Aechmea sp., Bromeliad

Aechmea sp.

Family: Bromeliaceae
Subfamily: Bromelioideae
Origin: Tropical America
USDA Zone: 10-12?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeRegular waterEpiphyte plantYellow, orange flowersRed, crimson, vinous flowersOrnamental foliageBlue, lavender, purple flowersPink flowers

The Aechmea is very diversified, hardy, extremely popular, and very easily cultivated in the bromeliad family group. They range in sizes from a very tiny 6 inches, to more than 10 feet in height and 6 feet in diameter. Their foliage colors vary from lime green, yellow, red, burgundy, and black, and incorporates many patterns, spots, stripes, bands, silvering, shadings, and blotches. These patterns often vary form the top of the leaf to the bottom of it. The Aechmea family has large inflorescence and brightly colored, long lasting bracts that holds the magnitude of tiny flowers. Often the colorful berry-like fruits mature for a long time on the flower spike. It's a very healthy, cold and rot resistant plant to grow outdoors fixed in trees, walls, or, in pots in an orchid mix.

Adult plants need a sunny position to become red in the blooming period. In a luminous shade it flowers, but the leaves remain green. The rose bracts persist a long time, and if flowers are pollinated black pointed fruits will appear as shown in the picture. It's curious because, when the plant grows in very shaded locations the leaves become very long, to the point to seem a completely different plant and very elegant indeed, with no weak aspects. However, if it is gradually moved to full sun it blooms and the leaves become red.

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