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Publication #FPS 16

Aechmea fasciata Silver Vase1

Edward F. Gilman2


The attractive silver-grey, banded foliage of this easy-care bromeliad is a perfect background for the brilliant, springtime flower stalk which emerges from the tight center rosette of leaves (Figure 1). The flower stalk is composed of a cluster of rosy pink bracts in which nestle pale blue flowers that change to deep rose. It is the long-lasting pink bracts which are most noticeable.

Figure 1. 

Silver Vase.

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

General Information

Scientific name: Aechmea fasciata
Pronunciation: eek-MEE-uh fass-ee-AY-tuh
Common name(s): Silver Vase
Family: Bromeliaceae
Plant type: perennial; herbaceous
USDA hardiness zones: 10B through 11 (Figure 2)
Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round
Origin: not native to North America
Figure 2. 

Shaded area represents potential planting range.

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]
Uses: mass planting; container or above-ground planter; ground cover; suitable for growing indoors
Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range


Height: 1 to 3 feet
Spread: 1 to 2 feet
Plant habit: vase shaped
Plant density: open
Growth rate: slow
Texture: coarse


Leaf arrangement: basal rosette
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: spiny
Leaf shape: elliptic (oval)
Leaf venation: parallel
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen
Leaf blade length: 18 to 36 inches
Leaf color: blue or blue-green
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: pink; salmon
Flower characteristic: spring flowering


Fruit shape: no fruit
Fruit length: no fruit
Fruit cover: no fruit
Fruit color: not applicable
Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: usually with one stem/trunk
Current year stem/twig color: not applicable
Current year stem/twig thickness: not applicable


Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun
Soil tolerances: acidic; alkaline; clay; sand; loam
Drought tolerance: high
Soil salt tolerance: poor
Plant spacing: 18 to 24 inches


Roots: not applicable
Winter interest: no special winter interest
Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding
Invasive potential: not known to be invasive
Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management

Growing best in partial shade in moisture-retentive but well-drained soil, Silver Vase makes a handsome ground cover or container plant. Place individual plants about 18 to 24 inches apart for an effective ground cover. A ground cover or mass planting of Silver Vase in front of a green-foliaged shrub grouping which branches to the ground make a nice, bright accent for a partially shaded spot. It can also be successfully grown epiphytically, or without soil, with moss around its roots and wired to the branches of rough-barked trees where its cupped rosette will catch needed water.

Propagation is by division of the offsets or by seed.

Problems include scale and mosquitoes which may breed in the trapped water in the leaves.

Pests and Diseases

Root rot is a problem if the soil is kept too moist.



This document is FPS 16, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date September 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at


Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.