Brocchinia hechtioides

Range: highlands and tepuis of Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana

A bromeliad of the genus Brocchinia only recently found to be carnivorous. It lives right alongside its cousin B. reducta, in the Venezuelan tepuis on sandstone outcrops or similarly sandy soils. This species reaches up to 60 cm in height on average, with thick upright, parallel leaves growing in a tight rosette. Unlike its better known cousin species the leaves splay out more naturally and develop pools of water in not only the central urn but also the leaf axils. Coloration ranges from deep green in inadequate light to bright yellow or yellow-green in strong light, but always possessing a layer of silvery wax powder on the surface to which insects cannot grip. Inflorescences arise from the center of the urn, typically tripinnate (divided in sets of 3) unlike B. reducta.

Cultivation: grow in a 1:1:1 peat/sand/pumice or perlite mix, kept constantly moist year round but not soaking wet. Keep in temps of around 75-85°F daytime, 55-75°F nighttime year round. Add water to the central leaf urn and fertilize lightly on occasion. Grow in strong artificial light light or direct sun, and cross-pollinate for seed (plants rarely self-pollinate if they ever produce seeds).

Lifespan and reproduction: perennial. Reproduces through seed and “pups” (smaller, root offset plants) that can be transplanted. May also possibly be grown through leaf pullings.

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