Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Aechmea bracteata var. pacifica

Aechmea bracteata

Another widespread species throughout much of Mexico is Aechmea bracteata. Found growing on trees and boulders they can be quite large and even form extensive clumps. This variety is found on the west coast. Both forms of the species are bright green with scalloped edges that makes large spines along the leaf edges.

When blooming they have large red bracts for which they are named. The flowers are fairly small and are followed by small berries that continue giving a nice colorful show.

These clumps are particularly picturesque growing in tall trees above the Rio Ameca near Puerto Vallarta. The massive clumps of plants must be quite heavy when they are full of rain water. Fortunately the trees seem to be doing a good job holding them up.