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THE BROMELIAD SOCIETY BULLETIN

The Bromeliad Society Bulletin is the official publication of The Bromeliad Society, a non-profit corporation organized in 1950. The Bulletin is issued six times a year. Subscription to the Bulletin is included in the annual membership dues. There are five classes of membership: Annual, $3.50; Foreign, $4.00; Sustaining, $5.00; Fellowship, $10.00; Life $150.00. All memberships start with January of the current year. For membership information, write to Mrs. Jeanne Woodbury, 1811 Edgecliff Drive, Los Angeles 26, California. Please submit all manuscripts for publication to the editor, 647 South Saltair Avenue, Los Angeles 49, California.

OFFICERS
PresidentDavid Barry, Jr. Editorial SecretaryVictoria Padilla
Vice PresidentFrank Overton Membership SecretaryJeanne Woodbury
TreasurerJack M. Roth Art EditorMorris Henry Hobbs

Honorary Vice-Presidents
E. H. Palmer, President, Florida West Coast Bromeliad Society
Lawrence Hiscock, President, Louisiana Bromeliad Society
Fritz Kubisch, President, Southern California Bromeliad Society
Robert Wilson, President, South Florida Bromeliad Society

Board of Directors
David Barry, Jr.
Dr. Russell Seibert
Ladislaus Cutak
Mulford B. Foster
Wilbur G. Wood
Wyndham Hayward
James N. Giridlian
E. W. Ensign
O. E. Van Hyning
Henry M. Hobbs
Benjamin O. Rees
Nat. J. De Leon
Julian Nally
Frank Overton
Eric Knoblock
Fritz Kubisch
Victoria Padilla
Jack M. Roth

Honorary Trustees
Dr. Alberto Castellanos
Fundacion Miguel Lillo
Aguero 2406
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Monsieur Charles Chevalier
(Honorary Dir. Liege Bot. Gard.)
Esneux, Belgium

Mr. Charles Hodgson
Heidelberg 23, Melbourne
Victoria, Australia

Mr. C. H. Lankester
Las Concavas
Cartago, Costa Rica

P. Raulino Reitz, Dir.
Herbario, "Barbosa Rodrigues"
Itajai, St. Catarina, Brasil

Mr. Walter Richter
Postfach 52
Crimmitschau/Sachsen
East Germany

Dr. Lyman B. Smith
Curator
Smithsonian Institution
Washington. D. C.

Mr. Henry Teuscher, Dir.
Montreal Botanical Garden
Montreal, Canada

PICTURE ON COVER — A drawing of Tillandsia paraënsis, a small but beautiful species found in Colombia and western Brazil, and also reported from Peru and Bolivia. Leaves are a dull, glaucous green, with deep rose bracts and flowers of a deep magenta red color, with yellow stamens. The undulated leaves were a surprise, for all the botanical drawings of this species I have seen fail to show this habit. The little moth above the plant is a Brazilian species, Therinia podaliriaria. The plate shows the plant about two-third actual size. M. H. Hobbs.

No article appearing in this bulletin may be reproduced without the permission of the editor.


THE WORK OF LYMAN B. SMITH

Mulford B. Foster

There is rarely a day in this writer's work with bromeliads that some reference is not made to at least one of the two hundred or more papers, contributions, notes, or books that Lyman B. Smith has written on the great family Bromeliaceae.

When Dr. Smith started his graduate work at Harvard in 1926 and selected bromeliads as the major subject for his botanical study, neither he nor anyone else had the remotest idea that this decision would grow into such a vast and eminent work and that the study of bromeliads would become a life-time interest. After his first two years of graduate work, Smith received a Sheldon Traveling Fellowship which took him, in 1929, to eastern Brazil. Here for the first time, he had the opportunity to observe and collect bromeliads in their native state.

After one more year of graduate study, he finished his first work, a monograph on one subgenus of Tillandsia, and an account of the bromeliads of British Guiana. This later became the thesis for his doctorate degree; he has published prolifically ever since.

