THE BROMELIAD SOCIETY BULLETINM. B. Foster, Editor, 718 Magnolia Ave., Orlando, Florida.
Annual Dues: $3.50 a year (foreign $4.00) which includes subscription to the Bulletin.
Write for details to Miss Victoria Padilla, Secretary, 647 Saltair Ave., Los Angeles 49, California.
EDITOR'S NOTES:This Guzmania issue of The Bromeliad Bulletin celebrates the fifth anniversary of the founding of The Bromeliad Society, September 17, 1950. The COVER illustrates Guzmania danielii, described on p. 67.
At long last, just off the press, is the outstanding bromeliad publication, "The Bromeliaceae of Brazil," by Dr. Lyman B. Smith, Associate Curator of the Department of Botany at the Smithsonian Institution.
It is the first monograph on the bromeliads of Brazil since Mez, and includes all known species in that country with the exception, of course, of a number that have been described since the printer's deadline was made several months ago. This great work is based on twenty-five years of study in the United States, Europe and Brazil. It is the most comprehensive work of its kind written in English since Baker's "Handbook of the Bromeliaceae," in 1889. As the majority of the bromeliads now known in horticulture are native to Brazil this will be a very welcome and appreciated volume for bromeliad enthusiasts to possess.
It is impossible for the layman to comprehend the colossal amount of work that is necessary to compile such a project. If it had been done on a forty-eight hour week basis with union restrictions we could expect to wait at least another twenty-five years before it would be completed! Before and after hours, week days and holidays, Lyman Smith works with bromeliads. When he takes a vacation from his work at the Smithsonian he visits the Gray Herbarium at Harvard to work on bromeliads! We doubt if there has ever been a person who has devoted as much time and thought to the Bromeliaceae as has Dr. Smith. He is known and highly respected throughout the botanical world and, his more than twenty-five years work in this family has been a magnificent contribution.
This work contains 128 illustrations by R. J. Downs of the U. S. Department of Agriculture who has illustrated the Guzmania on page 69 this issue.
"The Bromeliaceae of Brazil" may be purchased from:
Editorial and Publications Division
Washington 25, D. C.
|The price is $3.50.|
Another Lyman Smith publication, "Notes on Bromeliaceae" V, in PHYTOLOGIA, Vol. 5, April 1955, No. 5, has just been released containing eight new species and two new varieties. The price is 750 from H. N. Moldenke, 15 Glenbrook Ave., Yonkers 5, N. Y.
AMERICAN HOME magazine for Sept. 1955 has an attractive page and a half spread on bromeliads, (p. 117) – using ten excellent photos – by Hamilton Mason (Jax. Fla. member). This certainly puts another spot-light on our favorite plant family.
From Dr. Richard Oeser, in Frankfurt, Germany, we learn about an American article called "Moss Your Car, Mister?" in the April 1955 "Industrial and Engineering Chemistry" which can be obtained from The American Chemical Society, 1155 16th St. N.W., Washington 6, D. C., for $1.50. It concerns the possibilities of Spanish Moss as a source of wax, inspired by an article from the University of Florida Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station by Robert B. Bennett, Vol. VIII, No. 12, Dec. 1954. This was preceded by experiments of Feurt and Fox reported in this Bulletin two years ago, Vol. 3, No. 4, July-Aug. 1953, p. 28.
Mulford B. Foster
In 1946 when Racine and I went to Colombia to collect bromeliads, the goal before us was that we would retrace, as far as possible, the footsteps of Edouard André in his historic plant exploration trip through Colombia and Ecuador in 1875-76.
So far as bromeliads were concerned, André had the most fabulous success of any collector that had ever been made. He collected 122 species with fourteen varieties. Ninety-one species of these were later described as new, and the greater number of them have been held as valid.
It was our good fortune to find the majority of the species that he had taken and a considerable number of additional ones besides.
