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Products > Pitcairnia flammea
Pitcairnia flammea - Flame Bromeliad
Image of Pitcairnia flammea
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Bromeliaceae (Bromeliads)
Origin: Brazil (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Orange Red
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Synonyms: [Pitcairnia fulgens]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Pitcairnia flammea (Flame Bromeliad) - A clump forming bromeliad with rosettes of long 1 inch wide grass-like leaves that are dark green on their upper surface and felty white beneath and with spiny margins at the base and smooth beyond. The upright 2 to 3 foot tall unbranched inflorescences bear orange-red flowers in late winter that darken to nearly black when drying. Plant in full to part sun in a well drained soil and water occasionally. Cold hardiness has not been well documented on this plant but it is noted as one of the more cold tolerant of the Brazilian bromeliads. It went through the January 2007 freeze with temperatures down to 25 F three nights in a row in a Goleta, California garden without damage. An interesting plant with foliage similar to a daylily (Hemerocallis) but with spikes of red-orange flowers. Pitcairnia is a genus of plants in the family Bromeliaceae, subfamily Pitcairnioideae and while the genus is not as common as other bromeliads in cultivation, it actually has the second highest number of species and only the genus Tillandsia has more. Pitcairnia was named for the Scottish physician and gardener Dr. William Pitcairn (17111791) and the species are abundant throughout South America but with some species ranging into Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, and one species, Pitcairnia feliciana, from tropical West Africa as the only known member of the Bromeliad family not native to the Americas. Pitcairnia flammea grows on rock outcrops and along streams in Brazilian Atlantic Ocean rainforests. The specific epithet is from Latin meaning "flame-like". Our plants grown from seed given to us by John Bleck whose plant flowers regularly in his Goleta garden. Bleck received the plant as Pitcairnia fulgens, a specific name published in 1850 by the French botanist Joseph Decaisne and later synonymized with Pitcairnia flammea, though some databases synomized it with Pitcairnia bifrons, P. saxicola or P. ringens. Under the name Pitcairnia fulgens it was cultivated early in Britain as a stove plant (conservatory plant) and made it into Paxton's Flower Garden Volume II authored by the British botanist John Lindley and Sir Joseph Paxton and published in 1852. 

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