Easily noticed for its striking orange-yellow-pink strap-like leaves, this species of Bromeliad grows to a relatively large size. However, it can still survive as an epiphyte (growing on tree trunks or with moss instead of soil, catching water in the cup-shaped part at the base of the rosette). The flowers are a mix of bright yellow and colorful red.
Aechmea blanchetiana (Bromeliad)
Hardiness Zones: 10b-11
Height: 60-120 centimeters (24-48 inches) tall
Diameter: 30-60 centimeters (12-24 inches) across
Growth Rate: slow
Root System: capable of growing on the ground or as an epiphyte
Subspecies: A variety with bright yellow leaves exists.
Tolerates: drought, heavy soils, no serious pest ailments
Problems (major): none
Problems (minor): Scale, mosquitoes, root rot
Poisonous: non-toxic to animals
Soil requirements: tolerates slightly alkaline and acidic soils, survives in sandy (light), loamy (medium), and clay (heavy) soils, requires soil that can retain some water (if planted on ground) with good drainage
Air requirements: not sufficiently researched
Watering requirement: moderate
Sun requirement: part-shade (potentially full sun)
Leaf shape: strap-shaped, basal, toothed margins
Leaf size: 45-90 centimeters (18-36 inches) long
Flowering structure: a thin flowering spike with red/yellow flowers
Flowering frequency: spring
Fruits: not sufficiently researched
Bulb/Corm: neither, divides by offsets
The foliage and flowers are very brightly-colored.
These are sometimes used as spectacular ornamentals in areas warm enough for them to grow year-round.
An entire A. blanchetiana specimen at the Denver Botanical Gardens in Colorado
A close-up of the flowering structure
All of the images provided were taken by me at the Denver Botanical Garden in Colorado of June 2014. They may be used for educational/informational purposes only, provided that this article/online journal is appropriately cited first.