Monday, December 1, 2008

Neoregelia 'Exotica Purple Wave'

Neoregelia 'Exotica Purple Wave' is a strange looking Neoregelia, more like an oversized Cryptanthus in appearance. It arose as an mutation from tissue cultured plants of Neoregelia 'Purple Star'. Initially, we tossed these out, as they were not true to type! My partners' Mother Glenda, who is a very keen gardener and hates seeing plants get composted, rescued them and planted them out. Once planted out in the garden, it became obvious that this was an unusual and attractive plant in it's own right.

This cultivar forms a slow growing rosette up to 20cm wide, that gradually forms a woody stem up to 50cm high, topped with spiralled, wavy purple leaves. I have not yet seen one flower naturally. It is very slow to set a root system, but doesn't seem to suffer unduly without one, although it is a relatively slow grower.

Prefers bright light with some morning sun. Too much shade will make the leaves turn a olive green colour, while too much sun will burn the leaves. Can take slight frosts.

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