This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, spiny head). Brome-liacese. About a half-dozen species allied to AEchmea (with which some writers unite it), from S. Amer. Outer flower parts bristly; petals broadly clawed, with 2 fringed scales or glands; ovary thick and fleshy, 3-seeded; spike cylindrical, thin, club-shaped: leaves small, becoming darker after flowering. The species require hothouse conditions, as for AEchmea and related things. Three names have appeared in the American trade: E. Hystrix, Wittm., for which see AEchmea Hystrix. E. Pineliana, Wittm. (AE. Pineliana, Baker). Two to 3 ft.: peduncle and bracts brilliant red: leaves 12-18 in. long in a rosette, strap-shaped, deltoid at summit, spine-edged: spike dense, 2-3 in. long, spiny; petals golden yellow and becoming black-brown, the tips fringed and incurved. Brazil. B.M. 5321. E. Van Houtteana, Van Houtte (AE. Van Houtteana, Mez. Quesnelia Van Houtteana, Morr.). Leaves many, strong-spined, sometimes white-banded beneath: flowers white, blue-tipped, in a crowded spike, the bracts reddish at the summit and white-downy at the base: 1-2 ft.
L. H. B