• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Billbergia nutans

friendship plant

  • Other common names friendship plant
    queen's tears

    indoor oats
    air pines

    see more
  • Family Bromeliaceae

  • Genus Billbergia are evergreen, rosette-forming perennials with linear or strap-shaped leaves and panicles or racemes of tubular flowers, usually with colourful bracts

  • Details B. nutans is an evergreen perennial forming funnel-shaped rosettes of arching, linear, grey-green leaves, with slender pink-bracted stems bearing arching racemes of flowers with pink tube and reflexed, purple-edged, green tepals

  • Plant range Brazil to N Argentina


  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Tufted

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect West-facing or East-facing or South-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Sand


  • Loam


  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilSand, Loam

  • pHNeutral, Acid


  • Ultimate height 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 5-10 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow outdoors as an epiphyte or in humus-rich, sharply drained soil in frost-free location. Under glass grow as an epiphyte or in epiphytic bromeliad compost in bright indirect light. Keep the centre funnel filled with fresh water

Propagation Propagate by seed or by removing offsets

Suggested planting locations and garden types Sub-tropical Patio & Container Plants

How to care

Pruning No pruning required

Pests Can get scale insects

Diseases Generally disease free

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