Derived from the Greek kryptos – hidden or covered and anthos – flower, referring to the flowers concealed among the bracts.
Small epiphytes, with or without stems, suckering or stoloniferous. Leaves in rosettes, usually lying along the ground; a narrow stalk which widens into often broad strap-like leaves, spiny margined, often variegated with heavy scale (trichome) covering. Inflorescence spherical, usually sunk in the centre of the rosette; flowers stalkless, insignificant; petals white or yellow, united at the base. Ovary inferior. Fruit small, dry.
Cultivated as ornamentals, and due to their small size ideal for terrariums or as house plants. Many hybrids and cultivars with colourful leaves have been developed and are available.They require bright light and fairly warm growing conditions.
Seed or division. Young plants grow in the leaf axils and either fall off or can be removed for easy cultivation.
Small size and star-like appearance; deeply hidden flowers; heavily marked decorative leaves.
20 species from eastern Brazil.
Source: (2005). Bromeliaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.