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Alcantarea imperialis (Imperial bromeliad, Giant vriesea)

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Helpful articles

Native grasses and friends. An exciting thing is happening in the world of Australian plants. Wild species that have tantalised gardeners in the past are now being improved to create a diverse palette of new varieties that offer all kinds of advantages. In particular, the necessity for water-wise, low maintenance gardens has inspired interest in plants that can be used as ground covers that will not only suppress weeds and erosion but also look fantastic.

Top ten native plants. Native plant specialist Angus Stewart's top ten native Australian plants.

Plant search results (not used). (not used).

Bio Pools. Bio pools or Natural Swimmming Pools are an attractive & environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional swimming pools.

Plant description

alcantarea imperalis giant vriesea 1199

Alcantarea imperialis is an epiphytic bromeliad with funnel shaped rosettes of pale reddish green leaves. It is the largest of Vrieseas, with red flower spikes up to 2 metres tall and leaves to 1.5 metres long. The plant likes to have the central funnel filled with water, which can be home to frogs and tadpoles.

Vriesea likes a bright to lightly shaded position, with some morning or afternoon sun. This plant likes some humidity, a regular spray of water will be appreciated. Likes a regular potting mix, orchid mix or can be grown epiphytically on trees or rocks. Keep moist but not wet, but can tolerate some dryness. Too much water in the root zone can cause rotting. Feed in spring and summer with a weak liquid fertiliser.

Propagation is by division of the small offsets called pups.

Additional plant information

Flowers

Flower colour: red and white
Flowering season: summer autumn

Plant size

Maximum height: 5 metres
Minimum height: 3 metres

Maximum width: 1.5 metres
Minimum width: not specified

Sunlight, frost & salt tolerance

This plant will tolerate full or partial sunlight.
Light frost tolerance.
Plant is salt tolerant.

Fauna attracting?

Yes. Attracts: Frogs, insects.

Climate

This plant species will grow in the following climates: cool, temperate, subtropical, tropical.

Soil types & conditions

Loam: moist, well-drained.

Clay: not specified.

Sand: moist, well-drained.

Diseases

Fungal rot in too wet conditions

Pests

Scale

Miscellaneous information

Planting season: Any.

Types of fertiliser: Half strength liquid fertiliser.

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