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Bromeliads and aroids (house 8)

The north-easternmost of the six greenhouses branching off the palm house is dedicated almost exclusively to bromeliads native to America, Araceae and the herbaceous Marantaceae conspicuous through their distinctive colouring of their leaves. Although Araceae are found around the word, we have concentrated on the tropical species in our collection. Behind glass at the back of the greenhouse, particularly rare bromeliads are on display.

The murmuring of a brooklet adds a special note to this warm and humid tropical habitat.

Most bromeliads are epiphytes using other plants as their hosts but are non-parasitical. They rather derive their nutrients from their environment. Almost all of them have developed ways to collect and conserve water or absorb humidity from the air. Like all typical plants of this family, they are monocotyledons or monocots.

Accompanying them are the Araceae with their often large foliage. Their flowers are borne on a thickened inflorescence, a spadix, which is surrounded by a bract. The individual flowers are very small and sit on the fleshy axis of the leaf. Musaceae are also large-leaved, bearing flowers in very distinctive colours. In contrast, the Marantaceae adorn themselves mainly with a striking variety of leaf zoning.

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