Vriesea splendens

Common Name: vriesea 
Type: Epiphyte
Family: Bromeliaceae
Native Range: Caribbean, northern South America
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 2.50 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Bright red
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen


Protect flaming sword from bright light and temperatures below 50° F. Water when soil is dry. A foliar feed high in potash and low in nitrogen (other than in the form of urea) will increase flower size. High levels of fertility will leave a salt build-up on foliage. Keep rosette cup filled with tepid water that has been allowed to stand for several hours. This plant is epiphytic and can be grown attached to slabs or bark. If grown in a container, plant in commercial bromeliad or orchid mix. Do not use pesticides. The mother plant dies after flowering, but new plantlets can be repotted to replace it.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Vriesea splendens, commonly called flaming sword, is a bromeliad with generally lance-shaped or linear foliage 8 – 24 inches long that is green or purplish often with crossbands of dark brown. The leaves have smooth margins and may have colorful bracts at the leaf bases. The foliage is often arching, forming a funnel-shaped rosette. The flowers are variously shaped, short-stalked flowers, generally in a flattened spike-like racemes or panicles in 2 rows. Petals are often tubular and short-lived; the bracts are brightly colored and last for months.

Genus name honors Willem Hendrik de Vriese (1806-1862), Dutch botanist, professor of botany first at Amsterdam, then at Leiden.

Specific epithet means splendid.


Leaf spots (as a result of drying out), bacterial soft rot, scales and mealybugs. For more information see: Problems Common to Many Indoor Plants


Widely used as a container plant in indoor commercial sites.