The Department of Environment is featuring a native plant that’s cousin to the pineapple, this in the DOE’s latest edition of its terrestrial publication: Flicker.
Its scientific name is Tillandsia utriculata but it’s better known by its common name, the giant air plant.
Though it grows on the branches and trunks of trees, it’s not parasitic. These plants just use the host tree for support. Its thin, but numerous aerial roots hang down to pull moisture and nutrients out of the atmosphere, hence the name air plant.
In Cayman it’s found on dry forest trees in close proximity to a body of water.