This tender, perennial, terrestrial bromeliad is from the dry forests of eastern Brazil. The first species of this genus was discovered in 1831. It is the most popular of its kind in home terrarium gardening. Unfortunately this plant appears to be extinct in its native Brazil, it has not been found in the wild there for awhile now.
Like many bromeliads it only produces flowers once in its life, and then dies. The flowers are small, white, and hardly noticeable appearing near the center of the rosette. It tends to reproduce through the production of pups (offsets) in the leaf axils, near the plants base. When separated from the mother plant they root easily in moist soil.
No reference to any use has been found.