Aechmea 

(ack' mee-ah)

Common name: Aechmea

Family: Bromeliaceae, Bromeliad

Height x width: 2-4' x 1-2'

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: funnel-shaped rosettes of arching, generally strap-shaped leaves 1-3' long, with brown to black marginal spines; generally green, occasionally silvery or reddish; sometimes banded or marked

Flowers: on central stalks in variable inflorescences 3"-3' long, often with different colors for petals, sepals and bracts, usually blue, reds and pinks; flowers tubular and bracts triangular; followed by colorful fleshy seeds, often white, also pink, red or green

Light: bright

Temperature: average to warm, tolerates cool

Watering: moderate, keep "cup" filled with water

Fertility: moderate

Humidity: average

Soil: epiphytic or on slabs

Pests and Problems: leaf spots, crown and root rots (if overwatered), scales, mealybugs; too cold browns leaves

Growth habit, uses: flowering, attractive seeds, foliage texture, massed

Other interest: native to the tropics and subtropics of Central and South America; from the Greek aichme meaning lance-head, refering to the hard, acute sepal tips

Other culture: provide good air circulation

Propagation: division and rooting of offsets, seeds with outer "jelly" removed

Species, other taxa:

Of the about 200 species, the following and their variants may be most often seen.
 
Species foliage, length inflorescence flowers
bambusoides green, 3' narrow, 3' yellow petals, reddish sepals, bracts
'Bert' green, banded, 2' pendent, 2' red bracts
bromeliifolia green, banded, 2' pyramidal, 6" pale yellow, short-lived
caudata dark green, 3' panicles, 1' yellow, pink bracts
c. 'Variegata' yellow striped    
chantinii green, 18" pyramid, 6" yellow to orange, red bracts, whitish
cylindrata green, red tips, 2' cylindrical, 8" blue petals, rose sepals, red bracts
distichantha green, 3' pyramidal purple/blue/white, pink bracts, felted
fasciata gray, banded, 2' pyramidal, 3" blue petals, pink sepals/bracts, dense
f. 'Marginata' white margins    
f. 'Variegata' yellow mid-stripe    
filicaulis green, 1' pendent, 3-6' white, sparse, blue berries
fosteriana green, banded, 2' pendent, 18" yellow, red bracts
Foster's Group olive red, 18" pendent, 18" blue, pink tips, red bracts
fulgens green, 18" branched, 8" red sepals, violet petals fading red
gamosepala green, 1-2' cylindrical, 1' blue/purple petals, reddish sepals/bracts
lasseri dark green, 1' pendent, 2' white, red bracts, blue berries
luddemanniana purplish, 2' pyramidal, 18" lavender, purple berries
maculata green, banded, 1' pyramidal, 1' blue, striking pink bracts
mertensia green, 1-2' cylindrical, 6" blue, red bracts, white berries
mexicana green, patches, 3' branched, 2' red/violet, rose bracts
miniata green, 1-2' pyramidal, 6" blue, red stems
m. 'Discolor' maroon below    
nudicaulis gray-green, 1-3' cylindrical, 8" yellow, red bracts
orlandiana green, purple, 1' pyramidal, 4" yellow-white, red bracts
o. 'Ensign' white margins    
pineliana dark green, 2' cylindrical, 3" yellow, long bracts
recurvata green, variable, 1' ovoid, 3" white/purple, large red bracts
weilbachii dark green, 2' slender, 6" bluish purple, red bracts
       


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

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