Bromeliaceae

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Bromeliaceae

[brō‚mel·ē′ās·ē‚ē]
(botany)
The single family of the flowering plant order Bromeliales.

Bromeliaceae

 

or pineapplè family, a family of monocotyledonous, mostly herbaceous perennial plants. There are approximately 50 genera and up to 2,000 species distributed in tropical and subtropical America. As a rule, the stalks are shortened, with rosettes of long and variegated leaves that are often spined at the edges. The leaves are usually strongly broadened at the base and, densely enclosing each other, form water-catching funnels. The inflorescences are spikes, brushes, caps, and panicles, and on many Bromeliaceae the inflorescences have brightly colored bracts. The flowers are regular, bisexual, and, for the most part, brightly colored, with a tripartite calyx and corolla. There are six stamens and one pistil with a three-chambered ovary. The fruit is a boll or a berry. Only a few Bromeliaceae grow in the soil; the rest are epiphytes. Water, organic remains, and even flora and fauna accumulate in the funnel-shaped leaf rosettes of the Bromeliaceae. From there the leaves absorb water and nourishment through their bases. Many Bromeliaceae have a special water-carrying tissue, special filaments for water absorption. Of the widely cultivated plants, pineapples belong to the Bromeliaceae. Other Bromeliaceae are raised in greenhouses and indoors because of their beautiful leaves, bright blossoms, and prolonged blooming. Also of the Bromeliaceae family is so-called Louisiana moss (Spanish moss), whose long, leafless, threadlike stalks hang from trees and are used for stuffing mattresses, furniture, and so forth.

REFERENCE

Takhtadzhian, A. L. Sistema i filogeniia tsvetkovykh rastenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.