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Products > Orthophytum magalhaesii
Orthophytum magalhaesii

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Bromeliaceae (Bromeliads)
Origin: Brazil (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Orthophytum magalhaesii - A terrestrial saxicolous (growing on rock) bromeliad to 2 feet tall with thick stems holding attractive lanceolate leaves that are brown with scurfy silver hairs and white teeth along the margins. These stems are topped with attractive "flower heads" of green bracts that nearly hide the small white flowers in their interior. This plant grows well in full sun along the coast but likely would appreciate part sun or light shade in hot inland. Plant in a well-drained mix where it is fairly dry growing but responds well to regular to occasional irrigation. Has proven hardy to short duration temperatures around 28°F. An unusual plant that makes a very attractive specimen in a pot or in the ground with compatible succulent plants. This plant is endemic to the Atlantic Forest biome in Brazil where it is known to grow on granite rock outcrops in the states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo. It was described by Lyman Smith Phytologia in 1966. Orthophytum is in the subgenus Bromelioideae and the name of the genus comes from the Greek word 'ortho' meaning "straight" and the Latin word 'phytum' meaning "plant" in reference to the long straight inflorescence bearing leaves. The specific epithet honors the botanist Geraldo Mendes Magalhães who first collected the type specimen of this plant in 1958. We first received our stock plant of this wonderful plant from Julie Barlow of Rancho Soledad Nursery in 2008.  Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips would aid others in growing Orthophytum magalhaesii.