Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bromeliad Surprise

Walking to and from the koi pond several times last Sunday (we were busy building something...) I suddenly spotted something unusual on the clump of bromeliad growing epiphytically on our yew tree.



I saw something red and I became suspicious...

Grabbing the camera and stooping down to look my suspicion was confirmed, it was flowering.


And what a nice sight it was, that after several years this clump has finally flowered.

Fascicularia bicolor subsp. canaliculata is possibly the hardiest bromeliad you can grow here in the UK and other areas of similar climate. It is largely a terrestrial bromeliad although it can be coaxed to grow as an epiphyte too on trees and large shrubs with hit or miss success. 

Fascicularia bicolor subsp. canaliculata
It will grow, bulk up, spread, and flowers much quicker and regularly when grown on the ground. As an epiphyte, with its roots having much more spartan access to nutrients and relying largely on humidity and rainfall for water the growth rate is much, much slower. And flowers very infrequently too, if at all.


We don't give it any extra care at all, with only nature giving it what it needs to live. So it was a nice bonus to finally see this clump flowering after living on this tree for years.

Pretty thing isn't it?

Mark :-)

30 comments :

  1. I'm just surprised that there's a bromeliad that will handle your winters. I had no idea! It's quite pretty, especially for a no-maintenance plant.

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    1. I'm glad that there is at least this one Alan :) I'm not that updated with the hardiness of bromeliads front but this is possibly the hardiest of the lot. Bilbergia nutans on most winters here are fine too but this one is much tougher.

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  2. Yeah!!! This is one bromeliad I've been wanting to add to my collection for years. Unfortunately, I've never found a nice-sized specimen...

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    1. Even a little one Gerhard, nurtured in a pot for awhile can bulk up relatively quick :)

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  3. Lovely surprises like this go a long way to compensate for the disasters we all suffer from time to time.

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  4. It is a beauty alright! What a nice surprise!

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  5. What a great surprise, it looks very happy and healthy.

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    1. The flowering is giving us a sign of approval Amy :)

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  6. Congrats! How lucky you are.

    I've got one in a container and I noticed a red leaf earlier in the season. I got very excited only to discover it was cracked and that's why it was red, no bloom for me.

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    1. It might surprise you next year Loree :)

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  7. How lovely. I wonder whether that has ever been seen in Luton before? D

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    1. It's possible this has happened before in Luton David, you don't know who grows what out there :)

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  8. Perfect placement makes a happy plant!

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  9. That is amazing! I had no idea that there were bromeliads that are not only hardy enough to grow outdoors in your part of the world but can even be coaxed to do so as epiphytes. Also I am quite jealous that Billbergia nutans will grow outdoors for you; it is one of my favorites but I have to keep it in the sunroom.

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    1. Bilbegia nutans is about borderline here. If winters are mild(ish) they sail through. If it's harsh like in winter 2010-11 they'll perish.

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  10. Now that is one great bromeliad! I've never heard of it. So great that it's hardy for you. Love that it's blooming. Looking forward to a few more pics of this beauty

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    1. Really pleased Deanne that this one growing on the tree has finally bloomed. We used to have one on the ground and that bloomed quickly and every year.

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  11. It's so interesting and unusual to see something like that even grow on a tree let alone now it's flowering. Very unique.
    Cher

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  12. I have a bilbergia nutans, bought at a plant sale years ago and living in a pot indoors. How it's survived, I have no idea, as I'm awful at looking after indoor plants. Your post has made me wonder if I could plant it outside, preferably in the ground? Or does it need to be growing epiphytically? I'm not sure how I'd establish it on another plant. (Maybe best just to leave it in its pot.) Anyhoo, well done on getting yours to flower!

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    1. It'll be fine on the ground Caro, especially in your location which will be milder than ours :)

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  13. What a delightful surprise after all this time, and it is pretty! I did not know there were hardy bromeliads. We certainly have the humidity and rainfall to support one!

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    1. There are a few hardy-ish ones Debs :) In favourable locations with a good microclimate other bromeliads like Puyas, Dyckias, Ochagaveas will be fine as well.

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  14. This is soooo exciting!!! I once had a Fascicularia bicolor...It was hard to find in Madrid...it lasted one year and it ended dying when I tried to grow it outside. But I think it´s a very special plant. I love to see that yours is flowering :)

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    1. Thanks Lisa! I wonder if you can get hold of this in Peru, hmmmm... :)

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  15. Bromeliad on a Yew. Now that's cool!

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