Except the variegated pineapple (see Ananas) there are few or none of these curious plants that are of any commercial value, though among them are some beautiful and interesting plants. The Buffalo Botanic Gardens now possess the very valuable collection brought together by the former firm of Pitcher & Manda, with many additions, making it the most complete collection in this country, and it is in the finest possible condition.
Besides the ananas, the most familiar genera are the tillandsia and the bro-melia. The leaves are stiff, variously colored, and fluted or concave, always carrying the moisture to the base of the leaf. The flowers are often handsome. They are mostly from tropical America.
Propagation is by offsets or suckers, which, when separated from the old plant, should be potted and plunged in a good heat. They are grown in pots or baskets, which should be drained with a third of crocks, and the compost should be fern roots and sphagnum. They require heavy shade in the summer and must be frequently syringed. It is the moist atmosphere they delight in.
By their channeled leaves they accumulate water, which remains in quantity at the base of the stem, and it should not be disturbed, as it does no harm. In nature the water would surely be there, and in this respect at least we cannot improve on nature. A compost such as described, plenty of moisture and a minimum winter temperature of 70 degrees is what they want. Following are named some of the most distinct genera and species:
Tillandsia utriculala and T. fenes-tralis.
Guzmania fragrans and G. tricolor.
Aechmea fulgens and A. crocophylla.
Karatis spectabilis and K. Moritzia-num.
Vriesia musaica and V. splendens.
For the culture of the variegated pineapple (Anana sativa variegata) see Ananas.