Bromeliads in Brief
ODD FACTS ABOUT BROMELIADS:
• Bromeliads are members of the Bromeliacae family – which also includes pineapples and Spanish moss.
• Biologists have cataloged more than 3,500 species of bromeliads, with new ones being added all the time.
• At least one third of the species are air plants that grow on trees or rocks, using their roots only to hold themselves in place. They draw their water from clouds and fog, as well as rainwater stored in the “tanks” formed by tight rosettes of leaves.
• In upper reaches of tropical rain forests, these tanks serve as miniature ecosystems, providing a critical source of water for such diverse creatures as birds, snakes, lizards, frogs, snails, dragonflies, beetles, ants, butterflies, crabs, opossums and even other plants.
• Scientific studies
suggest bromeliads can help improve indoor air-quality as you sleep. In
the photosynthetic process, most common indoor plants remove carbon dioxide
while emitting oxygen and water vapors during the day. But research indicates
that bromeliads behave differently during the day/night cycle, releasing
oxygen and removing air pollutants at night. Data collected by the Plants
for Clean Air Council suggest that when combined with foliage plants,
bromeliads can help provide around-the-clock indoor air purification.