Thursday, August 19, 2010

Billbergia pyramidalis

Probably the most widely-planted bromeliad in Florida is Billbergia pyramidalis.  It has been passed from one person to another for generations and multiplies rapidly in the landscape.
The flowers on an individual plant last less than a month, but nearly all the plants will come into bloom at the same time, creating a stunning display during the long hot days of late summer.  This Billbergia is equally happy as a terrestrial or epiphyte.  When planted in the ground, they quickly create large clumps, and when planted at the base of a tree, will slowly climb the trunk.  Here is a group planted on a stump in full sun.
Billbergia pyramidalis is virtually indestructible and requires no care whatsoever as a landscape plant.  In heavy shade, the foliage will be a rich, dark green, while in sun the leaves are a bright yellow-green.  They are very cold-tolerant and are usually only damaged if a heavy frost settles on the leaves.  Even then, they quickly recover and bloom reliably each summer.  There will sometimes be a stray plant or two that blooms out of season, but the overwhelming majority of plants coordinate their blooms for a spectacular show!
Buy this plant!

7 comments:

NanaK said...

I have this as a pass-along plant from my mother and I have passed them along to my daughter. They are quite common in yards around my area but I still love it when they all bloom.

Susan said...

You are right on about this plant. We have always heard it referred to as the "hurricane bromeliad" because it blooms during the peak of hurricane season.

Rainforest Gardener said...

Its interesting, because every resource/book says that they aren't in the least bit cold hardy, but they are the only bromeliad commonly seen in old Jacksonville gardens. I've seen plenty overwinter, including in my own garden. I think I like the wide and glossy leaves just as much as the flower!

africanaussie said...

they might be common and easy to grow, but that doesnt make them any less lovely. I love them en masse.

Ami said...

Very beautiful bloom! Now I just need to find one for sale or even better, a pass-along from someone? :)

mantispid said...

I have one of these I've kept alive for years here in Michigan. I've never seen it bloom until this year... and it did so in October... Poor confused subtropical plant...

Grower Jim said...

Mantispid, I'm sure they're much slower-growing in Michigan. Your patience has finally been rewarded!

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