Alcantarea Imperialis * Stunning Tropical Giant Bromeliad * Very Rare * 5 Seeds *
Alcantarea imperialis is a large terrestrial bromeliad was once classified as Vriesea Imperialis but is now recognized as part of the genus Alcantarea. It can be found growing on rocky slopes near Rio de Janero and can tolerate dry conditions and enjoys basking in full sunlight. Its colors range from green to silver to red usually with deep red on the underside of the leaves.Considered one of the giants of the genus, its leathery leaves can measure up to 6" in width and 5 feet in length. It will takes years of patience before flowering an imposing red Inflorescence that reaches 6 feet in height. Alcantarea imperialis are large bromeliads that originate from Brazil, growing in the mountains close to Rio de Janeiro at an elevation to about 1,500m. It has a huge base growing to up to 1.5m wide that consists of a dense rosette of wide strap-like, corrugated leaves with a smooth margin. The plant takes from between 8- 20 years to flower. When it does, it produces a 3m tall flower spike with red bracts along the stem and racemes of small scented creamy yellow flowers growing from each bract. The flowers spike can last for up to 12 months. After flowering the mother plant will start to die-back while new pups are produced alongside. Soil: Prefers well drained loamy soil. Maintenance: Requires very little maintenance. Just water occasionally during periods of drought this will encourage new leaf growth. Foliar feeding with a liquid fertiliser will improve plant vigour. As the flower spike dies it tends to look unsightly so cut this off along with any old and dying leaves. You will notice the appearance of 'pups' around the base when the plant flowers. The pups can be separated and replanted to produce more plants.