The dark leaves of Aechmea Royal Wine are a colorful addition to the landscape all year long. When the plant comes into bloom the leaves provide a perfect background for the orange inflorescence. The flower spike arches over to rest on the leaves or hover just above them. Blue flowers emerge from berry-like buds.
Like many Aechmeas, the inflorescence is fairly long lasting. This one will hold good color for about two months. The season of bloom is variable. I've had them bloom in the winter and also in the spring. The warmer temperatures in the spring seem to cause the inflorescence to be lighter in color.
Plants get about two feet across and a foot tall. Mine get filtered sun throughout the day with a little direct sun in the late afternoon.
A mass planting of them would make a nice dark groundcover.