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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 four classes of member-ship: Annual, $5.00; Sustaining, $7.50; Fellowship, $15.00; and Life $100.00. All memberships start with January of the current year. For membership information, write to Mrs. Jeanne Woodbury, 1811 Edgecliffe Drive, Los Angeles, California 90026. Please submit all manuscripts for publication to the editor, 647 South Saltair Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90049

OFFICERS
PresidentCharles A. Wiley Editorial SecretaryVictoria Padilla
First Vice PresidentJack M. Roth Membership SecretaryJeanne Woodbury
Second Vice PresidentFritz Kubisch TreasurerLaurel Woodley

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
1969-1971
David H. Benzing, Ohio
Ralph Davis, Florida
George Kalmbacher, New York
Fritz Kubisch, California
W. R. Paylen, California
Ralph Spencer, California
Charles Wiley, California
Wilbur Wood, California
1969-1972
David Barry, Jr., California
Laurel Woodley, California
George Milstein, New York
Victoria Padilla, California
John Riley, California
Jack M. Roth, California
Jeanne Woodbury, California
Ervin Wurthmann, Florida
1970-1973
Lottie Cave, California
William Dunbar, California
Elmer Lorenz, California
Edward McWilliams, Michigan
Patrick Mitchell, Texas
Eric Knobloch, Louisiana
Kelsey Williams, California

HONORARY TRUSTEES
Adda Abendroth, Brazil
Luis Ariza-Julia, Dominican Republic
Olwen Ferris, Australia
Mulford B. Foster, U.S.A.
Marcel Lecoufle, France
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.
Robert G. Wilson, Costa Rica
Julian Marnier-Lapostolle, France

The Society is not responsible for bulletins not received because of failure to report change of address six weeks prior to issuance of Bulletin. Mailing dates are approximately the last week of January, March, May, July, September, November. For individual copies of bulletins, send $1.25 to the editor.

All inquiries addressed to the Society must be accompanied by a, stamped self-addressed envelope.

Articles and photographs are earnestly solicited. Length is no factor. Please mail all copy to the editor, 647 South Saltair Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90049.


PICTURE ON THE COVER –
Vriesea barclayana, a closeup of the inflorescence. Photograph by Prof. Dr. W. Rauh. (Cover donated by the Louisiana Bromeliad Society and the Bromeliad Guild of Tampa Bay)


TILLANDSIA-LIKE VRIESEAS

DR. WERNER RAUH

VRIESEA BARCLAYANA (Baker) L. B. Smith

RAUH

A very interesting and decorative Vriesea when flowering is V. barclayana, which resembles in its vegetative state a gray Tillandsia. This species was described by Baker in 1887 as Tillandsia barclayana. It is synonymous with Tillandsia lateritia, described by Andre in 1888, but the presence of scales at the base of the petals necessitates the transfer of this species into Vriesea.

Fig. 1 Vriesea barclayana after Andre ex Smith.

According to the description given by L. B. Smith ("Studies in the Bromeliaceae XVI," Contributions from the U. S. National Herbarium, Vol. 29, Part 10, P. 517, 1951), Vriesea barclayana is a stemless plant of about 50 cm high. The leaves, about 15, form a utriculate rosette at the base; they reach a length of 40-50 cm and are densely and minutely lepidote. The distinct sheathes are large elliptic, about 10-11 cm long, 6-7 cm broad, and brown on their upper sides. The blades are linear-triangular, acuminate and 15-40 mm broad above the sheath.

The inflorescences are simple; their scape erect, stout, of a diameter of 5 mm. The scape bracts are erect, densely imbricate, lepidote; the lower ones are laminate, the upper ones acute to obtuse. The inflorescence is lanceolate to oblong, complanate, dense, 12-16 flowered, 10-30 cm long and 3,5 cm wide. The straight, densely lepidote rhachis is broadly winged and enfolding the basis of the flowers. The floral bracts are imbricate, obovate, triangular-acute, 3-4 cm long, equaling or exceeding the sepals, obscurely carinate, coriaceous, lepidote toward the apex. The flowers are shortly pedicillate; the free sepals are elliptic or apiculate, coriaceous, glabrous or somewhat lepidote towards the base. The petals are slightly shorter than the stamens, violet, bearing two large scales at the base.

The type-locality of this interesting plant is, according to Barclay (1836) the woods of Valdivia, Prov. of Guayas, Ecuador, but it seems widely distributed in southern Ecuador at altitudes between 600 and 1,000 m.