From 1931 until 1947 Dr. Smith was a member of the staff at the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University at Cambridge, Massachusetts, Prior to 1935, he made three trips to Europe where he did considerable work at the British Museum and Kew Gardens in England, at the botanical museums of Brussels and Liege in Belgium, and in Paris, France. While abroad, he examined the older herbarium collections and photographed the original types of many of the first bromeliads collected. In 1947 he joined the staff of the Botanical Department of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C., where he is now Curator of Phanerogams of the U. S. National Museum in that institution.

Dr. Smith made a trip to Tucuman, Argentina (See Bromeliad Society Bulletin, 11:54) and two additional trips to Brazil. In 1952 he spent three months in southern Brazil studying bromeliad malaria in Santa Catarina with Padre Raulino Reitz. He later made trips with Dr. Segadas Vianna and the Museu Nacional staff to Cabo Frio, in the state of Rio de Janeiro and to Serra do Cipo near Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, where he found the new Dyckia heloisae (Bromeliads of Brazil, p. 26) and Vriesea segadas-viannae (Bromeliads of Brazil, p. 35). He stopped in Sao Salvador, Baia, in northern Brazil on his return trip and made a re-collection of M. B. Foster's Hohenbergia littoralis.

In 1956-57 Dr. Smith returned to Brazil where he spent six months in additional botanical study. This included one week in the neighborhood of Anapolis, Goias, (near Brasilia) with Dr. Amaro Macedo for whom he named his new Bromeliad macedoi (see Bromeliad Society Bulletin, VIII:12). Most of this expedition was spent exploring with P. Reitz the planalto of Santa Catarina. Several new Dyckia species were found.

Dr. Smith, however, does not confine his work entirely to bromeliads; he is, also, a recognized authority on the Begonia family and has published a number of papers on those plants as well as on other plant families. For many years, he has identified thousands of botanical specimens, other than those in Bromeliaceae, that have been sent to the Gray Herbarium and the Smithsonian Institution.

Too many taxonomic botanists in the past have confined their work almost exclusively to the study of dried herbarium specimens; too few have had actual experience with the living material or with ecological conditions under which they grow. But Lyman Smith is interested in living as well as "preserved plants." His actual work in the habitat areas, as well as his endless delving into the past, has resulted in a combination of interests that has urged him into doing a thorough research job on the Bromeliad family, and his resulting work is crystallizing the greatest and most complete treatise ever attempted on the Bromeliaceae. His tireless industry and his enthusiasm surpass all of the former authorities in this family; he has dedicated his life to the study of bromeliads, and a more devout and sincere student this family has never known. He has personally examined and photographed more of the original early collections than has any other person and he certainly has handled more of the recently collected material than any other botanist.

No matter how much the layman might try to belittle the importance of the "old dried material" deposited in the herbaria throughout the world—without this material and its accompanying data, there would be little on which to base any authoritative botanical work of today. The plant lover, the collector, the horticulturist, and the botanist may each have his own individual interest in the plant world, but the taxonomic botanist builds and correlates the basic information for the records that are the foundation of our present knowledge of the vegetable world. Many plant collectors in the past, as well as those of the present, have had a great enthusiasm and appreciation for certain plants, but unfortunately have had little actual knowledge as to their basic position in the world of plants.

Of the past prominent contributors to the knowledge of the Bromeliaceae, some have done both collecting in the field as well as determining the taxonomic classifications. Carl Mez of Germany did most of his work with herbarium material. Both Edouard André and A. Glaziou, Frenchmen, were indefatigable collectors, but Glaziou in Brazil did not do the taxonomic work that André did on his return to France after his extensive collecting trips in Colombia and Ecuador. Baker of England wrote a monograph on the family in 1889. In his time he described many bromeliads; and although he handled much living material in Kew Gardens, he was not a collector in the wilds. His monograph on Bromeliaceae is one of the few attempts to cover the entire family; and though his work is important, it will never have the standing of the work of Carl Mez or Lyman Smith.

Beer in 1856 compiled one of the first complete monographs on Bromeliaceae. It was a sincere and earnest attempt, but there was so little material to work on at that time that today it might seem to some people as though it has little value. But the question arises — Where would we be today if it were not for those first steps? Soon after Dr. Smith definitely placed his hand to the wheel, Dr. Mez in 1934-35 made an outstanding contribution to the field when he published his monograph on the Bromeliaceae in Das Pflanzenreich in which he recognized fifty different genera in the family. This was the first major treatise of the family and will continue to be an important one for many years.

Gradually, year after year, the works of Lyman Smith have been steadily issuing from his tireless efforts at research with the old and the new. He now recognizes 45 genera in place of the 50 genera of Mez.

He discarded Aregelia which is now included in Neoregelia. (Mez did not accept this change). Bakerantha, a genus Dr. Smith created in 1934 (it was recognized by Mez), Smith himself has since discarded and that genus is now thrown into Hechtia. Smith has also discarded the genera Chevaliera, Disteganthus, and Wittmackia, and all three are now included in the genus Aechmea. He has reinstated Connellia which Mez had discarded. Both Cryptanthopsis and Sincoraea are now included in Orthophytum. Prionophyllum is now discarded and is included in Dyckia.

All species of Sodiroa are now placed in the genus Guzmania; the former genus, Thecophyllum, is discarded and is now included in Vriesea, although the two original species of Thecophyllum are now in Guzmania.

Dr. Smith created the new genus Fosterella and discarded Lindmania. Dr. Mez had discarded Wittrockia as a genus and included the species in the genus Canistrum, but Dr. Smith later restored the genus Wittrockia which he feels is valid.

These changes were made only after much research and examination of both old and new material. So, today, we have Dr. Smith's latest list of 45 genera which are now recognized internationally.

As busy as he always is, Lyman Smith can always find time to do one more article for the Bromeliad Society Bulletin, to look up one more identification, or to search endlessly to answer one more question. He has been indeed accommodating to the Bromeliad Society, for, after all, his scientific work is a full-time job. The climax to his extensive and dedicated work is now in preparation — a treatise that we all urgently need a complete monograph on bromeliads which only Lyman B. Smith can produce.

Rt. 3, Box 658 Orlando, Florida


(Many members inquire as to the blooming season of bromeliads — this is what one member had in bloom in her garden this March.)

"We have been interested in bromeliads for years and at present have approximately 65 varieties besides native Tillandsias. The hurricane of last September wrecked our woods, but even though the water stood over the top of the bromeliads, they came through, and at the present time we have hundreds of Billbergia euphemiae in bloom. We also have at the blooming stage—Aechmea lueddemaniana, Aechmea weilbachii, Aechmea X Foster's Favorite, Aechmea schultesiana, Vriesea carinata, and Aechmea bracteata. Even one Aechmea fasciata that bloomed last August still retains color of bloom stalk.

"Here in South Florida the Billbergias bloom any time during the year. B. euphemiae is in bloom almost the year round, though the large showing comes during February, March, and sometimes April. B pyramidalis blooms four or five times a year, and the same holds true for B. nutans if you have a sufficient number. Aechmea weilbachii sets most bloom about Thanksgiving to Christmas, but in 1960 we had several blooms in February."

Mildred Masters, Homestead, Florida


(Author)
Rosettes of Hechtia marnier-lapostollei

HECHTIA MARNIER-LAPOSTOLLEI

Lyman B. Smith

If one cultivates unknown bromeliads, sooner or later he finds out that he has been harboring a new species. That is exactly what has happened to Julien Marnier-Lapostolle in his extensive garden, "Les Cedres," at St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat ( See Bromeliad Society Bulletin, Vol IV, pp. 55-57). I take pleasure in naming this new species for its discoverer as follows:

HECHTIA MARNIER-LAPOSTOLLEI L. B. Smith, sp. nov.

H. confusa L. B. Smith in systema mea (North American Flora 19:84. 1938) proxima sed laminis foliorum supra dense lepidotis, spicis elongatis laxioribusque differt.

