly found in dry, rocky areas. Ten species are cultivated in southern Africa. 

 

Portea petropolitana

Native to Brazil.

 

Puya

About 168 species, native to the highlands of South America. Six species are cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Quesnelia

About 15 species, native to southeastern Brazil. Eight species are cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Racinaea

About 60 species, native to Central and South America. Four species are cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Tillandsia

About 540 species, native to the southern USA, Mexico, Central and South America, and the West Indies. A total of 107 species are cultivated in southern Africa, mainly in specialist collections. 

Vriesea

About 195 species closely related to Tillandsia and Guzmania and native to Mexico, Central America, South America and the West Indies. Twenty-two species are cultivated in southern Africa.

Werauhia ringens

[= Vriesea ringens]

Native from Costa Rica to Colombia.

 

Wittrockia superba

Native to Brazil.

 

Links

Publications

  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

 

Contact us if you can contribute information or images to improve this page.

Biodiversity Explorer home   Iziko home   Search