BSI Journal - Online Archive


THE BROMELIAD SOCIETY BULLETIN

Editorial Office: 718 Magnolia Ave., Orlando, Florida.
Annual Dues: $3.50 a year (foreign $4.00) which includes subscription to the Bulletin.
Write to Miss Victoria Padilla, 647 South Saltair Ave., Los Angeles 49, Calif.

EDITOR'S NOTES:

We pause a moment to pay tribute to the memory of Mr. Franklin M. DeVoe who passed away on Feb. 9, 1954. He was The Bromeliad Society's first Life Member. This fine gesture was announced on page eight of our first Bulletin. He was the first to make the generous contribution of $150.00 and it was within the first month of the formation of the Society. His faith in and expectation for the young Society, we hope, has been rewarded with its very steady growth. It would be appropriate for other members to become Life Members in honor of Mr. DeVoe.

The Cover Illustration: This is a photo by Walter Richter, (p. 48) of the hybrid Vriesia flammea, first exhibited by Duval on Dec. 12, 1901 at the "Societe Nationale d'Horticulture de France." It is a striking, complex hybrid containing the blood of at least seven different species and hybrids! (See Revue Horticole, Vol. 74, 1902, p. 27, for strains.) The branched character apparently comes from V. Rodigasiana, one of its early parents. (Named for Emile Rodigas, eminent French horticulturist, see p. 553 in above vol.).

PUBLICATIONS–

The Feb. 1954 issue of Horticulture of Boston, Mass. has featured the dramatic and sculptured bromeliads in Mary Noble's article "New Color in House Plants" and included bromeliads in one of the two stunning color plates by Jean L. Merkel. These plates are from the exceptionally beautiful new book "Plants Indoors" by these two authors, recently published by D. Van Nostrand Co. N.Y. (at $6.95). In a chapter titled "Epiphytes," the bromeliads are given nearly seven pages with a number of excellent photos.

Lyman Smith's fecund pen has produced another taxonomic paper "Studies in The Bromeliaceae, XVII" in Contributions from the U. S. Natl. Herb. (Smithsonian Inst.) Sixteen species and one new variety from Mexico and Bolivia are described.

Dr. Smith has also recently published descriptions of five new Colombian bromeliads in the genera Navia, Vriesia, Pitcairnia collected by Dr. Richard E. Schultes; these are included in Dr. Schultes' paper of "Plantae Austro-Americanae IX" Vol. 16, No. 8 in "Botanical Museum Leaflet," Feb. 1954, Harvard Univ., Cambridge, Mass. We are happy to report that Dr. Schultes has consented to write a paper on the Navias for our Bulletin.

FROM EUROPE–

The editorial office has recently received a number of copies of "Gartenwelt," a magazine published in Hamburg, Germany by Verlag Paul Parey (Spitalerstrasse 12) in which are numerous articles about bromeliads. The issues of Dec. 1/49; Sept. 16/50; Aug. 19/50; March 17/51; Nov. 15/52; Feb. 7/53 and Dec. 19/53, all were obtained for about $1.35.

From Germany, also, comes a 1954 catalogue of seeds in which is listed some 38 species of bromeliads in diverse genera. Albert Schenkel of Hamburg-Blankense is to be congratulated on this excellent list. Only seven photos illustrate this catalogue but a bromeliad is included, Vriesia X perfecta.

From Belgium we received a copy of "Le Bulletin Horticole" for Jan. 1954 (Vol. IX, No. 1) in which Charles Chevalier had a brief review of our Cultural Handbook. Mr. Chevalier also sent a copy of his article in the "Revue Horticole" for Sept.-Oct. 1953 entitled "Nidularium et Neoregelia" in which there is a very thorough discussion of these two genera.

From our Society member, Walter Richter, (p. 48) in Germany comes a stunning new book, "Bluten aus Tropenfernen." Although it handles various tropical plants, bromeliads are greatly favored throughout and in many excellent color photos. We are envious of such a fine production and hail Mr. Richter's favoritism on bromeliads. With much regret we have just learned that the entire edition was immediately sold out. It was published in the Russian Zone and permission has not yet been granted for a second edition.


FROM BELGIUM–

BILLBERGIA MAXIMA AND ITS HYBRIDS

Charles Chevalier
Conservateur Honoraire au Jardin Botanique de Liege, Belgium

I have described and given a name, in Bull. Soc. Nat. D'Hort. France (ser. 5, vol. 4: 209. 1931), to an unpublished species of Billbergia which had just bloomed in the greenhouse of the Botanical Garden of Liege, Belgium.

This species was labeled in the hothouse as well as in the herbarium, under the provisional name of Billbergia species maxima Barbacena Hort. It had been introduced from Brazil, (province of Barbacena, Minas Geraes) into the Botanical Garden of Liege in 1879. Neither Prof. Edouard Morren, who died in 1885, nor Carl Mez, who had visited the garden in 1893, saw the plant in bloom, because neither one mentions it in his writings. Being convinced that our Billbergia was unpublished, I gave it a legitimate name. I preserved the name "maxima" which characterizes so well its vigor and its height.

The B. maxima Ch. Chev. belongs in the subgenus Helicodea characterized by a very mealy, pendulous inflorescence and petals curled back all the way to their bases. The plant is vigorous with its large green leaves, edged with extremely sharp thorns, standing erect, forming a long tube enlarged at the base. The stem is covered, as are the rachis and the ovary, with a thick, white down and is embellished with eight to ten lovely, large bracts (15-18 cm. X 50-55 mm.) which are oval, lanceolate and of a beautiful intense rose color. At their axil, the flowers (twenty-five or more) grow in an attractive, loose, pendent raceme which is 20 or 25 cm. in length. The ribbon shaped petals, which are overlapping before anthesis, and are violet-blue at the tip, roll back on the outside to meet the sepals.

  
Billbergia Chevalieri Hort.
The beauty of B. maxima prompted my predecessor, the late J. Marechal, to use it as pollen carrier in the crossing with B. pallesens C. Koch. In 1893 he obtained B. X gravisiana Hort. Leod., so named in honor of the late August Gravis, the distinguished professor-director of the Botanical Garden of the University of Liege.

The very robust plant with its long, wide, dark green leaves, develops a vigorous stem which ends in a gracefully recurved inflorescence ornamented at the base with lovely large bracts of a bright carmine red, of which the three lower ones cover spikes of several flowers. The others, approximately a dozen, inserted directly on the axis have an ovary, sepals, and petals which show a great resemblance to those of the mother plant.

In 1913, taking advantage of a flowering of B. maxima Ch. Chev., a rather rare occurrence, I used it as pollen carrier to fertilize a B. pyramidalis Lindl var. fastuosa Beer of the subgenus Jonghea Lem. characterized by a dense inflorescence at the top of an erect floral stem.

The pollination cross gave me three plants. The first two bloomed in 1917 and 1921 respectively; they resemble each other very much and were named B. x Marquis de Villalobar Hort. Leod. in honor of the Spanish Ambassador whose role during the World War I made him worthy of the gratitude of the Belgians. The plants, very vigorous, approach B. maxima in their large, erect leaves, but form a narrower tube, not swollen at the base. The stem is different; it is erect as in B. fastuosa except in its upper part which is slightly arched. Bracts are 10 cm. in height and have an intense shade of vermillion, pink-rose. The dense spike is composed of approximately twenty flowers with violet-blue corkscrew petals.

The third plant is definitely superior, as much in its habit as in its flowers. It has been called B. X. Chevalier Hort. Lend. The large and vigorous plant (1 meter) appears in the form of a gigantic B. fastuosa Beer, with leaves more numerous, ample and erect, forming a long tube that is strongly flaring above. The stem (scape) which is shorter than the leaves turns almost horizontal near its apex. It is embellished at the apex with a dozen beautiful hood-shaped and cherry red, lance-elliptic bracts (15-17 cm. X 4-5 cm.) surrounding the base of the spike. The latter is arched, approximately 20 cm. long with 40 or more flowers set tightly together and each 9 cm. long. The ridged ovary is covered, like the stem and the sepals, with a white, very conspicuous down; the petals are shaped like ribbons of a beautiful, very dark purple color and are curling back after the anthesis.

