The Atlantic forest
The fragments of the Serra do Mar run at some distance parallel to the Atlantic coast for about 3500 km and I visited two places in it, Curitiba and Petrópolis. These cities don't seem far away from each other on the map, but there are 800 km between them, giving an idea of the size of Brazil. The train from Curitiba to the coast traverses the forest and the views from it are splendid, weather permitting.
Vriesea philippo-coburgii is a very common species here and can be seen flowering in the city of Petrópolis, where it grows on the trees in the streets and in the garden of a palace that is now a museum where tourists shuffle on the parquet floors, obligatory wearing slippers. It belonged to Pedro II d'Al Cãntara, second and last emperor of Brazil (1841-1889). After him the city was named, as was the bromeliadgenus Alcantarea.
Below are Vriesea philippo-coburgii in a tree in the streets of Petrópolis and Alcantarea imperialis, the largest species in this genus.
In Parque Nacional da Serra dos Orgãos (not far from Petrópolis) one can find this Alcantarea growing on almost vertical rockfaces.
Other species in the Parque include Vriesea bituminosa (above), Tillandsia stricta, Alcantarea regina (along the road from Rio to Petrópolis) and Neoregelia lymaniana.