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Vriesea splendens

 

Flaming Sword

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassZingiberidaeGingers and related plants
OrderBromelialesBromeliads: tropical plants adapted to limited water, often epiphytes
FamilyBromeliaceaeBromelias: tropical and subtropical plants, the best known being pineapple
GenusVrieseaNamed for Dutch botanist and physician Willem Hendrik de Vriese
SpeciessplendensLatin for “bright”

About plant names...

Flaming sword—what a cool name!—is native to eastern Venezuela and French Guiana. It is not found in the wild in North America.

Identification: This bromeliad is 24-36" (60-91 cm) high. It is an epiphyte, so it can live on rock or bark. It has leathery, straplike linear leaves that emerge from a common base. Leaves are 12-18" (30-45 cm) in length, and variegated or striped with maroon. Flaming sword is an apt name: flowers are crimson, on a narrow, erect, flattened spike, pointing straight up, looking like a Jedi knight’s lightsaber.

Online References:

Vriesea splendens on Forest and Kim Starr’s Starr Environmental site

Vriesea splendens on fcbs.org

Vriesea splendens at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Vriesea splendens on Plants are the Strangest People

Vriesea (genus) on fcbs.org

Vriesea splendens description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Oct 2013.

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Vriesea splendens (Flaming Sword)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm)

Vriesea splendens (Flaming Sword)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD
≈ 24 × 16" (62 × 41 cm)

Range: Zones 10-12:

About this map...