Cryptanthus acaulis

This species has low, flat rosettes. The leaves, about 13 cm Bromeliaceae (5 in) long and 3 cm (1 inch) wide, have long spines on the margins and are recurved at the tip. The upper side is pale green; the underside is greyish-white and covered with numerous scale-like hairs. The cultivar ‘Ruber’ has reddish-brown leaves.

Guzmania lingulata ‘Mayor’

Guzmanias are tropical plants native to the northwestern part of South America. A few species grow in Florida and Central America. Of the 100-120 species, most are epiphytes; only some are terrestrial. The leaves are always undivided and form a funnel-shaped rosette. The flowers are in panicles or in com pact flowerheads. The leaf rosette of G. lingulata may measure up td 70 cm (27 ½ inch) in diameter. The inflorescence is about 30 cm (12 inch) long with numerous tongue-shaped bracts (hence the specific name), coloured bright red and recurved. It may contain as many as 50 white to yellow flowers; the petals are tear-shaped.

Guzmanias require a temperature of about 25°C (77° F). Even in winter it must not fall below 18°C (64° F). They prefer partial shade. They have very demanding humidity requirements – water may be allowed to collect inside the leaf rosette but must be poured off occasionally. However, they do not tolerate soggy compost. They are propagated on a large scale by nurserymen. New plants are generally obtained from seed, for vegetative propagation of Guzmanias by means of sideshoots is relatively rare.

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