THE BROMELIAD SOCIETY BULLETIN
The Bromeliad Society Bulletin is the official publication
of the Bromeliad Society, a non-profit corporation organized in 1950. The
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California 90026. Please submit all manuscripts for publication to the editor,
647 South Saltair Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90049
OFFICERS President Charles A. Wiley Editorial Secretary Victoria Padilla First Vice President Jack M. Roth Membership Secretary Jeanne Woodbury Second Vice President Fritz Kubisch Treasurer Virginia Berezin BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Nat DeLeon, Florida
William Dunbar, California
Edward McWilliams, Michigan
Julian Nally, Florida
Russell Seibert, Pennsylvania
Mary Wisdom, Louisiana
Patrick Mitchell, Texas
Ralph Davis, Florida
George Kalmbacher, New York
Fritz Kubisch, California
W. R. Paylen, California
Ralph Spencer, California
Charles Wiley, California
Wilbur Wood, California
Virginia Berezin, California
George Milstein, New York
Victoria Padilla, California
John Riley, California
Jack M. Roth, California
Jeanne Woodbury, California
Ervin Wurthmann, Florida
Adda Abendroth, Brazil
W. B. Charley, Australia
Charles Chevalier, Belgium
Mulford B. Foster, U.S.A.
C. H. Lankester, Costa Rica
Harold Martin, New Zealand
Richard Oeser, Germany
Prof. Dr. W. Rauh, Germany
Raulino Reitz, Brasil
Walter Richter, Germany
Dr. L. B. Smith, U.S.A.
Marcel Lecoufle, France
PICTURE ON THE COVER –
We are proud to present in this issue a new Tillandsia never before described—Tillandsia albertiana—native to Argentina and named in honor of Dr. Alberto Castellanos. Photo by C. Vervoorst.
Articles and photographs are earnestly solicited by the editor. Length is no factor. Please mail all copy to the editor, 647 South Saltair Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90049.
LYMAN B. SMITH
Alberto Castellanos had a life of many distinctions and his full biography will be covered in an appropriate journal. Here we are concerned with a single interest of his, Bromeliaceae, a family on which he became a great authority, consulted and quoted by all. We can look with pride on his association with the Bromeliad Society as Honorary Trustee.
Although he was several years older than I, he had greater obstacles to overcome in his education, and our careers in botany and in Bromeliaceae commenced at almost the same time. His first paper on bromeliads, "Bromeliaceae Argentinae Novae vel Criticae, I" was published in 1925. Shortly afterward we commenced a correspondence of forty years' duration. From the first we had differences of opinion, but that, after all, was the point of corresponding. Sometimes I convinced him, sometimes he convinced me, and frequently we could not reach a decision but left the questions to our successors. Through it all he remained objective and never took differences personally.
For the first twenty years letters were our only contact, but I gained a respect mingled with envy for his competence in the field where he took full advantage of living in the midst of his Bromeliaceae. In the herbarium he early recognized the importance of the type method and managed to visit the principal European herbaria to verify the original collections of most of the Argentine species of bromeliads.
In 1945, Dr. Castellanos brought together twenty years of collecting and research in one tremendous encyclopedic volume (folio pages 13" × 19½") of the "Genera et Species Plantarum Argentinarum." It included 14 genera and 99 species illustrated by 101 full page plates, 57 of which were in color. However, more significant of the work involved were the photographs of ecological formations and the phytogeographic maps. In the text each species had the original description followed by Castellanos' own more detailed one. Questions of the correct name were discussed at considerable length. Thanks to this great work the Bromeliaceae of Argentina are better known and easier to identify than those of any other country in the world. The second South American Botanical Congress was held in Tucuman in northwestern Argentina in 1948 and I had the good fortune to be a delegate from the Smithsonian Institution, along with my chief, Buddy Killip. Castellanos had occupied an important position in the first congress in Rio and again in Tucuman, but my principal memory is of his leadership of the field excursion that followed the congress. His stocky powerful figure and gaucho or cowboy outfit of high boots and baggy pants plus a pith helmet made an outstanding impression (see Bromeliad Society Bulletin vol. 2, p. 49, 54).
We rode in a fleet of buses and thanks to our mutual interest, I was up front where he could point out the different bromeliads as we came to them. There were many interesting species but two stay with me very vividly, the tiny patch of Tillandsia peiranoi on the wall of a small box canyon and the square miles of Deuterocohnia haumanii from Cafayate to Alemania. The Tillandsia is known from that single clump alone, but the Deuterocohnia is a world record in the other direction. It is the largest pure expanse of any bromeliad anywhere. It is the only bromeliad that could be distinguished from a modern plane, yet Castellanos published it only in 1945.
In 1958 Dr. Castellanos left Argentina for a teaching position in the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro and from 1961 on he was also Chief of Research in the Centro de Pesquisas Florestais e Conservaçâo de Natureza. This latter was a small but modern laboratory perched high in the mountains in the city of Rio and here I found him in 1964 as busy and enthusiastic as ever. Now he was as deep in the bromeliads of the dripping rain forest as he had been in those of the dry Andean slopes. I saw the bromeliads that he was having prepared for a new tome, and he and Guido Pabst took me to various spots in Rio that were especially rich in bromeliads. One particularly memorable spot called Furnas was a group of rounded granite boulders as big as houses. Each boulder had a rich covering of bromeliads but it was no easy job to climb up on them.
In 1966 he reached the age of 70 and retired characteristically by continuing his botanical work unabated. This time he went to work for Guido Pabst to help organize and build the Herbarium Bradeanum. Still apparently vigorous he continued to do much traveling and collecting. Then returning from a field trip he was stricken ill and died on September 5, 1968.
At the time I was planning a trip to Argentina to study the bromeliads that he had written about and a stop in Rio to discuss them with him. Before I could leave here I had the sad news from Guido Pabst and I reached Rio only in time for the memorial exercises on the grounds of the Museu National. There a grove was commenced in his honor and under the leadership of Dr. Luis Emygdio de Mello Filho, his daughter and various scientists planted the first trees. I was privileged to represent the United States. May the trees of Dr. Castellanos grow large and beautiful and be covered with bromeliads.
Bromeliaceae Argentinae Novae vel Criticae, (I), Comunicaciones del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Buenos Aires, vol. 2, pp. 135-147, figs. 1-4. 1925; II, Anales del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Buenos Aires, vol. 36, pp, 49-57, pls. 1-15. 1929; III, ibid., vol. 36, pp. 369-375, pls. 1-7. 1931; IV, ibid., vol. 37, pp. 495-510, pls. 1, 2. 1933; V, Lilloa, vol. 10, pp. 445-467, figs. 1, 2, pl. 1. 1944; VI, ibid., vol. 11, pp. 135-151, figs. 1-3. 1945.
Bromeliaceas y Cactaceas de los Alrededores de Buenos Aires y de la Isla Martin Garcia, Physis, vol. 10, pp. 85-98, pls. 1-3. 1930.
Species Novae Bromeliacearum in Herbario Tucumano Servatae, Lilloa, vol. 2, pp. 13-15, pls. 1, 2. 1938.
Los Generos de las Bromeliaceas de la Flora Argentina, Revista del Centro de Estudiantes del Doctorado en Ciencias Naturales, vol. 2, pp. 1-22, 16 pls. 1938.
Bromeliaceas Nuevas para la Flora Paraguaya, Anals da Primeira Reuniao Sul-Americana de Botanica, Rio de Janeiro, vol. 3, pp. 51-54. 1940.
Bromeliaceae, Genera et Species Plantarum Argentinarum, vol. 3, pp. 105-378, pl. 22-133. 1945. The culmination of much research and many preliminary papers.
Southernmost Record of the Genus Billbergia, Bromeliad Society Bulletin, vol. 2, pp. 51-53, 56, map. 1952.
Deinacanthon Urbanianum, Bromeliad Society Bulletin, vol. 4, pp. 79-81, 3 figs. 1954.
Uses of the Bromeliaceae, Bromeliad Society Bulletin, vol. 4, pp. 82, 83, 1954.
LYMAN B. SMITHIn the fall of 1968, Ruth and I flew south to Buenos Aires and then southwest to Tucuman to begin a series of herbarium studies to fill in the last gaps in my bromeliad monograph. However, I had several opportunities to see the living plants in their natural setting.
We first met Dr. Abraham Willink, the former director of the Instituto Miguel Lillo. Although he is an entomologist primarily, I found quite a number of his bromeliad collections in the herbarium, and later when he drove us up the mountains overlooking the city he showed a familiarity with the flora that spoke a long acquaintance. Most of the way up was through rainforest, which although low in stature, was perfectly typical otherwise with numerous epiphytes such as Aechmea distichantha, ferns, and peperomias.
In the herbarium I renewed acquaintance with Dr. Teodoro Meyer whom I had first met there at the South American Botanical Congress twenty years ago (Bromeliad Society Bulletin vol. 2, p. 54) and met Dr. Vervoorst who had recently discovered a striking new tillandsia. The dried specimens were mute witnesses of the culmination of Dr. Castellanos' great bromeliad tome, and just outside the door in the garden of the Instituto was a Tillandsia maxima that could have easily modeled the colored plate in his book.
In Cordoba we enjoyed the hospitality of Dr. and Senora Armando Hunziker. Again I was mostly occupied in the herbarium but just outside on a flat roof, Armando had a number of bromeliads in cultivation including the rare and graceful Dyckia ragonesei.
The Sunday after our arrival in Cordoba we enjoyed a drive through the neighboring mountains with the Hunzikers and the two youngest of their five children. Soon after leaving the city the road wound up the Sierra Chica, a classic collecting locality for early botanists such as Hieronymus and Stuckert and Kurtz. Along the way the low trees were loaded with gray tufts of tiny tillandsias, for here is the center of the subgenus Diaphoranthema with many relatives of our Spanish moss and ball moss. On rock ledges we saw the bright yellow flowers of Dyckia floribunda and the red inflorescences of Puya spathacea with inconspicuous blue-green petals. Here east meets west with predominantly Brazilian Dyckia growing with Andean Puya.
After the Sierra Chica we drove along the Sierra Achala (Sierra Grande) where the bromeliads were less in evidence. However, we did collect some Tillandsia argentina (T. unca in Castellanos) on a rock face thanks to Diego Hunziker's good climbing.
We ended the day with a picnic super at the vacation home of another Cordoba botanist, Dr. Cocucci. His house was perched above a small canyon and near it was a profusion of Puya spathacea to mark our last sample of Argentine bromels.
—Smithsonian Institution. Washington. D. C., U. S. A.
(As told to Lyman B. Smith)
Recently construction of a new road has made accessible a section of the Rio Grande del Sauce that had not been explored. Here on its rocky banks, I found dense masses of a beautiful little tillandsia that was quite unlike anything in Dr. Castellanos' work in the "Genera et Species Plantarum Argentinarum." Also Lyman Smith has compared it with the herbarium material in the Smithsonian Institution and found nothing like it.
I am sending out living specimens of this tillandsia to encourage its cultivation and thus further commemorate Professor Alberto Castellanos, the teacher who greatly stimulated my interest in botany. Since his family name has already been used for another species of Tillandsia, I am dedicating this new species as follows:
TILLANDSIA ALBERTIANA F. Vervoorst, sp. nov.Ab omnibus speciebus Tillandsiae subgeneris Aerobiae foliis distichis, inflorescentiis sessilibus unifloris differt.
Plants caulescent, branched, forming compact masses or loosely pulvinate. Roots present. Stems 3 mm in diameter. Leaves distichous, to 12 cm long, except for the extreme base covered with appressed suborbicular cinereous scales; sheaths imbricate, elliptic, 20-25 mm long; blades divergent to spreading, sublinear with abruptly acute apices, 4 mm wide. Inflorescence terminal, sessile, 1-flowered. Sepals lanceolate, acute, 17 mm long, green. Petals over 30 mm long, the blade elliptic, wine red. Stamens included, filaments much longer than the anthers. Capsule subcylindric, 2 cm long.
Type in the Instituto Miguel Lillo, isotype .in the U. S. National Herbarium, on rocky banks, near El Potrerillo (Ruta Nacional no. 9, km 1418), Rio Grande del Sauce, Dep. Candelaria, Prov, Salta, Argentina, 6 July 1968, by F. Vervoorst (No. 7255).
—Instituto Miguel Lillo, Tucuman, Argentina.
