Billbergia plant care

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Billbergia plant care

Billbergia are a genus of some 400 species of lianas (woody plants, vines, or climbers) in the plant family Bromeliaceae, native to tropical South America and West Africa. Billbergia plants form extensive clumps of leaves and flowers, and are popular garden plants in many temperate regions. A number of species, especially in southern Africa, have escaped from cultivation and become invasive in many areas.

Billbergia are easily propagated by division (cuttings), and are popular plants for new home owners who wish to adorn their property with unique, vibrant flowers. A few species of billbergia are popular ornamental plants in subtropical regions, for example B. ,grandiflora in the United States. Many species and cultivars of the genus are listed in the RHS plantfinder and other databases.

The leaves and roots of billbergia plants are important sources of a number of biologically active secondary compounds. The genus is closely related to the genus Alocasia, and is a subgenus of the genus Alocasia in the family Alocasiaceae.


Billbergia are woody plants (lianas), forming massive, often sprawling plants. They grow upwards, from a single point, on a root. Billbergia leaves are broad (2–20 ,cm across), glossy (glabrous) and bright green (to reddish green or bluish green) and in many species a prominent midrib runs down the centre. The flower may be white, yellow, pink, red, salmon or orange, or show various colour forms. A central ring of six to twelve (rarely up to eighteen) pale yellow, green or red spots or "seams" (called venation) are common. Flowering occurs at any time of the year, although some species and cultivars flower from November to April. Flowers are produced in racemes or cymes at the top of the plant.

Tubers grow from the stem and are attached in a few groups at the base. The tubers often have "wings" and may be pale or deep purple.

Selected species

List of billbergia species and cultivars:

B. ,abietina L.f.

B. ,adscendens L.f.

B. ,andamanensis (Sunderl.) Danser

B. ,arboricola Benth.

B. ,arenicola L.

B. ,argentea Oliv. &, Hiern

B. ,arizonica (Poir.) Britton

B. ,australis L.f.

B. ,bacurana (Poir.) Gagnep.

B. ,beccarii Cav.

B. ,bella (Dunal) L.f.

B. ,billbergi Lindley

B. ,billbergioides (Vell.) L.f.

B. ,bisulcata Lindl.

B. ,brachyptera L.f.

B. ,calcarea L.

B. ,calyculata (Ker Gawl.) Walp.

B. ,capitata Cav.

B. ,chenopodioides L.

B. ,chevalieri (Sunderl.) L.f.

B. ,circulatifolia Lindl.

B. ,clavata L.

B. ,cordata L.f.

B. ,denticulata L.

B. ,diplotricha (Lindl.) Oliv. &, Hiern

B. ,dilatata Lindl.

B. ,diodon (Dunal) L.f.

B. ,disticha L.

B. ,distichantha G.Don

B. ,elongata G.Don

B. ,eburnea (Kunth) Walp.

B. ,erinacea L.f.

B. ,erubescens L.

B. ,etiolata R.Br. ex Walp.

B. ,filifolia L.f.

B. ,frutescens L.

B. ,glabrescens (Ker Gawl.) R.Br. ex Walp.

B. ,glandulosa (Kunth) Walp.

B. ,gossweileri E.Fourn.

B. ,gracillima L.

B. ,grahamii (K.Schum.) L.f.

B. ,guilielmoi R.Br. ex Walp.

B. ,herbacea (Wendl.) R.Br. ex Walp.

B. ,hirsuta L.

B. ,huanglongensis F.Q.Wu

B. ,implexa (Seringe) L.

B. ,ingrata L.

B. ,jacquinii L.

B. ,kleinii L.

B. ,longifolia L.

B. ,macrorhyncha (Ridl.) P.M.Peterson &, Wells

B. ,magnifica L.

B. ,macrocarpa L.

B. ,margaritacea G.Don

B. ,marginata L.f.

B. ,media L.

B. ,meconioides (A.DC.) L.f.

B. ,melinon (Nees) L.

B. ,minima L.

B. ,mitis G.Don

B. ,mollis L.f.

B. ,multinervia Schltr.

B. ,multiradiata (Stapf) L.f.

B. ,oblongifolia L.

B. ,ophtalmia (Lindl.) L.f.

B. ,ostrata L.f.

B. ,peregrina L.

B. ,punctata L.f.

B. ,quinquelobata G.Don

B. ,quinquefolia L.

B. ,regeliana (Stapf) L.f.

B. ,reticulata L.

B. ,robur (E.Mey.) Wendl. ex Walp.

B. ,sagittata G.Don

B. ,scabrifolia L.

B. ,schickendantzii (Walp.) Garay

B. ,schwarziana L.

B. ,stellata L.

B. ,subcordata Stapf

B. ,tacitii (Schltdl.) L.f.

B. ,testudo L.

B. ,tigrina (P.Beauv.) L.f.

B. ,turanica L.

B. ,xantiana L.


Further reading

External links

Category:Fabaceae genera

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