BSI Journal - Online Archive


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.

Address all correspondence to:
The Bromeliad Society, Inc.
P. O. Box 3279
Santa Monica, Calif. 90403
OFFICERS
PresidentElmer J. Lorenz, Calif.
1st V.P.Leonard Kent, M.D., Calif.
2nd V.P.W. R. Paylen, Calif.
Rec. Secy.Jeanne Woodbury, Calif.
Corres. Secy.Kathy Dorr, Calif.
Treas.Kelsey Williams, Calif.

DIRECTORS

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.

1975-1978: Jeanne Woodbury, George Anderson, Charles Wiley, Ervin Wurthmann, Victoria Padilla, Wilbur Wood, Thelma O'Reilly, David H. Benzing.

HONORARY TRUSTEES

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; Dr. W. Rauh, Germany; Raulino Reitz, Brazil; Walter Richter, Germany; L. B. Smith, USA; R. G. Wilson, Costa Rica.

THE JOURNAL

Published six times a year: January, March, May, July, September, November. Free to members.

Individual copies of the Journal, $1.50

THE JOURNAL
TABLE OF CONTENTS
NOVEMBER—DECEMBER, 1976

The Oaxaca Christmas Plant Market
  John D. Rees223
 
Environments and Species
  W. W. G. Moir233
 
Some Interesting Bromeliads from the Auyan-Tepui, Venezuela
  J. Bogner237
 
The Titillating Tillandsias244
 
Notes on Two Tillandsias Found in Argentina and Brazil
  Rolf Rawe246
 
Regional Reflections247
 
New Orleans, Bromeliads, and All That Jazz251
 
Tillandsia Cucullata
  Werner Rauh252
 
Bromeliads: More 'In' Than Ever
  H. Alton Lee256
 
Multiple Inflorescences258
 

COVER PICTURE

Navia splendens L. B. Smith
Photo by P. J. van der Vlugt


Editor: Victoria Padilla

Editorial Board: Dr. R. W. Read, Identification; Dr. W. Rauh, Identification; Mrs. Kathy Dorr, Advertising; Elmer J. Lorenz, Index; Lawrence Mason, Jr., Science; Robert Burstrom, Regional; Edgar Smith, Regional.

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.


The Oaxaca Christmas Plant Market

JOHN D. REES

Author
Fig. 1 Altar in church showing use of T. usneoides for decoration.

Little has been written on Mexican Christmas plant markets in either the literature of peasant market systems or ethnobotany. The sale of tillandsias in a street market in Honduras was briefly noted, as was the sale of a variety of bromeliads in Costa Rica (Williams 1954, Foster 1953). In Mexico, the tradition of using wild gathered plants for Christmas decoration dates from the 16th century (Campos 1929). These wild gathered plants sold in open-air markets are used in Christmas decorations in homes and churches.

To appreciate the use of native plants in Mexico, it is useful to briefly describe the principal events of a traditional Mexican Christmas as it is still celebrated today. The principal events are the preparation of the Nacimiento, the festival of the Posadas, the Epifania (Day of the Kings), and the Levantamiento.

In the homes of conservative traditional families, Christmas decoration involves the construction of a nacimiento, a small diorama representing the events immediately before and after the birth of Christ. In its most simple form, the nacimiento is a small tabletop scene depicting the birth of Christ and the adoration of the shepherds in a grotto near Bethlehem. In Mexico the "grotto" is a hut called a portal with one to three sides constructed of scrap wood and cardboard with the roof covered in paxtle (Tillandsia usneoides, commonly known as Spanish moss) or in grass thatch, walls covered with cotton or paxtle, and floors with moss or lichen. Biblical figures and animals made in porcelain and plastic are placed in the hut. In its simpler form, the scene sometimes consists of both the Nativity scene and the arrival of the Three Kings. In its more elaborate form, the Nativity and the arrival of the Three Kings form separate scenes.

The festival of the Posadas honors the theme of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter. The celebration takes place in the evenings on the days between December 15 — December 24. Except in a few places such as in the state of Tabasco where a special ceremony takes place in the church, the ritual of the Posadas is largely a social event that takes place in the home (Santamaria 1942). The nacimiento is prepared in time for display during the social events of the Posadas and the days between Christmas (December 25) and the Day of the Kings (January 6). (Christmas day is usually observed quietly at home with the family.)

