Bromeliads are members of a plant family called Bromeliaceae. The family contains over 3595 described species in approximately 57 genera plus thousands of hybrids. The most well known bromeliad is the pineapple. Plants are widely represented in their natural climates across the Americas. They can be found at altitudes from sea level to 4200 meters, from rainforests to deserts. Approximately half the species are epiphytes, some are lithophytes, and some are terrestrial. Accordingly, these plants can be found in the Andean highlands, from northern Chile to Colombia, in the Sechura Desert of coastal Peru, in the cloud forests of Central and South America, in southern United States from southern Virginia to Florida to Texas, and in far southern Arizona.
In general, they are easy to grow, require little care and reward the grower with brilliant blooms and spectacular ornamental foliage. They come in a wide range of sizes from tiny miniatures to giants. They can be grown indoors in cooler climates and can also be used outdoors where temperatures stay above freezing.