Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Tropical Air Plants

These tropical "air plants" (epiphytes) are in the Bromeliad family, genus Tillandsia.  They are first cousin to Spanish Moss; in their native habitat they live in the treetops, often among ferns and orchids.  Good air circulation and bright filtered light are essential to their environment.  Their food comes from dead leaves, bark and insect droppings that fall into the rainwater stored in the center "cup" of the plant.  As it all decays, the nutrients are absorbed by the leaves; the roots are used only for clinging to the bark.

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