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Genera Etymology

The derivation of the names of the genera in the bromeliad family can be interesting and sometimes provide additional insight into the genus. Genus names for bromeliads have been created in three ways:

  1. Names honoring botanists, patrons, discoverers or other persons (36 genera)
  2. Descriptions composed of Greek or Latin components (18 genera)
  3. Common names used for the plant by the indigenous peoples (2 genera)

The source of the name is usually stated by the the author in the original publication describing the genus. While it should be a simple matter to locate this publication and read the author's description, it is not always so simple. Occasionally the reasoning behind a name is absent or unclear. Sometimes the person being honored was so well known at the time by the author that a detailed description seemed superfluous.

The following list provides a brief description of the sources of the names of the genera:

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