Common name: Earth stars

Native to: South Amerca


Cryptanthus is a genus of plants found in the Bromeliaceae family. Cryptanthus bromeliads are unique in that they only grow on the ground in soil, as opposed to many other bromeliads that can grow mounted on a substrate. The genus get its name from the Greek word meaning hidden flower.  Cryptanthus are more commonly known as Earth Stars, a name they received because of the shape of their foliage. With over 1,200 different varieties, Cryptanthus have incredibly varied and beautiful foliage ranging from dark green and variegated to bright reds and pinks to silvery stripes. Most Cryptanthus grow close to the ground and can be as small as three inches in height. However, there are some species of Cryptanthus that can grow as tall as three feet.

Cryptanthus spp.

  • Native / exotic: Exotic

    Aspect: Indirect sunlight

    Flowers: Flowers, varying with species

    Fragrance: None

    Foliage: Star-shaped, varied colours and variegations

    Growth habit: Star-shaped whorls

    Hardiness: Hardy but not drought resistant

    Height: Up to 25 metres / 80 feet

    Spread: Up to 5 metres / 18 feet

    Soil requirements: Prefers moist well-drained soils. Keep well mulched

    Uses: Adding shape, form and colour to borders and under tree plantings


"The Dragon's Den"

96 Mbagathi Ridge,



Tel: +254 748 429 347


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