Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Philly Flower Show - Brazil

So as I mentioned last week, the Philadelphia Flower Show's theme this year was Passport to the World. There was some looseness as far as geographical boundaries go (as even the most pro-native plant person can be at times) - in one case a New World plant was used in a Central Asian exhibit, but for the most part, it worked.

This photo below (sadly unfocused; I'm still not an expert on flashless photography indoors with a budget friendly camera, in crowded conditions, no less) was of the Brazil exhibit.

I wish I had a better shot of the plants incorporated, particularly these two beauties below, but like any other site visit, you can take hundreds of photos and still wish you had a few more.

These are a cultivar of the vase plant, or Aechmea. The cultivar name is 'Del Mar'. The most common Aechmeas are the silver vases, or Aechmea fasciata, though I think these blue and white checkered flowers far outshine that species.

The common name vase plant is applied because the basal foliage is so tightly formed that the plant can collect water in its center, which helps the plant survive dry periods later on. Like Nepenthes this body of liquid is technically called phytotelma.

Aechmeas are in the Bromeliaceae family, a family of over 3000 species, half of which are epiphytes (like Spanish moss, another bromeliad). The remaining species are lithophytes or terrestrial plants. Lithophytes, as the name would imply, are plants that survive off of moss, old leaves or decaying matter. Of the terrestrial bromeliads, the most famous is likely to be Ananas comosus or the pineapple.

1 comment:

How It Grows said...

Love the vase plant! Too bad I couldn't make it to the show this year.