Imperial flower stalk

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Feb. 27 bloom developing.


Leaves began to arrange themselves in a tighter rosette at the end of January. By mid-February, the inflorescence began its ascent. This morning, bloom spike of Alcantarea imperialis has reached 5 feet. I have always admired its handsome demeanor. The specimen in my home garden is several years old, and resides in a container by the koi pond. The imperial bromeliad is positioned so it receives sun from mid-morning

March 23.

to mid-afternoon, allowing the wine and blue-gray foliage colors to deepen. I have not fertilized it in a long time because its lower leaves form a skirt around the container. Because of its size, it stays outside during cold spells, and apparently it has relished its spot, although it may be warmer near the pond when cold arrives. In

April 25.

Brazil, is grows on cliffs near Rio de Janiero, but in small numbers these days. Roberto Burle Marx, Brazil’s artist and landscape designer who died in the late 1990s, used A. imperialis often in his landscapes, and his American admirer, landscape architect Raymond Jungles, has included it in a number of his own gardens.

The flowers are just beginning to stick their noses from within the floral bract, so when the final extravaganza occurs, I will post another photo.

A Jack-and-the-Beanstalk flower stalk.
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