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Products > Fascicularia pitcairnifolia
Fascicularia pitcairnifolia

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Bromeliaceae (Bromeliads)
Origin: Chile (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Blue
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [Fascicularia bicolor, Hort.]
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 pitcairnifolia - 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 never seen bloom in our garden or nursery until the dry spring of 2014, though we have had it in the ground for 25 years 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. It is sometimes synonymized with Fascicularia bicolor, another Chilean species, that has shorter leaves and blue flowers subtended by ivory-colored bracts and most recent literature notes that the name "pitcairniifolia" should not be used because it is "ill defined" but since it is the name long used in horticulture for this plant and the we received it as, we continue to use Fascicularia pitcairnifolia. 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 description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We also try to incorporate comments received from others and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Fascicularia pitcairnifolia.