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A short-stemmed evergreen 1 to 11⁄2 ft high, the crowded leaves forming a kind of rosette 18 in. or so wide, in the manner of the pineapple plant. Leaves 1 to 13⁄4 ft long, 1 to 11⁄2 in. wide at the base, tapering gradually thence to a long fine point and regularly armed on each margin with stiff incurved spines 1⁄12 in. long; very much recurved, channelled on the upper surface; scurfy and grey below, ultimately of a rather bright green above, and of hard, rigid texture. Flowers very numerous and densely packed in a pyramidal or globose mass 21⁄2 to 4 in. wide and high, proceeding from the centre of the plant on a stout main-stalk 4 to 8 in. high. The outer bracts of this inflorescence are tinged with red, the flowers themselves bright pink; petals three, 1 in. long, erect, of linear shape; stamens six, anthers yellow, conspicuous. Bot. Mag., t. 7148.
Native of Central Chile; introduced to cultivation by Hendersons, formerly nurserymen of St John’s Wood, and exhibited at a meeting of the Horticultural Society on August 5, 1851, under the name “Tillandsia carnea”. It used to grow well in the garden at Ludgvan, near Penzance, where there was a dense patch of closely packed growths several feet across. At Kew, in the most sheltered nook that can be found for it, it is quite healthy out-of-doors, although suffering somewhat in hard winters. There are many places towards, and on, the south coast where it should succeed very well if given the sunniest possible place and perfect drainage. Canon Boscawen grew it on a stony mound. It appears usually to flower in the autumn.