Aechmea blanchetiana

Aechmea blanchetiana (Baker) L. B. Sm.

Common Names: Orangeade Bromeliad

Family: Bromeliaceae

Habit: Aechmea blanchetiana grows without discernible stems up to 1.5 m (excluding inflorescence) in height. The bright, light, green to bright red/orange leaves are in a rosette forming a series of cups at their base that can hold water and detritus.   The leaves are parallel veined, lanceolate, slightly serrated margin to 14 cm wide at the base and 1 m in length with an acuminate to rounded leaf apex.

The complete, perfect, zygomorphic flowers, each with a subtending bract, are arranged in a bipinnate-spike that is 2 -4 times the length of the leaves.  The lower bracts are leaf like while the upper are tightly appressed to the peduncle. There are 3 green unfused sepals in the calyx that exceed the length of the bracts with one strongly winged.  There are 3 green unfused petals in the corolla that are shorter than the calyx.  There are 6 stamens that are shorter than the petals.  The ovary is inferior with 3 locules and numerous seeds.  The fruit is a capsule that is equal in length to the sepals.

Habitat: Aechmea blanchetiana grows as an epiphyte on trees and shrubs in mangrove and fresh water wetlands as well as very wet coppices.

Distribution: Aechmea blanchetiana is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago.  It is native to Brazil but is now common globally as an ornamental

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Aechmea blanchetiana is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas.

It is grown as an ornamental for its bright orange red leaves.