|The Bromeliaceae are epiphytic herbs or sometimes terrestrial xerophytes comprising about 45 genera and 2,000 species that are further characterized by the presence of conspicuous floral bracts and scurfy, stalked, peltate scales on the leaves and other plant surfaces. The leaves are alternate, parallel-veined, usually stiffly lorate or strap-shaped, and troughlike, with a sheathing base and commonly with spiny margins. The flowers are usually bisexual and actinomorphic but unisexual and weakly zygomorphic forms are known. The perianth is in two dissimilar series, each with 3 distinct to basally connate segments. The calyx is usually green but not uncommonly petaloid and variously brightly colored. The corolla is typically brightly colored and often the segments bear a pair of basal, sometimes nectariferous scales. The androecium consists mostly of 6 stamens that are distinct or basally connate, and attach to the receptacle or are adnate to the base of the corolla. The gynoecium consists of a single compound pistil of 3 carpels, one style with 3 stigmas, and a superior to inferior ovary with 3 locules, each containing usually numerous axile ovules. The fruit is usually a berry or capsule.
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