The genus Vriesea Lindl. comprises about 290 species distributed into two sections: V. sect. Vriesea and V. sect. Xiphion. The genus is recognized as polyphyletic and is historically associated with Tillandsia L., differing from it mainly due to the presence of petal appendages. Here we focus our efforts on the Vriesea taxa in its main center of diversity in southeastern Brazil that are considered to constitute a monophyletic group based on molecular analyses as well as a total evidence approach. We present a morphological description of the species from the Brazilian lineage, and the taxonomic history of the genus. We based our results on extensive bibliographic research and morphological analyses of herbarium material and living specimens, as well as illustrations of the main taxonomic characteristics of the Brazilian lineage of the genus.
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