We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. Agallostachys fastuosa Lindl. Beer Agallostachys pinguin L. Beer Ananas pinguin L.
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Excerpts from Jim Conrad's Naturalist Newsletter. Note that some of the blades on these plants are red, plus there are white, slender items arising from the centers of individual plants.
A close-up of one is below:. It's a flowering head, as indicated by the clusters of pale lilac corollas arising along the stalk's sides. A close-up of flowers bunched at the inflorescence's top is shown below:.
An individual flower removed from the inflorescence, with its corolla on the right, its papery, sharp-pointed sepals in the middle, and its fuzz-covered inferior ovary on the left, is shown below:.
One last photo of this plant's broad-based, hook-tipped, leaf-tip-pointing spines effectively arranged along each leaf's margins -- so that reaching into the plant's center is a tricky business -- is shown below:.
Here we're looking at a different species from the Bromelia karatas nowadays producing mature fruits in dense clusters in the plants' centers, pie-like, close to the ground. The present plant's flowers obviously are held well above the ground on a conspicuous stalk. Both species commonly occur here in forest that hasn't been cleared for a few years, and they intermingle so indifferently that so far I haven't noticed any difference in habitat preference between them. It's reportedly naturalized in Florida.
In Jamaica its commonly planted as a fence around pasture lands, on account of its prickly leaves. I read that here in the Yucatan people treat the whooping cough, tos ferina , with a tea made of this species, brewed with menta , which I assume to be Spearmint, as well as poleo , another kind of mint, and toronjil , which is grapefruit.
Most pictures on the Internet show the inflorescences in this more mature stage, but now we see that, at least here and now, our flowering heads expand only after the flowering peak is past. The fruits still have some time before they're ripe enough for producing viable seeds. It's interesting that the yellowish orange color is the same appearing on fruits of closely related pineapple plants as they begin to mature. Pineapple fruits keep this color for weeks, though, before they become soft and sweet enough to eat, and I suspect it'll be weeks before these fruits are ripe, too.
I realized this when I noticed that something -- probably a rodent -- had begun chewing on some of the fruits, as you can see below:. Interestingly, the flowers had been borne on erect stalks arising from the center of the plants' rosettes of long, stiff, spiny blades. When the fruits were just beginning to turn yellow, the stalks began leaning to one side. Now I can't find a single stalk that has not collapsed so that its heavy load of ripe fruits rests on the ground, as is the case below:.
This species' fruits were slightly juicy but to me had very little sweetness or similarity to pineapple. Below, you can see what a split-open mature fruit looks like:. In June when Bromelia karatas flowers, then its newer leaves also are red, while all of the leaves of Bromelia karatas now are green.
Bromelia karatas normally is the larger of the species. Bromelia pinguin forms large, very dense thickets, while Bromelia karatas plants often have open ground between them.
When neither species is flowering or fruiting and all blades of the two species are green, it can be hard to distinguish the two species.
Bromelia pinguin L. If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here. If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
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It often grows in dense colonies. It is native to the Neotropical Region but has been introduced as an orname It is native to the Neotropical Region but has been introduced as an ornamental to Florida, Hawaii and other Caribbean islands as well as India and Sri Lanka. Though some sources consider it native to Cuba, it is also recorded as invasive, where it is invading forests and savannahs, displacing native vegetation and providing a niche for small invasive mammals. It is also an alternative host to Pineapple mealybug wilt-associated virus 2 PMWaV-2 , which threatens commercial pineapple farming in Cuba. Species of the family Bromeliaceae are primarily Neotropical in origin. The family is divided into three subfamilies: Pitcairnioideae with winged or rarely naked seeds, Tillandsioideae with plumose seed appendages and Bromelioideae with baccate fruits Givnish et al.