One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plant of tropical and subtropical America, typically having short stems with rosettes of stiff, spiny leaves. Some kinds are epiphytic and many are cultivated as pot plants.
- ‘The first orchids were large terrestrial plants, but like bromeliads, orchids took to the trees, where they have diversified to become the largest family of flowering plants.’
- ‘Miller also offers a variety of tropical plants, including bromeliads, bougainvillea, citrus, hibiscus, and orchids.’
- ‘Dry heat, common in most houses during the winter, is fine for cactus and succulents, but it's tough on tropicals such as African violets, bromeliads, and orchids.’
- ‘The plants that he uses include ferns, bromeliads, orchids and palm trees.’
- ‘Where else can you grow bromeliads and orchids outside by simply hanging them in trees?’
Mid 19th century: from modern Latin Bromelia (named by Linnaeus after Olaf Bromel (1639–1705), Swedish botanist) + -ad.
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