The Bromeliad family has a wide range of types, predominantly epiphytic but some terrestrials too, and are endemic in environments as diverse as rainforests to deserts. When Christopher Columbus sailed to the "New World" in the late 1400s, he was given a fruit of a bromeliad plant which he liked so much and found so refreshing; he called it a "pine apple." Now how in the world that fruit be like an apple from a pine tree baffles me too. I guess it goes to show how startlingly "new" the discoveries were then.
There is always an appropriate bromeliad for any landscape design, be it under the sun or in the shade. Just like most plants, given the right environment, they do not require much attention and care, requires no pollination, and flourishes fairly fast.
In the gardens, some of them are mixed alongside other tropical plants but some I also put together in groups where they contrast and highlight each other's inherent beauty.