A rare terrestrial bromeliad from Chile with recurved leaves armed with ferocious barbs. The foliage is green on young plants turning grey green as they mature. Clump forming naturally but can be trained to give a more architectural appearance by removing side shoots as it matures and forms a trunk. Reddish pink stems can develop at any time during the season, rising above the foliage and producing racemes of reddish pink panicles of tubular violet-purple flowers from pink to red bracts.
Usually capable of surviving a mild winter in the UK without protection and said to be hardy down to -6c. We are slightly doubtful about that but have had our own plants survive short spells of -3c without damage. The key to overwintering a British winter is to keep the roots on the dry side during the cold months and not allowing rainwater to collect in the rosette. This can be done with a ventilated cloche or cover or, if growing in a pot, turning the pot on it’s side during wet weather so the water runs out of the rosette.
Full sun and very well drained soil is a must, with a low nutrient content. Maximum height 1 meter.
Additional photo by De Mar del Sur - Trabajo propio, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14758750