Glowing with Excitement

With summer just around the corner, the Zoo horticulture staff has been busy working on all the flower beds, gardens and of course the front entrance. This year, the center stage flower bed that houses the elephant artwork, All Things Within All Things, got a burst of bold color with Aechmean Blanchetiana or Bromeliads.
With attractive orange foliage this fierce plant features red tips that will morph into blazing orange as the weather warms and they get more sunlight.
This is a tropical plant, native to Brazil where it grows in sandy soil on the coast as well as epiphytically, meaning without dirt, in tree branches. They prefer warm, tropical environments but will grow in Hampton Roads as an annual.

Easy to grow the long lasting bracts will put on a show all through the summer.
“This season, we wanted to add a bold structural element to this bed. The Bromeliads golden yellow color adds a burst of sun light to the front of the zoo, comments Brian Francis, Curator of Horticulture.
We paired this bold bloom with hues of yellow and red including: Maui Gold Elephant Ear, Coleus Big Red Judy, Pennisetum Karly Rose, Yellow Portulaca and two varieties of Alternanthera (Purple Knight and Yellow).

Be sure to checkout all the other spectacular gardens here at the Zoo.