is it related to cryptanthus?
are the green dealies brachts or pups or???
Looks like Cryptanthus 'Iron Ore' to me, and yes the green dealies will be pups.
You have an Orthophytum gurkenii there, not a Crpyt. The green parts are the flower bracts, if you let them flower then brown off, the green clumps will often then turn in to adventitious pups that begin to look like mini versions of the main plant. You can remove and plant them when they get 3-4 inches in size.
You will also find the mum will pup from the base soon too.
Is it an epiphyte or terrestial?
What should the pups ideally be potted in if/when they are ready.
can it take full sun (S FL)?
I'm with Graeme, it's O. gurkenii. Terrestrial, full sun. They don't always form aerial pups, but sometimes they do, and the coloration will be the same as the leaves (i.e. black w/silver bands). See link below for more info on pup removal for this type of Ortho.
Here is a link that might be useful: Orthophytum pups
The leaves sure do look like cryptanthus zonatus (to me) I wonder if there was a common ancestor?
Full sun as in normal full sun or ok for Florida full sun?
If you lived here you'd get why I asked. Most of my broms are under an oak tree.
Gee I dunno... I only know Waimanalo full sun, which is more intense than Manoa full sun, but less so than Ewa Beach full sun. ;-) We get a lot of sun in Hawaii, but "normal" is relative. I suspect it can take as much sun as you've got, provided a) you don't move it suddenly from a shady spot into a sunny one, and b) you keep it well watered. That is not to say that it wouldn't look just as good in a 50% shade house, it'd just be a bit softer there. Too shady and you'll get floppy and green instead of stiff and black. Orthos are pretty different in their growing requirements from Crypts, which need lots of shade.
As far as the superficial resemblance to C. zonatus, I think that may be a case of parallel evolution rather than common ancestry (although if you go far enough back ALL bromeliads presumably share a common ancestor). Several genera contain one or more species with silver bands, eg. Aechmea chantinii, Billbergia brasiliensis, Hohenbergia correia-araujoi, etc. In fact, check out the quiz thread below (shameless plug):
Here is a link that might be useful: Silver bands
Thanks Lisa. South Florida sun is pretty intense but I can see it did well on my patio so maybe I'll try little more light.
Lisa's right, you can give it as much sun as you want as long as you dont let it's soil dry out - keep it well watered.
I have mine in a pebble garden that get's full sun, not to mention handling the heat from being surrounded by hot grey stones in summer. However, it would probably look better with some overhead shade or in a shadehouse so it doesn't get so stressed.
Good luck ! G
I am with you on the parallel evolution thing Lisa ,and mimicry wether deliberate or unintential occurs thru the animal as well as plant kingdoms ,either for protection or fertility gains ,i am surprised that we dont have a hybrid between this plant and a Crypt,or maybe it wont take ?