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AECHMEA 'Big Harv'

Image of Aechmea 'Big Harv'

James Burghardt

Family

Bromeliaceae

Botanical Name

AECHMEA 'Big Harv'

Plant Common Name

Aechmea, Big Harv Aechmea, Big Harv Bromeliad

General Description

A large bromeliad for the tropical landscape, 'Big Harv' has light green and coppery foliage and produces a tall, branched, yellow and red flower spike in summertime. It is an evergreen, frost-tender perennial bromeliad that forms an upright rosette of leaves with a bold, coarse visual texture. It is usually grown in the soil but can be wedged among rocks. This hybrid was developed by Bullis Bromeliads of Princeton, Florida.

The long, rigid strappy leaves are a light green with coppery bronze tips. This color is especially bold when plants are grown in full sun. The leaf edges are lined in skin-cutting spines and the bases form a lower circular "vase", or pockets, which collect water. In the heat of summer, mature plants send up a sturdy, thick flower stalk that branches out. It is powdery red and supports golden yellow bracts that support tiny flowers. The flower stalk remains attractive for several months. In winter, the foliage often becomes more orange. After the central plant flowers, it dies, but not before it creates young plants, or pups, at its base. These grow to replace the dying parent plant.

For best leaf color, grow this large Aechmea in full to partial sun. It thrives moist but well-draining soil that is warm. Ensure the leaf bases are filled with water, especially in the intense heat of summer. Plants can be wedged between boulders in tropical rockeries. It also makes a suitable, but large, houseplant.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Native To

    North America, Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean, Caribbean, Central America, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No