Or the way they readily divide and transplant to a new home even where the oak tree roots are occupying a good deal of the available soil. Once bromeliads establish roots in their new location, they begin multiplying and gathering closely together hugging the base of the oaks. Because their roots are shallow there isn't a threat of competition for the nutrients deep into the soil.
Bromeliads require very little attention from their caretaker at any time of the year. They are drought tolerant (a really big plus in Florida) holding water in the crevices of their thickly thatched foliage allowing them to drink as needed from that built-in reservoir. No trimming or shaping is ever required minus removing some spent leaves occasionally. Mine are burdened with oak leaves and sticks showering from above during this time of year but even those do not hinder their sturdy performance.
Sometimes bromeliads are to be loved just because their long, thick, shiny foliage is unique and spotted like that of a jungle animal rather than a common perennial.
There is so much variety to their form, texture, and colors it would be impossible to list every characteristic to be appreciated about these plants. Their leaves can be lightly colored and striped... Swept with shades of pink as if a paint brush was used to highlight their upperside and then decided not to give them its full attention.
They are not tolerant of freezing conditions but because they are safely tucked and layered among other tropicals at Hoe and Shovel they are protected during our mostly mild winters.
When it comes time for blooming a gardener couldn't order up anything more varied and vibrant. The flowers are as unique as each plant with many blooms lasting up to 6 months on most varieties.
Then there are the varieties that send up a berry-like laden shoot 2-3 feet above the purpley prickley foliage like the one my dad gave me featured above. At the end of each pod type berry there appears a teeny purple or pink soft petaled flower all on the same stalk.
The flower can be insignicant and delicate sitting low in the watery center where the brilliant red foliage contrast with the bloom.
Of all the bromeliads blooming this April GBBD this brilliant orange-red with yellow tips is probably my favorite. Of course I reserve the right to change my mind about favorites on any given day as more blooms will continue to appear while April winds down and the calendar turns another page.