Alcantarea (Mez) Harms

Named after Don Pedro de Alcantara II (1825–1891) Emperor of Brazil.

Plants mainly large. Leaves in a rosette, many-ranked, entire; blades ligulate to linear-triangular. Scape conspicuous, erect, robust. Inflorescence bipinnate and paniculate. Flowers spectacular, distichous; floral bracts conspicuous, exceeded by the sepals; sepals free, convolute; petals free, linear, long, ephemeral, wilting soon after flowering, becoming droopy; individual petals spirally twisted; stamens protruding.

Large ornamentals which occur in scattered shadehouses throughout south-eastern Australia. Flowering occurs every 10 or so years and because seed has been collected from Australian plants, flowering occurs at about the same time throughout the area. The tall inflorescence is spectacular.The following four species are grown: A. geniculata, A. glaziouana, A. imperialis, A. regina. They are difficult to identify with perhaps the first two the more common.

Previously a subgenus of Vriesea but reinstated to generic level in 1995.

Mainly by seed, sometimes by adventitious offsets.

About 16 species from SE Brazil, many recently named.

Source: Christensen, T.; Butcher, D. (2005). Bromeliaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Poales
family       Bromeliaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Alcantarea imperialis (Carr.) Harms