Vriesea Bromeliad, Flaming Sword Bromeliad

Vriesea splendens

Family: Bromeliaceae (bro-mee-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Vriesea (VREE-zee-uh) (Info)
Species: splendens (SPLEN-denz) (Info)
Synonym:Tillandsia appuniana
Synonym:Tillandsia picta
Synonym:Tillandsia speciosa
Synonym:Tillandsia splendens
Synonym:Vriesea speciosa


Tropicals and Tender Perennials


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 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

Partial to Full Shade



Bloom Color:


Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly


Grown for foliage




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


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

Camarillo, California

Sacramento, California

Bartow, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Key West, Florida

Miami, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Honomu, Hawaii

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 21, 2011, Hempster from Sacramento, CA wrote:

I simply love this plant. I have it in my kitchen in a east facing window and it loves it there. It gets around 2 hours of direct sun. I fill the center reservoir once a week and the soil 1 to 3 times a month (depending on how hot it's been). I was concerned about the heat from my oven, but that is not an issue.
The flower spike was about 2.5 feet tall on the parent last year. After the first bloom the parent plant did not die on me, only 3 leaves died after I cut the stem of the bloom. Then it just exploded with growth. It's 3x the size now and I'm waiting for the next flower spike to show. Can't wait.


On Jun 22, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

I was given this plant as a birthday gift several years ago. It blooms profusely. We have had to divide it several times. Does quite well in our wetter area.

My son collects bromeliads and he has a huge assortment. Our latest blooms are the yellow Puna Gold developed in Hawaii


On Jun 19, 2004, MrRedwood from San Francisco, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

To a casual observer, this looks like it could be a desert plant. I got mine from a previous owner that had given it full southern heat and sun. It took me over two years before I could cull the last of the burned leaves. Since then it's been very hardy. The spike lasts for a long time, providing a nice burst of color.


On Nov 30, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

It needs high humidity and constant watering. This is an epiphyte from the moist forests of southeastern Brazil, and is sensitive to other climatic conditions. I tried to grow one in my bedroom, and when the red inflorescence started to fade, all the plant went down quickly because of the dry air in there.

An extremely good looking plant, whatever its blooming or not. But need some care too.

Oh, and be aware that this is one of the many endangered bromeliads, since lots of them are illegally collected from their natural habitat and sold everywhere.


On Aug 24, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Great looking bromeliad for the tropical and subtropical gardens. Nice striped, mottled foliage, and stunning flowers in the later summer... though sometimes flowering seems sort of random. Needs to have the center of the plant kept wet, but overwatering the soil will result in rotting of the plant. After flowering the main plant dies, but then makes an offshoot or two. Usually those are divided off and a new plant is stared. Often planted in pots in the ground to make them look like they're really growing there.


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

Green foliage with prominent dark bands across them. Do not fertilize. Keep some water in the center and change the water once a week. The bright red inflorescence will develop yellow tubular flowers that last only one day each. Do not expect seeds. A single pup often grows near the center of the plant; let it stay on, replanting it only when the adult falls apart. Relatively difficult for a bromeliad.