Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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WEST INDIAN TUFTED AIRPLANT
Endangered Florida species
Although this bromeliad is rare, it can be found in locally abundant colonies in swamps and wet tropical hammocks of south Florida.
Guzmania monostachia ranges throughout the West Indies, Mexico, Central America, Peru and Brazil. In Florida it is only found in Miami-Dade, mainland Monroe and Collier counties.
The 2-3 cm (3/4 to 1-1/4 in.) wide leaves of this epiphytic perennial can be up to 50 cm (20 in.) long, nearly parallel-sided and tapering abruptly near the tip. Monostachia means one-spiked, referring to the single spike of many flowers. This inflorescence is covered with bracts that are green with chocolate color stripes on the lower part of the spike, with the upper ones varying from pink to scarlet. Small white, tubular flowers protrude from behind these bracts. Guzmania mostly blooms from February through August, peaking during the months of May, June and July.