THE BROMELIAD SOCIETY
A non-profit corporation whose purpose is to promote and
maintain public and scientific interest and research in bromeliads throughout
the world. There are 4 classes of membership: Annual $7.50; Sustaining
$12.50; Fellowship $20.00; and Life $150.00. All memberships start with January
of the current year.
There are 4 classes of membership: Annual $7.50; Sustaining $12.50; Fellowship $20.00; and Life $150.00. All memberships start with January of the current year.
1972-1975: Jeanne Woodbury, Ralph Barton, George Anderson, Virginia Berezin, Victoria Padilla, Charles Wiley, Ervin Wurthmann, Jean Merkel.
1973-1976: Robert G. Burstrom, Leonard Kent, Eric Knobloch, Elmer Lorenz, Patrick Mitchell, Edward McWilliams, Harold W. Wiedman, Kelsey Williams.
1974-1977: Eloise Beach, Kathy Dorr, George Kalmbacher, Fritz Kubisch, W. R. Paylen, Amy Jean Gilmartin, Robert Read, Edgar Smith.
Adda Abendroth, Brazil; Luis Ariza Julia, Dominican Republic; David Barry, Jr., USA; Olwen Ferris, Australia; Mulford B. Foster, USA; Marcel Lecoufle, France; Harold Martin, New Zealand; Richard Oeser, Germany; Dr. W. Rauh, Germany; Raulino Reitz, Brazil; Walter Richter, Germany; L. B. Smith, USA; R. G. Wilson, Costa Rica; J. Marnier-Lapostolle, France.
Published six times a year: January, March, May, July, September, November. Free to members.
Editor: Victoria Padilla
CONTENTS — November-December, 1974
Neoregelia punctatissma — Photo by W. W. G. Moir
Articles and photographs are earnestly solicited. Length is no factor. Please mail copy and all questions to the editor, 647 South Saltair Ave., Los Angeles, California 90049.
Individual copies of the Journal — $1.50
GEORGE BERGINI'm a collector of wildlife. I've captured rhinos, elephants, and crocodiles in Africa; I've trapped monkeys, tortoises, and snakes in the Far East. I've shipped thousands of parrots and millions of tropical fish from South America, but I finally had to admit to myself that the animal business was over. Mammals and reptiles were prohibited by most countries, and my parrot quarantine station closed when the U.S. Department of Agriculture closed down the program. I needed a business. Tropical fish here are excellent and abundant, but Leticia, Colombia, on the Amazon, is a long way from the markets and lacks the good air transportation that is necessary for this delicate cargo.
Earle Smith, a good friend and professor of ethno-botany at the University of Alabama, suggested the possibility of a tropical plant business. I didn't know anything about plants, but I owned a warehouse and boats, and I knew people who could collect from the jungle. I had been considering the lumber business, but perhaps I couldn't see the forest for the trees. I became friendly with a tourist, who told me of his interest in bromeliads and promised to put me in touch with a wholesaler when he returned to Los Angeles. Shortly thereafter I got a letter from this wholesaler, and he became my first customer.
Neither he nor I was fooled about my knowledge of bromeliads; I was completely ignorant and we both knew it. Furthermore I had nothing to study. Leticia is not exactly the crossroads of the world, and no books existed here. Earle Smith had suggested that I begin with A. B. Graf's Exotica, and I had a copy brought from the States. Sometime later I was able to obtain Victoria Padilla's Bromeliads and received a copy of Kathy Dorr's pleasant little book Bromeliads Are My Hobby. L. B. Smith's authoritative books were out of print, but good friends sent me books and papers and a basic library began to form. I read the books, climbed some trees, and collected what I thought might be bromeliads. I washed them, dipped them, and sent them to the States. I was told that they were indeed bromeliads and that they were a fine lot of plants. I learned names like Aechmea (I called it A-cay'meah until the Padilla book came), Guzmania, Neoregelia, Vriesea, and Tillandsia. I learned to spell them, and within days I was the foremost authority on bromeliads in the Colombian Amazon. I was the only one who owned a book.
Some plants sold well in the United States. Aechmea contracta was new to collectors. Other aechmeas were unusual, and the chantinii variations were different. We have a new tillandsia that is still awaiting identification. I sent the wholesaler in California much new merchandise, and sales in some species were brisk and profitable, while others proved to be more difficult. I was sending out a thousand plants a week, considerably more than I should have at that stage of our experience, and there were losses. The business was costing, but I was learning.
I learned that bromeliads bloom only once and that vrieseas don't have thorns. I was shipping plants of streptocalyx and calling them tillandsias because the pictures in Exotica looked to me like the plants I had. It became apparent that I would have to learn some taxonomy in order to communicate, but I still don't know the names of many of the plants I ship. The business is not prospering, but it is beginning to move. I now have Colombian consuls all over the world looking for new markets. There are possibilities for customers in Japan, North America, and Europe.
Nevertheless, happiness in a business requires intellectual as well as financial stimulation. Memorizing the names of plants was no substitute for the actions of animals. I had long since learned to tell one monkey from another or an alligator from a crocodile, and I knew, besides the common, the Latin, Spanish, and Portuguese names for fishes, frogs, birds and snakes. More interesting and important had been those things necessary to keep animals alive while they made the difficult transition from the jungle to the different environment of a home or a zoo. This was the very crux of the business, and to do it well required knowledge of the animal's habits in the wild and his adaptability to captivity. How monkeys behaved in a group or the feeding patterns of parrots were interesting and vitally important. I wondered about the complexity of a single animal and the complexity of nature that had evolved so many species. Why does a caterpillar have 238 muscles in his face and why are there more than 1,300 species of fishes in the Amazon? After the fascination of such animal life, learning the names of the plants wasn't much fun.
Gradually I awakened. The care and requirements of plants were important, since I would have to deliver a good product in this business. The reproductive methods of plants, both vegetative and through fantastically specialized pollinators, were captivating. How the plants behaved toward one another and toward the whole of the jungle became more of a pattern. I stopped using the word jungle because what I was seeing was not a jungle, but an intricately balanced and carefully regulated forest. Darwin postulated that, through evolution, species provided certain circumstances or filled certain voids. I was asking myself, "Why are there so many bromeliads in this region of the Amazon?", and more particularly, "Why are there bromeliads?" Although I don't pretend to have proven answers, I was able to speculate.
At first it would appear that anything could grow in Amazonas. The rain falls 200 or more days a year, delivering 140 inches of fresh water annually. The land is reasonably flat; the river drops only 300 feet in its last 2,000 miles. The average daily temperature varies only three degrees a year, and there are 12 hours of sunlight every day. There are no heavy prevailing winds, and the vast hylea creates its own weather conditions, much like a giant terrarium. On the terra firma there is land for cultivation, solar energy, warmth, and water. Yet agriculture, other than mere subsistence farming, has always failed. It failed because the soil lacks inorganic nutrients, such as phosphate, potassium, nitrogen, and the trace elements. Fertilization is irrational, since the soil also lacks the colloids necessary for the fixation of the fertilizer salts. The heavy rain would soon wash the fertilizer away. Why then this great bio-mass of trees and plants? With such a lack of soil for growing, how is it that Amazonas is the largest, most varied forest in the world? The answer is that the one missing component, nutrition, is not stored in the soil as it would be in a temperate forest, but in the vegetation itself.
The consistency of the weather allows the temperature of the soil to remain just a few degrees below that at which the destruction of the humus would exceed that of accumulation. The high forest softens the impact of the rains and retards the erosion of the litter. The fast growth of this type of vegetation recovers practically all of the nutrients before the water can wash them away. Once more, the huge mass of vegetation is able to store great amounts of water and thereby regulate excessive flooding.
In the 135 million years since the Cretaceous Period and the emergence of angiosperms nature has, through countless selections, evolved an almost perfect plant to aid the forest. If you, yourself, were designing such a plant, you would probably begin by making its leaves fleshy with ample storage areas. You might, with some stroke of genius, form the leaves into a water tight cup, large enough to catch foodstuffs and the water to dissolve them. You might or might not decide that your plant would bloom only once and then die and join the litter providing foodstuffs for the forest. You would certainly want the plant to produce vegetatively so that it would retain the space in the forest that its ancestors had won. Your plant might produce several offsets or pups to assure this territory and to allow nature to select the best to continue reproduction. But if something went wrong and your plant had to move, or if a time arrived when you wanted "new blood" in your species, you would equip your plant with seeds for its continuation. If you had the time you would evolve several genera and species for your plant so that it could fill several sets of circumstances and so that the whole would be protected against single enemies. Lastly you might consider the heavy cover of the trees and give your plant the capability of being an epiphyte so that it could reach for the sun and partake of the miracle of photosynthesis. You might not name your plant after a Swedish botanist who had never heard of it, but it would look like and act like a bromeliad.
So be it. All of this is obviously pure conjecture. No one can prove the roles of the diverse families of plants in the Amazon hylea, but I am here. I see it and I wonder.