Looking over André's list we find that he took seventeen species of Caraguata, four of Sodiroa and one of Guzmania. Today, however, all of these genera are now included in Guzmania. Of the twenty-two species of these Guzmanias, he described twenty-one of them as new. Colombia at that time was virgin territory for bromeliad collectors and by way of contrast I might state that on our trip, seventy-one years later, we collected more than fifty species of Guzmanias and ten of them were new.
One of the most outstanding of all Guzmania species is Guzmania gloriosa and it is little wonder that André was greatly thrilled when he first discovered this glorious Guzmania in Ecuador.
We did not go down into Ecuador at that time, but we found G. danielii showiest-of-all Guzmanias fifteen days after our arrival in Colombia. It was up on the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia's highest mountain, 1000 miles from the region near Quito, Ecuador where André discovered G. gloriosa. Later, in 1948, when I was alone, I too, found G. gloriosa near Quito in the region where André had found it. By contrast, I wished then that he could have seen G. danielii which we had found on Santa Marta; his plant G. gloriosa had been slightly more than three feet high, while ours was just under five feet. Most giant bromeliads of this size are growing on the ground or rocks but I climbed a tree to procure this one. We had to let it down with a rope to keep from breaking it . . . and then we had to carry it over a mile out of the jungle to an open space for a good photograph. (See Cover)
Guzmania gloriosa is a conservative understatement in trying to describe the colors of these two closely related species. From the center of a huge rosette of glabrous green leaves which are marked at the base with dark red stripes, rises the inch-thick flower scape to a great height. The stunning scape bracts range from eighteen inches long at the base to six inches at the top. They are brilliant scarlet red with lovely bright green tips and penciled green bases. Hidden close to the stem in the axils of these bracts are the clusters of many short stemmed yellow flowers. The greatest visible difference is in their size.
It was breath-taking, and unless one could actually see G. danielii growing high up in a tree in a mountain rain forest, it would be almost impossible to believe that it could live in such a location. Its giant quarter-inch thick roots clung so tenaciously and securely to the tree that it could only be wrested from its lofty perch even by the use of a good sharp machete.
In July 1876 André made the original discovery of his plant and first described it in "Revue Horticole" LX (1888) p. 565 and in his own "Broméliacées" (Bromeliaceae Andreanae) (1889) 48 t. 17 fig. c. as Caraguata gloriosa. Later, Mez in Bull. Herb. Boiss. 2 series III (1903) 131, renamed it as Thecophyllum gloriosum. Dr. Smith later pointed out that Mez's first choice was correct, so it remains as G. gloriosa.
Lyman B. Smith
Mulford Foster keeps a very exciting grab-bag of sterile bromeliads that he has collected in his voyages, and every once in a while one of them flowers with surprising results. The present species is a good example. It was collected in Venezuela in 1951 and felt no inclination to flower until recently. Then it produced a flowering shoot with several dense spikes of showy white flowers that at a little distance are a striking imitation of one of the common tropical gingers, Hedychium. This likeness is the inspiration for the specific name given to the plant.
Actually, to judge by its flowers, it is closely related to Guzmania virescens which was illustrated in Curtis Botanical Magazine (plate 4991) as a Puya. However, it is easily distinguished by its large spikes and by its large overlapping floral bracts that completely cover the sepals.
With this new species we have also a new contributor to the Bulletin, the illustration having been made by Jack Downs or Dr. Robert J. Downs of the United States Department of Agriculture to give him his full due. Jack is no newcomer though when it comes to drawing bromeliads, for he has illustrated 128 species for my Bromeliaceae of Brazil and 21 different Navias from Venezuela. In this present plate Jack has had to reconstruct from a pressed and dried specimen, a problem he often meets in drawing new species.
