Monday, March 22, 2010


Awhile back I was researching the genus Dyckia and discovered a blog called Dyckia Brazil. The blog author, Constantino posts an amazing amount of beautiful pictures on his blog, which he says is beginning of a book: THE ALLURING DYCKIAS. Here is one of his photos…In case you aren’t familiar with them Dyckias are part of the Bromeliad family. From the book: Bromeliads for the Contemporary Garden, by Andrew Steens…“The Bromeliad family comprises nearly 3000 species…contained in 56 genera. New species are constantly being found; in fact up to four new species are described every month.

Members of this genus (Dyckia) of more than 120 species are all very hardy plants with thick, spiky, succulent leaves. They are often found in harsh environments and almost all come from central Brazil or southern South America.

The leaves usually have a waxy or glossy appearance with edges of sharp spines, which are sometimes very decorative. Nearly all dyckias are clump forming and are invariably left to grow this way as they are so spiky.”

There are currently 3 Dyckias in the danger garden collection, below is Dyckia platyphylla purchased last spring at Hughes Water Gardens, although there is nothing water garden about this plant.
Everything I read warns that if you must plant a Dyckia in a pot be sure to use a larger size than you normally would because they have a very large root mass. Obviously I didn’t know this when I planted this one. It seems to be doing ok, but I think it will get an upgrade when it moves back out side for the summer.
An un-named Dyckia purchased at Rare Plant Research last May, which was bright purple/red then but has faded to a dingy brown green since being overwintered in the house.
Hopefully it will color up as soon as it’s basking in the warm sun.
And the newest, a Dykia hybrid labeled Burgundy Ice, which is supposedly hardy as low as Zone 7. I went ahead and planted it in the ground, so that will be a true test.
Evidently I’m not the only one who enjoys perusing the photos on Dyckia Brazil, Andrew of All Andrews Plants posted about them when he shared is Dyckia wish list addition a week or so ago. Looking at the marvelous collection of photos posted daily on Dyckia Brazil (that's another of his above) I think my main question is…how does he keep them so CLEAN? Seriously! These are very spikyplants. In my garden debris from other plants is always lodging in the hard to get areas on my spiky plants, how are all of his close ups so picture perfect?


  1. What a great post. I've bookmarked that blog. I have an enormous clump of dyckia, about 2X3, name unknown, that is again throwing up bloom stalks, which I never see before the snails get to them. Hoping to find some bloom photos on Constantino's blog. And besides hiding snails, the clump catches and holds onto all manner of debris. Beautiful plants though.

  2. My favorite is that last one with the lemon-lime colors.

  3. Hmmm... Photoshop can only do so much. Maybe he's got a mini vacuum cleaner for the job. I hope you'll post photos of your pots in the garden. Very cool plants, Loree.

  4. These are great. If you like these, you should check out another genus called puya. Matti

  5. Denise, I want to see a picture of your clump!

    Les, isn't it gorgeous!

    Grace, it's got to be something like that! Or a blower. I'm jealous.

    Matti, oh I am a Puya lover too! Currently have 2 of them...

  6. I wonder the same thing about clean plants in photography. Your spiky plants always look pretty clean, mine are always full of leaves and junk. I really want to find a pro garden photographer that must deal with others' messy gardens all the time, and get some of their plant cleaning tips.

  7. Megan, Sammy (yucca rostrata) is an absolute mess! Bits of leaves and pine needles all in where I can't get to them...I've got you figure out a way to clean them out...

  8. I hope you wear heavy duty protective gloves when you repot that first plant! It looks seriously mean!! Hm, maybe a spray bottle and some long cotton swabs for the pre-photo plant primping?

  9. I am really enlighted with all the comments on my blog. Thanks.
    We´ve only just begin to understand Dyckias and the best is still to come. As always the best is ahead. I do believe in future and our capacity of getting better every day.
    Thanks and I just loved to read these posts.
    Accept my Brazilian hug.

  10. You know those cans of compressed air that you use to keep gunk out of your keyboard and electronics? Try it on the stuff stuck in your plant's crevices!
    It's either that or tweezers.


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