Just in time for Friday Floral on theGardenPages; the flowers on my Aechmea just keep getting better. I showed you the prickly pink flowers when they first emerged from my Urn Plant. Now they have continued flowering with added features! The blooms develop what look like extra flowers consisting of deep blue petals deep inside the enormous main pink flower. They developed about a week after the flower first opened.
I have been gardening for decades, but this may be the plant that pushes me into a botany class -- just so I can identify all the crazy parts on this flower! I opened one of the blue blossoms; they are three petals surrounding a stamen. They secrete a clear sticky substance the ants seem to like. The plant is outdoors in a corner of my patio so the ants aren't too much of an issue. I am hoping they'll get bored and leave when the flower and nectar show is over so I don't have to get the chemicals out. For now, there's enough beauty on this plant to go around for everyone.
The light pink on the initial blooms has aged somewhat. It now has darker, hot pink spots on the petals and stem. It looks like it was 'distressed' by a craftsman. Either that or Monet dropped by to add a few impressionist highlights late one night.
Those of you with critical eyes should be able to a few brown spots on the leaves of my Urn Plant. This is from too much sun earlier in the season. Normally this plant gets a few hours of morning sun, but as the summer has progressed it got more sun in the afternoon. They like partial shade and that extra sunlight in the afternoon was too much. I have shifted the container a few feet so it is shaded in the afternoon. The leaves have greened up, but the spots will remain. Actually, after it is done blooming the entire 'urn' will die, but leave small pups to continue the show next time.
A fourth, smaller flower has emerged. It is what I would call a single flower, it is much smaller than the other three gargantuan flowers, but no less beautiful. The flowers do not have a scent, but with this summer show who cares? Happy gardening!