A couple of years ago, the X-man bought me this bird ornament/air plant for Mothers' Day. Now, while it's not the sort of thing I would buy for myself, it was chosen and presented with love, so it's a bit special.
It sits on the kitchen windowsill, and asks for nothing but an occasional dribble of water. And then it just sits some more.
But a couple of days ago, I noticed a long purple thing sticking out of it. I thought one of the kids had stuck something into it (a toothpick? a tiny roll of purple crepe paper?) until I had a closer look.
It's a flower! I have no idea if it opens more than this, but it's a pretty decent effort for such an unassuming little plant.
Because I like to know things, I've just done a little research on these plants. They're called Tillandsias, and they only ever flower the once. But that's not the end of the plant. Some of the leaves around the bottom will start to die off, but the plant will 'pup' - small plants (usually 1-12, but can be up to 60 in some species) will start growing near the base, usually in about two months.