This is my favorite Bromeliad! The last image shows the amazing height. "This Bromeliad grows to a span of more than 1.5 metres, although it can take up to ten years to get to this size. The thick flower spike reaches up to 3.5 metres in height, producing hundreds of slightly fragrant creamy white flowers. The green, slightly ribbed leaves are quite leathery and tough with a distinctive waxy bloom over the surface, giving a bluish colouration from a distance."
Balboa Park Botanical Gardens. "This species can withstand relatively cool nights, as it is native to mountains of Teresópolis near Rio de Janeiro at an elevation of about 1,500 metres."
"Alcantarea imperialis in the wild are becoming increasingly endangered. Initially this was from the destruction of natural areas by encroaching civilisation, resulting in large losses of habitat to fire and clearance. Then huge numbers of plants were destroyed from the misconception that having these plants near civilisation was encouraging diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Finally as landscapers and gardeners realise that these are dramatic and desirable plants for the garden, tens of thousands of plants are stripped from the wild and sent to the cities, or exported. Worldwide, there has been an explosion of interest in these plants, first popularised by the famous Brazilian landscape architect, Robert Burle-Marx."