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Billbergia nutans - and other species

(bill bur'gee uh)

Billbergia nutans - Queen's Tears

Billbergia are a group of bromeliads with the best known being Bilbergia nutans commonly called 'Queen's Tears' (see picture right).

Also known as the friendship plant as gardeners divide them and give them to friends, Bilbergia nutans is also readily available for sale, especially when in flower. Even the Big Boxes sell this one.

A rather brilliant plant, as it is easy to grow and vigorous with the added attraction of having wonderful flowers.

It is one of those plants that needs to 'find the right position' once you have it growing it will flower reliably every year. We have seen them growing in hanging baskets as well as in the ground. However, ours are usually grown in containers.

This is an evergreen epiphtyic species, however it is widely grown in a free draining, open, soil mix similar to a fine orchid mix.

The colorful flowers that droop gracefully down are a mixture of green, mauve and pink, set of by yellow stamens. They hang in a funnel shaped rosettes and although not long lasting are spectacular.

So Bilbergia nutans with its jewel like flowers that droop down gracefully is in fact one of the easiest of all to grow.

Propagation

Billbergia are all easily propagated by separating the offsets or 'pups' from the main plant, they take well and are easy to get going.

Bilbergia Varieties

  • Bilbergia nutans - commonly known as 'Queens Tears'
  • Bilbergia pyramidalis - large red flowers held in an upright manner
  • Bilbergia suandersii - blue, green and red flowers in showy open bracts
  • Bilbergia distichia - drooping flowers green with pink, not as showy as B. nutans