Now, the author found in northern Peru, in the region of Ayabaca (Dptm. Piura) at an altitude of about 2,000 m a plant (Coll. Nr. Rauh 20 031, 1969), which has recently flowered in the Heidelberg garden. The author is quite sure that this plant is identical with V. barclayana, although there are some remarkable differences to the type plant. (Fig. 1):

The leaves of the rosette of the Peruvian plant are numerous (more than 15); they are erect in the first third part and then they are spreading.

The inflorescence is only about 15 cm long and up to 4 cm wide and is not dense, but on the contrary is very lax. The rhachis is not only lepidote, but long white hairy. The flower bracts are longer than the sepals, which are united at the base (1-2mm); they are glabrous, green with red tips. The petals are pale-green with violet tips and violet margins and are spreading in the upper part. The stamens are much longer than the petals.

It is the opinion of the author that the differences between the type and the Peruvian plant are not sufficient to create a new species, not even a new variety.

Remarkable are the dark spots at the base of the floral bracts in the drawing of Andre (see Fig. 1), which are not mentioned in the original diagnosis and which are not evident in living material. It is supposed that these dark spots are an artifact, caused by the drying of the plant, for we could observe that the floral bracts are a little concave at their base.

V. barclayana is a very attractive plant and easy to cultivate. It needs light, a high humidity, but only a little water like all gray and lepidote Tillandsias.

—Institute of Systematic Botany of the University of Heidelberg, Germany.


A TRAVELING BOTANIST REPORTS

GEORGE KALMBACHER

On January 22, 1970 I started on a seven-week trip of general botanical interest that included one week in Germany, five weeks in south Africa, and a several-day stop-over in Portugal. Regarding bromeliads, the richest experiences were in Germany, where I spent three days in Prof. Rauh's Botanical Gardens in Heidelberg and four in the Palmengarten in Frankfurt. The Palmengarten is one of the best public botanical gardens anywhere, but not to be ranked with Kew and a couple of others. Besides the large building which is part conservatory, housing a tropical display featuring large palms, there is a complex of greenhouses in another part of the grounds nearby that specializes in botanical aspects of outstanding groups, with an orchid house, cactus house, succulent house, and bromeliad house. There is an excellent collection of bromeliads, well kept, with identifying labels near the plants. The crowding of plants as they flourish sometimes makes it unclear which label belongs to which plant. Since the Palmengarten is a little over one hundred years old, there has been opportunity to accumulate some prize specimens. Several plants were in striking inflorescence including Guzmania donnel-smithii, Vriesea psittacina, and Vriesea 'Rotes Schwert.'

In Heidelberg the emphasis is on research and organization, quite a different thing from the garden at Frankfurt which is eminently popular with a visiting public. At Heidelberg the bromeliad room is not open to the public, but any request to visit would not be discouraged. On the benches the plants are in pots, each with its appropriate label. These are species other than Tillandsias—which are suspended in great numbers. Therefore, the Tillandsias could not be examined closely and critically, and, furthermore, had no species name, only tags with code references.

Dr. Rauh showed me his new book, Bromelien, which had just come off the press. Although written in German, this book, because of its superlative illustrations to help in identifying plants, will find favorable acceptance with bromeliophiles who do not understand German.

In my hotel in Heidelberg, on the windowsills of the breakfast room were twelve plants, seven of which I observed were of the same bromeliad species. I suspected they were Billbergia nutans, and expecting some useful information, I asked the waitress what they were called. "Oh," she exclaimed, "those seven plants are Christmas Cactus." I went to the plants and explained to her that they just could not be Christmas cactus. On examining them I found one dried inflorescence, which told me they were Billbergia nutans. From her expression after I had tried to enlighten her further, I could see her thinking, "Somehow, I'll bet they are Christmas Cactus."

In South Africa, the government-supported botanical gardens collect and display only native plants, and since this area probably has the richest flora in the world for the size of the area, the gardens cannot accommodate all their own kinds. But in Durban, the municipality supports an outstanding tropical botanical garden that includes plants from many countries, mostly trees and shrubs. They have shade houses for growing foliage and flowering plants for city parks and flower decorations at special affairs. It is in these shade houses that one finds a collection of some merit, with some fine specimen plants. The collection is well kept, but the collector is no longer on the staff, and a limited number of plants have retained their original identifying label. It is not open to the public, but permission is freely given to be escorted through the collection. It was Ronnie van Pletzen who acted as my guide and host around the Garden.

After coming back to New York, I made a three-day trip to Montreal Botanic Garden. Its conservatory complex is one of he finest in the world, and on Sundays people come in droves to take in its beauty and unusualness. The bromeliads constitute a major unit in the conservatories. Beautifully kept and arranged and extensive in specimens, it probably is the best in the world. In the big center area are about ten artificial trees, not broad, but loaded with bromeliads, and on one side bench are six smaller trees harboring broms. Add the many specimens planted in the flat areas, and you have a magnificent display of our favorite plants. To add to perfection, there are abundant identifying labels. The outstanding inflorescence to me was that of one called Aechmea fendleri.

