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AECHMEA mexicana

Image of Aechmea mexicana

James H. Schutte



Botanical Name

AECHMEA mexicana

Plant Common Name

Aechmea, Mexican Bromeliad

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Beautiful apple-green leaves with teethed edges in the shaped of a mounding fountain describes the Mexican bromeliad's foliage and the flower spike is a candle-like spire of silvery white flowers and fruits. A tender perennial bromeliad that can be grown as an epiphyte (mounted upon another plant) or propped in soil, it is native from Mexico southward into extreme northern South America.

The long, broad, strappy leaves are a light green, occasionally with mottled dark green markings and tipped in pink, and form a basal rosette. The leaf edges are lined in minute teeth and can be dark red. If grown in full sun the entire blade can blush with deep red hues. Water collects in the clustered bases of the leaves. On mature plants a stalk appears out of the central vase in spring or summer revealing a slender cluster of lavender-pink flowers that become lovely silvery white berries that persist for months. Once the flowering ends, this plant will degrade and die but not before younger new pup plants emerge from the mother plants basal stalk.

Grow Mexican bromeliad in full sun to light shade in a moist but well-draining, light soil or mounted onto a large tree branch or crotch. Protect from frost and in periods of drought ensure the leaf bases have water in them. After the mother plant blooms and the flower spike is no longer decorative, it should be cut off and removed to allow the young pups to thrive and fill the void. This bromeliad is exceptional in the landscape as a massed groundcover in the tropical foundation bed or mixed border. It is also lovely as an accent in a bed of a low groundcover or in a heavy container on the frost-free patio. Selection 'Albomarginata' is much showier with its apple-green and yellow foliage.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    11 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    20"-30" / 50.8cm - 76.2cm

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Native To

    Mexico, Central America, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type


  • Tolerances


  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Flower Petal Number


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing