Colours and shapes
The most noticeable thing about Gazmania are the brightly coloured bracts that emerge from a beautiful rosette to form a funnel. Those bracts come in fantastic colours: bright red, deep orange, yellow, green, pink, purple, white or bicoloured. The rosettes contain absorbent hairs and scales which act like biological blotting paper, enabling the plant to absorb water and nutrients. Small flowers bloom amidst the bracts. Guzmania is a plant that gives it’s all, and then gives up after flowering.
Guzmania is a member of the Bromeliad family, and occurs particularly in the north-west of South America and the Caribbean, mainly in tropical rainforests. There it grows on trees with threadlike roots without damaging its host: Guzmania gets its food and water from the air. The plant is named after the person who discovered it, Spaniard Antonino Guzman. He was a pharmacist, botanist and collector of historic items. The first species were imported into Europe in around 1900.
Guzmania is the symbol of the Brazilian wilderness: the funnel is said to capture all the ‘blessings from above’ (rain, sunlight) in order to store them. As a houseplant, it’s particularly the colours that a significant: yellow represents fortune and wealth, red represents fiery love, pink means lasting love and orange represents passing something (driving test, examination, course).