Pronounced gooz-MANE-ee-a. This plant was named after a Spanish chemist, Antonino Guzman.
The beauty of guzmanias is in their strikingly coloured bracts.
Central and South America, West Indies
The best known is Guzmania lingulata (scarlet star) which bears orange and red bracts.
Needs bright filtered light throughout the year. If there is insufficient light, the plant will not produce flowers. Keep warm all year round and humid. Water plentifully, keeping the potting mixture moist, but not wet, at all times. The central rosette of leaves should be topped up regularly with water. In summer keep cup filled, in winter water less. Every fourteen days, from early spring to late summer, use a weak solution of fertiliser when watering or misting.
Guzmania dies after it has produced its flowers in summer but new plants can easily be propagated from the offsets which appear as the parent plant dies. They are epiphytes and can do well if tied on to pieces of bark with roots bound into sphagnum moss.