Plant relatively small and slender; leaves few, sheaths suborbicular, ca. 2 cm. in diameter, castaneous, densely lepidote at apex, elsewhere glabrous and lustrous, blades narrowly triangular, pungent, thick and fleshy, to 13 cm. long, 2 cm. wide, densely and closely pale-lepidote on both sides, sinuate-serrate with upwardly curved spines 4 mm. long; scape central glabrous, flattened, 4 mm. wide at apex; upper scape-bracts exceeding the internodes, broadly ovate with a long linear blade; inflorescence laxly bipinnate, glabrous; primary bracts like the upper scape-bracts, mostly much shorter than the branches; branches divergent, short-stipitate, sublax, the staminate to 55 mm. long, the pistillate to 40 mm.; staminate rhachis terete, less than 1 mm. in diameter, pistillate flattened at base, 2 mm. wide; floral bracts broadly ovate, convex, about equaling the sepals, erose, white when dry; staminate pedicels 1 mm. long, pistillate 2 mm.; sepals like the floral bracts, 2 mm. long; staminate petals obovate, rounded, about 4 mm. long, equaling the stamens; pistillate petals narrowly triangular, bearing a large callus at base; ovary ovoid, trigonous, glabrous.

(Author)
Staminate inflorescence — Hechtia marnier-lapostollei
 
 
Hechtia marnier-lapostollei

Type in the National Herbarium, No. 2,324,915, collected at Puerto de la Corriente, Mexico, by Schwartz, and cultivated in June 1960 by J. Marnier-Lapostolle.

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.


RECENT PUBLICATIONS

In Phytologia for April, 1961, there appears "Notes on Bromeliaceae, XVI," by Dr. Lyman B. Smith. In these notes he describes the following new bromeliads: a Pitcairnia from Mexico, 2 Cottendorfias and 1 Guzmania from Venezuela, 1 Tillandsia from Peru, and 13 Puyas from Bolivia, Argentina, Peru, and Colombia. Eleven of the new species of Puya described are the results of a preliminary revision of the genus by Dr. Smith, in preparation of a monograph of the Bromeliaceae. The recognizable species of Puya now number 138. It would seem that there is a population explosion not only in the number of humans, but in the number of bromeliads as well. (Copies of Phytologia may be obtained by sending one dollar to H. N. Moldenke, 15 Glenbrook Ave., Yonkers 5, New York.)

Dr. Richard Oeser, of West Germany, is one of the world's most avid collectors of Tillandsias. In the March, 1961, of Schweizer Garden - Wohnkultur, published in Zurich, Switzerland, he has published a most fascinating article on this genus entitled "Vom tapferen Leben kleiner Pfanzen, die man Tillandsien nennt." Not a small part of the attraction is the striking photos taken by Dr. Oeser and also by Walter Richter. The full-page cover of silver Tillandsias against a black background is especially stunning.


(Author)
Vriesea × flammea — a complex hybrid containing the blood of at least seven different species and hybrids!

ON THE ORIGIN OF A VRIESEA HYBRID

(Vriesea × van ackeri Hort.)

Charles Chevalier

(The Bromeliad Society Bulletin published on the cover page (Vol. IV, No. 3, May-June, 1954) a photo of a Vriesea hybrid with a beautiful branched flower stalk, that Mr. Walter Richter had sent to Mr. Mulford Foster, under the name of Vriesea × flammea Hort.)

My long experience with Bromeliads in general, and with Vrieseas in particular permits me to express some doubt about the basis for the naming of the Vriesea represented by the photo in question.

The true V. × flammea, obtained by Duval from crossing of V × van geertii Duval with V. (Encholirion) jonghei Morr., was presented at a meeting of the Société Nationale d'Horticulture de France on December 12, 1901, but it was not described nor illustrated. Beyond doubt, this hybrid does not correspond with the photo presented. I am all the more confirmed in my opinion upon reading in the accompanying note, "It is a remarkable complex hybrid containing the blood of at least seven different species and hybrids . . . The branched characteristic probably comes from V. rodigasiana, one of its parents." There is therefore an error; it is evident that this paragraph does not apply to V. × flammea of Duval which is a primary hybrid.

To what hybrid, then, does the photo in question correspond? An examination of the spike, thick, with bulging imbricated bracts, incurving at the top, gives evidence that V. incurvata Gaud. or one of its derivatives: V. × van geertii Duval, or, better perhaps V × poelmanii Hort. have largely participated in its creation.