Recently a traveling botanist came to visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Mr. Harold Caulfield, Director of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens of Australia—another of our kind, a bromeliophile. He had developed a private collection, which he gave to the Brisbane garden, and continued to build up the collection further. At the present time there are about four hundred different kinds of bromeliads. Those whose identities are known are so labeled. When I asked him how well the climate was adapted for growing bromeliads outdoors, he exclaimed, "We are a pineapple producing country, and growing bromeliads outdoors is natural." However, he deplored a widespread thievery and the fact that it is necessary to keep treasured bromeliads in the house.

Another traveling botanist to visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in recent months is Dr. Richard A. Howard, Director of Harvard's famous Arnold Arboretum. He related to me how, as a student under Dr. Lyman B. Smith, he was profoundly impressed with his teacher of botany. He mentioned that during lunch time, Lyman would go over illustrations in Curtis' Botanical Magazine, cover over the family relationship, and try to work out the family, and thus achieve proficiency. This made an indelible impression on young Richard Howard.

You must gain from the foregoing that botanists travel, that they discuss plants avidly, and that they talk about each other, and that some of them are interested in bromeliads.

—Brooklyn Botanic Garden.


Probably the majority of those growing bromeliads in any considerable number, and for any considerable number of years, have occasionally noted the ominous tilting of a leaf rosette and found the stem to be rotted through at the base of the leaves. I had always taken that this was finis for the plant. However, the discarded tops often stay in apparently good condition for a long time; and of late I've been planting them in the soil under the greenhouse benches. I can now report that salvage is thus possible: two Guzmanias (Fuerstenbergiana, musaica) have gone on to put up bloom spikes, and a few other kinds have at least not yet dried up. So if this calamity strikes, all isn't necessarily lost; this trick might work for you too! The root portions are apparently lifeless, but a fraction of the tops could possibly be saved. And what's there to lose by trying?

—Dr. Roger K. Taylor, Winter Garden, Florida.


NEOREGELIA - THE PROBLEM CHILD

VICTORIA PADILLA

According to Dr. Lyman B. Smith, Senior Botanist at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C., the genus Neoregelia is one of the most confusing of the bromeliad family. According to his latest key to the genus published in Phytologia XV, No. 3, August, 1967, there are 47 species that are acceptable as of this date. It is impossible for Dr. Smith to take into account the many odd varieties that appear in the trade from time to time. Just what are they? Hybrids? Selected clones? Mutations? At the moment there does not seem to be any way of telling.

The two very handsome specimens on the opposite page are an example of the case in point. The upper one, photographed by Dr. Richard Oeser of a plant in the collection of M. Julian Marnier-Lapostolle at St. Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera, might or might not be a hybrid. Dr. Oeser could not say. It is obviously related to N. ampullacea, but the plant is larger, the leaves are more flaring than the type, and the color is almost yellow. Such a handsome bromeliad is most certainly deserving of a name of its own.

The Neoregelia below is listed in the trade, both in Continental Europe and in the United States as N. meyendorffii. In England it has been listed as Nidularium volkaertii, but a search through various authorities fail to come up with this name or one that is similar. At one time the terms Neoregelia and Nidularium were used indiscriminately and only recently have the two genera been definitely separated. According to Dr. Smith, there is no Neoregelia meyendorffii, but a glance through the early names of what we now know as N. carolinae reveals that this Neoregelia was once known as Billbergia meyendorffii Regal, 1857, Nidularium meyendorffii Regel, 1859, and Regelia meyendorffii (Regel) Lindm. 1890. There are two forms of this plant—the plain and the variegated.

Probably what passes for Neoregelia meyendorffii should be called Neoregelia carolinae var. meyendorffii. As it produces seedlings that are true to the mother plant it is most likely not a hybrid, and it is so similar to N. carolinae that it could be a selected clone or a variety. This plant differs from N. carolinae in several respects: the leaves are firmer in texture; they are broader, measuring approximately two inches in width; and the coloring is a pale yellow rather than ivory-white. Otherwise, the plants are similar, both producing a blushing heart when mature and many offsets. According to Ervin Wurthmann of Tampa, Florida, who was among the first to introduce this plant to America, there are a number of forms in so far as coloration is concerned.

(Donated by the Orange County Bromeliad Society)

(Donated by South Bay Bromeliad Associates)


HOHENBERGIA AND COLUMNEA ECOLOGY

BRIAN D. MORLEY F. L. S.

