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Products > Ochagavia litoralis
Ochagavia litoralis - Cardoncillo
Image of Ochagavia litoralis
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Bromeliaceae (Bromeliads)
Origin: Chile (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pink
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Synonyms: [Fascicularia litoralis, C. carnea, Hort.]
Height: <1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Ochagavia litoralis (Cardoncillo) - This terrestrial bromeliad is native to coastal central Chile from Illapel, Coquimbo, to Colchagua where it forms great colonies on rocks of coastal cliffs. In cultivation an individual plant eventually forms clumps of rosettes with 1 foot long recurved soft spine-margined leaves that are gray-green above and white below. In late summer or fall appear tight heads of pink flowers on short stalks from the center of the rosette. Plants don't flower every year but seem to flower at least alternate years in our Santa Barbara Garden. It has been speculated by some growers that cooler temperatures trigger bloom. Plant in full coastal sun to light shade in a well-drained soil or large pot and irrigate only occasionally. We know this plant is hardy to 18 F as it survived this temperature in our 1990 freeze and was unblemished. The genus Ochagavia is closely related to Fascicularia with 3 species (Ochagavia littoralis, O. andia and O. carnea) endemic to mainland Chile and one species, O. elegans to Robinson Crusoe Island in the Juan Fernandez Islands off the Chilean Coast. Plants of the genus were apparently introduced early into cultivation and O. carnea is noted as having naturalized in mild coastal areas of SW Europe. The name for the genus was one chosen by R.A. Philippi is as published in the Anales de la Univirsidad de Chilee in 1856 honors Sylvestre Ochagavia, the Chilean minister of education from 1853 to 1854. In the 2002 article titled "Revision of the Genus Ochagavia" in Willdenowia, published by the Botanic Garden of Berlin, the authors note that Ochagavia was initially a monotypic genus with the sole member being Ochagavia elegans with other members placed in the genus Rhodostachys until united into Ochagavia in 1934. They differ from Fascicularia by relative length of their style and stamens, sepal shape, petal color and appendages and pollen morphology. We have previously listed the colloquial name for this plant as Cardoncillo but note that the common names listed for this species in the Willdenowia article are Calilla and Chupon. 

This information about Ochagavia litoralis displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.