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Turquoise Puya

Beschorneria - "Red Bells Agave"

Beschorneria - the "Red Bells Agave" - is a spectacular, rare Agave relative discovered in the cool highlands of Oaxaca in Mexico.  Almost unknown in cultivation, the plant has great horticultural potential, both for its dramatic foliage and its highly decorative blossoms.  The massive flower stalk can grow to 10 feet long, with dozens of vivid, bell-like blooms in red and green.  The species name is uncertain, so i gave it the name "Red Bells".  Fresh seeds of this variety might not be available elsewhere online.

Beschorneria - "Red Bells Agave"

Beschorneria (pronounced bes-kor-NER-ee-uh) makes a rosette of spear-shaped leaves 3 to 4 feet long, looking somewhat like an oversized Billbergia.  The evergreen leaves are neither spiny nor stiff, unlike true Agaves, so the plant is safe to grow near walkways!  Over the years it forms an impressive, woody trunk over 4 feet long, and potentially to 10 feet!  Flowering-size is reached after 5 or 6 years.  The flower stalk emerges in winter, and produces blooms from spring all the way through autumn.  The weight of the stalk makes it arch over and grow horizontally, which displays the dangling blooms at eye level!  These striking, pinkish-red and green flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds.  The plant eventually makes offsets, which may be separated.

Beschorneria albiflora/chiapensis?

This plant has a resemblance to Beschorneria albiflora, however that species has white blossoms, and also tiny flower bracts.  The red bracts on this plant are unusually large, and the leaves are also longer than B. albiflora.  So this may be a new subspecies of B. albiflora, or possibly a new species.  The genus Beschorneria is closely related to the genus Furcraea, so you might be able to cross-pollinate them, creating new hybrids.

Beschorneria - "Red Bells Agave"

Little is known about the climate requirements for this plant.  Since it comes from a cooler climate, it's possible that it may lag in temperatures above 90 degrees F (32 C), particularly if nights are warm.  Consider it experimental in warmer climates like Florida and Texas.  I have no information on its frost tolerance.  I would protect it from freezing temperatures the first few years.  Mature plants are said to do best in very large pots, although younger plants may be grown in smaller containers for several years.  It is not too particular as far as soil, but a well-draining one is best.  It's happiest with regular watering - avoid letting the soil dry out completely.  The plant comes from forested areas, so it appreciates a mix of sun and shade, with some protection from strong afternoon sun.  Over about 40% humidity is recommended.  In the right conditions, it's an easy and long-lived plant.

Beschorneria albiflora/chiapensis?

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Germination tips for this plant

 

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Turquoise Puya

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