12 Rue des Combattants, Esneux, Belgium


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

  
   L. Dutrie - Ch. Chevalier
about 20 years ago
Monsieur Charles Chevalier retired from active duty as Director at The Botanical Garden in Liege, Belgium in Jan. 1939 when he was 65, but since that time his interest in bromeliads has never ceased, and now, although 80 years of age, his interest remains fresh and alert on the vast family of Bromeliaceae. On this subject he has been a frequent and consistent contributor to a number of French and Belgian publications such as "Le Bulletin Horticole," "Journal de las Societe National d'Horticulture de France," "Revue Horticole" and "Revue Horticole Suisse" as well as a "Catalogue des Bromeliacees in the Liege. Botanical Garden's publication "Le Jeunia."

Monsieur Chevalier has always expressed great love and admiration for his friend Louis Dutrie of Ghent, a famous producer of bigeneric bromeliad hybrids. His fine horticultural establishment was, unfortunately, destroyed in the bombing of 1944. As a result of the grief over this catastrophe Mr. Dutrie died in 1948. He wrote, during his last two years, a long interesting series of ten articles "Les Bromeliacees" in "Le Bulletin Horticole" (Liege, 128 Rue des Venues). It is appropriate that we can publish a photo of these two distinguished Belgian associates together, Louis Dutrie, the horticulturist and Charles Chevalier, the botanist. Their mutual friend and associate in France is our Honorary Trustee, Jules Chantrier who is pictured on p. 44.

Possibly Ch. Chevalier's love of bromeliads can be traced to two well known names in the history of bromeliads, that of J. Marechal (his predecessor at The Botanical Garden in Liege) who in turn was influenced by his teacher, the famous Prof. Ed. Morren.

When Lyman Smith, our taxonomist, visited Liege in the summer of 1935 to examine the original types of Edouard Morren, he had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Mr. Chevalier. As Dr. Smith says, "It was largely thanks to him that so many of the forty-to-fifty-year old herbarium specimens remained in good condition so that I could make a photographic record."

Further, Dr. Smith adds, Mr. Chevalier is just as notable as a student of Begonia and his Handbook is the most useful single work I have seen on the cultivated species."

M. B. F.



BELGIAN GROWN BROMELIADS

  
Among the growers of Belgium today, Ernest de Coster (at Melle-lez-Gand) is one of the largest. (Melle is situated about four miles out on the road from Ghent to Brussels). He contributed an article for our March-April 1952 Bulletin (Vol. 2, No. 2) with photos of his establishment. Now, we present Mr. de Coster himself in a house full of V. splendens major, Aechmea fulgens, and Tillandsia hybrids; in the foreground is Guzmania Peacocki.

We gasp with astonishment at the quantities of bromeliads when Mr. DeCoster says: "My production last year was about 4,000 Aechmea fasciata; 1,000 Ae. fulgens and its varieties; 4,000 Neoregelia carolinae (flowering size) and about 8,000 seedlings of the same sold to other Belgian growers who do not sow their own seed." Besides those sold to Belgian growers, he sold also to those in France, Germany, Holland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

Mr. DeCoster says that there are other Belgian growers all of whom specialize in Aechmea fasciata; they are, Mr. A. Vercauteren, at Melle-lez-Gand; Mr. August Tollenaere, St. Amandsberg, well known for his giant large leaf Ae. fasciata; and the firm Callens-Piessens at Balgerhoeke.

Some Belgian growers are now lighting by night in winter with fluorescent lamps so that they obtain much earlier flowering (long day method).

R. F.


FROM FRANCE–

BROMELIADS IN THE ORCHID HOUSE

Marcel Lecoufle

Photo by author   
Fig. 1
 
Photo by Marcel Lecoufle   
Fig. 2
I was born among orchids, and having my own nursery with about 19,000 square feet of glass, I have developed commercially different tropical greenhouse plants including orchids and bromeliads.

There are different ways to grow bromeliads with orchids as they require the same treatment in many points, being both epiphytes and often having similar habitats, similar

temperatures and humidity of the atmosphere. You may have a look at the picture (Fig. 1) herewith included showing some Vriesia splendens major grown on the ridge of the water tank of a Cattleya greenhouse. Many other varieties are grown here the same way. The tanks are all along the central benches keeping the rain water falling on the houses' roofs. The watering system is done with an electric pump and small nylon tubes with pistolets. Of course, the bromeliads underneath the benches may receive too much water from the plants on the top, but still they grow all right, and that is the main point. If the greenhouse is very shady the plants take longer to grow. I recognize that this extra shade is to be avoided for the getting of pineapple fruits for which the results are much better and quicker on the benches. Our French houses are very shaded with shading laths leaving space on about 18 percent of sun light only. My Orchid House shading is mechanical and goes up when the sun does not shine and goes down when the sun comes out.

The cost of new greenhouses and the prices of fuel for heating are so high that I have enlarged the "underneath" culture in a Phalaenopsis orchid house, as shown in Fig. 2 where the pots are hung by wires for the development of the Phalaenopsis roots. There are two floors of plants; the bromeliad floor below holding Cryptanthus, while the orchids swing above. I am very pleased with the results, and the customers are pleased too when they grow plants successfully, a result easily obtained if the conditions of light are similar or better than at the grower's.

For the feast days I prepare for the florists trade Tropical Gardens which are made up of different greenhouse plants including young bromeliads. Some Tropical Gardens are also done with bromeliad plants only.

The most cultivated variety in Europe, as already mentioned in The Bromeliad Bulletin is Aechmea fasciata (unfortunately still named by our florists and growers with the old discarded erroneous name "Billbergia rhodocyanea.") Many other old varieties are still in cultivation but in smaller quantities.

1 Rue de l'Eglise, Boissy-Saint-Leger, France



Photo by Marcel Lecoufle

INTERNATIONAL FLOWER SHOW

This photo displays a small part of M. Lecoufle's exhibition at The International Flower Show held in Nantes (Loire Inferieure), France from the 6th to 11th, of November, 1953. Some Vriesias were in bloom along with Tillandsia Lindenii an outstanding attraction; mingled with these were Cryptanthus and many orchids. Other exhibitors had splendid specimens of the flaming Vriesia splendens major while some, of course, displayed Aechmea fasciata, probably the most common bromeliad in Europe. Cryptanthus bivittatus minor was frequently seen used in different arrangements in dish gardens for florists. No black and white photograph can ever convey the riot of color both in foliage and flower contributed by the bromeliads when they are used in competition with other plants.


 
Jules Chantrier before retirement   Vriesia splendens X Chantrieri (second year flowering plant with two spikes on each)

THE CHANTRIER HORTICULTURAL ESTABLISHMENT

The name of Chantrier is repeated time and again throughout the history of European bromeliad culture, importation, and hybridization, therefore, we feel it only fitting that we review briefly something of the significance of Jules Chantrier's work. A contribution by him and notes about him, written by his Florida friend, Julian Nally, appeared in our July-Aug. 1951 Bulletin (Vol. 1, No. 4).

His horticultural establishment was founded in 1810 by his grandfather of the same name in Mortefontaine, Oise, France. This nursery became famous after winning several prizes in the early days, namely, the "Grand Prix Paris 1889 et 1900;" the "Grand Prix Saint-Petersbourg 1884;" and the "Premier Prix d'honneur Paris, Mai 1907." This fine tradition was carried on by the brother and son who favored bromeliads, and among their Aroids, Rex Begonias, Caladium, orchids and palms, bromeliads were prominently featured.

Before the turn of the century the Chantrier brothers perfected a number of hybrids in the genera Nidularium and Vriesia notably Nidularium X Chantrieri Andre (parents were N. fulgens Lem. and N. innocenti Lem.) which Edouard Andre (as editor) described in "Revue Horticole" 1895, p. 452. He was extravagant in his praise for it and accurate in his prediction when he said, "it will have a great future as a plant for the greenhouses and for the market."

Their catalogue of the mid-thirties listed bromeliads in thirteen different genera with over seventy-five species and varieties. Many of them are the same varieties to be found in most of our present collections although they offered more Vriesias and Nidulariums than are to be found in the majority of the collections in the U.S.A. today. Cryptanthus, in twelve species and varieties, were used extensively and effectively in novel dish garden arrangements.

Long before the fad of planters and dish gardens hit the U.S.A. Jules Chantrier was creating original prize winning planters "creation nouvelle pour appartement" or "Jardin Bresiliens" (Brazilian Gardens) (Prize Winners in the Paris Exposition of May 1933) in which bromeliads were outstandingly featured along with other tropicals such as miniature palms, begonias, ferns, etc.

The current fad of decorating old gnarled pieces of wood with plants (for which bromeliads are so suitable) had its inception twenty-five years ago in artistic France where the Chantrier Establishment featured their "Buche Garnie," literally meaning "logs trimmed" or ornamented driftwood. In their two styles of "Buche Garnie" (one pictured herewith) bromeliads were the only plants used. Success with bromeliads fixed in this manner is attributed to the pertinent fact that they are a vase of water unto themselves. Surprisingly, sphagnum was wrapped directly around the roots.

That these ideas, established long ago, are still sound and in current vogue is brought around to the present by an article, entitled "Jardins Bresiliens" from Jules Chantrier's pen in "Jardins d'Aujourd'hui," Spring 1954, which has just been received by Julian Nally. He not only praises at length again the merits of his "Buche Garnie," but also mentions "Water Gardens" (which they created in 1905-10) as a favorable use of bromeliads. That is, he says, bromeliads can be successfully grown "on" water; literally hanging over water in a vase-like container, as pictured in his catalogue. It anticipates our hydroponic growing of vegetables.

In his recent letter to Julian Nally, M. Chantrier says of this hydroponic method of growing bromeliads, "I can tell you I obtained beautiful bromeliads in the living room, growing and flourishing nicely in this way, close to the window. I say bromeliads are the most satisfactory plants for apartments. I have seen Tillandsias, Vriesias, Nidulariums, etc. which are still flourishing in living rooms after many years."

We salute this veteran bromeliad enthusiast.

R. F.

Buche Garnie
Reproduced from their 1933 catalogue.


FROM GERMANY–

INTRODUCTION INTO CULTIVATION

Excerpt from Walter Richter's Bromeliad Handbook
"Anzucht and Kultur der Bromeliaceen" (1950)
Translated by Joseph Schneider

   Photo Seyffarth
   Walter Richter with his newest super-selected Vriesia hybrid, "Flammendes Schwert"

European growers showed interest in bromeliads at a comparatively early date. Their beauty, their oddity and mainly, the tenacity with which they cling to life, are probably the chief reasons for their early appearance into cultivation. They endured the long sea voyages of that time which other plant material could not survive. That two of the toughest-leaved species were the first to arrive in Europe seems to prove this assertion. These were, according to Altons in "Hortus Kewensis" the species Bromelia ananas (synonym for Ananas comosus) and Bromelia pinguin, the year of introduction being 1690. In 1776 they were followed by Caraguata lingulata [genus now known as Guzmania]. In 1811 the famous Kew Gardens had already sixteen species; in 1864 that number had mounted to one hundred, and after acquisition of the very large collection of the Morrens in 1887 the total rose to 252 species.

The Botanical Garden of the Dutch University at Leyden, under the direction of Inspector Wittes, who had a considerable knowledge of bromeliads, listed in 1894, the large number of 334 species.

The widely known and well liked Vriesia splendens was introduced from the Guianas in 1842 and 1844 by Melinon and Leperieur. At about the same time Aechmea fulgens came from Brazil; a little later, September 1846, Aechmea fasciata flowered for the first time at the establishment of Van Houtte in Ghent.

The magnificent winter-flowering Guzmania musaica was discovered in December, 1867. The, collector; G. Wallis, found it in a dense forest near Teoroma, near Ocana, New Granada [Colombia] in the drainage basin of the Magdalena River, and sent it to Europe.

