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Pitcairnia heterophylla



7th December 2013


A few years ago I was able to get a plant of P.heterophylla from a commercial source promising that it was 'almost hardy' and worth trying in a cold greenhouse. Fascinating plant, it arrived with a dormant rosette of spiky reduced leaves. I stood it in the conservatory to keep it reasonably warm and it dropped dead.
I am not one to take too much notice of a bad experience, so when I was offered a seedling this year I took it, determined to keep it even warmer in winter and who knows, it might survive a second attempt.
It comes from South Mexico, Panama, Venezuela and North Peru where it grows at altitudes up to 2,500m which is probably why it developed a reputation for hardiness. It needs a distinct, cool and dry winter resting period and bright light. It may be that I failed to appreciate that the first time.

19th September 2014




16th December 2018