Fig. 1—Columnea urbanii rooted in dead leaf bases of Hohenbergia sp.
from Top Hill, Jamaica.

In parts of the limestone woodland of Jamaica, bromeliads play an important ecological role in the life history of the species of the gesneriad genus Columnea. Honeycomb weathered limestone ensures that little surface water accumulates even during rainfall in places like Manchester Parish in the center of the island. Establishment and persistence of Columnea seedlings on limestone is restricted to sites with sufficient moisture such as the leaf tank bases of bromeliads. Such association between gesneriad and bromeliad is most noticeable in disturbed vegetation where bromeliads can make exposed scree and rock outcrops hospitable to Columnea. The columneas are often found with great regularity on bromeliads, so that it becomes possible to predict the presence of the former while motoring, by seeing certain bromeliads in trees, or by seeing the bromeliads growing on the ground at higher altitudes.

The roots of the gesneriad surround and ramify the dead leaf bases of the bromeliad where there is moisture and organic matter; there is no question of the gesneriad parasitising the bromeliad. The association is best regarded as a case of the gesneriad occupying a microhabitat created by the leaf tanks of the bromeliad. Figure 1 shows Columnea urbanii Searn on a Hohenbergia species.

The following information gives an indication of how widespread the association can be in a Columnea population. At Top Hill in Manchester Parish, an area disturbed by man and consisting of open woodland, scrub and bare limestone, a sample of 25 clumps of Columnea was made. Of the plants growing on trees only 1 clump consisting of 8 shoots was found unassociated, with the remaining 4 clumps found in 4 separate trees and all associated with bromeliads. The Columnea plants which grew on the ground number 20 clumps, the largest of which had 30 shoots, and all of which were associated. No clumps were found on the ground without bromeliad association. In all cases the bromeliad was a Hohenbergia species.

The advantage obtained from association with bromeliads was demonstrated on the afternoon of March 23, 1965, at Banana Ground in Manchester Parish. After a period of drought the shoots of Columnea rutilans Swartz which were not associated with bromeliads were scorched and the leaves withered, while shoots of the same species, associated and nearby, were still healthy. On examination, the leaf tanks of the Hohenbergia with which the Columnea was growing contained several millimetres of water.

The advantage of gesneriad/bromeliad association may not be completely in the favor of Columnea. Both genera are visited by hummingbird pollinators, and it is possible that the more showy gesneriad flower attracts the birds which then move on to the nectariferous but more inconspicuous Hohenbergia flowers during feeding. Synchronous flowering of the bromeliad and gesneriad would of course be necessary for such feeding visits to be made.

An example of the ecological significance of gesneriad/bromeliad association is seen in a hybrid swarm between C. urbanii and C. rutilans at Top Hill. The parent species normally occur on trees or on the ground with a scattered and often sparse distribution due to competition from other plant species. But at Top Hill the habitat has been opened up by man with a reduction of competition, and hummingbirds have successfully hybridised the parents so that a range of hybrids have become established in the man-made clearings. The bromeliads have made it possible for the dry scree slopes and outcrops of many of the clearings to become colonised by the hybrids in sufficient numbers to create hybrid swarm conditions. (See Fig. 2 showing typical outcrop.)

Above—

Fig. 2 — Hohenbergias on outcrop with associated Columnea shots.

 

 

 

Fig. 3 — Aechmea paniculigera inflorescence showing large pink bracts.

 

 

 

PHOTOS BY AUTHOR

Aechmea paniculigera Grisebach was only rarely seen in association with Columnea, possibly because this bromeliad occurs in shaded and damp undergrowth where the light is too dim for Columnea growth, and the moisture level does not warrant association of gesneriads with bromeliads.

I would be interested to hear of gesneriad/bromeliad association records from elsewhere.

—National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland.


WHAT THE PINEAPPLE LEAVES HAVE TO SAY

E. J. GIACOMELLI

The leaves in a pineapple field not only tell us which variety is being cultivated but also offers additional information which can be of great practical value.

Retarded development and meager yellowish leaves indicate insufficient nitrogen in the soil. Deterioration begins generally in the older leaves. Short, narrow, dark and upright leaves that dry up faster than normal starting with the outer ones is a sign of lack of phosphorus. Discolored spots on the large blades mean lack of potash. If magnesium is wanting the leaves get sunburnt easily; the damage begins on the upper face of the blades that are exposed to sunlight. These get intensively yellow, while the unexposed leaves keep their normal green aspect. Whereas absence of nitrogen causes the adult leaves to become yellowish, lack of iron discolors especially the younger ones. Yellow on the blades can be due to insufficient iron, but in this case discoloring begins generally on the younger leaves.

