If this tropical beauty lives on your windowsill, chances are you’ve been asked about its species more often than you’d like to. Native to South American tropics, this majestic queen is sparkling with bright colors and impressive leaf forms. Billbergia nutans – or Queen’s tears – truly deserves its name.
It’s an epiphytic plant native to Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. In tropical forest, its natural habitat, it grows both on trees and on forest floors. Interestingly, it nourishes itself primarily through the leaves and flowers rather than roots.
Both leaves and flowers are truly remarkable. Arching leaves reach 15 inches (40 cm) in length, while the stem produces shiny pink bracts with pink-blue-green, tear-like blooms. The Rainbow Tears is yet another name for this plant, one it deserves, yet again.