Aechmea weilbachii

Aechmea weilbachii

This epiphytic bromeliad from Brazil has smooth-edged leaves and grows to about 60-70 cm tall. In late autumn, winter and early spring it bears a slender stem with red-bracted, lilac-purple flowers, which last for quite a while. The flowers are followed by lilac-red fruit. This bromeliad clumps up fairly well. It looks effective grown with red flowers in bloom at the same time - such as Abutilon, red cane-stemmed Begonia and red Pentas. I also like it with the multicoloured blooms of Justicia rizzinii. It grows well in dry, shaded garden beds, in pots or in the forks of trees. Divide up every few years when it becomes congested, to keep the planting looking fresh. This plant is frost tender but grown under the shelter of trees, should survive winter in most Sydney gardens. Give them a spray of water every so often in summer in dry weather.

Flowers in May, June, July, August, September.