Frost and incorrect application of chemicals and insecticides directly on the plants can cause severe burns on the leaves. The spots affected look dry and straw-like as if the inner tissue had withered. The same thing happens if a strong wind strikes the field and causes the spines of neighboring leaves to scratch.

If the amount of water accessible to the plants drops below a certain margin, the layer of water-storing cells in the leaf tissue contracts and causes the entire blade to roll up sideways and shift to a more upright position; the number of new leaves per month falls from four or five to zero; the entire plant takes on yellow and reddish tones, leaf tips fade as the edges of the blade roll in on the underside.

Symptoms generally caused by drought also appear in the so-called wilt, a disease caused by the invasion of the pineapple louse. In this case the plant withers abruptly, the edges of the blades roll backwards all the way and begin to look like a rope. In the case of sickness, the attacked plants show up here and there, isolated among the healthy ones, whereas drought affects all the plants in a uniform moisture-retaining area.

Dissolution of tissue in places on a blade, especially on a young one. may be caused by the fruit-beetle, or rather by the larva of the butterfly Tecla basilides.

Two symptoms indicate the first stages of the gum-disease: 1) the inner tuft of leaves bends over to the side where the stem of the plant is being attacked; 2) the face of the leaves on that side fades gradually from bottom to tip; the faded area gives the measure of the attack at the base of the leaf. A grayish mass of decay smelling of olive oil, exuding a gum-like substance comes to light if such a sick leaf is pulled out. It is of enormous advantage to spot the disease in its earliest stage before exudation begins, because it permits detection early enough to destroy the attacked plants and thus keep in check a serious menace.

—Translated by Adda Abendroth from an article that appeared in the Supplemento Agricola d 'O Estado de S. Paulo.


THE TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

R. W. SPENCER

From almost every point of view the combination of the Bromeliad Society Twentieth Anniversary Meeting and Show was a huge success. The show was held at the Los Angeles State and County Arboretum in Arcadia, California and the Society banquet and meeting at the La Canada County Club in La Canada.

The All-Bromeliad Show held on Saturday and Sunday, June 6 and 7, 1970, was sponsored by the local Bromeliad Council made up of representatives of the five local affiliates. Members from all five chapters contributed generously of their time and choice plants to make the show highly successful with an estimated attendance of 2,000 persons.

The show was exceptional in the great variety of species and hybrids shown at the peak of their flowering perfection. There was remarkably little duplication of plants, and even where the same species or hybrids were exhibited there were usually major variations between clones.

One end of the hall was mostly occupied by a large jungle exhibit with trees and logs covered with hundreds of Tillandsias from Fritz Kubisch (whose whirlwind trip into the jungles of southern Mexico was made especially to collect specimens for the exhibit) and on the mossy forest floor were the larger showy bromels brought in by local members.

The other end of the hall had a fine exhibit of other Tillandsias collected by Mr. Kubisch and a fine educational exhibit on bromeliad propagation and various growth habits prepared by Miss Leslie Walker of South Bay Bromeliad Associates. On the other walls were an artistic exhibit of bromeliad paintings by Mrs. Sandra M. Blizard of Littleton, Colorado, and some old bromeliad prints brought from Europe by David Barry.

The center of the hall was well filled with tables of carefully arranged and properly labeled specimens mostly in containers. Among the notable displays were those of Ervin Wurthmann of Tampa Florida; Dr. Leonard Kent of Los Angeles; Kelsey Williams of Plaza Nursery; Alice Gans of Oakhurst Gardens in Arcadia; and Bill Seaborn of Escondido, California.

The crowning event of the celebration was the dinner and program on the evening of June 6 at the La Canada County Club, situated in the foothills above Pasadena. The affair was attended by over 140 guests. Souvenirs of the event consisted of specially designed and illustrated programs, a choice potted seedling donated by Howard Yamamota of Honolulu, and a copy of the 1970 membership roster.

Mr. Charles Wiley, President, opened the program with a short but warm word of welcome and presented Elmer Lorenz who acted as master of ceremonies. Victoria Padilla then read the minutes of the first meeting of the Society held in 1950 and Mr. Wiley followed with a description of the Society as it is today. The status of the Society is active and growing with about 1,100 members in the United States and 32 foreign countries. President Wiley then awarded certificates of appreciation to Mulford Foster, David Barry, Jr., Victoria Padilla, and Fritz Kubisch for their contributions to the growth and success of the Society.