PROF. DR. W. RAUH
(Syn. Tillandsia patula Mez)
Vriesea patula is a stemless, stout plant up to 40 cm high; the numerous leaves form a subglobose rosette; their sheathes are about 5 cm broad, ovate-triangular, 5-6 cm long and dark brown. The blades are linear-triangulate, tapering into a long tip, involute-subulate toward the apex, 2,5 cm broad at the base and densely grey lepidote. The inflorescence-scape is stout, much shorter than the leaves and not visible. The lepidote scape-bracts are arranged imbricate; only the lowest are laminate. The inflorescence is simple, or mostly compound of 2-5 erect or spreading spikes; these are up to 16 cm long and 1,5 cm broad. The primary bracts are much shorter than the sterile part of the spikes. Floral bracts imbricate, a little exceeding the sepals, erect, oblong, obtuse, or apiculate, ecarinate, subcoriaceous, striate and of a raspberry-red color. Flowers are erect, up to 3,5 cm long. Sepals are free, elliptic, 2,1 cm long, glabrous, ecarinate. Petals are erect, narrowly obtuse, greenish-yellow; stamens and pistil exserted.
V. patula is a striking small species, suitable also for collectors with restricted room. The culture is easy: much light and only a little water. The plant is beautiful when flowering: the yellow-greenish flowers making a pleasing contrast to the red flower-bracts.
According to Mez and L. B. Smith the inflorescence is simple, but all the specimens which have flowered in the Heidelberg Botanical Garden have had branched inflorescences.
W. B. CHARLEYOne would not readily admit that any creature which is "spoon fed" ever develops much character; many battles and hardships are necessary to bring out the best.
A grower of herbs grows his plants in poor soil and waters them sparingly, allowing them to exist and no more; the result is that he obtains the finest flavor from these herbs.
We have often seen bromeliads which in shape were hardly recognizable, so long and lanky was the growth. Some folk may like this, but we do not. Take Aechmea nudicaulis as an example. This is a shapely small tight tube with pronounced tucks at the base of each leaf. The leaves are richly marked with blotches and are short and leathery and are very lovely even without the orange berried spike.
In our opinion, the way to grow this plant is not to pamper it. If the same Aechmea is "spoon fed" the leaves become long and spindly, are grey green in color, possess no markings and have little character; furthermore, the leaves become weak and are hard to handle without kinking. The best plants are those grown in almost full sunlight in the open garden and are allowed often to dry out. Under such conditions the plants develop almost unbelievable color and character and the plants become toughened and hard. However, it is essential that water always be present in the leaftanks.
While on a visit to the far North Coast, we came across a home which was surrounded by a hedge of Ananas comosus. The original suckers had been allowed to fruit and multiply for several years, and these had become a four-foot wide hedge, three feet high and covered with small "sugar pines." No attention had been given to the hedge, and the longer it was allowed to grow the more suckers it produced. The fruit had become smaller, being no bigger than a small orange, but the show was startling, and the red of the foliage showed great character. It was surely a unique hedge!
—Bilpin, N. S. W., Australia.
I have six plants of this kind (including V. 'flammenschwert' and V. 'illustris') Of the six, three are double, with central growths of the same or nearly the same size. Of the remaining three, one has a tiny seedling-like sucker, another two fat buds, as the base below the leaves. Thus only one of the six is "normal". I've had twinning before, but not all of the present twins are of the same clone; and the basal growths seem to be a different sort of phenomenon. Naturally I'm gratified, but puzzled as I'm not aware of any exceptional conditions in the environment or care. Five out of six is too large a proportion not to be significant—but of what? If anyone has similar experience or ideas on the subject, I'd be very interested to hear—either by personal correspondence, or with the Editor's consent, in the Bulletin.
—Roger K. Taylor, Rt. 1, Box 100, Winter Garden, Fla. 32787.
CULTIVATION OF GROUP II (Vrieseas, Guzmanias, Tillandsias)
Vriesea splendens and its hybrids are so warmth-hungry you can hardly overdo the heat, but direct sun during hot spells is apt to burn their leaves; therefore give them lavish shade—it will improve their looks. Group II does not react to light by enhancing the design on the leaves as does Group I. You can tell if a Vriesea has received too much light if it has yellowish leaves and faded or deficient markings. Development of the spike is also affected by too bright a location. The stalk stays shorter than normal and colors are poor. In short, the effect of too much light on Group II is the opposite of that on Group I. It is one of the reasons why I stress segregation of the two groups in cultivation. Optimum results can be gained only if you give each group its proper treatment, not when combined cultivation forces you to compromise.
