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Bromeliads for tropical gardens
GROWING CONDITIONS KEY:

SHADE
partial shade
PART SHADE
sunny
SUN
epiphyte
EPIPHYTE
terrestrial
TERRESTRIAL
tropical
TROPICAL
cold hardy
COLD HARDY
damp
DAMP

Each Bromeliad will have more than one preferred growing situation, as most Bromeliads are very adaptable. The symbols explain where they are best suited in the garden, which is not necessarily the situation they are found in the wild. Where the variety is quite happy in more than one situation, several symbols will be used together, for example epiphyte and terrestrial together. Where only one symbol is used, the variety is not likely to prefer other situations.


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  Aechmea 'Big Stuff': Well shaped Aechmea with glossy light green leaves on top and glossy deep red underneath. Reaches a span of 50cm. The tall flower spike carries purplish blue flowers, followed by long lasting red berries. Cold sensitive.

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  Aechmea 'Black Jack': Deep glossy dark burgundy, almost black leaves. A fairly slow growing plant which grows to a medium size rosette, with few leaves, but quite stunning. Pendulous spike of deep red berries tipped with purple petals completes the picture.

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  Aechmea blanchetiana: One of the most popular landscaping plants for subtropical gardens in Australia. These giants can grow up to 1.5m high. In NZ they are marginal except in very warm northern gardens. This is one of the reasons they are still rare here, despite the glorious orange colouring they develop in full sun.
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  Aechmea 'Burgundy': Absolutely stunning Aechmea with shiny, deep Burgundy leaves. The rosette grows to approximately 70cm across. The flower spike is unusual, consisting of burgundy berries tipped with white. Colour holds well in shade, but is best grown in good light, avoiding the midday sun.

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  Aechmea chantinii: Olive green leaves banded with silver. The flower spike has large drooping bracts of red, with a branched cluster of red and yellow flowers at the top. Absolutely stupendous.
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  Aechmea dealbata: The flower spike looks like a slightly smaller version of Aechmea fasciata, but more heavily dusted with silver. Silver banded bronze undersides to the leaves and contrasting green uppersides. The growth habit is upright and stiff, making it a good feature plant. Under strong but indirect light, the entire plant will turn bronze. Sensitive to cold, and best out of direct sunlight.


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  Aechmea 'Fosters Favorite Favorite': An awesome house plant. Glorious glossy rose coloured leaves with cream margins and a green to wine red central stripe depending on light levels. Produces long lasting orange red berries which is an added bonus.

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  Aechmea 'Little Harve': A stunning plant which grows to a reasonably large rosette of green leaves with a silver dusting. The leaves blush red under high light levels. Imposing flowers with large pink/red scape bracts and orange yellow flowers.

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  Aechmea lueddemanniana 'Mend': Simply sumptuous. One of the most striking Bromeliads in existence. Beautiful wide stripes of cream down each side of the leaves, which turn shocking pink in bright light.

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  Aechmea pectinata: These stunning plants can reach over one metre wide. The mottled green leaves are liberally splashed with vibrant pink, and the leaves turn this colour from the tips to nearly the base at flowering. Great for using as a focus plant in a tropical landscape. Also looks spectacular placed in the top of an old tree fern stump.

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  Aechmea ‘Pink Rocket’: A lovely hybrid of Aechmea fendleri and Aechmea fasciata, with the best of both species. Similar flower spike to Aechmea fasciata, but more elongated and with rosy pink, almost red bracts topped with purple flowers. In high light the leaves take on a beautiful pink colour, overlaid with silver. In shade, this colour is lost completely, to green leaves overlaid with silver.

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  Aechmea spectabilis: A large and impressive Aechmea, with glossy green leaves that tinge red in strong light. the rosette can reach more than 1m in width. The multiple branched flower stem reaches more than 1m in height and is comprised of many pink berry like flowers tipped with red petals.

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  Ananas bracteatus: This species is native to coastal areas of Brazil. It needs full sun to develop the intense red colouration on the spiky leaves. At flowering, a bright red pineapple forms, which initially is surrounded by a ring of brilliant blue petals.
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  Billbergia pyramidalis: Large, wide emerald green leaves form a medium size relatively open rosette for a Billbergia. The flower head looks like an Olympic torch and is most impressive. It is predominantly red with purple tips to the petals and bright yellow pollen. Ideal as a pot plant or patio plant. Looks great under subtropical shrubs also. Simply stunning.

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  Billbergia pyramidalis var 'Kyoto': A dramatic Billbergia with emerald green leaves which have a white margin. The torch like flower head is predominantly red with blue tips to the petals. Ideal as a pot plant or patio plant. Looks good under subtropical shrubs also.

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  Biltanthus 'Mead': Leaves of medium green speckled with pink. The pink markings intensify in high light levels till the whole plant is nearly pink. A relatively small rosette, with the pups held close so the plant develops a bushy appearance over time.

