One of the most ornamental landscape Bromeliads, this plant grows to
a meter in height by 1.5m wide at maturity. It occurs along the
Atlantic coast of Brazil growing terrestrially in the sand behind
the dunes. It also grows into the surrounding rainforest as an
The amazing golden orange foliage colour is only seen when the
plant is grown in full sunlight. If the plant is grown in the shade
the plant will turn green, losing its striking appearance. If plants
are pampered with too much fertiliser and water they will also tend
to lose colour so this is definitely a plant that responds to
The floral display of Aechmea blanchetiana is both spectacular
and long lasting. The buds appear in the new year and when mature
the flower spike can get up to two meters tall. The thin heavily
branched inflorescence is a combination of red and yellow.
In the wild this plant is pollinated by nectar feeding birds. In
Australia the Noisy Miners are happy to drink the nectar and in turn
pollinate the small yellow day flowers. This will in time produce a
small purple berry.
The inflorescences stay on the plant with good colour for up to
Aechmea blanchetiana grows best in free draining soils and
visually is striking when grown on raised mounds to bring it up to
eye level. The use of a contrasting groundcover under it also helps
the plant to really stand out in the garden.
As the plant matures it will produce 5 to 7 pups. These can be
removed to start new plants easily when they are about a third the
size of the parent plant.