Bromeliads are primarily tropical plants, and most of the species found here in Florida prefer warm humid conditions. The amount of rainfall in South Florida during many months… the plants ability to withstand dry conditions for long periods… and the geological conditions that maintain humidity in the drier months in South Florida, all contribute to bromeliad growth. In addition, the mixture of tropical and temperate plants in south Florida’s hammocks and swamps, provides the appropriate canopy conditions needed by some species.
The distribution of bromeliads in Florida is primarily determined by temperature conditions. Frost limits most of the states native bromeliads and during years of severe cold weather, populations of cold-sensitive species can be reduced substantially. Every decade or two, severe frost kills back populations of bromeliads in north and central Florida… establishing the northern range limits on the species there. Florida’s rarest bromeliads (Guzmania monostachia, Catopsis nutans, Catopsis floribunda, and Catopsis beteroniana) are restricted to the southernmost region of the state. These species also have very specific humidity and shade requirements… restricting them to certain habitats with appropriate canopy and geological conditions.
Of Florida’s 16 species, 13 are not found anywhere else in the United States… and one, (Tillandsia simulata) is found only in Florida. The populations of Florida’s bromeliads are distinct from the West Indian bromeliads from which they originated. There is also genetic variation among populations of certain species here in Florida, particulary Tilliadsia fasciculata. All of Florida’s native species of bromeliads are epithetic, although some species may sometimes be found growing terrestrially (Tillandsia utriculata and Tillandsia fasciculata. Contact us today at Orlando Outdoors!