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  Cryptanthus 'Cascade': One of the more attractive Cryptanthus, with a habit of sending its pups out on long cascading stolons. In bright light the leaves go pinky bronze. In low light the predominant colour is green. White flowers cluster in the centre of each rosette. Excellent for hanging baskets or for placing in the top of a hollowed out punga. As terrestrials though, most Cryptanthus need a reasonable amount of soil around the roots.

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  Cryptanthus 'Dusk': For Cryptanthus, quite large rosettes of wide, heavily serrated leaves of copper red in good light.

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  Cryptanthus 'Red Bird': Small rosettes of slender, wavy red-rose leaves, edged with deeper red and coated with silver underneath.

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  Guzmania Amaranth: This stunning Guzmania has deep green leaves which set off the dark purple flower bracts on a 50-60cm stem. These stay in colour for more than 8 weeks.

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  Guzmania 'Bolero': A medium size Guzmania, with the flower spike of red spotted with green/white petals held close to the plant. The flower spike remains in colour for months. The medium sized rosette consists of deep green glossy leaves. Cold and frost sensitive, damage occurs at +2°C.

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  Guzmania Decora hybrid: A medium size Guzmania, with the flower spike of red spotted with bright yellow petals held close to the plant. The flower spike remains in colour for months. The medium sized rosette consists of deep green glossy leaves, striped with burgundy red pinstripes.

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  Guzmania 'Fiesta': 45cm H x 30cm W. Prolific. More than 2 offshoots per year. Tall flower spike remains in colour for ~ 4 months. Ideal as an indoor pot plant, or in shady, warm gardens. Full shade, or some morning sun. Frost sensitive. Damage at +2C.

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  Guzmania 'Grand Prix': A medium size Guzmania, with the flower spike of cherry red spotted with pure white flowers up to 40cm high. The flower spike remains in colour for months. The medium sized rosette consists of deep green glossy leaves with a span of about 30-40cm.

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  Guzmania 'Irene':Tall deep purple flower spike remains in colour for up to 6 months.  Ideal as indoor pot plant, or in shady, very warm gardens. Full shade, or some dappled light. Cold and frost sensitive, damage occurs at +2°C.

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  Guzmania 'Jazz':Tall flower spike remains in colour for up to 6 months.  Ideal as indoor pot plant, or in shady, very warm gardens. Full shade, or some dappled light. Cold and frost sensitive, damage occurs at +2°C.

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  Guzmania ‘Ostara’: Light green leaves forming a medium size rosette. A slight copper tinge develops if grown in medium to high light The flower spike is similar to 'Orangeade' but slightly hotter orange and with longer and larger recurving bracts.

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  Guzmania ‘Triumph’: .

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  Guzmania wittmackii (Lilac form): A relatively large Guzmania, with a tall flower spike and prominent lilac purple bracts. The bracts remain in colour for months. The medium sized rosette consists of deep green glossy leaves.

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  Guzmania zahnii: This species has the most gorgeous flower spike, with large red scape bracts and golden yellow flower heads. The stem stays in colour for 6 weeks or more. The foliage is also lovely, with fine lines of reddish brown overlaid on the soft green leaves.

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  Guzvriesea 'Jeaniae': A medium sized plant with soft green leaves. Stunning vibrant red branched flower spike which stays in colour for months.


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  Orthophytum saxicola: Gorgeous little stars of translucent orange. The leaf edges appear spiny, but in fact are quite soft, like Nidularium fulgens. Sends out its pups on long stolons, making it ideal to use over the edge of a wall.
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  Vriesea 'Barbara': 30cm H x 30cm W. Prolific. More than 2 offshoots per year. 50cm tall multi-headed flower spike remains in colour for ~ 6 months.  Ideal as an indoor pot plant, or in shady, warm gardens. Full shade, or some morning sun. Frost sensitive. Damage at +5°C.

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  Vriesea carinata: A small but cute Bromeliad, with soft light green leaves. The flower is a feathery fan shaped spike, with red bracts at the base topped with bright yellow and green. Sensitive to cold, so should be grown as a pot plant except in northern frost free areas.

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  Vriesea ensiformis var. bicolor: A medium size rosette of very soft green leaves. The flowers spike, as the name suggests is bicolor, with orange/red bracts shading to yellow at the tips. As with the species, the unbranched flower spike reaches up to 0.5m high.

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  Vriesea 'Poelmanii selecta': Similar to the original hybrid, but a selected form which has more a compact flower stem, with the stem branches more horizontal than the original hybrid. Medium size rosette of light green leaves, slightly tinged with bronze in high light. The flower spike is spectacular, consisting of a tall, branched spear of glossy pure red from which poke bright yellow petals. Stays in colour for months. Frost sensitive and prefers medium to low light.

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  Vriesea 'Tiffany': 40cm H x 40cm W. Prolific. More than 2 offshoots per year. Tall flower spike remains in colour for ~ 6 months.  Ideal as an indoor pot plant, or in shady, warm gardens. Full shade, or some morning sun. Frost sensitive. Damage at +5°C.