poales

Puya berteroniana inflorescence, Santa Barbara Co. | ©Mike Bush

Commonly known as Turquoise Puya, Puya berteroniana (Poales - Bromeliaceae) is a terrestrial bromeliad endemic to Chile.

Each spring, this bromeliad sends up a massive flower stalk 6 feet tall and over a foot wide, covered with the most amazing flowers. The 2-inch blossoms are emerald-turquoise, and have bright orange anthers that contrast beautifully with the petals. Turquoise is an extremely rare color in the plant world, and it’s even rarer to be combined with orange.  The large stature and riveting coloration of the Puya gives it a presence that is truly awe-inspiring [source].

Fuch’s Bromeliad - Guzmania monostachia

Guzmania monostachia (Poales - Bromeliaceae) is a bromeliad distinctive by its short, dense, unbranched flower spike with broad, conspicuous bracts covering the flower stalk. This long-lived epiphytic occurs in branches and tree trunks in swamps and wet hammocks. It can be found in southern Florida (US), the West Indies, and Central and South America.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Lourens Grobler | Locality: Northern Ecuador (2009)

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Buddha’s Belly Bamboo

Also commonly known as Golden Bamboo, Bambusa vulgaris var. vitatta (Poaceae) is one of the most popular cultivars in the world, and can be identified by its (golden) yellow culms with green stripes. It can grow up to a height of 12 m, and a thickness of 8 cm.

Bambusa vulgaris is known for infrequent flowering and lack of seed set, facts that have been a matter of curiosity among bamboo specialists. As many as 20 incidences of flowering of this species were reported from 10 countries during the past one and a half centuries. Strangely enough, no fruit set has been reported from anywhere. The common method of propagating Bambusa vulgaris var. vittata, like other clump bamboos, is by division.

References: [1] - [2] - [3] - [4]

Photo credit: ©João Paglione

Locality: Brazil

poals asked:

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Pineapple: a widely consumed fruit, but little known

Did you know that pineapple is the fruit of a bromeliad that belongs to the genus Ananas?

Currently seven species within the genus Ananas are recognized, some of them are wild, some are used as ornamentals, and one, Ananas comosus, is used as cultivars for fruit production.

Ananas comosus (Poales - Bromeliaceae) is native to South America and it is generally recognized that the indigenous populations contributed substantially ro the domestication of the pineapple. Due to its uses as fresh fruit, but also for wine making, and medicinal purposes, pineapples were easily dispersed and are now found throughout the tropics.

Pineapple is the third most important tropical fruit in world production after banana and citrus, however, very little is known about its molecular genetics [read more].  

Photo credit: ©Alexandros Dimitriou | Pineapple from Palau, Micronesia

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