P. RAULINO REITZ
Fig. 1 — Vriesea goniorachis. Photo of the type (Glaziou
15471) collected on "Pedra da Ilhea em Andarahy Grande" showing the
deformation of the inflorescence caused at the time of pressing and drying. The
flowers actually are all turned to one side (secund) which here erroneously
seem to be distiche. Phototype no. 22335, Field Museum, Chicago, USA.|
VRIESEA GONIORACHIS (Baker) Mez emend. Reitz
P. Raulino Reitz
Inflorescencia simplex vel composita. 2-5-ramosa: scapo undulato-patente-pendente; floribus nocturnis fauce 27 mm in diametro aperta, optima secundis suberectisque: bracteis floralibus optime secundis tamquam floribus. Cetera ut apud auctorem.
Vriesea goniorachis (Baker) Mez in Mart. Fl. Bras. 3 (3): 545. 1894; L. B. Smith, Contrib. Reed Herb. (reimpr. from Phytologia 1953-1971) 20:119. 1971.
Tillandsia goniorachis Baker, Journ. Bot. 25:303. 1887 (typus Glaziou n. 15471); Handb. Bromel. 187. 1889.
typus — Brasil: Rio de Janeiro, Jacarepagua, ad rupes, 50 m, inflorescencia 4-ramosa, floribus nocturnis secundis, R. Reitz 7597 (13.V.1974), HBR.
Vriesea goniorachis is a bromeliad that is typically adapted to its cliff habitat, not only by its coriaceous dark gray to sometimes violaceous leaves but also by its spreading to pendent inflorescence. It is very common on the nearly vertical rock walls of the peaks of Rio de Janeiro such as Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf), Leme, Canta Gallo, Dois Irmaos, Pedra da Gavea, Corcovado, Pico de Tijuca, Pico do Papagaio, etc.
The flowers are nocturnal, opening a throat unusually large (27 mm) for a flower that is only 40 mm long and exhaling an odor of onion. They bloom at nightfall and close at dawn.
The present paper is for the better knowledge of this endemic of the Rio de Janeiro area by rectifying its basic description and clarifying its morphological characters of great taxonomic significance.
The deformation caused at the time of pressing and drying the type specimen Glaziou 15471 (fig. 1), led Baker to omit from his original description the important character of secund (all turned to one side) flowers shown in the photos published here. They are rare but there also exist plants with a 2-5-branched inflorescence. However, the great majority have a simple inflorescence like that of Glaziou 15471 which Baker used for his type.
The presence of this plant is constant in Rio de Janeiro on the numerous bare rock faces at 10 to 1000 meters altitude where it is exposed to the blistering rays of the full sun.
In cultivation, in bromeliarios and rock gardens, it is not beautiful as an isolated plant but has a pleasing mass appearance when many specimens are grouped in a continuous formation.
Fig. 2 — Vriesea goniorachis having a simple,
spreading to pendulous inflorescence.|
(Continued from last issue)
Fig. 4 — Trees overloaded with epiphytes in the Chanchamayo Valley|
Before entering the region of Chanchamayo, the valley of Tarma becomes narrower and narrower and more canyonlike. In consequence of the higher humidity, the gray tillandsias and vrieseas (V. patula) disappear, and green tillandsias with tank rosettes become predominant. They grow as terrestrials or epilithic on rocks. We must name here two species. The beautiful Tillandsia macrodactylon with its big bipinnate inflorescences, bright red floral bracts and violet flowers, appears in such quantities that the steep rocks above the river appear red in color.
Left — Fig. 1
Rocks with T. macrodactylon near Tarma
Below left — Fig. 2
T. pyramidata — Tarma
Below right — Fig. 3 Chanchamayo Valley
(all photos by author)
Unfortunately, this magnificent. plant, which would be a beauty in cultivation, dies after blooming. (See Fig. 1 and color photo.)
Associated with T. macrodactylon is T. pyramidata Andre, another green tillandsia with big rosettes, but with rather unattractive inflorescences. Nevertheless, we found quite an interesting form which I described as var. vivipara, for it produces in the region of the inflorescence such a lot of vegetative plants, instead of flowers, that nothing of the spike is to be seen. (Fig. 2). The young plants fall to earth and grow to become new plants.
To enter the Chanchamayo Valley we have to pass a narrow tunnel, and on a narrow and exposed road with many dangerous curves drive to the bottom of the valley. The landscape and vegetation are completely different. We are now on the humid eastern slopes of the Andes, and the mountains and valley are covered with a dense, evergreen forest. (Fig. 3). We call it a cloud or mist forest. In consequence of the high rainfall the trees are overloaded with all kinds of epiphytes—mosses, ferns, orchids, and bromeliads, and above all with green tank bromeliads. (Fig. 4). Here we see for the first time the genera which are adapted to warm, humid regions—Aechmea, Billbergia, Streptocalyx, Guzmania, green Vrieseas, and others. However, it is almost impossible to collect any of these species, for the Rio Chanchamayo is in a deep gorge and its sides are inaccessible. But farther down, between San Ramon and La Merced, the bottom of the valley becomes broader, and here we are able to collect plants. Very frequent is T. polystachia, a wide-spread species. It grows with the rare T. juruana, a dwarf species with gray lepidote, canaliculate leaves, whose sheathes form a pseudobulb in which ants live. L. B. Smith has united T. juruana with T. paraensis, but the plant of the Chanchamayo Valley is so different from the typical T. paraensis that it should be put into the range of a distinct species.
