Common name: Heart of flame
Native to: Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay
Bromelia balansae comes to us from Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. It is a large terrestrial (grows on on the ground with roots that gather water and nutrients from the soil) bromeliad that likes growing in rocky soils. It grows as a rosette, reaching a diameter up to 2-3 tall and wide, of long, stiff green leaves armed with some serious flesh cutting teeth. As the plant matures, its foliage begins to blush in colors of electric orange deepening to fiery red. As this happens, the plant extends an eruptive red flower spike from its center, outfitted in shorter red toothed stems. At the center of the spike is a felted torch-like inflorescence holding beautiful white and reddish-plum blooms. The look is extraordinary and stunning!
Native / exotic: Exotic
Aspect: Full sun to part sun
Flowers: Spike or infloresence
Foliage: Long stiff green leaves, with large serrated teeth on edges, turning red with age.
Growth habit: Terrestrial, spiky whorls
Hardiness: Hardy but not drought resistant
Height: Up to 40 cm
Spread: Up to 40 cm diameter
Soil requirements: Prefers moist well-drained soils. Keep well mulched
Uses: Large structural edge planting and rockeries with a tropical look and feel