M. Ernest De Coster, member of the Bromeliad Society and grower of Bromeliads on a large scale in Ghent, whom I questioned on this subject replied that the plant pictured on the cover must, in his opinion, be V. × van ackeri Hort. He agreed at the time to seek out the information at the source, and, aided by M. and Mme. Wery-Van Acker, successors to M. J. Van Acker-Algoet, I obtained a fund of information, hitherto little known, which clears up, in a certain measure, the origin of this hybrid.

About 1887-1888, M. L. Poelman, father-in-law of M. J. Van Acker, bought at Duval's in Paris a hybrid Vriesea with the authorization from him to give it his name. It was V. × poelmanii, which came from the crossing of V. × gloriosa Duval with V. × Van geertii Duval. The first comes from V. barilletti Moor. fertilized by V. incurvata Gaud. The origin of the second is not known for sure, but it seems, from the form of the spike, that V. incurvata Gaud. was not a stranger to its creation.

Beginning with 1899, after the revival of the establishment of his father-in-law, M. J. Van Acker made numerous crossings and propagations from seed. Unfortunately, his notes, which his daughter had the kindness to send me, gave no precise indication on the subject of the species employed. It is certain, nevertheless, that V. × poelmanii Hort. is the original element of it. However it may be, in 1930, at the Centennial Exposition in Ghent, he presented an important lot of Vrieseas with branched flower stalks; to this beautiful subject he gave the name of V. × van ackeri Hort.

The birth of this hybrid is then, in a certain measure, well established, but which is the species with the branching stalk that was associated with V. × poelmanii? I say intentionally "branched inflorescence" for I know of no example of the crossing of two species with single stalk which gave directly one that was branched. This opinion is shared by M. L. Dutrie (see Bull. Hort. April 1st, 1947, page 118.)

I rule out, directly, V. philippo-coburgii Wawra, a very rare species, and seldom floriferous, and the large species: V, hieroglyphica Moor., V. tessellata Moor., V. glazioviana Lem. (V. reginae Beer) which, at that time, interested few of the horticulturists practising hybridization. I do not believe that one can invoke the participation of V. saundersii Morr., it presents the peculiarity of a strongly drooping floral stem and it transmits this fault to its descendants: V. × kitteliana Wittm. (V. barilletii × V. saundersii) etc.

One can admit V. rodigasiana Morr. with branched flower stem with short, spaced bracts on a slender, upright stalk, and also its off-spring: V. × vigeri Duval already cultivated at that time and which the notes of M. J. Van Acker point out as having been utilized in some hybridizations.

To these names one should add that of V. procera Mart. (V. gracilis Gaud.) introduced in 1886. I do not know this species, not widely distributed, but M. L. Dutrie in his report on the Bromeliacea (Bull. Hort., June 1st, 1947, page 117) points out a V. procera bicolor Hort. which he believes to be the off-spring of V. × kitteliana × V. brachystachys major.

To take up again the possibility of an intervention, whether it be from V. rodigasiana Morr. or from V. vigeri Duval, it must be admitted that only the branching characteristic has acted and it is V. incurvata Morr. frankly dominant, that has imposed the characteristic form upon its spike. It is noted that, about 1910, M. J. Van Acker mentioned V. × vigeri but said nothing of V. rodigasiana. V. × vigeri is an elegant little plant created by Duval about 1900 by the crossing of V. rodigasiana by V. × cardinalis Duv. (V. carinata × Krameri); it has a slender upright flower stem with branched inflorescence having spaced cardinal-red bracts.

It is also certain that as a result of the seedlings and crossings resulting from the intelligent selection of the most beautiful specimens of V. × van ackeri (also known under the name of V. poelmanii (branched)) there has been a great improvement in its coloration, in its form and in its inflorescence: stalk more branched, spike larger and broader, well-filled, without spaces between the bracts.

Besides V. × van ackeri Hort. there originated at Ghent, and at about the same time, another Vriesia hybrid, cultivated for some time at Ghent on a large scale, under the improper name of V. × viminalis-rex or V. viminalis erecta.

What is the plant cultivated under this name, about 1910, in Ghent? I do not know. I doubt strongly that the true V. viminalis Morr. had anything to do with its creation. This species, so seldom cultivated because so slightly ornamental, is recognized by its single, narrow, fusiform spike with green bracts at the top of a long, slender stalk, often bent. (Belg. Hort. 1878, pl. color, page 257.) This name appeared for the first time in the notes of M. J. Van Acker in 1920; One reads there, V. viminalis comes from crossing of V. × van geertii, strong plant, single spike, thin and long. Has been fertilized by different varieties. I have obtained some remarkable specimens, among which, in 1928, there was a V. × viminalis (branched), a very strong plant, endowed with a remarkable spike". Much later, in the years 1933 to 1937, M. J. Van Acker announced that he had made a number of crossings, notably between V. × viminalis (branched) and V. × rex (V. morreno-brilletti × cardinalis), between V. × viminalis-rex and V. × poelmannii (branched) (V. van ackeri, etc.) In 1937 he produced V. × vigeri Duval.

There resulted from all these crossings and others of the same kind, performed by various horticulturists of Ghent, the two groups of branched Vrieseas originated there. Very similar to one another, having many parents in common, they differed among themselves in such details as only specialists could detect. In spite of the fact that V. × van ackerii is the oldest, the horticulturist of Ghent still use the name of V. × viminalis-rex to designate all these branched Vrieseas.

According to M. Ernest De Coster, the flower stalk of V. × van ackerii is well branched; the spikes better filled and without spacing between the bracts, showing the dominant, persistent action of V. incurvata. The spikes are noticeably broader and larger than those of V. × viminalis-rex among which the influence of V. × rex and its forebears seems to remain deep-rooted. The plants are also more uniform, their characteristics perpetuate themselves more faithfully seed. Among V. × viminalis-rex, one finds in the seedlings several different types, with the leaves more pointed, and less broad, with the spikes narrower, and, at times, even the flowers plainly isolated from their neighbors, showing thus an atavistic return to certain of its ancestors: V. carinata Wawra (V. brachystachys Morr.) etc.

These two hybrids, which, practically, are only one, are then the complex hybrids of which we know the relationship. It remains, however, to determine with certainty the species which has supplied the branched characteristic. For my part, I should be pleased to know the origin of the plant known under the name of V. viminalis.

I hope that these blanks can be filled in. I shall receive with gratitude all information sent in.

Translated by Frank H. Overton, 1348 Winchester Ave., Glendale, Calif.


IN THE MAIL BAG...

"To reply to Mrs. McLaughlin's article in the last issue, let me attempt to answer one question. 'What was the quality and success of each variety when used as a house plant? What varieties succeed best?'

"Dogmatically I can answer Neoregelia marmorata ×. I have 3 eight-inch pots of these plants in a 24-inch architectural pottery planter. Each pot has about 3 plants in it, giving the entire planter a leaf spread of about 52 inches. The planter is in a northeast window; the blinds are kept open during the day all year. I water cups and basal area once a week throughout the year and feed (Rapid-Gro or cottonseed meal, one tablespoon a gallon of water) every other week throughout the year.

"Mature suckers are flowering, and the only distinction from the mother plant is a rangier leaf structure. The flower cup is as round as that of the mother plant. The tips of all plants are really fingernails and show up deeply when I test wash. In spring and summer I take the plants outside and wash and soak them well with a hose. (Our water is quite limey.) I intend not to separate the suckers but will continue these plants as a mass display. I do not intend to destroy the original plants until they become too ugly to keep. I would estimate that these mother plants are three or four years old. The blooming cycle is early to late spring, with individual flowers lasting approximately three to four weeks.

"I hope that this has been an answer to 'a very elementary question.' Believe me, Mrs. McLaughlin, all our questions are elementary, for we amateurs never get out of kindergarten. But what fun!"

Mike Ingrisano, 4201 Rupert Street, McLean, Virginia


(United Press International Newspicture)

BROMELIAD EXHIBIT AT THE NEW YORK
INTERNATIONAL FLOWER SHOW

Our congratulations go to Mr. Edward L. Sard, who won a special prize for his educational exhibit of bromeliads at the International Flower Show held in New York City last March. So far as we have been able to determine, this is the largest display of bromeliads entered by an amateur in this show. The exhibit consisted of forty bromeliads—all different—and was divided into two sections: those plants which are easy to grow in the living room and those which do better under greenhouse culture. The display consisted of five Aechmeas, one Ananas, three Billbergias, seven Cryptanthus, one Dyckia, four Nidulariums, one Neoregelia, one Quesnelia, one Hohenbergia, nine Vrieseas, four Tillandsias, and two Guzmanias.

