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Dyckia is a genus of bromeliad found within the Pitcairnioideae subfamily of bromeliads. There are 120 different species of Dyckia with many more cultivars. Each species of Dyckia is unique, but there are several characteristics that apply to most Dyckias, which make them standout from other bromeliads.
Origins of the Dyckias
Most Dyckias are native to Brazil, but a few originate from other South American countries such as Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia.
They prefer sunny and rocky terrain up to about 6,000 feet in elevation. Some Dyckias are saxicolous meaning they live attached directly to rocks. However, most are terrestrial, growing in the ground. The majority of other bromeliad genera are epiphytic. Another unique characteristic of the Dyckia is its ability to survive cold temperatures. Nearly all bromeliads cannot tolerate frost. However, many Dyckia can survive temperatures that drop into the teens. They won’t survive through harsh northern winters, but they can survive in outdoor gardens in a few climate zones that won’t support most other bromeliads.
Similar to Succulents
Dyckias are often confused with succulents because they look and play the part. They have stiff leathery leaves and are very drought tolerant, but unlike true succulents they cannot store their own water internally. They simply respond to periods of stress, such as dry weather conditions, by going dormant.