Ok. I die! To witness such colossal contrast in color simply blows my mind! So bold. So graphic. So vivid and, one of my favorite adjectives, electric! I'm seriously crushing on this combination of beguiling blue and the turn-on-your-heartlight tones of fiery fuchsia. It almost doesn't seem real but here it is. Nature has again manifested visual magnificence in the floral form of a bromeliad known as Aechmea cylindrata. Stunning!
Aechmea cylindrata comes to us from Brazil. It produces stiff, upright rosettes of deep green leaves similar to those of a pineapple, that can exhibit blushes of red in lots of light. Rosettes of foliage can reach up to 1 1/2 feet tall and wide. In spring and summer, Aechmea cylindrata sends up spectacular flower spikes that explode with riotous rosy fuchsia bracts and dreamy 'draizy' blue buds of 'beauticiouness' that are then followed by polite pink berries.
Aechmea cylindrata loves to lounge in part sun to shade conditions. It loves growing and spreading as a clumping groundcover under dense tree or overhead foliage canopies. Seeing a sweeping wave of its foliage en masse topped by its arrestingly luminous lanterns of tantalizing technicolor is beyond beautiful. If you ever get to the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA you should definitely find out if their lot are in bloom. It's a visual display that will set your emotional controls to bliss mode.
Growing Aechmea cylindrata is fairly simple. They don't mind taking in moisture from soil, but would rather prefer what gets distributed within their tank-like wells at the center of their foliage. It's always a good idea to flush water from their center about once a week and replenish with fresh water. Leaving water for long periods can lead to stinky stagnation, bacterial infections, salinity build up, and create the perfect environment for mosquitos to set up shop, party, lay eggs, and produce more mosquitos. Also, if you want to prevent salinity build up use rain or distilled water. This plant is hardy down to around the 26 degrees fahrenheit/-3 degrees celsius. I've seen it thrive in both dry and humid situations.
If you've got the fever to grow something fab, check out Aechmea cylindrata. Its floral beauty is a reward like almost no other. Grow it indoors or out and surrender yourself to its beguiling beauty!