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Throughout centuries tropical monocotyledons from around the world – including such groups as palms, orchids and bromeliads – have been among the most popular of ornamental plants. Nevertheless, a lack of field guides for these same groups of plants that grow wild in Costa Rica, means an excellent opportunity to stimulate appreciation of Costa Rica's species-rich forests is being missed.
Existing research on Costa Rican Bromeliaceae is mostly floristic and, with the exception of a few schematic examples, there is no illustrated field guide that can be easily consulted by enthusiasts.
The author's purpose, therefore, is to provide a simple means of learning about some of the Bromeliaceae of Costa Rica, using as little technical language as possible and relying, above all, on the visual identification through the beautiful watercolor illustrations so graciously donated by the artist Anita Cooper.
Although great efforts were made to obtain examples of most species and genera present in the country, this was not possible for several reasons, such as the scarcity of populations, the difficult access to collection sites and the lack of economic and human resources. For these reasons, this guide describes 80 species, with some 120 species pending to be included in a future edition.