Tag Archives: endemic plants

BROMELIADS: Understanding Dyckia

Bromeliads need no introduction as plants species go, and this is because they are admirably attractive, absolutely well known,  and are grown all over the world. The fact that most of them are native to Brazil, South and Central America gives them the perfect tropical fit which suggests when growing, that these plants will  flourish without even the simplest effort.  A recent survey of mine suggest that in spite of their popularity, not all bromeliads are equal.  With over fifty one genera and over three thousand species people are spoiled for choice.  But finally when they do choose, many species of plants are left out.  This is my experience when recently I tried, after reading an article on Dyckia , to acquire a group of plants.

I had assumed that it would be quite easy to visit my garden center, and collect a few.  That was not the reality. Yes,  my local garden center did have samples of bromeliads, but Dyckia was not among them. A much more detailed search offered an obvious explanation, attractive decorative bromeliads were always available, but fearful spiny species were not so, and they needed a much more thorough search.  Eventually I was able to find a small collection of plants, which offered me the the introduction to the genus I was hoping for.  For your information, there are over 150 species of Dyckia, and they are endemic to the arid and high altitude regions of Brazil and central South America. They belong to the Bromeliaceae sub-family, Pitcairnioideae. The genus is named after a Prussian botanist, The Prince and Earl of Salm Reifferscheid-Dyck (1773–1861).


This is the first Dyckia that I bought three years ago, long before I had any interest in the genus.  Dyckia marnier-lapostellei is a very attractive specie with a beautiful colour.  I bought in Italy while on a visit to the continent.  Below is a another dyckia, a hybrid of unknown origin, and another plant which I like.


Dyckia ‘Silver Spurs’


This is Dyckia platyphylla and is one of the few species I am familiar with, and I find that it grows quite easily.   Below are some identified species at the Jardim Botanico in Rio de Janeiro.  This Botanical Garden offers a wealth of experience for novices like me.



Below four close-up photo images of some of my plants.



My short experience with Dyckia tells me that hybridising is an important part of the Bromeliad business. Yet I feel it would be wise to get much more acquainted with the species before I chase many of the other complicated hybrids. plants.  I am also trying to grow some from seeds, which is not going all that well. This means that after a few weeks there is no sign of life.  We will see what will happen in the long term.



Las Palmas Night OutLas  PalmasLas Palmas at Night

This was my first real visit to Gran Canaria. Of course, I had been here once before, but that it was only for a day trip, while on a visit to Tenerife. The surprise for me about the Canary islands is that they are much larger than I anticipated. I had assumed that it would be remarkably easy to visit more than one in a day. I was quite wrong.

I stayed in Las Palmas at the El Parque Hotel, and that was quite fabulous. The room was more than adequate, and the service was more than I expected. I loved the idea of staying in the centre, and simply taking the bus to the various regions. My first visit was the the sprawling Jardin Botanico Canaria, which was much larger than I expected. Another surprising aspect was the setting, with an abundance of plants all along the steep hillside, way down to flatland below. Succulents and national endemic plants took pride of place everywhere, and so itshould be. It was an amazing collection ,and definitely a must see for any succulent lover.

I was determined to see all of the island, and so the following day I was on a bus to Maspalomas. Here, I came face to face with the tourist holiday side. It was well organised, and crowded in a way I did not expect. I ventured further right up to Mogan in the south west, noting the small holiday enclaves along the way. It was obvious that his part of the island was certainly geared up for the expected tourist.

The remarkable factor about these islands is their physical composition, and the way there is alwas a large hill or mountain, close by. I was determined to get to the top of a mountain, and was extremely glad that i was able to do this by bus. I chose Artenara. I was able to explore, and also to enjoy the view, and the little villages in between. The rest of my holiday time allowed me visits to places closer like Arucas, Santa Brigida, Agaete, and some of the attractive beaches.