Do bromeliads ever harm their hosts? Are they parasites? Can any of them really live on air? How many kinds live in Florida? Are the pretty ones easy to grow in my garden? This is the first book on Florida's bromeliads and will appeal to both scientists and general readers interested in the state and its unique flora.
Sixteen of the world's 3400 kinds of bromeliads are found in Florida, along with two natural hybrids. These so-called "air plants" thrive on trees and shrubs as epiphytes, which means they have no roots in soil. They are not parasites, as they use their woody hosts only for mechanical support. Spanish moss and ball moss are found in great numbers throughout the state (and farther north). Most of the rest prefer the warmer climate of the peninsula, many in the cypress swamp forests of south Florida, where they occur so abundantly. This long-awaited book introduces them all, with means of identification, characteristics, distribution maps, and color photographs.