A–leaf × ¼; b–scape and inflorescence × ¼; c–flower × ½; d–unrolled
sepals × ½.|
Flowering plant 65-75 cm. high, stem less with close off-shoots; leaves 4-7 dm. long, sheaths elliptic, 15 cm. long, covered with tightly appressed brown-centered scales, tinged with purple toward the base, blades acute with a subulate apex, 2-3 cm. wide, dark green, soon glabrous above, very obscurely lepidote beneath; scape erect, stout; scape-bracts erect, densely imbricate, the lower foliaceous, the upper elliptic, acuminate; inflorescence bipinnate from 4 to 5 spikes; primary bracts broadly ovate, acuminate, shorter than the spikes; spikes densely ellipsoid, short-stipitate, the lateral 5-7 cm. long, the terminal 7-10 cm. long; floral bracts densely imbricate, broadly elliptic, obtuse, 3 cm. long, broadly convex and not at all carinate, nearly even, becoming slightly rugulose when dry; pedicels obconic, very short; sepals narrowly elliptic, obtuse, 32 mm. long, equally connate for 8 mm., rather thin, nerved; petals 65 mm. long, white, the tube much exceeding the sepals, the blades elliptic, obtuse, slightly spreading; stamens shorter than the petals.
Venezuela: Aragua: Epiphytic in cloud forest, Rancho Grande, altitude 1700 meters, October 13, 1951, (plant given to Montreal Botanical Garden flowered March 1955), M. B. Foster and H. Teuscher no. 2740 (Type in the U. S. National Herbarium).
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.
T. H. Everett
A Reprint from "Plant Portraits," Gardener's Chronicle of America, April 1949
|Photo M. B. Foster|
The glowing vermilion end of the "poker" is a full nine inches long, approximately spindle-shaped with a sharply pointed extremity, and two inches thick at its widest. It is composed of broad overlapping bracts that fit against each other like shingles on a roof but in such fashion that the base of each is hidden beneath the upper part of the next below. The lowermost bracts are green-tipped. From the axil of each bract (except a very few of the uppermost) a flower is borne and these open in succession from below upwards. The flowers are bright yellow, each with three spreading petals; they measure about an inch across the limb from petal tip to petal tip. When expanded they protrude considerably from the bracts which shelter them as developing buds. The contrast of colors between flowers and bracts is certainly forceful.
The vegetative growth of Guzmania Berteroniana consists of numerous smooth, glossy, green leaves arranged to form a deep, cupped rosette capable of holding water in its lower part and with the upper parts of the leaves flaring outwards. Above the broad ovate base each leaf is strap-shaped and terminates in a short pointed tip. The lower parts of the leaf margins are more or less rolled inwards. Unlike many bromeliads the leaves of this species are not furnished with marginal spines.
The plant is stemless and forms offset shoots which at their bases are clustered tightly together. These afford a ready means of propagation permitting the simple division of the entire plant or the removal of the shoots after they have attained a fair size and their insertion as cuttings in a moist propagation case. I have not observed the seeds myself but E. J. Alexander describes them in the discussion accompanying the "Addisonia" plate and I have no doubt they would provide a most easy means of increase. Seeds of bromeliads germinate readily if sown on sphagnum moss or even on blotting paper kept constantly moist and in a nearly saturated atmosphere such as can be maintained under a bell jar or in a terrarium case.
Guzmanias are epiphytes; they grow well when potted in plain orchid peat but other loose media that permit the free passage of air and water are suitable. A mixture of equal parts peat-moss and sand is satisfactory, so also is a mixture of fibrous turf, orchid peat, partially decayed leaves, broken crocks and charcoal. I do not doubt but that they would be perfectly adaptable to gravel culture in the same way as are certain orchids, but this I have not tried. Like many bromeliads this species revels in high temperatures accompanied by high humidity. Whether it is adaptable as some others to the drier air of a dwelling house or apartment I do not know. It would be an interesting matter for experiment. In any case the cup formed by the bases of the leaves should be kept filled with water.
In its native state Guzmania Berteroniana is confined to the mountain forests of Puerto Rico where it is described as growing on trees and banks. It was first discovered in 1818 or 1819 by one Carlo Guiseppi Bertero after whom it was named. The generic name Guzmania was first applied in 1802 to a species that occurs in South America and in the West Indies (G. tricolor).* The botanists Ruiz and Pavon used this name to honor the memory of the eighteenth century Spanish naturalist, Anastasio Guzman. The plants of Guzmania Berteroniana, now in cultivation at The New York Botanical Garden, are descendants by vegetative propagation of specimens obtained in 1915 from Puerto Rico by a late Director-in-Chief of the Garden, Dr. N. L. Britton.
