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Turquoise Puya

Fascicularia bicolor

Fascicularia bicolor is a rarely-seen Bromeliad that screams for attention!  Just before it flowers, its leaves suddenly turn from green to a shocking fluorescent red, as if marked with spray-paint.  I'm not sure what bug pollinates it in the wild, but it must fly in with sunglasses on!  The tightly-clustered, sky blue & yellow flowers are simply divine.  As exotic as it looks, the plant is easy to grow, and frost hardy down to the low 20s.  This is a very rare and hard-to-find species.  Seeds are difficult to germinate, so i am offering an established plant.  

Fascicularia bicolor

Fascicularia bicolor is a terrestrial Bromeliad from the cool coast of Chile.  It forms a rosette of aloe-like leaves around 12-15 inches long.  While the leaves do have spines, they are not very menacing, so it is safe to grow it near walkways.  It produces many offsets over the years, eventually forming a large colony.  You may separate the offsets if you wish.  Around October, the central leaves of mature plants turn bright red and the flower cluster emerges.  Each bloom in the cluster has 3 blue petals surrounding bright yellow anthers.  It's a truly dazzling effect.  

Fascicularia bicolor

Fascicularia comes from a region that has cool, spring-like weather year-round, with nights that are cool.  I have heard one report of it growing in heat fine, but it should still considered experimental in areas that regularly get above 85 degrees F (29C), particularly if nights are warm (above 65F / 18C).  It is reported to survive temperatures of 20F (-6C) if kept relatively dry.  It blooms best in full sun here in cool San Francisco, but some afternoon shade might be needed in warmer climates.  It grows well in a pot in cactus soil, and can be raised indoors as a houseplant.  It seems to flower best when its roots are cramped.  But i recommend giving it ample root space the first few years so it can quickly grow to full size.

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Turquoise Puya

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