Dyckia is a genus of terrestrial Bromeliads from drier climates than many other Bromeliads (similarly they resemble Agave/Aloe/Haworthia more closely than they do most other Bromeliads).
Dyckia brevifolia – Based on that spent bloom stalk these seem to be polycarpic growers (flowers several times from one plant) unlike the majority of Bromeliads which are monocarpic. I would not want to have to remove those dead leaves though.
(Photo by Michael Wolf used under CC license from here.)
They have some pretty prominent spines as well, which they show off to great effect (Dyckia ‘South Bay’, first plant in the link.) While others prefer to look fantastic with uniformly beautiful colour (Dyckia ‘Cherry Cola’). At least on some plants these spines are soft, meant to act as a way to diffuse heat. I’m still not sure I want to handle them too much, but maybe that’s an added bonus from these spines for the plant.
Dyckia sp. looking very dramatic somewhere warmer than here.
(Photo by anniesannuals used under CC license from here.)
Looking at pictures I’ve found I have some significant preferences in Dyckia. I seem to like long, broad leaves with somewhat prominent spines but no larger than… half (?) the width of the leaf on a plant that forms more of an upright mound of slightly curved leaves rather than the strongly down-turned and twisted leaves of some species.
I have been going through Dyckia Brazil and saving the pages of Dyckia that have caught my eye:
Dyckia sp. – green, long broad straight leaves. Nice.
Dyckia hebdingii affinis – Silver, long narrow straight leaves with shorter spines to match the narrow leaves.
Dyckia ‘Stardust’ – Dyckia brevifolia (pictured above) x Dyckia fosteriana results in a a plant more attractive than either parent.
Dyckia spp. – All three species on that page.
Dyckia sp. – Unnamed form with very nice long straight leaves and black spines. Nice.
Dyckia spp. – Two groupings, all nice plants.
Dyckia ‘Red Devil’ – Nice.
Dyckia hebdingii – Very nice.
Dyckia sp. – Love this one.
Dyckia ‘Mother Africa’ – Perfect.
I don’t imagine I’d pass one of these up if I saw it for sale. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one for sale but it’s on my keeping my eyes open for and buying asap list.