Horticulturalist, New York Botanical Garden, N. Y.__________
* Guzmania monostachia
GUZMANIA vs. CARAGUATA
Mulford B. Foster
In 1703 when Mr. Plumier named our largest Florida Tillandsia (T. utriculata) which is common throughout the Caribbean area, he called it Caraguata latifolia multiplici spica flora albo. [!] Caraguata was an Indian name given by the natives to a number of Bromeliaceaous plants.
Lindley erected the genus Caraguata in our present system of botany. This appeared in the "Botanical Register" in 1827 and the genus was held valid until Mez discarded it for Guzmania in 1896, a genus named in honor of Guzman the Spanish botanist.
From 1703 until 1896, Caraguata has been used as a generic name for a number of bromeliads. One or more species in the following genera have at different times been named as of the genus Caraguata – Guzmania, Nidularium, Puya, Aechmea, Glomeropitcairnia, Tillandsia, Aregelia and Vriesia. Alas, the good old Indian name has been discarded. In historic times it had a definite meaning to the natives but to the scientific mind the name was used so promiscuously that it had to be discarded entirely.
The greatest number of bromeliads that have borne the former name of Caraguata have been many of the species of Guzmania.
It is to be hoped that all who read this will discard the generic name Caraguata. Just one more step in the direction toward nomenclature clarification.
For those who need help in identification it is hoped that they will send a blooming plant to the writer with self-addressed card enclosed.
|Photo Jules Padilla|
I do thank you for correcting my mistakes in the denomination of some of the species. I must tell you, however, that I have done and am doing everything to understand the bromeliad's classification but must confess that I am almost at complete loss. For example, take the Nidulariums; I have learned to know them in the Botanical Garden of Berlin and eventually learned to recognize them easily. Recently, however, the same plants I knew as Nidulariums were classified as Aregelias, Neoregelias and now Canistrums! It seems that because of the big push the bromeliads took in the last years, they were studied more accurately and by more specialists so that the family was enlarged enormously, splitting in more and more forms. Exactly the same thing happened with the Cacti family which classification was brought to a nearly chaotic situation.
Literature is not sufficient, not clear or is poor. I have several books and among them is your Handbook. I think that this Handbook, which should help the non-specialist, does not show clearly enough the differences between the various genera, so that one could tell them apart by careful observation. Very often infinitesimal details of the flower structure are emphasized as important marks of a certain genus. Unfortunately, not everybody has a microscope and the plants are not permanently flowering. I think that there ought to be other differences, such as the form and texture of the leaves, etc. which would enable the non-specialist to classify, reasonably, what he is seeing.
I would also like to suggest to you that such a clear and understandable study of these differences be worked out and publicized in one or more of the Bulletins. I think many an enthusiast will profit from it and give it a warm approval. I think this must be done, otherwise it may happen that true hobbyists get discouraged to keep on with an orderly nomenclature. By the way, I do really wonder on what characteristics are recognized the Aechmeas. I have already seen Aechmeas so different from one another that I almost could not believe it, (with bracts and without bracts!).
I am glad to tell you that my ad brought a good number of orders. Many customers have asked for more and more species but, because of the impossibility of a correct classification, I could not offer more than a small group, of which names I feel quite sure. It is no fun to send seeds of "X" and hear later that it is "Y."
Rua Cel. José Euzébio, 73.
Sao Paulo, Brasil
M. B. F.
A GUIDE FOR THE LAYMAN
Mulford B. Foster
We are always being asked for a simple rule or guide to be able to tell whether a certain plant belongs to this or that family or section of a family. We are so often asked, "How can you tell a Guzmania when you see one? What are the outstanding features that separate it from some of the other bromeliads?"
When you take into consideration that the botanists have been trying to settle this question for two hundred years and that few of them have completely agreed with each other, it is not so readily explained as some of the layman, who have little more than their casual eyesight and wishful thinking to rely upon, want it to be. There are few short cuts for the botanist so the layman shouldn't ask for, perhaps, one rule that has taken the scientist years of observation and study to learn.
