Neoregelia spectabilis - Fingernail airplant
Over two thousand species of bromeliad are native to North
and South America including several species in Florida. About seventy species of Neoregelia range are native to South America. Many hybrids are cultivated. Neoregelia species are fairly typical
bromeliads, mostly living as epiphytes on other plants with their leaves
arranged in tight rosettes. They differ in having their flowers in tight clusters
held low in the rosette.
The common name refers to the red spot at the tip of each
leaf in some of the species and hybrids. Leaves are vary from light green to
solid red, often with markings on the leaves. Blue flowers are held low in the
rosette and are not very conspicuous. After flowering, the rosette dies and is
replaced by one or more small plants developing at its base or on short stolons.
Although it is naturally an epiphyte, it grows well on the ground in a
See this plant in the Founders Plaza near the Gandhi statue.
Herbaceous plant about nine to twelve inches tall.
Light: part shade to shade
Water: well-drained soil, tolerates some drought
Soil: very adaptable provided the soil drains well
Several types of Neoregelia
and its hybrids are at or near their northern limits in Jacksonville. In the northern part of the
city, it may be best to plant them in a protected site. In general, grow them
in a shady spot with good drainage.