Need Bromeliad ID Please (photo)

love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)June 18, 2012

I am sure this is a common bromeliad, and I am an old gardener, but since I am brand new to broms, I don't know the name. I did try countless Google searches and the FCBS site, but there are just too many.

I was given this plant on May 28. A friend allowed me to snap it off myself from her large collection - she must have 20+ - it was a pup. It rolled around in my trunk for a couple of days and I planted it on June 1st. Here it is, only 17 days later, and it is blooming?!? Is that usual? I did notice that it greened right up to a brighter light lime green than it was when I got it. It did that in just a week or so after I planted it in the ground.

Sorry about all the sand on it - we had huge rains in Florida a week or so ago - got 9 inches in one day - and it got quite splashed. I haven't had time to clean it up ... or maybe I shouldn't?

Greatly appreciate help with the ID.

Thanks!

Carol

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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

I may have found the answer myself - imagine that! Could this be Billbergia pyramidalis?

Thanks!
Carol

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 11:11AM
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gregsytch(z9b Tampa Bay)

most assuredly. Easy to grow, can bloom 2xyear not cold hardy (meaning below 28F)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 7:43AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Thank you so much, Greg. The bloom is even bigger today, but not fully open. How long will the bloom last?

Thanks!
Carol

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 11:00AM
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danarc(california, Z09)

Pyramidalis bloom may last anywhere from 3 to 10 days depending on temperatures. If you live in a hot clime it will be quick. Fortuantely they often bloom in cooler weather.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 6:18PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Yup, you were right. The bloom was beautiful but it came and went in a hurry. But in those few short days, it got lots of ooohs and aaaahs. Should I do anything to remove the spent bloom? Or just leave it alone on the plant? It is now dry and brown.

Boy am I getting hooked on broms!

Thanks so much,
Carol

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 4:55PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

So far, I've just left the spent bloom on the plant. It is all dried up and pretty bad-looking, but since no one has said to remove it or said how to remove it, I've just left it alone.

Carol

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 9:04PM
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splinter1804

Hi Carol,

If the sight of the dead flower head is worrying you it can be cut off just below the flower head which will leave just a bit of bare stem. In time as this continues to die further it can easily be just pulled out or you can wait until the whole lot dies further and pull it all out. It will easily come away with gently tugging when it is ready, however no harm will come to the plant if it is left on there but I must agree, they do look pretty unsightly.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 9:32PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Thanks, Nev. I've been watching for a sign of pups - none yet - so keeping my fingers crossed. In the meantime, I guess I will leave the whole thing well-enough alone so I don't ruin it. :)

Carol

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 10:09PM
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rednofl(9b Goldenrod Fl hz 10)

Hi Carol
Thats the same plant that hooked me. It will spread in no time.
Enjoy

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 5:51AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Greg, you were right about it not being too cold-hardy. This past winter, the ultimate low in my yard was 23.5 and we had several 10-hour hard freezes. This bromeliad cluster froze back pretty badly. But it is pupping like mad now. The parents sure look ugly!

Carol

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 8:55PM
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splinter1804

Carol - I know exactly how you feel.

When I first started growing brom's some years back, I had a quite large clump of Bill. pyramidalis as the centre piece in my shade house. Eventually it flowered and I was the proudest man in the street; it was just a beautiful mass of red. Eventually the flowers died as I knew they would, and I thought no more about it.

During winter that year we had a few days with temps near freezing, (unusual for where I live) and a week later I noticed some spotting on the leaves but due to inexperience I took no notice and didn't realise this was cold damage. About three weeks later there were brown and black leaves all over the plant, and it looked so ugly I pulled it out and put it in a disused corner of the garden and forgot all about it.

A couple of months later I notice something which looked light green in the corner of the garden and when I looked more closely, there were numerous pups with beautiful healthy looking light green foliage.

To cut a long story short, these went on to flower that year, and as winter approached and the weather got colder, the same thing happened; more cold damage and more black leaves.

The same thing has happened each year and it always bounces back with abundant new growth which eventually flowers ...... and so the cycle begins again.

My theory is that because the plant gets so stressed from cold damage this triggers the in-built "survival mechanism" which produces abundant pups to ensure it's survival.

The bottom line is, nothing looks more beautiful than this plant when in flower, and nothing looks more ugly if it suffers from severe cold damage. However, the light at the end of the tunnel is that it always bounces back and flowers again.

You say, " it is pupping like mad now", and this is exactly the sort of thing that happened to me. Just give it a little fertiliser to help it along and leave everything as it is until the pups are nearing maturity. Old leaves can gradually be trimmed back to tidy it up, but leave any with green on them attached to the plants until the pups mature as these are still assisting in the manufacture of nourishment for the pups.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 5:41PM
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