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.
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 12 Oct 2018.
Range: Zones 10-12: