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Ochagavia elegans

This gem of the bromeliad family is found only in the Juan Fernandez Archipelago, which is made up of a couple of small, rocky and steep volcanic islands in the southeast Pacific off the coast of Chile. Its small, sculptured rosettes inhabit inaccessible cliffs, where they form large colonies. Showy, pink flower heads are followed by edible fruit, known to the islanders as “ajo dulce” (“sweet garlic”) for their superficial resemblance to cloves of garlic. Although virtually unknown in cultivation, this plant, like others in its genus, should be quite adaptable.

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germination comments by our visitors
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Seeds from this species ...

... are difficult to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
Not knowing what would work best, but figuring the habitat sounded damp and cool-maritime, I filled a small plastic pot with damp NZ sphagnum moss (from a compressed brick), sprinkled the seeds into the moss and placed the pot into a clear plastic bag. This sat on a shelf where it was coolish room temperature (maybe 60F daytime, and 50F at night), well enough lit (ambient light) but not in the sun, and pretty much left on its own for four months before I spotted the first tiny seedling. They have been emerging now for the past two months, very slowly, totaling just three seedlings, but they look so vibrant and strong that I expect at least a few more will come up. They germinate slowly, and they are growing slowly. So, difficult? Not really, but they do test your patience.
Submitted on 28/02/2011 by Erik van Lennep

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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