Aechmea fasciata

The Urn Plant is considered the hardiest thermophilous plant suited to indoor cultivation. In its native Brazil, it grows as an epiphyte on trees. It forms funnel-shaped rosettes of tough leaves, up to 50 cm (20 in) long and 6-10 cm (2.5-4 in) wide. They are shortly toothed on the margins and spiny at the tips. The greyish-silver, horizontal stripes on the leaves are formed by minute, scale-like hairs. A thick, pink stem, topped by a tightly packed inflorescence grows from the centre of the leaf rosette. The pink bracts are more striking than the flowers. The inflorescence can last for several months.

In indoor cultivation, it is usually grown on a stump or branch. However, it also does well as a pot plant. It even stands up well to unventilated, smoky rooms.

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