U is for Urn Plant

Aechmea fasciata, the urn plant bromeliad, comes from the South American rainforests. It is an epiphyte, commonly called an air plant, and in the wild it grows on other plants where it receives moisture from heavy rains and nutrients from decaying debris around its roots.  A plant must be at least three years old before it produces a flower stem. Urn plants need good light and plenty of it for bract production and bloom only once before they die.



Flower Portrait: Vanda Orchids

Vanda orchids are epiphytic. They grow on the trunks or branches of trees. In their native countries, the Philippines and other parts of south-east Asia, the atmosphere is always humid and Vanda roots have a spongy covering which absorbs water and nutrients from the air. Many vandas produce very showy flowers.

Vanda coerulea is one of the few orchids with blue flowers and are endangered. The stunning blue Vanda is responsible for the dramatic blues and purples seen in many cultivated vanda orchids.

Blue Vanda

Blue Vanda

Vanda Miss Joaquim is the national flower of Singapore. It is a hybrid of the Burmese Vanda teres with the Malayan Vanda hookeriana.