Bromeliad 5

Often park visitors are fascinated at the wide range of native and exotic plants and trees in Centennial Parklands. What a lot of people don’t realise is that growing and experimenting with these plants and trees is part of a century-long tradition that continues today. One example is the Giant Bromeliad.

In the early 20th century, the early Directors of Centennial Park made the decision to use this park as an experimental horticultural venue. The rosary, in particular, was such a spectacular site that up to 20,000 people on one Sunday alone in 1917 would come to see the displays.

 

What plant is that?

Of recent times, visitors have watched one of the more interesting plants in Centennial Park grow and flower – the Giant Bromeliad (Alcantarea).

Native to Eastern Brazil, Alcantarea gets its name from Dom Pedro d’Alcântara, the second Emperor or Brazil. Alcantarea is a group of extremely large Bromeliads, some reaching sizes of 1.5m across with flower spikes 2.5m high. In their natural habitat they are often found perched on the beautiful high rocky cliffs of Brazil (ref).

The Alcantarea is part of the wider Bromeliad family. These fascinating tropical American natives come in a wonderful variety of sizes, shapes and foliage colours. They seem very strange and exotic, but one of our most common fruits, the pineapple, is actually a bromeliad! (ref).

 

Where can I see the Alcantarea?

There are a number of Alcantarea in gradually developing array around Centennial Parklands Dining in Centennial Park, as well as in the Formal Gardens.

 

These Giant Bromeliads can be seen near the ramp outside CP Dining - this size can take up to 10 years to achieve.

These Giant Bromeliads can be seen near the ramp outside CP Dining – this size can take up to 10 years to achieve.

 

Leaves are slightly ribbed and have a leathery texture

Leaves are slightly ribbed and have a leathery texture

 

A real giant, this plant can grow up to 1.5m wide with a flower spike full of tiny white flowers which can reach 2.5m in height.

A real giant, this plant can grow up to 1.5m wide with a flower spike full of tiny white flowers which can reach 2.5m in height.

 

Next time you drop in for a coffee or lunch, stop off and have a closer look at these amazing plants. It’s certainly one that our staff are very proud, and a great addition to the Park’s ever changing horticultural appeal.

 


 

Centennial Park – A History is the authoritative book on the first 125 years of Australia’s most historically significant public park. Add it to your summer reading this year. Buy now.

 

Similar Articles

  • Sydney’s kids go wild for WILD PLAY!

    The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden in Centennial Park is proving a hit with the kids of Sydney. Over the past week, children and their families from right across Sydney made their way to the Garden, which is designed to be an outdoor learning experience for kids of all abilities and backgrounds. It is made […]

  • Hello sunshine! Rare wattle plant found in the Parklands

    We were very excited recently to uncover two very rare little wattle plants in the Parklands. The ‘Sunshine Wattle’ or as scientifically named, ‘Acacia terminalis subsp. Terminalis’ has large, fluffy, pale yellow flowers, and is so uncommon, there are thought to be no more than around 1,000 plants in bush regeneration areas across the state! The […]

  • Mother Nature strikes at Centennial Parklands

    We’ve had four seasons in one this winter in Sydney, this just goes to show you never know what to expect when it comes to mother nature. One thing we all share is that we are at the behest of mother nature and her weather. During a thunderstorm, have you ever wondered what happens down at ground level where the lightning strike takes place? Well we have the pictures to show you what happens here at Centennial Parklands.

  • New Moore Park Golf carts are driving innovation

    Here at the Parklands, we aim to create a more sustainable environment for the Parklands and future generations. At Moore Park Golf, we recently introduced LED lighting, solar panels and water-saving all-weather turf  as part of $1.9 million investment to improve the driving range,  greater course and historic club house. Though our newest, most exciting innovation is […]