Ground humidity must be maintained fairly high during the growing period, both in soil and in pots. It is therefore necessary to give extra heat even in summer, especially during spells of bad weather because a high humidity level lowers temperature considerably. For extensive seedling lots of Vriesea and Guzmania I recommend night heating all through the summer. Better growth will certainly make up for the extra outlay.
During the vegetation period the plants should always get the benefit of uniform and constant warmth and humidity, resembling conditions in their homeland. Spraying may be raised to 4 or 5 times daily in summer. Use the finest spray and avoid puddles on the ground. Shade must always be given—plenty of it. How to provide it depends on the facilities at hand. Permanent shading with shading spray must not be overdone. Movable shading apparatus is ideal. It enables the grower to give the plants full benefit of available luminosity, which also affects prevailing temperature.
As autumn nears, shade is given more sparingly. Hardening for Group I is not necessary, not even advisable, because we do not intend to interrupt the plants' natural growth; we want them to reach bloom maturity as soon as possible. Only the climate, involving the seasonal changes is apt to temporarily slow down development factors. Let me repeat, our winter does not impose a rest period on bromeliads. During the cold months aeration should cease entirely. To counteract drought caused by heating, keep the pathways and the areas under the tables moist by spraying when warmth grade in the house permits. The well-known gardener's rule that spraying water should equal the temperature in the house is now under dispute and is given less importance. Personally I have a strong feeling against spraying very cold water on warm plants or applying cold water where the air is warm.
Temperature in the house should be about 18 to 20°C in the winter. A decline to 15° is not harmful if it is only temporary. Still lower temperatures are bad for this group. Higher temperature may be kept for the hybrids and certain species. Warmth underground helps the development of Vriesea splendens and can sometimes provoke premature flowering.
CULTIVATION OF THE XEROPHYTESXerophytic plants have their build and constitution adapted to the drought prevailing in the areas where they live. Unlike succulents that live under the same conditions and similar environments, bromeliads have no inner water-storing tissue. Assimilation takes place mostly during the rainy season; several annual drought periods are overcome by the reduction of functions; the plants undergo a sort of rest period.
Bromeliads of a xerophytic nature include the genera Dyckia, Hechtia, Greigia, Puya, and a few others, hardly known in Europe as far as the terrestrials are concerned.
In spite of the fact that wide distances separate the areas where xerophytes occur, conditions under which they live are always similar. The soil is a compound of clay, sand, and pebbles, practically devoid of nourishment; nutrients come only from minerals. No humus can accumulate because there are no trees or brush to cast their leaves. Only scrub can exist. Owing to the lack of leafy vegetation there is no shade: the plants are completely exposed to light. Rain is always scarce, often even in the rainy season if there is one to speak of. Moisture comes from nightly dew alone.
Plants that live in such an inhospitable environment possess certain anatomic features that enable them to withstand hardships—for instance, a thickened outer cover composed of several layers of epidermis. In many species the underside of the leaves bears a dense coat of dead hairs guarding against evaporation. Roots are better developed than in other bromeliads; underground stolons help vegetative reproduction.
Cultivation must make allowance for the features outlined. Dyckias, Hechtias, Puyas, and similar terrestrials come from a semi-tropical climate, sometimes from altitudes up to 3000 m above sea level. They are what we call cold-house plants, which in winter are kept in temperatures from 6 to 10°C—temporarily even lower—and in summer get put outdoors in a protected sunny spot. They don't belong in warm houses where they lose their natural looks and degenerate, especially if, in addition to warmth, they are submitted to moisture. They should get as much light as possible; full sun is a blessing for them as long as transition is not abrupt; that is, putting specimens from poor winter quarters directly into light. Their cultivation is like that of succulents in every way; the two can be kept side with success. During the warmer season they should receive ample water; in winter water only rarely. There is no danger of the plants drying out. I once left a Dyckia leptostachya in a sunny plant window from December to April without once watering it; the leaves became gray and droopy but soon recovered after a few waterings; only the tips of the leaves remained crumpled.
