Ursulea macvaughii and Fosterella albicans question

brom_adorer(Mid-North Coast, NSW)July 15, 2009

I recently aquired both of the above, and wonder if anyone can inform me of their cultural requirements, as I'd like to place both in the garden. Aspect, temperature tolerance, and water requirements would be usefull



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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

It happens Ursulea was the subject of a recent discussion. I had brought my Ursulea tuitensis for show and tell, and the macvaughii came up as well. If I recall the details correctly, both are from Mexico and live in full sun at higher elevation in a somewhat dry area. They were described as being small plants in habitat, but spreading over a large area; then when you put a single plant in a pot, it really beefs up in size. Mcvaughii has the pendulous inflorescence, and I think it remains green, does not turn red in sun like the tuitensis (see photo).

Ursulea tuitensis

I grow this out in the garden in full sun, in a pot -- which it has outgrown! I have removed 3 pups from it, and another is coming on. I am on the coast and get a lot of overcast and humidity -- plants are always wet with dew in the morning. Freezes are very rare, and this plant lived through them, but there was some leaf tip damage. It gets watered 3x weekly by overhead irrigation in summer, which is more than it needs. My highest temperatures are in the low 80s F. I don't water much in winter.

Sorry, don't know anything about the Fosterella albicans...

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 11:51AM
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I have a Fosterella petiolata and it seems to respond well to evenly moist soil (at least through growing season). I assume they are kind of like cryptanthus but maybe not quite that sensitive to roots drying out. I tried it in nearly full sun in the spring, but wimped out and moved it into a spot with mixed shade. I've only had it for ~6 months, so I'm not sure how it goes through the winter (as to whether it needs to be a lot more dry or not). Hope that helps some...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 12:43AM
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brom_adorer(Mid-North Coast, NSW)

Thank you both for your feed back.
Catkim, I love the colour in the leaves of your U. tuitensis. Oh dear, its now on my wishlist. he he. How big do you think it will get? (Macvaughii)
Your climate sounds alot like mine. We usually have dry winters, sporadic rain in spring through to Autumn (but usually torrential when it does), no frost as such, and high humidity in Summer. Our average to hot temps in summer would be about 90 degrees. So, I could plant in full sun? (or maybe keep in a pot and slowly move till it shows tolerance) and keep it in well drained mix so it doesn't drown!
Thanks Andy. I kinda thought the Fosterella might like high light, because it reminds me of a tillandsia, with the grey, narrow scurfy leaves. It has a flower spike forming and a small pup at the base.
I guess, both plants being bromeliads, the usual well drained mix, and a slow acclimatisation into sun is probably the best bet.
Its difficult when you aquire a plant with no former knowledge of how they might cope in your environment. I haven't seen either of these plants in any collections I have visited, and deduced they might be a bit tender.
If there is any more information to be had about either one of these, please chime in!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 2:13AM
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Hi Guys

Ursulaea tuitensis is quite happy to grow to full sun, however is a bit cold sensitive, hence your leaf tip damage, grows to about 300 - 400mm.

Ursulaea macvaughii not full sun, needs more protection, is a bit more cold sensitive & grows to about 1200 - 1500mm, a very large plant with a huge semi pendulous flower spike, seed pods as big as your thumb, 20 - 30mm. This one needs space, in the garden or large pot.

Fosterella albicans is a terrestrial species, is good in the garden in full sun, a smallish growing species, best left to clump, have had flower spikes to 2mtr tall, they do only have very small inobscure white flowers, moderate watering.

If you don't mind me asking where did you get your 'albicans' from.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 5:11AM
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brom_adorer(Mid-North Coast, NSW)

Hi Pink Broms. A local bromeliad and orchid nursery (sunset lakes) at the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour had the Fosterella. Do drop in and see them if you ever visit. They're not open on tuesdays though. The plant has a spike about 14" so far, and I checked out some pics when I googled it. The Fosterella was an impulse buy, so I have no pre-conceptions of what it will turn out like.
I have seen pics of Ursulea macvaughii on the internet, and fell in ,love with the size, form and flower, just didn't know how to treat it right!Thanks you so much for your information on them.
I'd like to resist the impulse buys, but so far I've not managed! tee hee.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 4:14AM
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Hi Guys

I thought that might of been where you got 'Albi' from, yes they were grown in full sun at the place where Scott got them from.

Sorry once you have the bug you can't ever resist buying again & again & again, I've been at it a lot of years now & I still can't resist, oh I haven't got that one, ooops I've bought another one.

Good luck with your U. mac. it is worth looking after, 'Albi' is a carefree easy no fuss plant, but a gorgeous little thing, worth having also, I have it in full sun in my garden.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 8:45AM
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brom_adorer(Mid-North Coast, NSW)

Thanks pinkbroms, This is my cute little Fosterella. He only had the one, and at the right price for me. Couldn't resist.

I like the scurfy look

And the emerging flower head was a drawcard for me.

Also the emerging pup.
I'll look for a nice position for it today.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 8:53PM
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Hi Brom Adorer

I'm glad to see somebody else enjoys some of the bromeliad world's little oddities rather than just wanting those pretty things all the time, Guzmania's etc. that is.

Keep searching there are a lot more odd things like that out there worth having in a collection.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 4:16AM
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brom_adorer(Mid-North Coast, NSW)

He he, yes, I am a collector of odd things! I like to have a bit of variety in my broms, because some bromeliads are worlds apart in appearance. I haven't yet been able to come at Dykias, and have two cryptanthus, but am not that fond of them. I know that tastes do change, as I didn't used to like Tillandsias much, and now I can't get enough of them (literally) Theres not many on offer around here, and some on internet auction sites are just too dear for such darling LITTLE things.
I put 'Albi' in the garden today, in a nice sunny spot, but he will get midday shade, just in case.
'Ursula' is up against a warm wall in bright light, so hopefully will survive winter. I will find a spot in the garden for her later in the year. I think I have to have U. tuitensis now!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 3:22AM
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