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|Neoregelia is a genus of epiphytic flowering plants in the Bromeliad family which are native to South American rainforests. The genus name is for Eduard August von Regel, Director of St. Petersburg Botanic Gardens in Russia (1875–1892). Neoregelias are epiphytic plants, meaning they grow attached to the branches of forest trees; they do not naturally grow in the Earth, though they can be cultivated on the ground in controlled conditions, such as a garden, provided they are kept in a very airy growing medium such as pine bark that allows the root system to breathe. Their roots serve primarily as hold-fasts to grip their canopy perches and are adapted poorly to absorb nutriment, which is instead obtained through leaf litter, animal droppings and rainfall that collects in the prominent central cup exhibited by most species in the genus. They have mostly broad, relatively flat leaves often marked brightly with red, purple or yellow pigments which serve to protect the green photosynthetic tissues from sunburn and through selective breeding and hybridization thousands of cultivars in almost all color combinations, many also striped with white, have been produced. The inflorescences of these plants form in the shallow central depression - the "cup" - of the plant, which often fills partway with water, through which the flowers bloom. Neoregelias, like most bromeliads, bloom only once in their lifetime and then begin to die, but normally not before producing several pups - small clones of the parent plant - around the central flowering rosette on stolons. These offshoots eventually replace the mother plant and form a cluster around it - although in cultivation, the offshoots can be severed and replanted when about two-thirds the size of the adult plant. The leaves immediately surrounding the inflorescence are very often brightly colored, even in species otherwise not brightly marked - an adaptation to attract pollinating insects. This information is from Wikipedia.|