Raising from seed differs from Group I simply by lowered germination temperature; it should be from 10 to 15°C. Aerate soon in order to get the seedlings used to tougher surroundings, more light, moderate temperature, and a meager diet. For seedlings use sandy leafmold, the adults the same, plus a good portion of loam and more sand.
The whole cultivation process is simple; xerophytes are good houseplants. On the other hand, some are generously garnished with spines, a fact that makes them less lovable. They add, however, an interesting item to a collection as compared with other members of the family. (Pages 151-153)
AECHMEA × 'HENRIETTA'From Marcel Lecoufle, of Boissy-Saint Leger, France, came the application for new Aechmea hybrid, Ae. × 'Henrietta,' a cross made in 1964 which flowered for the first time in 1968. For the pollen plant Mr. Lecoufle used Aechmea fasciata; for the seed parent, Aechmea serrata, which he had originally collected on the island of Martinique. (See Bromeliad Society Bulletin, XIV, 70-73) The new plant seems to have inherited the foliage of Ae. serrata, whereas the inflorescence appears to be a combination of the flower spike of both parents. No detailed description was given.
NEOREGELIA × 'MARILU FRECKLES'Luis Ariza-Julia, of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, in 1965 crossed Neoregelia marmorata (pollen parent) with Neoregelia ampullacea. The plant flowered for the first time in 1969. The grower gives the following description:
"One plant only. Plant with a funnel-form rosette, well expanded at the top. Sheaths elliptic, wine red inside, about 8 cm long. Blades ligulate, rounded with apiculate tip, 18 cm long to 3.5 cm wide, glabrous above; underside irregularly spotted wine red, upper fainter and much less spotted. Tips with small red fingernails. Inflorescence 2.5 cm in diameter. Petals bright blue with white centers, the same color but larger than of N. ampullacea. Not yet observable if propagation will be by thin stolons as N. ampullacea."
The editor would be pleased to receive further applications for registration of hybrids for publication in the Bulletin. If you do not have application form, please send for same: Office of the Editor, 647 South Saltair Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90049.
|Aechmea × 'Henrietta'|
|Neoregelia × 'Marilu Freckles'|
|A mountain road in Guadeloupe.|
Although many bromeliads are listed as growing in the French West Indies, it is not always possible to find them. For example, I have received Tillandsia usneoides (Spanish moss) from Guadeloupe, but despite two trips to that island in search of that bromeliad have yet to find any trace of it. It is said that this Tillandsia grows high on the mountains, accessible only by steep trail. I have taken such trails, found some Catopsis and several Vrieseas, but no T. usneoides.
Another very interesting excursion is to the mountain of La Soufriere. The altitude there reaches 1467 meters. Between 500 and 1000 meters I found many different species of Glomeropitcairnia, mainly Glomeropitcairnia penduliflora. There are probably three species in all, but I have not been able to identify them as they were high on the trees and not in flower.
We drove up La Soufriere to an altitude of 1000 meters; the road beyond was in a state of repair. We did the last part of the climb on foot, walking in a mist of clouds. The temperature ranged between 8° to 10°C, which seemed very cold, as we had just come from Bassee Terre where it had been 25°. In this cloud land we could see thousands and thousands of Pitcairnias growing along with Philodendron giganteum. The color of these Pitcairnias is a brilliant red. According to Dr. L. B. Smith this species is Pitcairnia spicata rubra Lam (Mez). We also saw a number of Pitcairnias with yellow flowers, later identified by Dr. Smith as Pitcairnia spicatasulfurea Gawl. I brought back both seeds and plants of these bromeliads, but unfortunately the flowers of these species, as with most Pitcairnias, are short lived.
One of the growers near Paris who sells foliage plants, Mr. Guy Charon, has leased land in Guadeloupe for growing and propagation purposes. Among his choice plants are Aechmea fasciata and Neoregelia carolinae var. tricolor growing outdoors under shade.
