T a n k     B r o m e l i a d

Tank bromeliads are epiphytes that attach to other forest trees with small roots. The broad leaf bases are pressed together to form a centrally-located water-holding cup or "tank". There are many different species of this type of bromeliad.

Depending on the species, the central tank can hold from one-half pint up to 12 or more gallons of water! The bromeliad becomes a "little world" to many other plants and animals that live on the plant or in its pool of water, which is enriched by plant debris, decaying insects, or animal droppings.

The “tank” provides a “watering hole” or oasis for creatures living in the otherwise dry forest canopy. Bacteria and protozoa in the water feed tiny crustaceans, mosquito larvae, etc., which are eaten by larger insects, salamanders or small frogs. These, in turn, become prey for larger frogs, snakes, birds etc. An entire community of worms, insects, crabs, snails, frogs, small rodents and many other animals develops and survives within the area provided by the bromeliad.

Most bromeliads produce conspicuous flowers that are pollinated by nectar-gathering birds.