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Products > Fascicularia pitcairniifolia
Fascicularia pitcairniifolia
Image of Fascicularia pitcairniifolia
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Bromeliaceae (Bromeliads)
Origin: Chile (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Blue
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [Fascicularia bicolor ssp. canaliculata]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: <15 F
Fascicularia pitcairniifolia - An evergreen terrestrial bromeliad to 2 feet tall with rosettes holding arching soft spine-margined, leaves that reach out to 3 feet and are green on the upper surface and silvery white below. The clone we have is shy to flower, in fact we had not seen it bloom in our garden or nursery until the dry spring of 2014, though we have had it in the ground for over 25 years by then and many other gardeners in California report the same. The plant that flowered was growing in a pot in full sun and had the center of the rosette turn scarlet surrounding the dense cluster of striking blue flowers tipped with bright yellow pollen.

Plant in full sun to medium shade in a well-draining soil. It has low water needs and is frost and cold hardy to about 15 F. A great plant for under live oaks; never needs to be irrigated and leaves don't collect on top of plant. Although the foliage appears spiny, they are not wicked and can be safely planted along pathways. This plant comes from south-central coastal Chile and is considered to have the most southern distribution in the Bromeliad family. The name for the genus comes from the Latin words 'fascis' for "bundle" and 'arius' meaning "pertaining to" in reference to the tightly clustered flowers and the specific epithet means leaves like those of Pitcairnia, another related terrestrial bromeliad. This plant is sometimes synonymized with or listed as a variety or subspecies (ssp. canaliculata) of Fascicularia bicolor, another Chilean species, that has shorter leaves and blue flowers subtended by ivory-colored bracts. When at The Royal Botanic Garden Kew we were able to see plants of Fascicularia bicolor in their collection and noted them to be a considerably different and smaller plant than the plant we have, though note that the KEW plantdatabase lists Fascicularia pitcairniifolia as a synonym with the unresolved Hechtia pitcairniifolia and others note that the name "pitcairnifolia" should not be used because it is "ill defined". Since it is the name long used in horticulture in California for this plant, and was the name we received it as, we continue to use the name Fascicularia pitcairniifolia. It has similar foliage to another terrestrial bromeliad we grow called Ochagavia litoralis, but the two plants are quite different in flower. . 

This information about Fascicularia pitcairniifolia 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.