Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Earth Star, Starfish Plant
Cryptanthus bivittatus

Family: Bromeliaceae (bro-mee-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cryptanthus (krip-TAN-thus) (Info)
Species: bivittatus (biv-it-TAY-tus) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

under 6 in. (15 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 12 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive tekbehr On Jul 20, 2002, tekbehr wrote:

Cryptanthus species, cultivars and hybrids in general (like most Bromeliads) are very easy to care for. Most are easier than African Violets. The selection, colors, textures and diversity of foliage is quite stiking and beautiful. Cryptanthus are native to Brazil.

Note: many bromeliads will turn pink or reddish when cultivated under intense light condtions. Cryptanthus are easily grown as house plants indoors under flourescent lights or on a window sill. They grow best when the soil is allowed to dry out slightly, then totally soaked. They also grow well when the soil is kept evenly moist but not damp. Though Cryptanthus are considered low light or light shade plants, many actually only begin to display their beautiful foliage colors when exposed to more intense light conditions.

Unfortunately, Cryptanthus bivittatus has not been found growing in its native habitat of Brazil for many years. The cultivar C. 'Pink Starlite' or 'Starlite' is a white and green variegated sport which turns bright pink when grown in bright light to partial sun. C. 'Ruby' is a sport of bivittus which turns deep red in bright light to partial or full sun. C. bivittatus will turn pink or tan when grown under bright light to partial or full sun.

Cryptanthus bivittatus and it's cultivars, Pink Starlite and Ruby, are a very small sampling of the beauty, variety and diversity of foliage colors and textures that are typical of the over 50 Cryptanthus species, and over 200 cultivars and hybrids that are now available commercially.

NOTE: All bromeliads, including cryptanthus, bloom once at maturity, then die. Reproduction of cryptanthus as well as most other bromeliads commercially available, is by offsets, and ocassionally by seed. Reproduction of most bromeliads in general, is by offsets which are freely produced at maturity. This usually occurs at the same time or just after blooming. There are some rare bromeliad species which do not produce offsets and are only reproduced by seed. Puya Raimondii from the Peruvian Andes of South America being the most notable, as well as the largest, exceeding a height of 40 feet when in full bloom. A truely spectacular sight. For a few photos of this stunning bromeliad, do a search for Puya raimondii on the BSI web site listed below. Did I mention, a Puya Raimondii will take upwards of 150 years to reach maturity and come into bloom? In contrast, most Cryptanthus can reach maturity in about a year or 2.

Neutral euphorbrom On Aug 21, 2001, euphorbrom from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9A) wrote:

Flowers are small and white, appear near the center. Small pups develop between the leaves; when they are 1/3 the size of the parent, detach them (they should come away with a gentle tug) and repot them. Another variety often seen is
Cryptanthus "Starlite".


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Concord, California
San Diego, California
Bartow, Florida
Dunedin, Florida
Lecanto, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Miami, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
Cincinnati, Ohio
El Campo, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas

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