Another Cardinal, But This One’s Not A Bird

My last post featured a Northern Cardinal, one of my favorite birds.

This post features another Cardinal, a bromeliad called the Cardinal Airplant.


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Cardinal Airplant


Cardinal Airplants are one of 16 native bromeliads in Florida that are almost exclusively tropical and grow on woody hosts high in the canopy.


Cardinal Airplants



The Cardinal’s red stalks or “tanks” grow throughout the year.  In January/February, they produce small purple flowers on the tips.  No blooming purple flowers were seen on this trail a few days ago.


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Cardinal Airplant


The Cardinal Airplant is listed as Endangered in Florida due to the Mexican bromeliad-eating weevil.  In addition, it is threatened by illegal collecting and habitat destruction.

(Photos taken along Janes Scenic Drive in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.  The drive is an 11-mile long unimproved, narrow dirt road that dead-ends, giving you access to a portion of Florida’s remaining subtropical wilderness.)



26 thoughts on “Another Cardinal, But This One’s Not A Bird

  1. My computer reception seems to be having problems takes a while for the pictures to show up, even the sites sometimes but hopefully it will be cleared up soon. Pretty plants and love the Great Created Flycatcher on the header.

  2. Absolutely amazing that a plant that beautiful can grow and survive on such a minimal root system and not even within the soil! Great photos and thanks for posting! William — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104 The Message

  3. Very pretty and I imagine it enlivens the winter landscape. Sadly, there is so little of Florida’s native habitat left. Developers saw the swamp as worthless– how wrong they were.

    • Thank you, Eliza, they do give a spot of color in the vast woods and greens. Thank goodness the Everglades, Big Cypress Swamp, and Fakahatchee Strand habitats have been secured. Their vastness is amazing, I feel like I am walking in a tropical movie seeing things so wild and wonderful. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Another Cardinal, But This One’s Not A Bird — Photos by Donna – Blog Site of Gabriele R.

    • Thank you, Ellen! The Cardinal is the most common. I’ve searched so far for others and the orchids too, esp. the Ghost Orchid. Seems to see the hard-to-find Ghost Orchid (which is stunning), you need to go walking through a knee-to-waist deep swamp on a guided tour. Not me, forget that! Hmmmm….Ted likes to venture, maybe he’d go swamp walking?! lol I’m thinking you wouldn’t, like me. 🙂

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