Billbergia nutans is the most unusual bromeliad I have ever seen. Named Queen’s Tears, this hearty plant is called one of the most commonly grown bromeliads by Wikipedia, but I think she is a rare beauty.
I picked up my first Queen’s Tears from a Brazilian at the Sebastopol flea market 8 years ago, and with careful dividing, I now have half a dozen thriving plants. This is one of the easiest plants to grow: she will take full sun or part shade, lots of water, or hardly any. Each flower begins as a tiny spike, and as it grows, turns dark pink. And then, surprise! Blue, green and yellow bells appear from within, and they really are more special than a queen’s tears.