Cryptanthus is a genus of plants found in the Bromeliaceae family. Cryptanthus bromeliads are unique in that they only grow terrestrially as opposed to many other bromeliads that can grow mounted on a substrate. The genus get its name from the Greek word meaning hidden flower. Cryptanthus are more commonly known as Earth Stars, a name they received because of the shape of their foliage. With over 1,200 different varieties, Cryptanthus have incredibly varied and beautiful foliage ranging from dark green and variegated to bright reds and pinks to silvery stripes. Most Cryptanthus grow close to the ground and can be as small as three inches in height. However, there are some species of Cryptanthus that can grow as tall as three feet.
Lighting: Grow Cryptanthus in a bright spot. These small indoor plants can take some direct sun on their leaves, so they're perfect for dressing up an otherwise bland window sill. As a general rule, the brighter the light, the more colorful the plants are.
Water: Water Cryptanthus so the soil just dries before watering again. They don't seem to be particularly fussy and will thrive in moist soil. Likewise, if you forget to water your Cryptanthus now and again, they don't mind.
Temperature: It prefers temperatures between 60 and 85 F.