Agallostachys variegata (Arruda) Beer
Billbergia variegata (Arruda) Schult. & Schult.f.
Bromelia variegata Arruda
Dyckia glaziovii Baker
Common Name: Caroa
Caroa is an evergreen, perennial plant producing a rosette of spiny leaves about 90cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild, and also occasionally cultivated, for the fibres obtained from the leaves which are used for making ropes[
S. America - northeastern Brazil.
Often found on dry, stony soils[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of semi-arid regions in the tropics. It grows best in areas where the mean annual temperature is within the range 18 - 30°c, but can tolerate 14 - 36°c[
]. It is killed by temperatures of -1°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 500 - 70mm, but tolerates 400 - 800mm[
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil[
]. Prefers a medium to light soil and can tolerate low fertility[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
]. Prefers a pH within the range 6 - 7, but can tolerate 5.5 - 7.5[
A fibre obtained from the leaves is used for making ropes[
- The Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture (6 volumes)
- Bailey L.H.
- The MacMillan Company, Toronto.
- Rather dated, but it still contains a wealth of useful information. It can be downloaded from the internet.
]. It is used locally for making nets and has been recommended for making paper and artificial silk[
- Dictionary of Economic Plants.
- Uphof. J. C. Th.
- An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. The fibre is made into cordage, ropes, twines, bags, cheap footwear, summer suits, and light, thin paper[
]. The plant has about 30 leaves, 1.5 - 2 metres long, with spiny margins, but each plant only yields 3 - 4 leaves that are suitable for harvesting for fibre[
]. The yield of fibre from the leaves varies between 12-14%[
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