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Billbergia nutans (Queen's Tears)


Scientific Name

Billbergia nutans H.Wendl. ex Regel

Common Names

Queen's Tears, Friendship Plant


Billbergia nutans var. nutans, Billbergia linearifolia, Billbergia minuta, Billbergia schimperiana

Scientific Classification

Family: Bromeliaceae
Subfamily: Bromelioideae
Genus: Billbergia


Billbergia nutans is an epiphytic bromeliad that grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and forms clumps of upright, narrow rosettes of slender, bronze-green leaves. The leaves are up to 1 foot (30 cm) long and have small teeth along the margins. This plant is considered to be succulent, by which its leaves are thicker and more fleshy in nature. In spring the arching flower stalks carry pink bracts and pendant flowers that have chartreuse green petals edged with royal blue.


USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

These plants are widely available at nurseries and garden centers. They need a medium to bright light as indoor specimens.

Bromeliad care is easy and requires no special tools or fertilizers. Feed the plants with a half-strength fertilizer every month in the growing season.

Water needs are easily achieved by filling the cup at the base of the leaves. The water that collects in the pot should be emptied out weekly to remove debris and the dead insects the stagnant water tends to lure into the cup.

Set the pot in a saucer of gravel filled partially with water to increase humidity and help provide a moist atmosphere. Make sure the roots are not submerged in the water or this might invite rot.

Some Bromeliads grow well as Air Plants, which are glued or nested onto logs, moss or other non-soil organic items.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Bromeliads.


Billbergia nutans is native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina.


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