Brazilian cloak

Whenever I invite someone into my garden to take a peek at the Brazilian cloak (Megaskepasma erythrochlamys), their usual response upon spying the brilliant one to two-foot tall spikes of blooms is to drop their jaw in absolute awe. I can’t help but do the same whenever my eyes land on this stunning specimen. Hummingbirds seem to have the same reaction as well.

This showy tropical will remain in bloom, setting new blooms continually and retaining old blooms for months throughout the fall, winter and early spring. Topping out at about 15 to 20 feet, Brazilian cloak cannot be equalled in the tropical garden. Able to withstand temps down to the mid-20s, it could well be considered a good choice for subtropical gardens (Zone 9b) as well. Although I would be prepared to cover it or have it in a container that could be moved to a safe place in the event of a hard freeze.

Adequate moisture and a rich growing medium are a must to keep the big, textured leaves green. Also consider planting something at its “feet” to fill in the area below as Brazilian cloak can be a bit leggy. It can be propagated from cuttings, which is a good thing because once your friends and neighbors see this beauty, they’ll want to grow it too.