Rosette compact, dense, tubular. Leaves 30-40 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, sheath much broader than the blade; recurved in the upper half, green, tightly packed to form a bulb-like centre, narrowing to a sharp pointed tip; margins coarsely toothed. Inflorescence on a short, stout scape, dense and cone-like, borne above the leaf sheaths; floral bracts red, as long as or longer than the pink sepals. Flowers with pink to purple petals sometimes white towards the base.
A. recurvata is in the subgenus Ortgiesia (Group 4).
Common, but the varieties are difficult to distinguish.
Can be grown in full sun in winter and spring months and will produce strongly coloured leaves.
var. benrathii (Mez) Reitz Leaves and bracts almost entire; leaf sheaths spotted violet; scape is similar to var. ortgiesii.
var. ortgiesii (Baker) Reitz Strongly toothed leaves and bracts, green leaf sheaths and a very short scape so that the inflorescence is partially concealed by the leaves.
Related cultivars: ‘Covata’ Small funnel-form rosette, leaves green. Inflorescence hidden in leaf rosette, petals yellow. ‘Mary Brett’ Stiff upright medium vase, green leaves with blue tips. Inflorescence a simple, upright spike, orange bracts, yellow flowers, or inflorescence compound with yellow-blue or blue flowers.
A. caudata Lindm. [Group 4] Brazil has a large rosette, broadly funnel-shaped. Leaves 60-90 cm long, 5-8 cm wide, stiff, arching, rounded but with a spined tip, green with grey scale covering; margins with short spined teeth. Inflorescence paniculate on a white woolly scape; bracts red, tipped with a brown spine; sepals united, orange-yellow, grey scaled. Flowers stalkless with yellow petals. The var. variegata M.B. Foster has leaves with white longitudinal stripes.
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.