Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Aechmea fulgens Brongn.

Frost tender epiphytic perennial with funnel-shaped rosettes of broadly strap-shaped, bright green leaves and red stems bearing branched inflorescences of 2-5 red and violet flowers in summer.  To 50cm.  [RHSE].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This showy plant, which is probably one of the finest and best of the Bromeliaceous order, was introduced to the Garden of Plants, at Paris, by M. E. Melinon. who obtained it, we believe, at Cayenne, in South America, where he was curator of some public garden.  It was brought from Paris to the collection of his Grace the Duke of Devonshire, Chatsworth, by the same individual, in the spring of 1842, at which time it was in flower.’  [MB p.173/1843].  ‘The unusual length of time during which [it] lasts in beauty renders it one of the most useful plants at present in cultivation and being a somewhat striking plant, and capable of bearing the confinement of a close apartment [in a pot] for a considerable time without injury, it is an excellent subject for home decoration.’  [Gard. Chron. 1854].  Curtis’s Botanical Magazine figures the variety discolor.  ‘A singularly attractive plant, from the rich coral-red of the panicle, the flowers being of the same bright vermilion colour, and the calyx tipped with black; also from the great length of time the plant continues in blossom, through the whole of the winter months.  The unexpanded buds have a most striking resemblance to the well-known beads, commonly called “Crab’s eyes”, which are the seeds of Abrus precatoria, only that they are much larger.  The species is probably a native of Brazil; but I know nothing respecting its history, further than that it was received at the Royal Gardens of Kew, under the name here retained, from Messrs. Henderson, and from the Paris garden.’  [BM t.4293/1847].  FS pl.IX 4e Liv./1846.

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [T.18/1857].


Published Feb 20, 2009 - 01:54 PM | Last updated Feb 13, 2010 - 04:25 PM

The image depicts a single, banded leaf and the coral-like flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.4293, 1847.

Aechmea fulgens Brongn. | BM t.4293/1847 | BHL

Family Bromeliaceae
Region of origin

South America

Common Name

Coral Berry

Name in the Camden Park Record

Aechmea fulgens 

Confidence level high