There are certain outstanding characteristics that a Guzmania must have. However, several of these very same characteristics are common with other genera as well.
First of all, every Guzmania must have smooth edged (entire) leaves. There are no spiny edged leaves in the Guzmania group. The leaves are generally glossy and the plants are generally in the form of a many-leafed rosette. In most species there are fine penciled longitudinal lines, brown or maroon, showing faintly or strikingly in the leaves, usually most evident near the base of the leaves. Certain exceptions such as Guzmania musaica will not show these longitudinal lines but may show very striking bands of penciled markings of maroon or dark green color instead.
The flower head of a Guzmania may be on a tall scape or it may be sunken in the leaf rosette. It will be in a close, head-like form if low, but may also have a close, head-like formation on a long stem. Some flower heads are in a tight, cone-like form while others are on long spikes with short compact branches or long open branches. One character in Guzmania that a layman can see easily is that the flowers are always in more than two rows, while in most species of Tillandsia and Vriesia they are in exactly two rows.
All Guzmanias have plumose seeds, generally brownish-the little feathery parachutes that float on a current of air. (All members of the subfamily, Tillandsioideae, (to which Guzmanias belong), will have this kind of seed, but not all are brownish.)
No matter what the form of the scape or the seed, it will be necessary, for final identification of a Guzmania, (and for that matter any bromeliad) to examine the parts of the flower which can be seen when you dissect a flower. First, you must remove the floral bract, then the sepals which are generally attached to each other at the base; then, with the aid of a magnifier, you examine closely the petals.
Most of the Guzmania flowers do not open very wide, if at all, and then usually but very little. However, some spread completely open with recurved petals. Guzmania flowers will be, generally, white or yellow.
All flowers will have colorful floral bracts which may appear to be petals, especially in the closely framed heads such as G. lingulata. These bracts may be yellow, green, white or red-orange and many of them also have penciled longitudinal lines, like the leaves.
|Of sepals, there are three; they are the flower parts that surround or contain the three petals. In Guzmanias the sepals will be fused near their base. The edges of the sepals will be smooth – not serrated.|
|The petals, however, will give the final decision, and it is on the basis of whether or not they will be joined together but not fused. In Guzmania it will be a good "glue job" as Lyman Smith says. The petals can be separated without actually tearing the tissues in the process. Some may be joined higher than others. Thus:|
Also, the petals must be naked, without nectar scales at the
base of the petals.
These are nectar scales.
If the layman becomes bewildered at this seemingly "technical" approach, may I say that I have endeavored to simplify and synthesize to a minimum, those characteristics essential to the determination of a Guzmania without which your observations can have no valid frame of reference.
A little keener observation, a little more analysis, a little more curiosity, a little more insight into the flower will enrich your Flower I.Q.
Morris Henry Hobbs
Seeds are not subject to these strict quarantine regulations, and recent issues of the Bromeliad Society Bulletin contained two advertisements in which foreign seeds were offered for sale, one from a man located in Germany, the other one in Brasil. Our ability to make these seeds germinate readily will not only increase the number of species in our collections, hut additional plants will then be available for other societies and horticultural institutions.
At a recent meeting of the Louisiana branch of the Bromeliad Society, a step-by-step demonstration was made of the process of properly planting the seeds of the terrestrial bromeliads, showing how easy it is to do, provided a few simple rules are followed. Almost all of the seeds of bromeliads are to be planted ON, not IN, the planting medium. Some kind of a fungicide is advisable, although many of the terrestrial varieties, including Dyckias, Pitcairnias and Puyas will often germinate without any treatment. It is safer to ALWAYS treat the seeds before planting. Here is a list of the tools and materials you will need for planting one hundred seeds. Professional growers will describe many other methods, but we are trying to work out a plan for those who will probably only plant a few seeds occasionally, which makes it an entirely different problem.
