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Bromeliads in the Sunshine

There are many bromeliads which grow in full sun. Numbers of growers are experimenting successfully with these hardy and adaptable plants. Quite stunning effects can be achieved in landscaping if the right choices are made.

Most of the terrestrial bromeliads will grow in the sun. Some make great rockery plants. They include Ananas ( pineapple ), a miniature one with a brilliant red fruit and spectacular variegated plants; Bromelia – large and spiny with brilliant colours; Androlepis skinneri is impressive with lovely bronze leaves and cream flower head. All Dyckias, Hechtias, Enclolirtiums, Fascicularia, Orthophytums and Puya offer many choices. Portea petropolitana var. extensa has been grown as a landscape plant for many years, a large plant with glossy green leaves and blue-grey berries.

Many Neoregelias are happy sun-lovers. It is worth experimenting with Noeregelias. Try to choose those with tough leaves. Neoregelias worth trying are Arbian Nights, Aztec, Takemura cultivars and Bahiana, carolinae, compacta, cruenta, eleutheropetala, Fireball, Fosperior, kautski, Marcon, marmorata, pascoaliana, pauciflora and spectabilis. There are numbers of species in this but a lot of hybrids will adapt to sunlight. Winter is a good time to acclimatise bromeliads to the sunshine.

The variety continues as we think of Aechmeas like acquilegia, Burgundy, Bert, blanchetiana (wow!), bracteate, caudata, chantinii, distichantha, fasciata, mulfordii, the many varieties of nudicaulis (great for growing on trees and driftwood), pectinata, ramose, and recurvata, to name just a few.

We cannot leave out the Alcantareas and Vrieseas. They are some of the most appealing and colourful plants for the garden. Try Alcantarea edmundoi, imperialis, regina and vinicolour (wine coloured foliage), as well as Vreiesea fosteriana, flammea, lubbersii, gigantea, neoglutinosa and oligantha.

Try your creativity and be adventurous with the sun-lovers of the bromeliad family.

Oh! I nearly forgot, the silver grey Tillandsias lap up the sunshine.

Acknowledgment is made to the Sarasota Bromeliad Society (U.S.A.) for the above listings.

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