Our Founding President and Grand Man of the Bromeliad Society Mulford Foster of Orlando, Florida, then gave the most interesting story of the founding and early history of the Society and pointed out some wide fields for the future. He was then followed by past-president David Barry, Jr., who cut short a European trip just to be present at the meeting. His interesting talk is printed in full in this issue of the Bulletin.

The evening program was completed by the exhibition and discussion of a remarkable group of bromeliads, both species and hybrids, mostly brought from Florida by Ervin Wurthmann. (A partial listing is to be found in this issue.)

In summary, the 20th anniversary of the Bromeliad Society was a great success due to the thing that makes any group successful—the hard work and cooperation of a large number of people. It is impracticable to list all of them by name. The officers of the national Society all did their share in individual roles as well as acting as a group. The success of the banquet was due in large to the work of Elmer Lorenz. Our president, Charles Wiley, and his charming wife were especially effective in promoting action and smoothing out normal difficulties which always arise when independent groups, such as the five local chapters, work together as they do in the Bromeliad Council when it stages a show. Fritz Kubisch, Alice Quiros and Verna McCarthy deserve special credit as chairmen and coordinators of the show.

On Sunday afternoon, tours to gardens of various members were planned. Open was the lovely greenhouse and lath house of Jack Roth who resides in the Hollywood Hills. Bill Paylen's little tropical woodland was a delight to all, as was also the estate of Helen and Fred Woodley, whose many trees surrounding a meadow are laden with orchids and bromeliads. Charles Wiley's interesting garden in Palos Verdes Estates brought many interesting spectators, as did also Victoria Padilla's backyard in Brentwood.

During the week various excursions were made by the out-of-town visitors under the able guidance of Fritz Kubisch. Outstanding was the trip to Lotus Land near Santa Barbara. This 30-acre park-like estate is the home of Madam Ganna Walska and is one of the great gardens in the West. Mr. Kubisch has charge of the bromeliad planting.


AECHMEAS THAT DON'T LOOK LIKE AECHMEAS – – –

(Donated by Houston Bromeliad Society)
Left—

Aechmea nidularioides

A beautiful denizen of Amazonia. Introduced into the trade by Jack Holmes several years ago.

 

 

 

 

Below—

Aechmea recurvata var. ortegiesii

(Donated by La Ballona Valley Bromeliad Society)


SOME BROMELIADS IN EUROPE

DAVID BARRY, JR.

Frankfurt, Paris, and St. Jean-Cap-Ferrat were made headquarters last May for plant-collecting expeditions. This was an easy way to get plants, with no trees to climb, no insect bites, no plants to clean, no oppressive heat, and comfort at day's end. And no questions about identification, as the plants were named. And to make it even nicer, schools were still in session and the horse chestnut trees along the Champs Elysées were in flower.

In Frankfurt is the world-famous Palmengarten. It is primarily a delightful public park with open-air cafes, rolling lawns, a small lake, beds of bright tulips, and games for children. The name palm garden derives from a huge square structure that at first glance seems to be a convention hall. There is an auditorium in it but most of its great bulk is a glass-roofed conservatory with tall mature Howeia forsteriana (called Kentia in the trade) and Rhopalostylis palms. These dark-green palms come, respectively, from Lord Howe and Norfolk Island north of New Zealand lying in cool oceans where the coconut palm does not grow. Keeping these palms alive in the frigid German winter would not require as much heat as would tropical species. This great conservatory was crowded by visitors walking along meandering paths and climbing steps along the palms.

Not far from the building is an exhibition hall that is part-conservatory where seasonal displays of plants are made. In May it was azalea time. Bromeliad time is in October.

A few hundred feet beyond is the main complex of conservatories consisting of a large central section filled with a representative collection of tropical plants. On both sides of it, elling off, are 4 two-path greenhouses, eight in all, with side and center benches devoted to specialized collections, such as orchids, cactus, begonias, ferns, calatheas and bromeliads. These houses were crowded with plants and visitors.

The bromeliads were mostly in two houses mixed with a variety of tropicals. Most of the bromeliads were either mounted on small pendent branches suspended by wires or on branches of trees that ran horizontally along the benches, say, four feet in length. About 3 or 4 bromeliads were tied on and spaced along these branches, and I assumed that such assemblies could very readily be taken to the exhibition hall in October. Most of the bromeliads were Nidulariums, Aechmeas, Neoregelias, and Tillandsias that you would expect to see in a well-rounded general collection. I noted an unusual Tillandsia flabellata × tricolor and a strange Guzmania pallens that had been collected in Costa Rica by Clarence Horich. The leaves were narrow, erect and stiff, and I was told that it had to be a palm.

The Palmgarten collection is especially rich in small stove house plants, such as Bertelonia, Aphelandra, Impatiens, and Selaginella. The profusion of plants increased the amount of humidity in the houses.

Continuing to use the amenities of Frankfurt as a base from which to sally forth, we took the train to Heidelberg to see Prof. Werner Rauh, Director of the Institute for Systematic Botany of he University of Heidelberg, and his bromeliads. From the railway station we took a taxi to the campus of the university and found that where we should have been was a couple of miles or so away, at a new campus of medicine and natural science, where incidentally, they do not riot, as the students there are interested in education. On the other hand, we saw evidence at the old campus of attempts to remake the world.

Dr. Rauh was most gracious and conducted us through the greenhouses. His establishment is about ten years old and has an elaborate system of greenhouses and a handsome two-story building of offices and laboratories. The arrangement of the greenhouses is much like that of the Palmengarten with a number of double-walk greenhouses elling from a large central conservatory. Two of these greenhouses are devoted to the hundreds of bromeliads that comprise one of the great collections. No containers were used, a most unique feature. The bromeliads were divided into two classes, grey-leaved or green-leaved. The former were tied with wire or strips of nylon stocking to small pieces of tree branches, usually, but not in all cases, with some sphagnum moss at the roots, or where the roots would be. Each branch had a wire hook for ready attachment to a horizontal wire. Excellent judgment was used in selecting the size and shape of the pieces of tree branches in relation to the sizes of the bromeliads. Two or more of the small species would be tied to a single branch. The grey-leaved plants took up no bench space as the wire to which the branches were appended ran above the branches.

The green-leaved plants were grown at bench level in beds filled eight to ten inches deep with a light, loose, non-compacting medium. It was a mixture of various materials that would provide a maximum degree of drainage and aeration. The plants were thrifty. The beds were supplied with bottom heat.

Dr. Rauh has made four collecting trips to South America with special emphasis on Peru. Many of his plants are new to science, are numbered, and await identification. In most cases this awaits the production of flowers.

Outside of the bromeliad houses is an area of horizontal netting supported by posts where the grey-leaved plants can be kept during June, July, and August. This structure, loaded with bromeliads, and the interior of the greenhouses are illustrated in Dr. Rauh's newly published book in German on bromeliads. The profuse illustrations in color and in black and white speak for themselves.

So often in the tropics the clouds that build up in the morning bring rain in the late afternoon. This is the time when the Heidelberg plants are watered. It is an admirable way to make these plants feel at home in Germany. In more arid country watering in the morning would provide the plants with humidity needed during the day.

Dr. Rauh's collection is very rich in Tillandsias. To mention a few: T. rubra, somnians, Rauhii, laxa, atroviridipetala, intumescens, and espinosae, with many others having to get along with collector's numbers. T. rubra was especially notable as little plantlets were forming along the four-foot spike. Among other plants that were new to me were Canistrum aurantiacum and Nidularium ferdinando-coburgii. The genus of one species had not yet been determined!

The Heidelberg collection is not open to the public.

When in Paris we went out to Boissy St. Leger to see our good friend, Marcel Lecoufle. We had seen him and his plants in 1964 when he won the Grand Prix at Les Floralies in Paris. He said, I thought rather sadly, that this can be won but once in a lifetime. He maintains at his nursery a representative collection of the kinds of bromeliads that have been in cultivation in Europe for many years. M. Lecoufle is primarily a wholesale nurseryman. One thing that he does very well, for the floral trade, is to place a profusion of exotic plants in large, spherical glass bottles. The effect is stunning, and you wonder how they get them down such a narrow neck.

We spent eight days on the French Riviera before the arrival of heat and crowds. We were the only American at La Voile d'or, a hotel five years old built along one side of the little fishing and yacht harbor on the peninsula of St. Jean-Cap-Ferrat. We wished to be near Les Cédres, the private botanical garden of M. Julian Marnier-Lapostolle, one of our distinguished members and a leading patron of horticulture in Europe. He maintains large collections of many, many families of plants, both in the open and in greenhouses and conservatories—15,000 kinds, for a statistic. This collection is made even more extensive than one would except by his policy of trying to keep a minimum of five plants of each kind. As he explained it, with five plants two can be spared if three are kept to maintain the species.

Supporting his collections is one of the finest horticultural libraries in existence, with complete sets of horticultural publications that go back to the early years of the last century.

M. Marnier-Lapostolle has the most extensive collection of terrestrial bromeliads with many species in such genera as Puya, Hechtia, Dyckia, and Abromeitiella. Dyckia Marnier-Lapostollei, Hechtia Marnier-Lapostollei, and Vriesea Marnier-Lapostollei carry his name.

