Bromeliads at the Desert Botanical Garden

Aechmea 'Blue Tango'

Licensed by and used courtesy of Creative Commons.

If you made it down to the Desert Botanical Garden this spring, you probably noticed the striking plants in the large containers near the entryway.  How could you not, with their electric blue and shocking salmon-colored blooms!

Well, I finally figured out what they were.  Their medium-green foliage is typical of a Bromeliad, so I did some searching and as best as I can figure (and remember), it’s an Aechmea ‘Blue Tango’ or possibly ‘Del Mar.’  Given the striking blue color, I’m leaning toward ‘Blue Tango.’

This is a tropical plant, and the cultivar was developed in Florida.  But since we’re in the furnace-blowing Phoenix desert, these do require some special care.  Put them in some bright indirect light, and give them lots of water.

Now here’s the cool part:  their stunning blooms will last for several months!  And, like an Agave, once they’re done blooming, they die.  But they do produce pups which you can pull from the parent plant and re-plant.

If you can coddle this guy through our dry desert heat (let’s call it atropical!), you will be amply rewarded with a profusion of color in the spring!


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