The pineapple is the most commonly known bromeliad, a diverse group of plants in the family Bromeliaceae. Some grow in soil, some on rocks, and others—like Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides)—grow without any soil by taking water and nutrients from the air.
Walska’s original bromeliad garden was planted in 1968 under several large live oaks. When plantings became overcrowded, a new section was planted further down the Main Lawn around a stone grotto, topped by two lead roosters, which was originally built for Madame Walska in the 1940s.
Some epiphytes (non-parasitic plants growing on other plants) festoon old tree stumps, driftwood, tree fern trunks, and the canopies of coast live oaks.
Bromeliads are well suited for California landscaping beneath coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia), as seen in this garden, as they do not require deep watering, which is detrimental to the oaks.
Notable plants include a branched pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelinii) and Trithrinax brasiliensis palms. Giant pony tail palms (Beaucarnea recurvata) border the garden.