Aechmea Fasciata: a Plant Analyzed

Topics: Bromeliaceae, Plant, Root Pages: 2 (568 words) Published: October 21, 2010
Aechmea fasciata: A plant analyzed

Meaning spear tipped, in Greek. Its common name is Silver Vase. It is called Silver Vase because it sort of looks like a silver vase with a spiny pink flower. From the family Bromeliaceae. Although the Aechmea fasciata is a widely used house plant the most popular bromeliad is the Pineapple. Some bromeliads, such as Aechmea fasciata, are epiphytic meaning they grow on other plants. A true epiphyte is a plant driven by demands for light or moisture to seek a perch upon a tree rather than succomb upon the dark forest floor. Often rooted in moss or debris in the fork of a branch, very rarely are they actually rooted upon the green surface of another plant. Contrary to popular belief they are not parasitic.

Aechmea fasciata's leaves form a cupped rosette, which holds water when it rains. The leaves, with their stiff spiny margins and rounded mucronate apices most often have silvery cross bands. The leaves can grow to be two feet long and three inches wide and have an elliptically-ovate shape. The roots hold the epiphyte to a "perch" plant such as an oak tree, rather than siphoning water from the ground or in this case an oak tree.

Originally from Brazil, the Aechmea fasciata flourishes in the also able to grow in south Florida and south California. Although Aechmea fasciata performs well the plant's soil salt tolerance is poor meaning that it cannot withstand life in dune conditions. It prefers a mixture of peat, leaf-mold, and sand to grow in the ground. Rotted leaves worked into the earth also work nicely. The key is to have a well-drained and well-aerated medium. The plants roots may rot it the soil is kept too moist.

The Aechmea fasciata blooms in March and April. Its most notable feature is the bright pink bracts which protect pale blue fowers that will later change to a deep rose color. The bracts are spike-like and arranged in a pyramidal shape. These flowers (including the bracts and sepals) are persistent and...
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