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Fascicularia bicolor (Baboon's Bottom)

Grows anywhere – in sun or shade. It’s a bromeliad so most of its close relatives live as epiphytes in trees in Central America so – given a bit of encouragement – will this. We’ve had one growing in the stump of the branch of an old oak for many years. It’s in deep shade so the leaves become huge and the whole plant from a distance has a spherical look. Extremely exotic and not what one expects in a Sussex wood. It forms clumps in the ground and flowers in the centre – electric blue and red. Baboon’s bottoms get mentioned a lot. This is the hardiest of all the bromeliads and comes from the high Andes in South America. When you see it flower, you’ll understand why it’s also related to the pineapple. Each rosette grows to about 1ft across – more if in deep shade. Not surprisingly, you could probably leave this in a pot for years.

Propagated by us by division.

Hardiness traffic light amber

Hardiness level Amber

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Hardy in the Home Counties if sensibly sited (avoiding severe frost pockets, for example). Many Amber Labelled Plants are from cuttings from well-established plants that have survived many harsh winters in the South-East.

This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.