Neoregelia Carolinae Tricolor (Cart-Wheel Plant)
(Bromeliaceae) origin: Brazil
Has a dense rosette in the form of a spray that flattens out prior to flowering. The strap-shaped leaves are 12 to 15 in. long and about 1 to 1-1/2 in. wide. They are green with a cream centre and striped at the edges with fine green lines. The cream variegation becomes suffused with pink before the rosette flattens out. At the time of flowering, the short leaves and the base of the larger leaves round the cup-shaped depression in the centre of the plant become a brilliant red. Even after its small pale lilac-blue flowers have died, the plant will retain its brilliant red centre for 12 months or more, and side shoots will grow up between the leaves. If left on the parent plant, these will flower again in one or two years according to conditions.
This is an easy plant, which prefers warmth and semi-shade or shade, but will tolerate a hot, dry atmosphere. Keep the centre cup filled with water and the soil in the pot just moist, but allow the soil to dry out between waterings in winter, when tepid water should be used. As the flowers die off, wash out the centre cup thoroughly every day, or a pungent odour will arise.