This subfamily is characterized mainly by plants that have water pounding rosettes, with spiny leaves. Often growing epiphytic but there are also many terrestrials.

The leaves are mostly spinose-serrate and covered by well developed obvious scales (mostly functioning for water uptake). The mature seeds are unappendaged and produced in baccate fuit. The ovary is inferior or nearly so. The following genera are included in this subfamily. The number between brackets are indicating the number of species within the genus following Smith & Downs 1979 (many species has been described since and some genus boundaries has changed too): Fernseea(1), Ronnbergia(8), Araeococcus(5), Streptocalyx(14), Androlepis(1), Ochagavia(3), Neoregelia(71), Cryptanthus(20), Nidularium(23), Greigia(26), Andrea(1), Bromelia(47), Hohenbergiopsis(1), Acanthostachys(1), Orthopytum(17), Fascicularia(5), Canistrum(7), Wittrockia(7), Hohenbergia(40), Disteganthus(2), Aechmea(172), Quesnelia(14), Billbergia(53), Neoglaviovia(43), Portea(7), Pseudananas(1), Ananas(8).

It is generally accepted that Streptocalyx has been merged into Aechmea and Ursulaea with two species is a new genus erected from Aechmea.

Aechmea chantinii.jpg (222069 bytes) Aechmea chantinii Quesnelia marmorata.jpg (36402 bytes) Quesnelia marmorata
Streptocalyx biflorus.jpg (27899 bytes)


Streptocalyx biflorus

Billbergia mexicana 99GR00806 b.jpg (251157 bytes)


Billbergia mexicana

Araeococcus goeldianus 97GR00007 b.jpg (251301 bytes) Araeococcus goeldianus Orthophytum navioides 00GR00750 a.jpg (237568 bytes)

Orthophytum navioides

Bromelia plumier 96GR00628 a.jpg (250925 bytes)



Bromelia plumier

Nidularium pauciflorum 98GR01182 a.jpg (253440 bytes)


Nidularium pauciflorum

Hohenbergia rosea 99GR00814.jpg (334479 bytes) Hohenbergia rosea

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