Home

Strange Wonderful Things

 Rare and exotic plants

Turquoise Puya

Racinaea dyeriana (Tillandsia dyeriana)

One of my favorite Bromeliads!  Racinaea dyeriana - formerly known as Tillandsia dyeriana - is a spectacular "air plant" from mangrove forests in Ecuador.  With a striking resemblance to Heliconia (Lobster Claw), it makes a super-bright orange flower spike that lasts for many weeks.  It's hard to capture the color in photos, but it is very intense!  This is an endangered species that is nearing extinction in the wild.  It's rarely available in the US, but it isn't too difficult to grow if you can meet it's basic needs - warmth and some humidity.  I'm glad to finally have it available.

Racinaea dyeriana (Tillandsia dyeriana)

The plant grows to about a foot tall, forming an upright rosette of leaves shaped like a vase.  The leaves develop attractive purple spots, especially when grown in bright light.  In the wild, it grows as an epiphyte on tree branches, where the brightly colored bracts attract hummingbirds.  The 1 foot long inflorescence emerges from the center of the plant and then arches over, usually dividing into 2 to 4 spikes.  The flowers are small & white, opening progressively from the base of the spike outward.  They aren't spectacular, but the orange bracts remain attractive long after the flowers are done.  The plant tends to die within a year after flowering, but it usually makes baby offsets that continue on.

Racinaea dyeriana (Tillandsia dyeriana)

 This is a tropical species that needs temperatures over 55⁰F (13⁰C), and preferably over 62⁰F (17⁰C).  It's grown fine for me at 50% humidity, but i have no information about how much lower it can take.  It may be grown in a terrarium or plant case if it's ventilated.  It likes bright, filtered light, and should be protected from strong direct sun.

This "air plant" makes some roots, but they're mostly for support, and the plant gets most of its water & nutrients through its leaves.  You may either grow it in a pot, or mount it to a piece of cork, wood, etc. and hang it up.  In a pot, give it a porous mix, like equal parts of small bark and long-fiber sphagnum moss, and keep the mix moist (but not saturated).  Only bury the roots, not the base of the leaves. 

Keep some water in the "tank" of the leaves most of the time.  If your water is high in minerals ("hard" water), it's best to use rain water or bottled spring water.  I feed about every 2 weeks by putting some diluted liquid fertilizer in the tank.  I recommend hydroponic or orchid fertilizer, at about 1/4 to 1/8 strength.  It is rarely bothered by pests.

 

Check availability

 

Photo #1 courtesy of Timm Stolten

 

Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants

Turquoise Puya

Entire site Copyright 2003-2023 by Strange Wonderful Things, except as noted