Rain forest bromeliads are kept in high humidity greenhouses with a miscellany of other tropical plants. An example of this kind of bromeliad is Aechmea zebrina. Thousands of Tillandsias are grown in the open. In some species there are great quantities of plants, such as T. bergeri, aeranthos, and pulchella. These are mounted on vertical frame panels of wood, wire mesh, and pine branches the areas of which are solidly the grey of the plants. As in the Rauh collection most of the Tillandsias are tied to small branches and suspended. I made note of a few: T. crispa, andreana, barclayana, argentea, boliviana, crocata, lorentziana, tectorum, latifolia, purpurea, floribunda, ortgiesiana, and cauligera.

M. LECOUFLE
Naturalized Tillandsias at Les Cédres.

Among the green-leaved bromeliads that I had not seen before were Neoregelia cyanea, leucophoea, leprosa, and fosteriana; Aechmea hemiapocalyptica, macroclordum,[sp?] and gamosepala; and Nidularium splendens and loeseneri. In addition to these and other rarities are the plants generally found in American collections.

Les Cédres is not open to the public.

Looking back on this trip, the two things about bromeliads that impressed me the most were the high regard shown for Tillandsias and the practice of displaying them as they would appear in the wild, and the tendency to grow bromeliads without using containers. This applies to the green-leaved ones as well.

The plant-collecting part of the trip was accomplished by making exchanges with my hosts.

—Honolulu, Hawaii.


BROMELIADS FOR THE CONNOISSEUR

ERVIN WURTHMANN

The bromeliads that I exhibited and described at the banquet meeting of the Bromeliad Society on June 6 were those which are still rare and hard to come by. Accordingly, while they are available to a limited extent, they are expensive. They are all outstandingly beautiful and interesting and should be in every bromeliad enthusiast's list when they become easier to procure. Among those displayed were:

Ananas cayenne variegata—smooth leaf variety, also known as "Golden Rocket"

Ananas bracteatus striata—superior Belgian clone which is very compact and has excellent variegation.

Aechmea dactylina—a large graceful plant with pink bracts.

Aechmea orlandiana var. ensign—see Bulletin No. 4, 1970.

Aechmea fasciata albo-marginata—a superior clone with clean ivory-white margins which hold a good appearance into maturity. In inferior types the variegation ghosts out at maturity.

Aechmea fasciata variegata—reverse in variegation to albo-marginata.

Aechmea zebrina—striking banding on foliage. Its colorful bracts last 2 to 2½ times longer than Ae. chantinii.

Guzmania sanguinea—two types displayed—broad leafed and narrow leafed. Narrow leafed variety produces better coloration of foliage.

Neoregelia meyendorffii var. marginata—see article is this issue.

Neoregelia 'Fireball'—a small plant brilliant red when grown bright and hard.

Nidularium antoineanum—medium-sized plant with deep rose inflorescence which turns purple with age and remains in this color for months.

Tillandsia brachycaulos multiflora—a large type which has a darker color on flowering. Tillandsia funkiana—see Bulletin XVII, No. 3.

Tillandsia capitata—red form—When grown in good light foliage is a brilliant red at all stages of growth.

Vriesea × 'Double Pleasure'—V. splendens var. cayenne × V. glutinosa—intermediate in size between the 2 parents. The purple banding is superior to that of glutinosa. Has glossy orange red bracts and branched inflorescence considerably broader than glutinosa.

Vriesea fosteriana—this form with red chestnut foliage is very decorative and should be available to trade fairly soon.

Aechmea × 'By Golly' (Wurthmann) has dark mahogany almost black foliage—excellent decorative plant.

Aechmea × Morris Henry Hobbs—A Ralph Davis hybrid—Ae. chantinii × Ae. dealbata—Tubular in habit and banding. Inflorescence like that of chantinii, but has reddish berries.

—Tampa, Florida.


Members from Houston and New Orleans enjoy a trip to famed Lotus Land in Montecito, California. On the right is Mulford Foster from Florida.

Members of the Society planting a bromeliad garden at the Los Angeles State and County Arboretum, California in 1956.

A meeting of some of the first members of the Board of Directors — at the home of Victoria Padilla, 1950. Back row, from left to right—Morris Schick, Dr. Russell Seibert, Frank Overton. Seated, Victoria Padilla, Mulford B. Foster, David Barry, Jr.

20 years later in the same garden—left—Mr. and Mrs. Luis Ariza, Back—Victoria Padilla, right—Jack Roth.


TWO HYBRIDS MADE FROM WELL-KNOWN SPECIES –

Aechmea ramosa × A. fulgens

Aechmea fasciata × A. nudicaulis

 

 

 

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