A dwarf bromeliad of special interest is the attractive Vriesea incurva (Griseb.) L. B. Smith. We collected it growing on Erythrina trees near San Ramon. It forms small, pseudobulbous rosettes with spreading gray lepidote (at least beneath) leaves. The inflorescence scape is very short and hidden in the leaves.
The subdigitate arranged, many-flowered, complanate spikes are erect or pendent. (Fig. 5). The gray lepidote floral bracts are of an intensive carmine-red color, to which contrast the big green flowers. (See color photo.) When we collected the plant, we thought we had found a new species because we were unable to determine it with the help of the Vriesea key of L. B. Smith. But when Dr. Smith made his key, he had not seen that it was a Vriesea; therefore he put it first into this genus. Vriesea incurva had been up to today only from Colombia, but its area now extends from there up to central Peru and we have found it also in Ecuador.
Fig. 5 — Vriesea incurva|
One of the largest species we found in the region of San Ramon is shown in Fig. 6. It is closely related to Tillandsia platyphylla and forms big rosettes. The long, narrow-triangular, densely brown lepidote leaves possess big dark brown sheathes; the scape is thick and stout, and the amply tripinnate inflorescence reaches a height of 2 m and more. The primary branches are long stipitate, the axis of the spikes is very thin and flexuous; the blue violet flowers are laxly arranged. T. platyphylla does not grow only on trees, but also on steep rocks at an altitude between 1,000 and 1,500 m.
In Villarica, a small village, we leave the charming Chanchamayo Valley, and a narrow, and in the rainy season a very dangerous, road brings us up to Oxapampa (1,800 m). The road transverses rich evergreen mountainous forests with a lot of tree ferns (Fig. 7) and epiphytes and rare orchids. But most of them are, as usual, not attainable. We can classify them only with the help of a binocular.
In a garden of a primitive hut of an Indian, we see a large plant of Guzmania lindenii, really a beauty (Fig. 8). We had never seen this species on our former trips into the Chanchamayo region, because it grows in the crowns of very high trees. Naturally, we stopped and asked the Indian whether he could collect some plants for us and promised him a good "propina" (gratuity). But heavens, when we came back some days later, we found that he had collected over a hundred plants! What could we do with them? We had to buy them. So we took them and planted most of them in suitable places on trees, taking only a few specimens with us. We hope the plants we left behind all grew.
The narrow dust road winds up to the plain (pampa) of Oxapampa (1,800 m), an exciting place for a botanist. Although great parts of the primary cloud forests have already been cut and destroyed, there are still many places with intact vegetation. In consequence of the high rainfall and the high humidity every morning there are mists and clouds (Figs. 9 and 10). The region of Oxapampa is a paradise for epiphytic bromeliads, and it is really impossible to give here a complete list of all the species we found; many of them are not yet determined.
Fig. 6 — Tillandsia platyphylla — San Ramon|
One of the small tillandsias is T. biflora (Figs. 11 and 12), a remarkable plant in an ecological sense. It grows in the deep shadow of tree crowns. The rosette-leaves are very tender, and the small tank is filled with a lot of pure, clean water, which one can drink. Although the plant grows in deep shade, the leaves are beautifully colored. We could distinguish at least two different forms, for which I propose the names of forma curvifolia and forma strictifolia. Forma curvifolia is the smaller one; the rosette has a diameter up to only 20 cm; the leaves are green, dark purple spotted, and the tips of the ligulate leaves are strongly curled back. These two characters, the spots and the curled leaf-tips, are maintained in cultivation.
In the forma strictifolia, the attenuate leaves are straight, their tips not curved back; they have either a green or a yellowish green color; the spots are red-wine and their density is variable. Unfortunately, the fantastic color of the leaves is lost in cultivation.
One of the widest spread tillandsias in the Oxapampa region is T. complanata, growing in masses on all the trees. It appears in a nice, small form with dark wine-red leaves; but the color is caused only by the influence of light. Growing in the shadow of the tree-crowns, the plant changes to green. One of our most delightful discoveries in this region was a variegated form of T. complanata, unknown up to this day (f. variegata). The leaves have white and green stripes, as in variegated forms of other bromeliads. Unfortunately, it is impossible to propagate this form in a vegetative manner, for the stems of T. complanata are not branched because of the lateral position of the inflorescences.
