Greek akanthos – spine; stachys – ear of corn, referring to the form of the inflorescence.
Epiphytic herb, spreading by basal rhizomes that become pendulous. Leaves few to 1 m, covered with white scales beneath, less so above, linear, arching, narrow, deeply channelled dark green to brown, stiff, margins inrolled, toothed. Inflorescence simple, dense, cone-shaped, 3-7 cm long, with a tuft of small, sterile bracts at the tip; floral bracts stalkless, spreading at the tip, orange to red; sepals bright yellow; petals erect, yellow; ovary inferior to partially superior. Fruit a yellow berry.
A genus containing 2 species. A. strobilacea (Schultes) Klotzsch; it is sometimes called Poorman's Pineapple, but is inedible.
2 species from Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina.
Easy to cultivate, popular in cultivation, especially well suited to use in hanging baskets.
The stiff, arching channelled leaves and the cone-shaped small fruiting head resembling a pineapple.
Source: (2005). Bromeliaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.