West Indian Airplant
||Scientific name: Guzmania monostachia (L.) Rusby ex. Mez.
Common names: West Indian tufted airplant, Fuchs' bromeliad, strap-leaved guzmania.
this plant in Florida: Mexican bromeliad weevil (Metamasius callizona), illegal collecting, habitat destruction.
Distribution: Florida, West Indies, Mexico, Central America to northern Peru and Brazil.
in Florida: Collier, Miami-Dade, mainland Monroe Counties.
Before the Mexican bromeliad weevil, large, dense, localized
populations could be found in deep slough habitat, where water depth,
water-holding capacity of the peat soils, and canopy provide optimal
conditions. Now, these populations are being destroyed by the weevil.
Terrestrial (rockland hammock), palustrine (slough, strand swamp); most
abundant on pop ash (Fraxinus caroliniana) and pond apple (Annona
epiphyte; may be terrestrial; bright green, flexible, non-scaly,
strap-shaped leaves, nearly parallel-sided and tapering abruptly at the
tip, 2-3 cm (3/4 - 1 1/8 in.) wide and up to 50 cm (20 in.) long
(usually 25-30 cm [10-12 in.]); leaves may be green-and-white striped
(var. variegata); single floral spike (“monostachia” means
“one spike”) up to 40 cm (16 in.), with many
spirally-arranged flowers; salmon-colored apical floral bracts in
Florida; white flowers, 3 cm (1 1/8in.) long; long, cylindrical
seed capsules, up to 4 cm (1 1/2 in.); may produce many
flowering: All year, mainly February - August, especially May – July.
Coile NC. 2000. Notes on Florida's Endangered and Threatened
Bureau of Entomology, Nematology and Plant Pathology, Botany Section.
Contribution No. 38, 3rd ed., Gainesville, FL.
Florida Natural Areas Inventory.
1997. Matrix of Habitats and Distribution by County of
Species of Florida. Florida Natural Areas Inventory/The Nature Conservancy.
Long RW, Lakela O. 1976. A Flora of Tropical Florida.
Banyan Books, Miami. 178 p.
Luther HE, Benzing DH. 2009.
Native Bromeliads of Florida. Sarasota, FL. Pineapple Press,
DB (ed.). 1979. Plants, Vol. 5. In: Rare and Endangered Biota of
Florida, P.C.H. Pritchard (ed.). University Presses of Florida,
Gainesville, 175 p.