Deuterocohnia lorentziana - An attractive terrestrial bromeliad that forms dense mounds called pollsters that typically are 1 to 2 feet tall and comprised of 1-inch-wide rosettes of triangular stiff leaves that have smooth margins and a sharp terminal spine. The leaves appear to be silvery white because the leaf surfaces are covered with reflective white hairs called trichomes, which gives this plant its full sun tolerance. In late winter to early spring appear the 1-inch-long yellowy chartreuse colored flowers that, while interesting, are not incredibly showy.
Plant in full sun to light shade and water sparingly in containers and very little, if at all, in the ground. Hardy to 20 °F. Makes an interesting mounding plant in a pot or in the ground.
Deuterocohnia lorentziana is known from mountainous areas of Bolivia and Argentina. It has larger leaves, is more silver colored and more sun tolerant than the slightly more common Deuterocohnia brevifolia and much larger leaves than the very tight growing Deuterocohnia brevifolia forma chlorantha, which we also grow. These plants were long considered to be in the genus Abromeitiella, but most recently, because of modern DNA analysis, have been included in Deuterocohnia, an allied genera that also comes from higher elevations of the Andes. The genus was named for the German botanist Ferdinand Julius Cohn with the preface Greek word 'deuter' (or 'deutero' meaning "second" (or second Cohnia) as the name Cohnia had already been used to describe an orchid. The original name Abometitiella was coined by Carl Christian Mez in 1927 to honor the German botanist Johannes Abromeit. Previously the plants had also been included in the genus Pitcairnia and this group of bromeliads in the sub-family Pitcairniodae are considered to be among the most primitive of the family. The specific epithet honors the German born Argentine botanist Paul Gunther Lorentz. Werner Raugh in his book Bromeliads For Home, Garden and Greenhouse describes the tight mounding growth form as being caused by the "acrotonal dichotomy" that occurs after each flowering with the older stems forming a water retaining humus in the interior of the mound. German researcher Nicole Schütz, in her 2011 doctoral dissertation "Systematics and evolution of the genus Deuterocohnia Mez (Bromeliaceae)" at the Department of Natural Sciences at the University of Kassel studied all known publications and herbarium records and discovered that the specific epithet "lorentziana" was first applied to a form of Deuterocohnia brevifolia, which invalidates the use of the name for another species, concluding that this plant should now be known as Deuterocohnia abstrusa.
Information about Deuterocohnia lorentziana displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.