In 1872 J. Linden, of Belgium, received Vriesia tesselata from Brazil and it flowered for the first time ten years later. Vriesia hieroglyphica proved very difficult to bring to flower; it was successfully accomplished in 1880. During the first half of the nineteenth century many Billbergia species were brought in. Their durability and toleration of adverse conditions probably favored their introduction.

The history of the introduction of bromeliads is interesting; the few dates mentioned show it to have concurred with that gala period which brought so many orchids and other beautiful tropicals in great quantities to Europe. Not only nurseries, but many private collectors and plant-friends took a great interest in them. Through their efforts expeditions were financed and organized and collectors sent out who, at times, risked their lives in the search for new, rare and precious plant material.

The Belgians played a main role, and many of their names are forever remembered in scientific annals and garden literature. Jean Linden, himself, traveled through middle and South America from 1835 to 1845, and after establishing his own firm in Brussels, sent out collectors. His new introductions made his name famous; thanks to his initiative, about 1100 orchid species and 1500 other plants, among them many bromeliads, came to Europe; Roezl, Schliem, Lisbon, Wallis, Giesbrecht [probably means A. B. Ghiesbreght, Belgian collector] and others, collected for him. Many plants, well known horticulturally, bear their names.

Belgian gardeners, like DeJonghe-Brussel, Louis van Houtte, of Ghent, Alexander Verschaffelt, Charles van Eckhoute, and others too, contributed materially to the introduction of bromeliads. Thus, naturally, the greatest collections were established in Belgium, notably the one of Jacob-Makoy in Liege. The Botanical Garden in Liege had the largest collection in the eighties of the past century; at that time it was under the directorship of one of the foremost authorities on bromeliads, i.e. Professor Charles Morren.

The French garden architect, Edouard Andre, maintained a large collection; he collected himself, and later, sent out other collectors.

The Frenchman, Charles Pinel, formerly a merchant in Brazil, and Morel at St. Mande, near Paris, were great enthusiasts; plants bearing their names give testimony, and honor their efforts. Marius Porte, mainly active in the Philippines, introduced some bromeliads, such as Billbergia porteana, and others.

In Germany, little of consequence was done, neither in discovering new species nor in their introduction, but botanical gardens and private estates started and kept large collections; this helped much to create and spread interest in bromeliads.

At about the turn of the century, the interest in these beautiful and fascinating plants slackened considerably, other matters gained preponderance. World War I flamed across Europe and destroyed nearly all that was still left. After the effect of the inflation period wore off, the changing tasks gradually reawakened the interest in special plants and revived the interest in bromeliads in the mid-thirties. It had barely begun when the second World War broke off the budding development. I am convinced the future is bright for bromeliads. The enrichment of the present assortment, will further the interest and re-establish their growing and sale. These plants surely merit it.


Photo by author

STRICTER SELECTION OF AECHMEA FASCIATA

Eugen Hahn
Translated from "Gartenwelt" Nov. 15/52 by Joseph Schneider

As most of the bromeliads of importance to the commercial growers are in demand not only for their flowers, but often more so for their beautifully marked leaves, attractive leaf-designs are of the greatest importance. Every grower knows well from his own experience that the beauty of the leaf-markings are not exclusively the result of cultural conditions or exposure to full sunlight or shade, but that unattractive leaf markings are mostly traceable to degeneration: The appearance of this degenerative effect is most readily noticed where intensive cultivation is practiced and it is clearly the result of using every possible offshoot and of a too limited number of available stock plants. This applies especially to Aechmea fasciata, formerly known erroneously as Billbergia rhodocyanea. With this species beauty and intensity of the leaf-markings are of the greatest importance.

A typical example illustrating these remarks are shown in the two plants pictured above. (They are from the Bromeliad Nursery of the firm Volcsik in Hamburg-Bergedorf). At the left is the often seen, (unfortunately too often) unattractively marked plant. Represented at the right is an ideal specimen whose overall appearance could hardly be improved and one could wish for nothing better.

According to Mr. Volcsik's experience the badly marked specimens are almost unsalable, while for the, better plants the demand exceeds the supply, proof enough that this variety species is bought mainly for its attractive appearance and leaf-markings.