The trees are really overloaded with bromeliads. We note T. commixa, an attractive species of the Pseudocatopsis group. T. tovarensis forms big rosettes of dark wine-red leaves (Fig. 13), but the biggest tillandsia we found in this region is the species shown in Figs. 14 and 15. As we have never seen the flower, we cannot identify the species (probably somebody can help me!). It forms enormous rosettes of lingulate, gray-waxy leaves with dark violet sheathes. The carmine-red scape is very stout and the tri-to-quatripinnate inflorescence attains a height of 2 m or more. What a beautiful species! But we saw only buds or fruits, but no open flowers. "Que lastima!" (Collecting number: Rauh 25771 and 35609)
Fig. 9 — The mountains of Oxapampa|
Fig. 10 — A road in the Oxapampa region after rain|
Associated with these bromeliads grows a probably new Vriesea with pendulous inflorescences and light-blue flowers. (Fig. 16). Most vrieseas have greenish flowers!
As we enter the dense cloud forest around Oxapampa, we see such a lot of interesting bromeliads that it is impossible to give a complete survey. We will cite only those species which may be of interest for cultivation:
A very attractive plant is probably a new variety of T. pendulispica with pendulous spikes and bright red floral bracts (Fig. 17). We collect a special type of V. patula with small pseudo-bulbous rosettes and long hanging simple inflorescences; naturally we have seen many aechmeas and guzmanias.
One of the most remarkable guzmanias is a (not yet determined) species with light green flowers and an intensive smell of garlic. It seems to be a night bloomer, for the flowers are closed in the afternoon.
But one of our most attractive discoveries is our new Tillandsia undulato-bracteata RAUH of which we give the following short description. (Figs. 18 and 19).
When we found the plant for the first time without flowers, we thought that it was a Guzmania, for the ligulate, dark green leaves have a red-striped sheath as is typical of many guzmanias. But according to the structure of the inflorescence and the flowers our plant is a typical Tillandsia. It forms a big rosette of ligulate leaves up to 1 m long and dark green on both sides.
The erect scape is about 50 cm long, round, glabrous, pale yellow, red striped and covered with subfoliate scape bracts, much exceeding the internodes, and wine red striped at the base.
The tripinnate, pyramidal inflorescence reaches a length of 1-1,3 m; its axis is of a carmine red color and the spreading primary bracts are yellowish and red striped at the base and green at the tips.
The lax spikes are 8-10 cm long, up to 3 cm wide, and their carmine-red axis is lightly flexuous.
The floral bracts of the distichous arranged flowers are spreading, 20-22 mm long, ecarinate, yellow at the tips, carmine-red at the base, and provided with a broad membranaceous undulate margin, the most significant characteristic of the plant.
Figs.11 and 12
Tillandsia bicolor var. curvifolia found in Oxapampa at 1,800 m.
Fig. 13 — Tillandsia tovarensis|
The sepals, much exceeded by the floral bracts, are only up to 18 mm long, yellow-green, and ecarinate. The yellow petals are exceeding the floral bracts; stamens and style are included. (Holotype: Rauh 25825, October 1971, in the Herbarium of the Institute of Systematic Botany of the University of Heidelberg.)
With its yellow-red, undulate floral bracts, T. undulato-bracteata is one of the most striking new Peruvian tillandsias, which is related to T. hutchisonii, known only from northern Peru. T. undulato-bracteata seems to have a larger distribution, for we found in central Ecuador, in the valley of Baeza, in a similar biotype (cloud-forest) a plant which we consider identical to T. undulato-bracteata.
We are convinced that we could have found in the Oxapampa region many more interesting bromeliads if we could have stayed there for a longer period.
The intention of this article is to show that Peru has many regions which are extremely rich in bromeliads, all of which can be gathered in a short period of time.
|Figs. 14 and 15|
|— the largest tillandsia found in Oxapampa|
Tillandsia pendulispica — closeup of
Tillandsia macrodactylon found in the
Chanchamayo growing on rocks.
|Vriesea incurva (Griseb.) L. B. Smith|
Above — Fig. 17
Fig. 16 — left
Vriesea species with light blue flowers, as yet unidentified.
Figs. 18 and 19 — Tillandsia undulato-bracteata
WILBUR G. WOODThe Bromeliad Society, a little more than seven years ago, announced its intention to accept requests for the registration of bromeliad hybrids. The response to this announcement in the way of applications for registrations was slow. This was to be expected, as each hybridizer had to consider the advantages to himself as well as to the bromeliad community. Some felt their efforts weren't worthy of the attention the publication of their hybrid would bring, while others were reluctant to disclose the parentage of a hybrid they considered to be outstanding. Slowly these doubts are being resolved, and the number of applications is increasing.
