Aechmea blanchetiana (eek-MEE-uh blan-ket-ee-AY-nuh) is one of the largest of the commonly grown Aechmeas. Its size makes a big impact in any landscape or bromeliad garden. Mature plants often have a spread of 5 feet or more and the flower spike may reach 6 feet in height. The inflorescence emerges in early summer and is a colorful blend of red, orange and yellow. It is long-lasting and keeps good color for months on end. The actual flowers are small, yellow and tubular.
The foliage color varies with the amount of sun the plant receives and may range from light green to yellow, orange or reddish, depending on the clonal variety. The best color is usually obtained in full sun.
Frost or a hard freeze can be damaging to the large leaves so it's best grown in sheltered locations or covered up on the coldest nights.