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Aechmea magdalenae - (Andre) Andre ex Baker

Common Name Pingwing. Ixtle, Pita plant
Family Bromeliaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Abundant throughout the forest, often forming dense stands[315 ]. Forests and thickets, usually found at elevations below 500 metres in Guatemala[331 ].
Range Northwestern S. America - Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela; C. America - Panama to Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Aechmea magdalenae Pingwing. Ixtle, Pita plant

David J. Stang
Aechmea magdalenae Pingwing. Ixtle, Pita plant
David J. Stang


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Aechmea magdalenae is an evergreen Perennial growing to 2.5 m (8ft) by 2.5 m (8ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Ananas magdalenae (Andre) Standl. ex Standl. & S.Calderen Bromelia longissima Pos.-Arang. Bromelia magdalenae (Andre) C.H.Wright Chevaliera magdalenae Andre Chevalieria magdalenae Andre


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked. The fleshy fruits are sweet and very tasty[315 ]. An acid flavour, they are said to be better when made into beverages[301 ]. The elliptic to ovate fruits are 5 - 6 cm long, to ca 2 cm. diameter[315 ]. The yellow fruit becomes orange and soft at maturity[315 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

A fibre of excellent quality is obtained from the leaves[46 ]. It is used for making rope and twine[46 ]. The leaves are retted in water, and fibre is usually extracted by pounding them on stones in running water[331 ]. It is a very fine and tough fibre, much used for hammocks, bags and string[331 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Fiber  Management: Standard  Regional Crop

An understory, terrestrial bromeliad found in neotropical rainforests from Mexico to Ecuador(Croat 1978). A. magdalenae is an herbaceous perennial 1 to 3.5m in height with a typical spread of 1.5 to 2m. It has a short, stout stem with a rosette of leaves sprouting at or near ground level. Its leaves are waxy, thick, and are typically 2.5m long and 5-10cm wide. Aechmea magdalenae is a shade tolerant plant found in the understory of tropical forests forming dense colonies that can spread to 500m and be found at a density as high as 7 colonies/ha in young forests and 10 colonies/ha in older forests (Brokaw 1983). The plant has been found to grow in areas of higher sunlight, such as in ca nopy gaps and secondary forest growth, and rosette production is higher in these light conditions. However, in low lig ht conditions, leaf extension has been found to be significantly higher (Villeagas 2001) and this is important for harvest of fiber from the leaves. Aechmea magdalenae is typically found in low, wet areas (Croat 1978). Sunlight caused by gaps increases the number of leaves, but if the areas are particularly dry, leaf production sign ificantly decreases (Villegas 2001).

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Fiber  Clothing, rugs, sheets, blankets etc. Currently, almost none of our fiber are produced from perennial crops but could be!
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Pita, Pinuela, Ixtle

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Amazon, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Central America, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, North America, Panama, South America, Venezuela.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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(Andre) Andre ex Baker

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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