Photo by Eugen Hahn
Volcsik Greenhouses

Those who systematically raise this species by seed should select only the very best of the plants as parents even if it means searching the country for them; not only for his own best advantage, but also for the sake of his provincial customers who, stuck with inferior marked plants, often suffer heavy losses.

Photo by Eugen Hahn
Nidularium Grown by Lehner in Nurnberg

Nothing short of astonishment was the reaction to seeing this immense greenhouse full of Nidulariums. Surprise was no less in three other pictures submitted by Herr Hahn which extended our information about other growers around Germany who cultivate, really, quantities of bromeliads. Ae. fasciata is grown extensively by Putz and Deutgen in Duren, Rhineland; Vriesia splendens in enormous greenhouses of Wolf in Langenfeld, Rhineland; while Cryptanthus is greatly favored in Wesel, Rhineland by Herr Hoppe.


GLIMPSES OF BROMELIADS IN EUROPE I

David Barry, Jr.

The hope of years became a reality with a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew on the outskirts of London. These gardens began 195 years ago as the private nine acre garden of Princess Augusta. A Maidenhair tree, Ginkgo biloba, is a living survivor of this first garden. Now the gardens comprise about 300 acres and require a staff of over one hundred to maintain the 45,000 living specimens, the museums, and the finest existing taxonomic library of 50,000 volumes. Many of the buildings and conservatories are located at considerable distances from each other. It requires time and strong legs to visit them all. The scale and extent of the development is greater than that of large international expositions. I regretted that the kinds of conveyances used along the promenades of such expositions were not available at Kew.

The W. M. Campbell, Curator of Living Collections, and his assistant, Mr. L. Stenning, extended a most hospitable welcome. They made possible an inspection of the great 360 foot palm house generally closed because of a dangerous structural condition, the result of a bomb having fallen in the nearby rose garden during the last war.

There are many glass houses in the gardens devoted to certain kinds of plants, for example, fern, aroid, succulent, alpine, orchid, and temperate houses. There is no house devoted exclusively to bromeliads. These plants are to be found principally along the side benches in the water lily house, which is maintained at 70° to 75° F, the tank at 80°. The giant water lily, Victoria regia, is a very great attraction, probably the most popular of all of the plants at Kew. As a consequence, the bromeliads are relatively in a very prominent location. These bromeliads constitute a good general collection of the more or less common genera, such as Aechmea, Neoregelia, Billbergia, Nidularium and Vriesia. A section of the bench is devoted exclusively to these plants. They are thrifty, and carefully labeled. In July, few were in flower. Above the benches are festooned a variety of tropical, hanging vines, one of which especially struck my eye, Adenocalymma nitidum, from Brazil, with bright nasturtium-like, yellow flowers. At Kew there is room for an enlargement of the bromeliad collection by the addition of some of the fine new hybrids and newly discovered species.

In the July-August, 1953, issue of the "Bulletin," Vol. 3., No. 4, is a description and illustration of the gold medal exhibition of bromeliads in the Chelsea Flower Show by our fellow-member, L. Maurice Mason, of Norfolk, England. You may imagine with what alacrity and pleasure Mrs. Barry and I accepted his invitation to come down from London to visit him. At the end of an 85 mile train trip, our host met us at the station and whisked us over to his home. Mr. Mason is a farmer. Some of his lands have been in cultivation for over four hundred years. He farms them with the responsibility and consideration that anticipates their abundant yield for the next four hundred years. His skill at growing extends to the colorful and extensive gardens around his charming farmhouse and to the plants within the ever-expanding range of glass houses. The grounds, walls and appurtenances are meticulously maintained. They comprise a perfect setting for the house. A section of it was built in the fifteenth century.

We were soon under glass ourselves amid a profusion of tropical and subtropical plants. They represented some of the choicer items from European, American and Asiatic growers and institutions. Mr. and Mrs. Mason made a recent trip to Central America and to Florida, where they visited respectively the well-known horticulturist and Society trustee, Mr. Charles Lankester, of Cartago, Costa Rica, and our President, Mr. Mulford B. Foster, of Orlando, Florida.

