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Does anyone know what the potted plant pictured here is? enter image description here

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It's a bromeliad, most likely a member of the Aechmea fasciata cultivar family.

They are a large genus of about 200 species and all are epiphytic tank-forming plants mostly with broad rosettes of arching leaves. Bromeliads are long lasting houseplants but once they flower, like the one in the picture,the next thing they do is start dying. If conditions are good it will put out some pups at the side that, eventually, will become adult plants.

EDIT: You can improve the health of the pups that will start sprouting out of the base by increasing the humidity and providing bright diffuse light. When I worked at a museum we sprayed them with distilled water every day and let a little water accumulate in the cup formed by the leaves. This mimics their natural environment where they tend to be epiphytes growing on trees and acquiring moisture through rain not roots.

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Thanks a lot! My coworker was moving to another job and gave me this plant saying: Water it a little bit once a week. I was doing exactly this and couldn't understand why the plant start to dry and seemed to feel not well. So is this the natural way for this plant to die now? And all I can do is to replant the pups, if there are any? – Leo Feb 28 '12 at 16:08

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