Variegated, toothed, maroon...thing!
by Jo Crooms
(Jacksonville, Fl., USA)
I bought this beautiful little guy from a retail store yesterday. Ours was the only one left and the clerk had nothing to call it except a "cactus", which I'm sure it isn't. I do believe it is a succulent though and I've also thought that it might be a bromeliad.
The debate has already started in my home as to whether it is pink, purple or red, I call it variegated maroon but green can be seen in the center and the bottom leaves.
The underside of the leaves are white and look textured even though they aren't. The edges of the leaves are also finely toothed like an aloe. The largest individual plant measures 4 1/2 inches across and stands about five inches tall, the plants are stemless.
There are three plants growing (and a few dead ones) in a small clump. There is however a much larger leaf (6 1/2 inches each) growing out of either side of the pot that appear to be dying but aren't quite dry yet. The totally dead leaves dry and curl up like husks around the bottom, like an aloe.
This is such a beautiful plant and I would love to help it grow and prosper, maybe even propagate more. But I have looked at everything and haven't even come close to anything that looks like it at all! Thanks so much for any help!
Drought Smart Plants reply: Hi Jo, I'm leaning towards a Bromeliad of some kind too - based on the arrangement of the leaves, and the fact that it's got the striping.
I've found a couple of potential candidates here, of the bromeliaceae, in the Cryptanthus genus:
Ruby Starfish Plant
I would say, it's either the Ruby, or something very similar.