On our arrival in Martinique along the sea short of Fort de France we found the trees covered with Tillandsia utriculata growing to an altitude of 300 meters. This bromeliad is common on other islands of the West Indies. Another often seen is T. fasciculata. As in Hawaii, the cultivation of pineapple is an important industry, although not as much developed. The variety which is cultivated is Ananas cayenne, the fruits of which may reach from 3 to 7 kilograms. At higher elevations I recognized Vriesea ringens and some Glomeropitcairnias.
|Pitcairnia and Philodendron in the mist of La Soufriere|
|Catopsis on a fallen tree, Guadeloupe—1100 meters|
|Pitcairnia spicata rubra growing on La Soufriere|
Some other bromeliads which I have collected in the French West Indies are the following:
Aechmea serrata (described in Bulletin XIV 70-73) Altitude 25 to 600 m.
Bromelia karatas the same as in Guiana. Altitude 5 to 300 m.
Pitcairnia ramosa with red flowers. Altitude not over 500 m.
Tillandsia polystachia Rare, near sea level, in woods.
Tillandsia bulbosa I have also found in Guiana and in Guadeloupe, but not seen in Martinique. Altitude not over 600 m.
Tillandsia fasciculata Altitude 20 to 300 m.
Tillandsia utriculata Up to 600 m.
Tillandsia pulchella Rare, only in Martinique. Altitude 280 m.
Tillandsia recurvata Rare. Altitude 60 to 150 m.
Tillandsia usneoides Altitude 200 to 700 m.
Catopsis nutans Altitude 250 to 600 m.
Catopsis nitida Altitude 300 to 600 m.
Probably different species of Guzmania.
—Boissy St.-Leger, France
|Cultivation of bromeliads in Guadeloupe|
ATHOLL SELKIRKThe popularity of bromeliads in South Africa is increasing rapidly, although they have been grown here for many years. The chief exhibitors still are the botanical gardens of our larger cities, but nurserymen are becoming more aware of their attractiveness.
Alas, there are very few nurserymen who can boast any knowledge of this exotic family. Most of them "know" of the bromeliads and can point out the Billbergia × 'windii' as their only bromel in stock. The specimens of these put up for sale are generally shabby. There is no one nursery in South Africa that I know of that can offer a collection of more than twenty species for sale. To give you some idea, to build my collection of about sixty species, I have had to go to about fifteen nurseries, dotted all over the country. I have bought a plant of each species which they could offer.
Some of the nurseries, I must admit, are building up good stocks, but unfortunately, only a small number of different species. They intend putting these on the market at very low prices. One of the nurserymen I was speaking to recently is going to sell Vriesea splendens in flower at about RI. 20 (less than $2) wholesale. This means that the retail price for this lovely plant will be less than four dollars. The result of this will be that many people who have no knowledge of bromeliads will find themselves in possession of one. This same nurseryman has Neoregelia carolinae var. tricolor. (almost mature plants) for sale at about three dollars wholesale. These plants have been grown under intense hothouse conditions and may decline when kept in a living room. The question to ask is whether the low price of the exotic bromels will increase their popularity. Personally, I have my doubts. There are, however, other nurserymen setting about growing and selling bromeliads in a more realistic way, which ensure the gradual spread of their popularity.
Of course, the restriction on importation of rooted plants of any description has slowed down the growing of bromeliads, but we can only hope that this will bring about a certain amount of price maintenance. The fluctuation of prices from nursery to nursery for bromeliads is quite amazing.
On the positive side of the picture, I am astounded at how many people are building up collections. I am forever finding out about bromeliad collectors in South Africa.
As a closing thought, who would like to see a bromeliad society formed in South Africa? I would very much like to hear from members living in South Africa who would be interested in this project.
—P. O. Witfield, Transvaal, South Africa.
|L. B. Smith|
On his recent trip to Argentina, Dr. Lyman B. Smith came across this specimen of Puya spathacea growing happily in its homeland on rock ledges and enjoying the warmth of the sun and the cool of the nights.
This Puya is one of the hardiest of the genus, and in California and Florida will tolerate several degrees of frost. It is a showy plant and easy to grow, adapting itself readily to the conditions afforded succulents. It is rather large, about three feet wide and as high at time of flowering. It has grey-green tomentose foliage which is always pleasing and a red stemmed branched inflorescence; the flowers are small, dark-green. It is easy to grow from seed and will flower from five to six years after sowing.