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Brocchinia reducta

4th September 2007

A fairly nondescript bromeliad that has become famous in recent years because it has been labelled 'carnivorous'. Like all tank bromeliads, it catches a lot of stuff in the rosette and it has been shown that it can absorb the nutrients from its armpit soup through scales on its leaves.
One of those interesting plants that is rather poorly served by sensationsalist terms like 'carnivorous' which tend to lead to an 'is-it-or-isn't-it' debate that distracts attention from what the plant is actually doing to survive (on low nutient white sand soils in Venezuela and Guiana).
Incidentally, it hasn't just beamed down to a horticultural bomb site - I took the picture just after I had mover the Hedychiums out of this greenhouse and into a purpose built shangri-la of their own (with enough head room to keep them from stooping).

7th November 2008

Some of the bromeliads are now recognised as carnivorous, though to be fair, definitions become a little clouded at this point. This one comes from the same tepui habitat in Guyana and Venezuela as the Heliamphora, though it seems to have tougher leaves. I could probably treat it a little more kindly and then it wouldn't have the dead leaves hanging around it, but it seems to be growing well enough.

4th September 2010