|Positive ||ivytucker ||On Feb 9, 2008, ivytucker from Cape Coral, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:
It took me awhile to identify this species. I have to say that of all the bromeliads you can grow in our area this one is most resilient. It multiplies in spite of our extreme weather and performs almost as well as if it were a native species. I think the form and color are first rate. A local wholesale nursery sells this plant for 45 dollars apiece! I was lucky enough to find about a half dozen of these plants tossed out in the trash one day. I know that this plant is by no means rare but it is hard to track down if you don't know someone who has it. There is a huge colony growing under a triangle palm in our neighborhood. These plants are totally neglected by their owners but seem to be thriving in any case. This is certainly a great choice for a low maintenance landscape subject. Chartreuse leaves with wine colored tips. The locals call this one the painted fingernail. Unfortunately this common name is also applied to other Neoregelias.
|Positive ||Monocromatico ||On Aug 11, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:
N. cruenta is one of the most important species on its natural habitat, the sandy plains along the brazilian coast, since itīs a xeromorphic environment, and the water this plant acumulates on its rosette is frequently the only source of fresh water for the animals there. Also, itīs the first species to appear on clean areas in that habitat, so itīs important for the stabilishment of the whole vegetation.
Itīs an average sized bromeliad, reaching up to 30cm tall or more, around 50cm wide. The leaves are broad, spiny, green, but depending on the nutrients in the soil, could turn into orange, always with red tips, forming an open rosette that accumulates water.
The inflorescence is so short that it keeps almost all the time imersed in water. It has spiny red bracts. When itīs going to bloom, the newer leaves turn red. It can be propagated through rhyzomes. If you have a clean terrain, it may colonize it all.
Itīs an endangered species due to its habitat being destroyed, so be careful when buying it. But itīs been common in cultivation. People are planting it on well drained organic soils, most times causing it to have orange leaves, so I guess this is the hint. On white sand, it often shows only green leaves. It also likes full sun. Keep the rosette always full of water, but donīt overwater the soil.