Mr. Sard's plants came from various sources: Belgium, Colombia, Holland, Central America, California, and Florida. Mr. Sard stated that most people who saw his exhibit found bromeliads a brand new type of plant. As might be expected, some of the remarks, were amusing, especially that of a person who pointed at Tillandsia cyanea and said, "Oh, look at the little pineapple!"


THE NIZANDA "ROCK GARDENS" OF OAXACA, MEXICO

Bromeliad Associates of a Succulent Flora

Thomas MacDougall

(Author)
A dwarf Tillandsia on the cereus Neodawsonia mizandensis
 
 
A view of the "Gardens", showing an abundance of the coral-red Hechtia meziana

One of my favorite plant habitats is that on a small limestone hill, some five hundred feet above sea level, in the Isthmus of Tehuantepee—a "rock garden" that owes nothing to man!

The succulent and epiphytic flora of this little hill is a sample of that of other areas in southern Mexico, in that it contains undescribed, or poorly known, species. During the past twenty years, these "Rock gardens" have become the type locality of an orchid, a cactus, an agave, and of an anthurium. In addition, mammillaria, a peniocereus, an agave, an echeveria, and a pilea growing there are probably still undescribed.

The bromeliads of the "gardens" have remained neglected. Of the six species illustrated here, I can identify only three with reasonable accuracy. However, I still hope to get herbarium material to our authority, Lyman B. Smith, for identification.

Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico.


GROWING BROMELIADS IN A NORTHERN GARDEN

Rudolph E. Leide

(Author)   
A Tree Garden on a Terrace.

Two articles by Racine Foster that appeared in the Bromeliad Society Bulletin, Vol. V, No. 4, "Bromeliads Can Make a Tree Garden" and "Feature in the Tree Garden" made this writer wonder if a "tree garden" was practical and possible in colder climates like that of the Chicago area in northern Illinois.

After several seasons of experimenting, he now believes that though it may not be possible to win in an outdoor competition with Florida or California, tree gardening with bromeliads in northern gardens is definitely possible. The technique described here has been found to be simple and practical. It is presented in the hope that it will stimulate other members to give it a try.

The principal innovation in preparing bromeliads for an outdoor tree garden consists of (1) eliminating the flower pot, (2) wrapping the roots with an inch layer of dampened sphagnum moss, (3) tying the moss wrapped roots with string into a reasonably tight ball. Wire is used to fasten the plants securely at the chosen position. The outdoor living area offers some interesting possibilities for bromeliads, as a terrace garden, as a wall garden, as a tree garden, and other special occasions, providing opportunity for creative expression.

When the cold winds begins to blow bromeliads take their place indoors—perhaps in the sun room, or at the living room window on a plastic frame as an attractive indoor bromeliad garden. Whether used in planters, as specimen plants, or to be a part of an indoor bromeliad tree, bromeliads spread a cheery atmosphere and are a source of pleasure throughout the winter.

21763 South Main Street Matteson, Illinois


"DR. DAVIS"

Although he has only been keenly interested in bromeliads for a few years, Ralph W. Davis is a horticulturist of long standing, who has been working with many families and genera of tropical plants for over thirty years. Dr. B. Frank Brown, of Indialantic, Florida, has recently (1960) published a book called Florida's Beautiful Crotons, on which he worked for seven years. The book is dedicated to Ralph W. Davis in the following words: "One of the world's most successful collectors and hybridizers of fine crotons, Mr. Davis is affectionately known to horticulturists and plant collectors as Dr. Davis." Later in the book, in a chapter devoted to historical data, he says, "The world's best private collection of new hybrid crotons is undoubtedly that of Mr. Ralph Davis of North Miami Beach, Florida. Mr. Davis has developed a number of excellent varieties which he, out of modesty, consistently refuses to name. One group of these became well known in the trade at Davis, #1, Davis #2, Davis #3, etc.


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