|The as-yet-unknown bromeliad at Berridge Nursery.|
We both spotted it at the same time, tucked into a display of foliage plants. The electric flower spike refused to be ignored--it was something we'd never seen before. The tag was vague, indicating it was a bromeliad from Kent's Bromeliad Nursery, a wholesaler located in California. We didn't even know what it was, but my husband had to have it.
My husband paid the proprietor $26 for the plant and asked her to attach a piece of cardboard at the soil level of the pot so that the soil wouldn't escape in case the plant tipped in transit.
We later learned it was Aechmea 'Del Mar', a hybrid by Bullis Bromeliads of Princeton, FL.
I must say here that I advised against it, but I'd already set a precedent when I paid $150 for an intersectional peony and brought it home as a carry-on item from Oregon. But this plant was a different story, I told my smitten spouse. Its leaves have spines that prick you whenever you touch them. And we worried the flower spike would snap off, negating the reason for its finding its way into my plant menagerie. While we continued our vacation, we mulled over the carry-on conundrum.
concrete form tube. The tube was 48" tall, about a foot taller than we needed, so he also bought a reciprocating saw blade (total: $15.87) and a roll of duct tape. He later lost the saw blade and had to buy another ($3.05).
The day before we left to come home, my husband realized he couldn't carry the unwieldy monstrosity--that had turned into a 36" tall, 8" wide tube that weighed around eight lbs.--onto the plane. We went to a local shipper in Sedona. The bill included $3 worth of packing peanuts and came to a total of $47.96 including tax.
He's a bit bummed about the $92 price tag for a plant, but there is only one way to look at it. The flower supposedly lasts for up to six months. For something that pretty/unusual/colorful, it's a bargain, even if we never get it to bloom again.