Queen’s Tears

Billburgia nutans
BROMELIACEAE, The Bromeliad family

In the same family as pineapple and air plants, this striking houseplant (hardy in the garden in zone 10,) is also called Angel’s tears and Friendship plant. It is native to Brazil. It blooms in winter and may go dormant in summer. It likes a cool room, but is supposedly tolerant of variable conditions. (reallly???)

The genus name is for an 18th century Swedish botanist. The epithet means ‘nodding’ referring to the inflorescences. They are bright green and gold, spathed in hot pink. Flashy.

We got them in the nursery today.

Simple pleasure: looking things up in books while blogging. I set my bookshelf up right next to my desk for this purpose. Just today I learned about this plant, had no idea it existed, yet for years the information I wanted to know about it was right here next to me. And continues to be here. (Not in the ether.)

About Mulysa

I love my work as a landscape designer and artist. When I'm not planning homesteads or working in the studio, you'll find me hiking, photographing, gardening, baking, cooking vegetarian meals with friends, reading and working on sustainability issues...with my baby on my hip in Portland, Oregon.
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6 Responses to Queen’s Tears

  1. Kim says:

    I have many of these in my garden here in San Francisco! It doesn’t go dormant, but acts like other Bromeliads. In fact, I have many different types of Bromeliads here. We have had only 2 frosts in the past 18 years, but do get lots of rain and into the 40’s often in winter.

    I highly recommend these plants for those who like to mount plants to hang on the fence etc. I have bunches of these attached to a large tree and they bloom for me every year. The flowers on mine are hot pink, blue and yellow!

  2. Mulysa says:

    It’s nice to hear your first hand account! I guess in Portland they could be grown as a patio plant and brought inside during cold weather. How much light are yours in? And why aren’t these more widely grown?

  3. Mulysa says:

    I finally have one of these! I adopted an ailing specimen from the greenhouse at work and it is now happily putting on buds in the studio. I’m excited to see it bloom!

  4. ellie yuen says:

    Do you know where this plant can be purchased in the Seattle or Bellevue
    area?

  5. ellie yuen says:

    This plant was seen @ the Northwest flower and garden show.

  6. Mulysa says:

    Do you remember who had it at the NWFG show?

    Try Swanson’s Garden Center. While it is not their specialty, they have beautiful indoor plants and an impressive display of greenhouse tropicals near their cafe area. You might also try the Palm Room on Ballard, http://www.thepalmroom.com, or a florist that carries potted plants. If they don’t stock it, ask if they can look for it and order it for you.

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