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Vriesea splendens (Brongn.) Lem.

Flaming sword

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassZingiberidaeGingers and related plants
OrderBromelialesBromeliads: tropical plants adapted to limited water, often epiphytes
FamilyBromeliaceaeBromelias: tropical and subtropical plants, the best known being pineapple
GenusVrieseaNamed for Dutch botanist and physician Willem Hendrik de Vriese

About plant names...

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.

Online References:

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 var. wardelii auct.

Vriesea splendens var. striatifolia M.B.Foster

Vriesea splendens var. splendens

Vriesea splendens var. oinochroma Steyerm.

Vriesea splendens var. major auct.

Vriesea splendens var. longibracteata (Baker) L.B.Sm.

Vriesea splendens var. formosa Suringar ex Witte

Vriesea splendens var. chlorostachya Oliva-Esteve

Vriesea speciosa Hook.

Vriesea longibracteata (Baker) Mez

Tillandsia zebrina hort. ex Baker

Tillandsia splendens var. formosa Suringar ex Witte

Tillandsia splendens Brongn.

Tillandsia speciosa (Hook.) G.Nicholson

Tillandsia picta Baker

Tillandsia longibracteata Baker [Illegitimate]

Tillandsia appuniana Baker


Vriesea splendens description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Vriesea splendens (flaming sword)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, Mary­land
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm)

Vriesea splendens (flaming sword)

4/6/2011 · Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, Mary­land
≈ 24 × 16" (62 × 41 cm)

Range: Zones 10-12:

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