Racinaea sp. is an epiphytic bromeliad most likely native to Colombia and Ecuador. This plant is in rosettes of medium to dark green leaves up to 8 inches (20 cm) long by 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. Overall plant height is 12 inches (30 cm) tall. This genus is related to the Tillandsias. I am not sure of the species, but I suspect it is R. pectinata. If I am wrong, please let me know. They are very easy to grow and are hardy in USDA zone 9-11.
Blooming: The inflorescence of this plant is a 2 ft (60 cm) tall raceme. The very small white flowers are borne from a 3 angled flower bud. They are not very showy.
Culture: Racinaea sp. needs partial shade to full shade with a very light soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a mix consisting of equal parts of pine bark and peat moss. As with all bromeliads, the center cup is always kept filled with water and any spillage waters the soil mix. We fertilize these plants monthly during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to 1/2 the strength recommended on the label. The plants usually bloom in late November here. After blooming, we divide and re-pot the plants. For best results, we never let the nighttime temperature fall below 65°F (18°C).
Propagation: Racinaea sp. is propagated by division after flowering.
Racinaea sp. was featured as Plant of the Week November 21-27, 2008.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.