- A small bottle of fungicide solution. "Natriphene" is recommended by Mr. Mulford B. Foster. This material is sold by the Natriphene Company, Book Bldg., Detroit, Michigan, in small, dollar boxes, each containing eight 73 grain tablets. Dissolve in water as per the instructions on the box.
- Small sauce dish for soaking seeds.
- Small transparent dish with tight cover. Drill a small drain hole in the bottom.
- Peat moss, not finely pulverized, but broken up so there are no large lumps.
- Small pieces of broken flower pots, called crocks, to put over drain hole in bottom of dish in which seeds are to be planted.
- Small jeweler's tweezers, to handle seeds, and later the seedlings. There are some bromeliad seeds that require washing, to remove a sticky substance in which they are enclosed. So for our first attempt let us try the dry, winged seeds of the terrestrial bromeliads, such as Dyckias, Pitcairnias or Puyas, which need no cleaning.
Use the regular potting mixture for terrestrial bromeliads, of sand, humus, crushed stone, to which a little manure has been added. You will say, "but they are so tiny to transplant." I know, but we have found by actual experimentation that they make a much faster start if transplanted as soon as they can be handled with tweezers. Liquid plant food, of a type similar to ORTHO-GRO, diluted to one half the strength recommended for house plants, seems to help the seedlings through this crucial period, the first two months after transplanting. Feed every two weeks, not oftener. And the thrill of seeing the first blooming of a plant you have grown up from a tiny seed is something that all "GREENTHUMBUGS" treasure. I know of very few achievements more satisfying. Now let's see you do it.
President of the Louisiana Branch of the Brom. Soc.
628 Toulouse St., New Orleans 16, La.
|Photo M. B.Foster|
|Padre Raulino Reitz|
A very thorough collector in the field, his enthusiasm and tireless efforts have made him one of the outstanding Brazilian champions of the Bromeliads. (See Brom. Bull. Vol. III, No. 4, p. 26 and Vol. IV, No. 5, p. 70).
Both Dr. Lyman B. Smith and your editor, at different times, have had the pleasure of accompanying Padre Reitz on field collecting trips in the mato pluvial or rain forest of eastern Santa Catarina and adjacent Brazilian states.
This past spring, when he visited in Florida, Padre Reitz was not only surprised to find so many Brazilian bromels living in the Bromelario, but was quite astonished to see so many native species in the Florida wilds, growing in the profusion which he saw in some of our Taxodium (Cypress) swamps.
With the assistance of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Padre Reitz is spending a year in this country and Europe. He had preliminary work in the School of Forestry at Iowa State College and several months intensive work at the National Herbarium in Washington, in company with Dr. Lyman B. Smith. During August he has made a circuit of Herbaria in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Harvard, Yale, and New York. The fall and winter months will take him on a research project in some of the larger Herbaria of Europe before returning to Brazil.
He has a carefully planned project of many years preparing a
detailed flora of Santa Catarina. At present the Bromeliaceae is one of the few
families that can be said to be fairly complete. When this is published it will
be a folio of over eighty bromeliad species, nearly all of them to be
illustrated by colored plates.
HERBARIO BARBOSA RODRIGUES AT ITAJAI, BRASILPadre Reitz is the Director of this important institution. Aside from his duties as an instructor in the Seminary at Ajambuja he has founded this Herbarium, some forty miles distant from the Seminary, where he has been one of Brasil's most active botanists during the past ten years. Padre Reitz is an outstanding example of the old adage which suggests that the busy man is the one who finds time to do the important things in life.
BROMELIADS AT AZAMBUJAOne of the few collections of bromeliads in Brasil is on the grounds of the Seminary at Azambuja in Brusque, Santa Catarina. In Brasil, where there are more bromeliads than in any other country in the world, there are but a very few collections cared for horticulturally outside of the botanical gardens. And when you bring bromeliads together as a collection, even though it may be only a stone's throw from the adjoining jungle, it is necessary to give them the protection of a shade house where they can be watered and cared for. A potted plant is at a disadvantage to get its own nourishment over its prototype which may be comfortably perched in a neighboring tree quite on its own.