This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol2", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
Although a fairly large trade is done in these plants on the Continent, for some reason or another they have never become popular in British gardens. Here and there, outside botanical establishments, one may meet with a more or less bedraggled specimen of an AEchmea, Billbergia, Caraguata, Tillandsia, or a variegated form of Pineapple (Ananas), but the trade in them is practically nil. And yet they are graceful evergreen plants with conspicuous spikes or drooping racemes of gorgeously coloured flowers and bracts. Most of them flourish in a sandy peat, require plenty of heat and moisture, and are propagated by means of suckers and from seeds.