I took oodles of shots while I was down in Ft. Lauderdale and I can't resist posting a few more. Here are a few of the MANY bromeliads that we saw at Fairchild. You can see some more of the Aechmea blanchetiana in the first shot. And what a striking color combination with the purple Tradescantia pallida and the silver-colored palm!
I've read that Aechmea blanchetiana grows green in the shade and turns that brilliant yellow-orange when it's in full sun. I'd love to find some of these for my yard, but I worry they may be too tender for my area even if I covered them during cold spells. We'll see.
Many of the bromeliads around the garden (like this red one) were just plopped into a giant hunk of limerock--very classic Florida.
Bromeliads can survive like this because most of them don't rely on driving roots into the soil to take up water. Instead, they collect water in the natural cups that form where their leaves come together.
Fairchild also had tons of fabulous cycads, more than 200+ species according to the Fairchild Web site. I'm only posting one shot now, because the rest are still on the work camera.
And finally, I'm posting one shot of the plant with one of my favorite botanical names--Monstera deliciosa. Some people also call it Swiss cheese plant because of the naturally occurring holes in the leaves.
Again, this is another true tropical plant that probably wouldn't survive in Gainesville's chillier weather.