The Bromeliad family contains a diverse group of tropical and subtropical flowering plants mainly from the Americas. Some grow rooted in the ground, but most are found in the branches of forest trees, also known as epiphytes. Epiphytes are non-parasitic plants that live on top of other plants. Epiphytic bromeliads catch water in their cup-shaped leaves, and receive nutrients from decomposing organic matter; others can absorb water through their leaves. The brightly colored, spiky flowers make many bromeliads attractive as decorative house plants; however, the best-known of all bromeliads is likely the pineapple (Ananas comosus), which can be found growing here.


La familia de las bromelias abarca un grupo diverso de plantas tropicales y subtropicales principalmente americanas capaces de producir flores. Algunas crecen echando raíces en la tierra, pero la mayoría vive en las ramas de los árboles del bosque. A este tipo de plantas se les llama epífitas. Las epífitas son plantas no parasíticas que viven sobre otras plantas. Las bromelias epífitas atrapan agua con sus hojas en forma de copa y reciben nutrientes a partir de la descomposición de materia orgánica; otras pueden absorber el agua directamente a través de sus hojas. Las flores de brillantes colores de las bromelias las vuelven plantas muy atractivas para tener en casa como decoración; sin embargo, quizás la bromelia más conocida de todas sea la piña (Ananas comosus), que se encuentra creciendo en el Jardín.

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Our Bromeliads collection is relatively new, having been developed in the late 1990s. In addition to the very different types of flowers that all of the species produce, the leaf colors and shapes also provide an interesting contrast. Three major genera of bromeliads dominate the plantings, Aechmea, Billbergia, and Neoregelia. A large stand of bamboo is found on the northern edge of the garden, tucked away within the stand is a wonderful ‘secret’ bench. This plant group also contains terrestrial desert species, such as the South American genera Dyckia and Puya, which can be seen in our Desert Garden.


The UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). As a promoter of nature at a California land grant institution, we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

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