The Mason bromeliad collection is one of the finest that I have seen. In addition to the species and genera that are present in representative collections, there are three groups of bromeliads that greatly enriched the showing: Many fine European hybrids, especially of Vriesia; a fine lot of Costa Rican bromeliads; and plants of many species discovered by the Fosters in South America and introduced into horticulture. The first and second groups are plants uncommon or not existing in the United States because of the difficulty or impossibility of getting them to survive the methyl bromide fumigation of the quarantine stations. Among the hybrids was an especially fine Nidularium X Madame Mirobe, (N. fulgens X N. innocentii). Among the Costa Ricans are some delicately beautiful plants, such as diminutive Vriesias with dark, speckled leaves. Many of the Costa Rican plants reminded me of botanical orchids, in the sense of being jewels of the plant world and collectors' items, yet of doubtful commercial importance.

On the return journey to London, Mr. Mason drove us as far as Cambridge, the old university town, where we stopped briefly to meet the Director of the Botanic Garden, Mr. J. S. L. Gilmour. The outside gardens and the conservatories are used primarily as adjuncts to college instruction. We examined a modest collection of bromeliads. The outstanding plant to me was not a bromeliad but an araliad, Meryta Denhamii, from New Caledonia. This might make a go of it in Florida and Southern California gardens.

Soon after reaching Paris, I drove to the Jardin de Plantes close to the Seine River and only a few minutes from the center of the city. I called first to see the Director, Prof. M. A. Guillaumin. This was in August, the time of the fermeture annuelle, when so many of the shops close, and Parisians leave the city. The Director was on his vacance. In walking through the grounds toward the conservatories I went through a green tunnel of old plane trees, a double row with interlocking branches overhead, and with the exterior sides and top trimmed in flat geometric "planes."

I found a splendid collection of bromeliads displayed in a long corridor. A large number of xerophytic Tillandsias was suspended high along one side, each mounted attractively with a bit of osmunda to pieces of tree branches. The species included T. bulbosa and streptophylla. Along the other side of the corridor on benches were many kinds of bromeliads. Among those not likely to be found in American collection, or by these names, were the following; Aregelia concentrica1, Aechmea densiflora2, Ae. dealbata, Karatas innocentii3, K. purpurus4, marmorata5, K. leucophaea6, K. fulgens7, Encholirium roseum8, Quesnelia Wittmackiana9, Vriesia glaziouvi, V. tessellata, and V. fenestralis. The usual run of bromeliads of general distribution in collections were intermingled with these plants. I also noted a single plant of Portea petropolitana var. extensa, the only one of its kind that I saw in Europe.

On my return to the Jardin about two months later I had the pleasure of finding Prof. Guillamin in his office on the Rue Buffon, across the street from the Jardin des Plantes. He indulgently permitted me to use my rusty French. We had a most pleasant visit. He led me back to the conservatories and into some of the smaller houses not used for exhibition purposes. There I saw many beautiful stove plants for the first time. I noted two rare bromeliads, Aechmea Leosenera10 and Canistrum arantarum11. To my surprise, I found a group of very dwarf Chamaedorea palms from Chiapas, about a foot in height, my own seedlings that had found their way to Paris. Prof. Guillamin obligingly identified the species as C. pumila. My distinguished host is the author of "Les Chamaedorea Cultives." It was a privilege and a memorable experience to meet this fine man. He stands at the head of plantsmen in France, and is the authority on plants of New Caledonia. He has devoted a lifetime to botany and horticulture.

11977 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif.

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Editor's Notes: Many plant names in large collections may be misspelled, misnamed or they may be synonyms. The following bromeliads are the now accepted names for the old synonyms above: 1. Neoregelia concentrica; 2. no such species; 3. Nidularium innocentii; 4. Nidularium purpurea; 5. Neoregelia marmorata; 6. Aechmea leucophaea; 7. Nidularium fulgens; 8. Vriesia platynema var. rosea; 9. Aechmea Wittmackiana; 10. possibly Ae. leucocarpa; 11. C. auranticum.


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