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VRIESEA gigantea

Image of Vriesea gigantea

Family

Bromeliaceae

Botanical Name

VRIESEA gigantea

Plant Common Name

Vriesea

Special Notice

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

General Description

Tropical and exotic in form and variable in leaf color and pattern, the giant vriesea is no less than a spectacular bromeliad for tropical gardens or spacious interior rooms. A frost-tender perennial from southern Brazil, this bromeliad forms a rosette of wide, pointed, strap-like leaves to create a mounded, magnificent specimen.

The thin, waxy leaves are like giant lances with a pointed tip and range in color from light green to mildly bluish green thanks to a powdery white film called broom. As the plant slowly grows into a massive size, the innermost emerging leaves emerge speckled, a sign the flower spike will soon appear. Reaching to a height taller than a human adult, the flower spike has a loose, plume-like tip filled with night-opening yellow flowers that are tubular in shape. After flowering, the mature plant will slowly decline over the course of six to twelve months, giving rise to small plantlets, pups, at its base. These pups will replace the dying mother plant and become large plants, perpetuating a clump.

Grow giant vriesea in bright indrect light or even shade outdoors in a frost-free environment. Not needing soil, it should be propped in a humsy, sand-based soil in the ground or in a large container filled with peat and coarse bark chips to facilitate excellent drainage. Use it as a focal point in the tropical shade garden under large trees or in a container. Indoors it makes an impressive houseplant if adequate space is provided. Variety seideliana is prized for its crackled, patterned foliage.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    11 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Shade

  • Height

    20"-36" / 50.8cm - 91.4cm

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    South America, Brazil

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No