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Products > Aechmea caudata var. variegata
Aechmea caudata var. variegata - Variegated Tail Bromeliad
Image of Aechmea caudata var. variegata
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Bromeliaceae (Bromeliads)
Origin: Brazil (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow & Orange
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [A. forgettii]
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Shade
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Aechmea caudata var variegata (Variegated Tail bromeliad) - A medium size funnel shaped evergreen plant to 3 feet tall (a bit taller in shade) with stiff slightly arching leaves to 30 inches long with very fine teeth along the margins. These leaves are light green with longitudinal creamy stripes that have a pink tinge towards the leaf bases and on the newly emerging shoots. Flowering is typically in summer months but sometimes earlier, with an inflorescence lasts for 6 weeks or better and consisting of compact tightly branched cluster of orange red bracted buds that open to bright yellow flowers sitting atop a stout whitish stalk above the foliage - the inflorescence remains showy many months after the flowers have faded. As with other bromeliads this plant is monocarpic and the rosette bearing the flower eventually dies but is replaces by several new rosettes from shoots at its base.

Great plant in light shade or morning sun but can take coastal full sun once acclimated and the variegation is better and plant more compact with brightest light. Not fussy about soil type so long as it drains fairly well and is relatively drought tolerant with the need for only an occasional overhead watering to add to water stored in center cavity. This is a very cold tolerant bromeliad that is hardy through much of coastal California and noted as tolerating short duration temperatures down to below 20 F and also tolerating windy near seashore conditions. This tough, cold tolerant bromeliad is very showy in or out of bloom and can be planted in the ground, in pots or be grown epiphytically.

This plant is a naturally occurring variegated sport of Aechmea caudata var. caudata that was found growing in the Restingas (dwarf coastal forest) in southern Brazil. The plant was first described by American botanist Mulford Bateman Foster (1988-1978), affectionately known as the "Father of the Bromeliad" in an article in a 1953 issue of The Bromeliad Society Bulletin (3: 47. 1953) where he notes that the plant was previously known and sold as Billbergia forgetii and Aechmea forgetii . Foster also collected the plant himself in 1955 at Minas Gerais, Brazil. The species is native to the forests in temperate regions of southern Brazil up into an altitude of 3,000 ft. The name for the genus comes from the Greek word 'aichme' meaning "spearhead" or "a point" in reference to thorny tips on the sepals and bracts. The specific epithet is the Latin word meaning "with tail" and is in reference to the lower bracts of the inflorescence that drape downwards like an animal's tail. 

This information about Aechmea caudata var. variegata 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.