Along with the requests for registration come questions. Some questions relate to procedure and requirements of registration. Such questions are answered by reference to appropriate sections of the "Rules for Registration" as published in the Journal, Vol. XXII, No. 1, January—February, 1972. As a convenience to hybridizers, the "Rules" have been reprinted, and a copy is now being sent along with each mailing of registration forms. Other questions deal with hybrid nomenclature. What is or is not a hybrid may not be understood. A cross between two different species is a hybrid, whereas a self cross or a cross between two plants of the same species remains the same species. Likewise, a self cross or a cross between two plants which are hybrids of the same name retain the same name even though they appear to be different.
Questions concerning the designation of generation have arisen. Starting with any given species or hybrid plant, the progeny from a self cross will be the second generation and designated as Fl. The progeny from a selfing of any one of the Fl generation will be a third generation designated as F2.
Questions dealing with methods of propagation, particularly new methods such as tissue culture, are also being received. While such questions are not directly related to registration, they are welcomed by the Society and will be answered as best we can. Information relating to questions of tins nature which are of general interest may be incorporated in articles for future publication in the Journal.
All matters concerning registration should be addressed to me, Wilbur G. Wood, 1621 Irving Avenue, Glendale, California 91201.
WALTER E. GODDARDI was just leafing through back issues of our Journal, which is always an enjoyable pastime, when my eyes were caught by an article "Bromeliads in the Botanischer Garten Berlin-Dahlem." It was printed in the January-February issue for 1970 and has the following note at the end: "This article was written before July 31, 1969, when almost all plants of the Palmenhaus were killed by fire."
In 1970 and 1971 I went to Berlin and took the opportunity to visit the Botanical Garden several times and would like to report what I saw that has been done since the fire.
The new Palmenhaus is breath-takingly filled with all kinds of tropical plants, trees, and palms so that I got a true feeling of being in a real jungle. There was nothing reminiscent of a recent fire or of the total destruction caused by the war. I had loved this jumbo-sized hothouse since my earliest childhood and had visited there weekly for four decades. It is indeed one of the largest in the world, measuring 100 feet by 200 feet and is nearly 100 feet high.
The replanting of the new Palmenhaus after the fire was placed in the hands of Mr. Dumke, whom I had the pleasure of meeting when visiting the gardens in 1971. I was informed that the damage during the war caused a total loss of plant life, the only exception being a number of old and hardy cycads. Everything else had to be replaced. There were a number of taller plants growing in other parts of the garden which could be transplanted into the house, but botanical gardens from all the world delivered plants either in exchange or by purchase. Especially instrumental in delivering plants as far as bromeliads were concerned were Prof. Rauh of Heidelberg, Dr. Oeser of Freiberg, and Mr. Richter of Crimitschau.
The southern part of the Palmenhaus displays tropical and subtropical plants from the old world—Africa, Asia, and Australia—whereas the northern section covers the new world—the Americas. A tremendous waterfall tumbling down from great heights provides humidity and does much to simulate the jungle atmosphere and at the same time drowning the noise of many vents. A mountain pass next to the waterfall leads up to quite an elevation from where bromeliads, growing on a 50-foot high tree, can be studied from close range.
The density of the plant life in this house can best be given by some statistical data: There are 700 to 800 species of trees, shrubs, vines, aroids, palms (some of them 90 feet tall), cycads, etc., represented. The aforementioned "bromeliad tree" is, besides bromeliads, also covered with orchids, ferns, rhipsalis, and other epiphytes. The ground cover consists of a great variety of the fern and moss families, selaginellas, marantas, peperomias, etc. All in all, it is just a beautiful plant paradise, where one can find solace, peace, beauty, and the feeling of being far away from it all.
Before I come to the center of attraction-the bromeliad house-I would like to give some technical data about the modern installations which were made use of when rebuilding the house. The 1,650 panes of glass, encasing the house are so-called "Acrylglass (Plexiglass), which, in comparison to Silicate glass, allows little loss of blue and ultraviolet rays. Infrared rays are heavily absorbed and consequently reduce the indoor temperature in summer, but with smaller conductivity it reduces the bill for heating in winter. Acrylglass is practical, unbreakable, and is lighter in weight. By using large, concave windowpanes the steel framework could be kept lighter thus saving labor and cost.
Equally interesting is the installation of an elaborate air heating system with air filter aggregates, also the installation of overhead watering and humidifying with a capacity of 130 liters of soft water per minute. To provide a constant amount of light during the day, 100 high power mercury lamps of 400 watts each are activated if the day light is reduced by heavy overcast skies.
