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12 May 2018

Ananas (Bromeliaceae)

From the name nanas, aborigine of South America. The genus includes tropical herbaceous, commercially cultivated on a scale where the climate allows it, for the “fruit”, which is a fleshy syncropus, consisting of single berries welded together, with the rachis and with the bracts from which only the extremity protrudes. , and ending in a tuft of leaves called the crown. As a whole, the plant is made up of a rosette of radical leaves, generally curved out and thorny, in the center of which stands the inflorescence that will give rise to the fruit. In cold and temperate climates it is cultivated in a pot, as ornamental and it is possible to make it fructify, albeit to a lesser extent, in a warm-humid greenhouse. Some varieties, especially the variegated ones, are used at the youth stadium as houseplants.

Ananas comosum variegatus is a specimen of pineapple that is grown in the greenhouse for ornamental purposes.
Ananas comosum variegatus is a specimen of pineapple that is grown in the greenhouse for ornamental purposes.

Cultivated species of Ananas:

Ananas bracteatus, with enlarged rosette, flat leaves of bronze green and long spaced spines; has a var. striatus or variegatus, where the yellowish white, often with rosy reflections in excellent light, is predominant along the margins of the leaf that has the green center, often with further white streaks; Ananas comosum, with leaves reaching 1.50 m long, reddish purple flowers in spring; var .: sativus, with larger fruits and thorny leaves; debilis, with wide and wavy leaves, long fruit; lucidus, without thorns; porteanus, with a yellow-whitish central strip on the upper page of the leaves; variegatus, with wide ivory margins, red thorns and the center of the pink rosette. In cultivation, dwarf forms of several more compact and decorative varieties were obtained if used in the apartment.

Cultivation:

the Ananas require high temperatures with a winter minimum of about 18 ° C, high humidity and frequent waterings during the vegetative period, more moderate in winter. Fruits are not formed before the plant has reached two years of age; during their formation, it must be fertilized and the watering will be reduced as they mature. The multiplication will be carried out by means of the suckers that the plant emits at the base or by rooting the crown of the fruit with strong heat, after letting the fleshy part that remains at the base dry so that it does not rot.


Read also: Anagallis (Primulaceae)

09 Mar 2018

Aechmea (Bromeliaceae)

The name derives from the Greek akmé «punta», with an allusion to the rigid points of the glass. The genus includes evergreen plants from tropical America, often epiphytes, which have the peculiar shape of most of the Bromeliaceae; they have in fact rigid leaves arranged like acaulettes, each one inguaining in the form of a spiral to form a central tubular void from which the inflorescence emerges with numerous bracts and small flowers, mostly of a contrasting color. Considered until recently as plants suitable only for the warm greenhouse, some species have proven to have good qualities as houseplants where it is however very difficult to make them bloom.

Aechmea fulgens specie of great ornamental value.
Aechmea fulgens specie of great ornamental value.

Cultivated species of Aechmea:

 A. fulgens (about 50 cm), dark green leaves, violet flowers and scarlet bracts, persistent; var. discolor (75 cm), leaves with green-gray upper page, brown-violet bottom, violet-blue flowers, scarlet persistent bracts; Aechmea mariaereginae (60 cm), light blue flowers that change to pink before wilting, pink bracts; Aechmea wrapped, the most widespread, leaves 10 cm wide, 45 cm long, stiff, thorny, gray-green striped horizontally with silver-gray stripes; the plants can have a diameter of more than 60 cm and an inflorescence about 40 cm high, with small celestial flowers that last a short time although the pink and thorny bracts remain colored for about six months.

Cultivation:

usually for all the plants of this family it is recommended to keep the central “vase”, that is the heart of the plant, full of water, possibly rain; however, this is a practice that must be done very sparingly in the apartment, since the temperature is usually not high enough to prevent rotting. Even the waterings should be very moderate in winter, for the same reason. After flowering, the central rosette dies, but in the space of almost a year, before this happens, numerous suckers will grow around each root and can be detached and repotted individually in jars with a mixture of equal parts of the fibrous earth, peat and earth of leaves. The minimum winter temperature should be around 20 ° C, although the A. fasciata can withstand lower temperatures when the soil is kept rather dry.


Also readTYPES OF GARDENS: Mediterranean Garden.