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Products > Orthophytum 'Copper Penny'
 
Orthophytum 'Copper Penny'
   
Image of Orthophytum 'Copper Penny'
 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Bromeliaceae (Bromeliads)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Parentage: (Orthophytum saxicola x O. vagans)
Height: <1 foot
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
Orthophytum 'Copper Penny' - An attractive tropical terrestrial bromeliad with clusters of tight rosettes bearing 5 to 6 inch long shiny copper colored leaves that are slightly decurved with soft teeth on the margins and contrast nicely with the newly emerging greener leaves. From spring through summer, or year-round in the greenhouse, appear the white flowers subtended by short salmon colored bracts. Plant in part to full coastal or bright shade in a well drained soil and irrigate regularly spring through fall - with brighter light the plants take on the best color. Makes a great potted specimen with a fast draining gritty or bark soil, but can be planted in a well drained raised bed as a small scale groundcover. Can tolerate cool coastal California winters if soil drains well and they are kept fairly dry, so best under an eave that protects from too much winter rainfall. Has weathered light frosts and temperatures down to around 31 F in our garden and useful in near frost free locations in coastal California. It offsets readily to form a large clump and the individual rosettes can be removed to make new plantings. This plant is a hybrid of the red form of Orthophytum saxicola (O. saxicola var. rubra, Hort.) crossed with Orthophytum vagans. It is noted that the inflorescence more closely resembles that of seed parent Orthophytum saxicola but with richer rose to orange color more typical of the pollen parent Orthophytum vagans, but with less rigid leaves than this parent. The inflorescence and flower development is also noted to continue for a longer time than is typical with either parent. 'Copper Penny' was created by Dr. Gary Hendrix of Homestead, Florida in the mid 1970s. It was first listed as a new hybrid in the March April 1980 Journal of the Bromeliad Society (v30 n2) and described in this journal in the September-October 1983 issue (v33 n5). The name for the genus come from the Greek words 'ortho' meaning "straight" and 'phytum' meaning plant in reference to the tall inflorescence (to 18 inches) of some species. Orthophytum look a bit like Cryptanthus and Dyckia but are noted as differing from most other bromeliads in having a long inflorescence bearing leaves the reduce in size toward the tip with leaf-like bracts in the axils, though one parent of this hybrid. Orthophytum saxicola, has a more traditional type of inflorescence that arises from the top of the leafy rosette. The specific epithet saxicola means "growing on rocks and typically most of the species can be found growing on rocks or dry rocky ground basking in full sun in cool mountainous regions of eastern Brazil. We got our first Orthophytum 'Copper Penny' stock plant at the 2017 Ganna Walska Lotusland Exceptional Plant Auction. It was a nice large plant donated by Carol Terry, one of Lotuslands longtime bromeliad gardeners.  This information is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library and from reliable online sources. We also take into consideration observations of it in our nursery of crops, as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens we have visited. We will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Orthophytum 'Copper Penny'.