Let's bypass one of the main attractions of the gardens, the Victoria amazonica house, and step right in the bromeliad house, where I really felt at home. The central part of this large house is filled with hundreds and hundreds of bromeliads, growing in the ground, on bark, on trees, or hanging from branches. Every inch of the ground as well as the space above reaching to the ceiling is filled with plants in perfect condition, with sparkling shiny leaves, many in bloom in all colors of the rainbow. It is futile to give a list of all the goodies one can find here; you name it, they have it. On both sides there are three-foot wide benches, also filled to capacity with vrieseas, guzmanias, aechmeas, neoregelias, nidulariums, tillandsias, etc., of all kinds and descriptions, either planted in soil or on rocks or attached to branches. Especially showy are the many different varieties of cryptanthus in mass plantings and everything in perfect condition and brilliant colors. The setting is so naturalistic that one forgets it was arranged by man and at least 6,000 miles away from their habitat. It is also remarkable that the bromeliad house is completely replanted and redecorated every year to give the visitor always a new and different picture of an authentic tropical bromeliad jungle. To create this scene the gardeners select their material from 400 species of 31 genera, including 140 tillandsias, which are being grown in the Botanical Garden.
—Culver City, California
Exterior of the Palmenhaus in Berlin.|
The Bromeliad House.|
L. B. SMITH
PLANT flowering to 12 cm high. LEAVES very many in a dense spreading rosette, to 11 cm long, covered with subspreading cinereous scales; sheaths elliptic-oblong, merging with the blades; blades very narrowly triangular, filiform-attenuate, soon involute, ca. 1 cm wide at base. SCAPE very short and hidden by the leaves; scape-bracts elliptic, caudate to apiculate, green, subcoriaceous, lepidote, shorter than the floral bracts, subinvolucrate beneath the inflorescence, INFLORESCENCE erect, simple, 6 cm long, 2 cm wide and nearly as thick, subfusiform, narrowly acute, densely few-flowered. FLORAL BRACTS slightly more than distichous at base, exactly so above, ovate, acute, 4 cm long, much exceeding the sepals, ecarinate, thin, roseate, subdensely white-lepidote; flowers subsessile. SEPALS elliptic, obtuse, 28 mm long, free, thin, sparsely lepidote, the posterior carinate; petals erect in a tube, 4 cm long, white; stamens exserted. Pl. fig.
GUATEMALA: without exact locality, cultivated in Los Angeles, California, September 1973, G. J. Velick s. n. (US, type).
His interest in bromeliads came about when he was in Central America looking for rare tropical frogs which he collected. He noted that the little fellows liked to live in the cups of bromeliads, so he brought them to Germany as a home for his pets. His fascination for bromeliads soon became greater than his original interest in frogs. A member of the Society from its inception, he always took an active interest in the Journal, contributing many articles and photographs through the years—his last appearing in Issue No. 2 for this year. Tillandsias became his abiding passion, and the great interest in this genus to be found throughout the Continent was due in no small way to him. For many of us, he was a deep and warm friend, and his passing means a sad personal loss.
One such friend, W. G. Ahler of the Hague, Holland, best expresses this feeling in a letter just received by the Society:
"I first met him in 1963 when the "Frogman" was received by "Lacerta," the Dutch Terrarium Society, at our annual meeting. He gave a speech, which he called "How a Frog lover became a Tillandsia grower."
On that occasion he distributed many plants from his own collection. Since then my zest for these bizarre aerial bromeliads was aroused and I paid several visits to his comfortable country house in the Black Forest. It was he who introduced me into the Bromeliad Society.
A pilgrimage to his greenhouse meant a trip away from earth. I liked to sit alone in the entrance in the shadow of clusters of Tillandsias of different sizes and kinds, trying to get behind the secret why all these plants felt as happy as I did at that moment. And then the host would come in, having a personal word for each of his green children, humming whilst handling them. Dr. Oeser was always charming, very human, intelligent, and with a philosophy that can best be described as "eastern." His conversation and manners were in the grand style from before the world wars.
It has been said that no perfectly working computer can replace the care and love of a human master. A real master he was; I once called him Magician.
We tillandsia lovers have long counted on him for his help as well as a source of living material, and one may rightly call him the inspiring pioneer of this hobby in Holland. I am thankful to have known him and will always remember his great wit and profound knowledge by rereading his letters which I am happy to have kept from the very first."
DENIS I. DUVEEN
I have about 100 acres of mountain top property some ten miles outside the resort city of Petropolis in Brazil. The elevation of my house is exactly 1,000 m above sea level. Much of my land is virgin jungle with much exposed mountainside rock on which many bromeliads grow. One of the most striking is a giant one which I assume to be Vriesea imperialis, which is locally abundant.
