Bromeliad and Araceae House

Bromeliad and Araceae House (House 8): The northeasternmost of the six side houses leading away from the Palm House is devoted to bromeliads, almost all of which are native to the Americas, Araceae, which are common worldwide but mainly tropical, and other tropical herbs such as Marantaceae, which are striking for their leaf coloration. A small stream brings additional life to the warm and humid tropical world.

Exotic perching plants

Most bromeliads (Bromeliaceae) grow on other plants, on which they sit as epiphytes. Epiphytes are not parasites, they only need and use other plants for support. On the ground they would get far too little light, so they settle far up in the branches of other plants. Almost all bromeliads are accustomed to housekeeping, collecting water or even absorbing it from the air. Like all typical plants of this house, they belong to the monocotyledons which are flowering plants (angiosperm), the seeds of which typically contain only one embryonic leaf, or cotyledon.
They are joined by the arum family (Araceae) with their often huge leaf surfaces, characterized by columellar inflorescences surrounded by a bracteole, the so-called spathe. The individual flowers are very small and sit on a fleshy axis. Also large-leaved are the banana plants, which often bloom in bright colors, while the Marantaceae limit their ornamentation mainly to a varied leaf pattern.