Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Tears of a Queen?

My specimen of queen's tears (Billbergia nutans), which I have had for just about a year and which has tripled in size in that time period, is just beginning to bloom again. So far there are three inflorescences, each promising a cascade of green blossoms edged with shimmering peacock blue suspended from an arching stem covered in pale pink bracts.

Queen's tears (Billbergia nutans)

These are fast becoming my favorite bromeliad, although I would also like to have some Aechmea fasciata again like I did as a kid in Germany. Back then I got the offsets from my great-aunts, who all had windowsills full of that species. I very rarely see it in nurseries and florist's shops now and when it does show up the price always seems outrageous for what is often not even a particularly sturdy and well-grown looking plant...

6 comments:

  1. It's a fab bromeliad and reasonably hardy too, sailing through most winters here growing outside.

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    1. Jealous - I wish I could grow it in the border outside here. Though I guess then I would not get flowers at this time of year.

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  2. I love Billbergia nutans. It's one of the few bromeliads that blooms reliably every year as a houseplant. I lost my first plant due to unexpected circumstances, but now I have a new one that seems to be a very dwarf version. Can't wait to see it bloom.

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    1. Good that you found another one - the one I have was the only one I had seen for sale in years. Maybe yours is indeed a dwarf version, but maybe the individual rosettes will also get larger as the plant gets older and with more space and fertilizer - that seemed to be the case with mine over the past year.

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  3. Beautiful! I have never seen before. The foliage looks like Tillandsia.

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    1. They are related to Tillandsias, but bigger and largely terrestrial with actual roots.

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