|Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844|
| While our daughter was still a student at university and living in a little off-campus flat of her own, we gave her this bromeliad (her first 'houseplant')|
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|At that time, it was a single plant with a single, small pink flower cone. It looked arty and was unusual and seemed a wise buy for her, as it appeared to require minimal attention.|
|She loved it, watered it once or twice a week and it survived quite happily. The pink cone flower lasted for absolutely ages and remained exactly the same size as it was when we'd bought it.|
|Once she'd graduated and moved out of her flat, the plant found its way back here. I subsequently housed it in my greenhouse, and basically ignored it. It grew well, doubling its size and produced a 'pup', which has also grown well.|
|Anyway, earlier this year, it started to produce two pink cones and I was both delighted and impressed and repeatedly told it what a clever plant I thought it was!|
|It seemed to like this and I noticed the pink cones were getting bigger and bigger.|
|When they were really impressive, I praised it lavishly, thinking that was IT! Little did I know or suspect that this bromeliad was going to put on an even more spectacular performance.|
|I had never seen anything like it before and couldn't keep my eyes off this vision of sheer beauty. It hardly seemed real and I felt it might disappear before my eyes!|
|Since that first surprise, this magnificent little spiky-leaved plant has produced two of these flowers per cone at a time and each appears to only last a day.|
|One of the pink cones prior to the emergence of the exquisite three petalled purple flowers.|
|They occur opposite each other, roughly midline on the cones's outer-edges and each day, the new paired flowers are 'one stage higher', in other words, the older flowers are at the bottom and the newer ones are borne upwards of those.|
I realise, of course, that anyone familiar with bromeliads will know all of this already, but this is a brand new revelation to me, and I'm absolutely thrilled!
Since posting this, Wanda, author of the absolutely stunning blog, Moments of Mine, has very kindly given me the name of this beautiful bromeliad. It is a Tillandsia cyanea, an epiphyte (airplant), native to Ecuador. There are some exquisite photographs on Google images plus plenty of information on how to care for it. Thank you very much, Wanda!!!