Established in 1950


Taxonomy (systematics) is the science of classifying plants and animals by evaluating shared features and organizing them into a hierarchy based on these relationships. The basic taxonomic units or taxa (singular: taxon) are species. Every species is given an internationally recognized two part name (binomial) by which it is known. The first part of this name is called the Genus and the second part the Species. More closely related plants within the family, which share some general/generic features, are grouped in the same genus thus the genus/species describe the taxon generically/specifically. Unlike common names which can vary from region to region, a species’ binomial name is unique and precise. The name is usually derived from Latin or Greek (or a modern word that has been Latinized). Genus names are always capitalized and species names always start with a lower case letter. Species names often are descriptive (xanthocalyx – with yellow flowers), indicate a place of origin (brasiliensis – from Brasil), or are honorific, named after the collector or other person worthy of the honor of being immortalized in the taxonomic nomenclature (fosteriana – in honor of Mulford Foster).

FAMILY BROMELIACEAE (bro-meel-ee-ay-see-ee) is a part of the flowering plants (angiosperms) subdivision of the Plant Kingdom. All of its species are monocotyledons whose seeds initially have only one leaf, members of the Class Liliopsida. Monocots comprise one quarter of all flowering plants and include some of the largest and most well known groups of plants: orchids, palms, grasses. Dicotyledons (called dicots) have seeds that initially have two leaves.


Based on revisions from DNA molecular research in the taxonomy of family Bromeliaceae by evolutionary biologists over the past decade, the Bromeliaceae family has been divided into eight subfamilies:
Brochinioideae, Lindmanioideae, Hechtioideae, Navioideae, Pitcairnioideae, Puyoideae, Tillandsioideae and Bromelioideae


The genera with the current number of species in each subfamily can be found on line on in the first section of ACCEPTED NAMES. The list given below can be outdated, for most updated list click the link above.


Brocchinia – 20


Connellia – 6 

Lindmania – 9



Hechtia – 62

NAVIOIDEAE (5 genera)

Brewcaria – 6

Cottendorfia – 1

Navia – 93

Sequencia – 1

Steyerbromelia – 6


Deuterocohnia – 18

Dyckia – 147

Encholirium – 28

Fosterella – 31

Pepinia – 57

Pitcairnia – 342

PUYOIDEAE (1 genus)

Puya – 218


Alcantarea – 32

Catopsis – 18

Glomeropitcairnia – 2

Guzmania – 211

Mezobromelia – 9

Racinaea -74

Tillandsia – 622

Vriesea – 281

Werauhia – 88


Acanthostachys – 2

Aechmea – 27

Ananas – 7

Androlepis – 2

Araeococcus – 9

Billbergia – 63

Bromelia – 60

Canistropsis – 11

Canistrum – 13

Cryptanthus – 72

Deincanthon – 1

Disteganthus – 2

Edmundoa – 3

Eduandrea – 1

Fascicularia – 1

Fernseea – 2

Greigia – 36

Hohenbergia – 65

Hohenbergiopsis – 1

xHohenmea – 1

Laptanthus – 2

Lymania – 9

Neoglaziovia – 3

Neoregelia – 120

Nidularium – 47

xNiduregelia – 3

Ochagavia – 4

Orthophytum – 68

Portea – 9

Pseudoaechmea – 1

Pseudoananas – 1

Quesnelia – 23

Ronnbergia – 14

Ursulaea – 2

Wittrockia – 6

Many new species have been described since 2012, and these will change the species numbers in the above chart. Further necessary changes can be expected in the near future as research reveals the need to revise existing genera or create new ones, and as the relationship between species in different genera is clarified. This section will be updated when a new Bromeliad Binomials is published.
A PDF version of the research paper describing these DNA-based changes to the taxonomy of the bromeliad family can be found on the University of Wisconsin’s website by following the link below:

Givnish TJ, Millam KC, Berry PE, Sytsma KJ. 2007. Phylogeny, adaptive radiation, and historical biogeography of Bromeliaceae inferred from ndhF sequence data. Pp. 3-26 in JT Columbus, EA Friar, JM Porter, LM Prince, MG Simpson (eds.) Monocots: Comparative Biology and Evolution – Poales. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, CA.

Additional information about bromeliad genera can be found in AN ANNOTATED CATALOG OF THE GENERIC NAMES OF THE BROMELIACEAE by Jason R. Grant


For most members descriptions of new species are difficult to read, just because the descriptive jargon, but if you are interested to learn some more about this, it can be useful to have a PDF file of the Glossary at hand, just download and print it if of your interest.

Copyright 2024 | The Bromeliad Society International