Plants in Israel | Billbergia nutans

Martha's exotic Backyard in Israel

Billbergia nutans, Angel Tears, Queen's Tears,
Friendship plant, בילברגיה

Scientific name:  Billbergia nutans H.Wendl.
Common name:  Angel Tears, Queen's Tears, Friendship plant
Hebrew name:  בילברגיה
Family:  Bromeliaceae, Bromeliads, משפחת הברומליים

Billbergia nutans,Angel Tears, Queen's Tears, Friendship plant, בילברגיה
Location: Martha's Backyard

Life form:  Epiphyte
Stems:  to a height of approximately 50 cm and up to 75 cm wide; pink flower stems
Leaves:  Funnel-shaped rosette, arching, linear, grey-green leaves up to 50cm long, saw tooth edge
Inflorescence:  Arching racemes of flowers on long pink stems
Flowers:  Large pink bracts, panicles of tubular flowers with pink sepals with violet-blue edges, 3 reflexed, lime-green petals outlined in navy blue, and 6 protruding stamens approximately 1 inch in length with bright yellow anthers
Fruits / pods:  Berries
Flowering Period:  Any time of the year
Origin:  Southern Brazil
Billbergia nutans,Angel Tears, Queen's Tears, Friendship plant, בילברגיה
Location: Martha's Backyard


Derivation of the botanical name:
Billbergia, named for Gustaf Johan Billberg (1772-1844), a Swedish botanist, zoologist, and anatomist.
nutans, nodding.
  • The standard author abbreviation H.Wendl. is used to indicate Hermann Wendland (1825 – 1903), a German botanist and gardener.
Bilbergia nutans is a bromeliad, related to the pineapple and is very slow growing.
Billbergia nutans in habitat is generally epiphytic and in culture it also thrives as terrestrial in ordinary (well draining!) garden soil.
The term epiphytic derives from the Greek epi- (='upon') and phyton (='plant').
The blooms exude a very sticky clear nectar which forms visible droplets. These droplets, plus the royal purple of the bloom edging, are the reasons that the plant is commonly called "queen's tears". It is also commonly called "friendship plant" because it readily produces offsets which may be divided from the mother plants and shared with others.
The flower stem often hangs down lower than the plant, so this is ideal to be planted in a hanging basket or as an epiphyte.


Billbergia nutans,Angel Tears, Queen's Tears, Friendship plant, בילברגיה
Location: Martha's Backyard