Last year we noticed that our little parochial church had used the inflorescence of one of these plants as a Christmas tree. Real Christmas trees are inordinately expensive and hard to get here. So this year we decided to do the same for the pleasure of our two little girls.
in the rain forests of Brazil, and the same plant used as a Christmas tree.
KATHY DORRThe Silver Anniversary Show and Dinner of The Bromeliad Society, Inc. will be held at the Le Baron Hotel, Buena Park, California, June 7 and 8, 1975.
All of the Affiliates are invited to put in a display. This will be a way to share the "Bromeliads of The World." There will be commercial displays, affiliate displays, individual displays and plants for judging. Plants will be available at the Sale Table.
Three seminars are planned, covering information for the novice and the more knowledgeable. There will be garden visits to various homes in the Los Angeles area. Nursery visits in the local area are planned, with transportation provided.
Accommodations at the hotel may be obtained at $17.00 for a single, $22.00 for double. There are other hotels and motels in the area, if desired. We have reserved a block of rooms in one area in order that we won't be scattered all over the hotel.
If you plan to fly to Southern California, notify the Transportation Chairman. You will be picked up at the airport and taken to the hotel. You will receive further information concerning this in the next Journal.
The dinner will be Saturday night at the Le Baron. The speaker will be Dr. H. W. Wiedman, Dept. of Life Sciences, Sacramento State College, Sacramento. Dr. Wiedman has just completed a trip visiting all the bromeliads in Europe, Africa and Mexico.
While in California, there are many delightful side trips to be taken: the Redwoods in Northern California - Monterey — Hearst's Castle and Solvang for just a start.
In the immediate area, there are Knott's Berry Farm — Japanese Deer Park — Disneyland (transportation provided by the hotel to these).
In the Los Angeles area there are Marineland — the Queen Mary — L. A. County Museum of Art — La Brea Tar Pits — L. A. County Arboretum — Palos Verdes Botanic Gardens, to name just a few.
Further information and reservation slips will be included with your January-February issue of the Journal.
KATHY DORRBROMELIADS — A Cultural Handbook — by Mulford B. Foster and other members of the Bromeliad Society. Originally issued in 1953 and now brought up to date in this third edition, this book contains 65 pages of cultural information. Price — $2.95 postpaid. Send check payable to Bromeliad Society to Charles A. Wiley, 4036 Via Solano, Palos Verdes Estates, California 90274.
SOCIETY EMBLEM PINS — Send check for $4.50 to Mr. Patrick Mitchell, P.O. Box 241, Houston, Texas 77001.
BROMELIAD NOTE PAPER — 12 notes, 6 bromeliad designs — $1.00 a set. Send check to Mrs. Kathy Dorr, 6153 Hayter Avenue, Lakewood, California 90712.
DUPLICATED ISSUES of the Bromeliad Society Bulletin. Volumes I through XV. $15.00 a set. Send check to Mrs. Kathy Dorr, 6153 Hayter Ave., Lakewood, California 90712.
BACK ISSUES OF THE JOURNALS — Only Volumes XVIII, XIX, XXII, and XXIII available. $6.50 each or $25.00 for all four volumes. Miscellaneous issues from Volumes XVII, XX and XXI — 8 for $5.00. WALTER RICHTER GROWING CHART — 30 cents in coin or stamps. Send check to the Editor, 647 South Saltair Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90049.
BROMELIAD SEED for sale, exchange, or purchase. Send self-addressed, stamped envelope to Society Seed Fund Chairman, Mrs. James R. Rutledge, 2112 West Carol Drive, Fullerton, California 92633 for list of what is available. Packets — 50 cents each.
RENEWAL TIME — Renewal Blanks were enclosed in the last issue of the Journal. If they have not already done so, members are urged to send in their renewal for membership in the Bromeliad Society as soon as possible. Members will please note that despite the rising prices and shortage of paper, dues will be the same as last year. The same fine quality Journal is promised for next year with many beautiful pictures in color. Annual dues are $7.50. Please send check to The Bromeliad Society, Inc., P.O. Box 3279, Santa Monica, California 90403.
Of all the plants this writer received in a shipment from Panama, only this, Aechmea allenii, survived. Long days in transit and a heavy fumigation did not mar this plant in any way, the foliage remaining undamaged. Within a year the inflorescence appeared.
Aechmea allenii is endemic to Panama, where it is an epiphyte, growing in the mountains north of El Valle de Anton at an elevation of 3,500 feet. This is a warm, humid region, so it is probably best to grow this aechmea, despite its hardy appearance, in the greenhouse.
The plant in the picture has leaves 18 inches long and 1½ inches wide. The inflorescence is a soft rose and the flowers have petals that are a luminous lilac. It is a highly desirable plant because of its compact size, its long-lasting inflorescence, and the beauty of its coloring. It is also generous with offshoots.