Epifania, the Day of the Kings (January 6), celebrates symbolically the giving of the gifts by the Three Kings to the Infant Christ. Secularly, it is the Children's Christmas, a fiesta where the extended family gathers for the exchange of gifts and the breaking of the piñata. (The piñata is a papiermache, shaped in the form of an animal or a man, filled with candies and small toys. The piñata is hung by a rope on a beam or between columns in the house courtyard and is broken with a stick by a blind-folded child.) For most families the Christmas season ends with the Day of the Kings.

The Levantamiento, which takes place anywhere between the 6th of January and the 2nd of February, is the lifting up and putting away of the infant Christ figure from the nacimiento diorama—traditionally, the Christ figure is given new clothing being put away for the next Christmas season. In devout traditional families, the Levantamiento marks the formal ending of the Christmas festivities.

The tradition of making the nacimiento goes back to late 16th century in Mexico. It came from Spain where the tradition has it that it originated in Greccio, Italy, in 1223 when St. Francis of Assisi introduced the nativity scene into the church (Asoc. de Belenistas 1965). The use of bromeliads as part of the decoration in a church nacimiento was first cited in 1587 in the Indian village of Tlajomulco, Jalisco (Campos 1929). The tradition of building the nacimiento in the church and the use of bromeliads persists to this day, both in rural and urban Mexico. (see Fig. 1)

Author
Fig. 2 A nacimiento (nativity scene) in a home
showing use of tillandsias.

Building elaborate nacimientos in private houses is not only an act of religious devotion, it is done as a creative artistic expression. Social prestige is another incentive to create nacimientos as they are on view during the Christmas festivities. In the more affluent homes the elaborate nacimiento may consist of several scenes: the angel announcing the Birth to shepherds clustered around a fire; The Nativity; the arrival of the Three Kings; King Herod sitting on his throne; people and animals grouped around a spring, etc. In some nacimientos the Three Kings on their camels are moved across the landscape daily until they reach Bethlehem on January 6 (Day of the Kings). The more elaborate dioramas are constructed on a rectangular platform occupying the entire side of a room or a whole wall of a courtyard. The construction is an undertaking of the entire family and frequently involves considerable initial cost. The fancy diorama has a ground cover of either lichen, moss, or paxtle, on terraces of a hilly landscape made of wood and colored paper and cardboard with the backdrop painted on canvas. (See Fig. 2). The extensive use of lichen, moss, and paxtle (Tillandsia usneoides) as ground cover make these plants the largest seller in the Christmas plant markets. The larger flowering orchids such as the Laelia furfuracea and Encyclia erubescens, and the larger bromeliads, such as Tillandsia carlos-hankii, T. prodigiosa, T. dasyliriifolia, and T. mexicana are normally used to form the border of the display. In some of the more spontaneously designed dioramas, they are dropped into landscape for striking effect in spite of their being out of scale. Smaller bromeliads such as Tillandsia plumosa, T. multicaulis, and T. butzii add additional form and color to the diorama. Twigs of Manzanita, mistletoe, cypress, and fern are trimmed to form fine miniature trees in the more carefully thought-out designs. Rosettes of Sedum dendroideum and small masses of the elegant orchid Odontoglossum cervantesi make for colorful contrasts against the brown lichen. Very few, if any, domesticated garden ornamentals are used; informants suggested that the wild plants sold in the main market are much cheaper than container-grown ones. These wild plants also require little, if any, watering for the three-to-four-week period that they are in use before being discarded.

During the month of December, collected wild plants are offered for sale in the public markets of many towns. The Oaxaca Christmas plant market is noteworthy for several reasons. It is possibly the largest in any provincial town in Mexico: more sellers, more plant species offered, (see table 1.) and greater volume of plants sold.

The Oaxaca Christmas plant market, apart from the Oaxaca main market, is located in the center of the town in a plaza facing the cathedral and around the corner from the zocalo or the main plaza. The site is excellent: it is centrally located, with treeshade and water from plaza fountains to keep the market plants in fresh condition. The market is very large: in 1975 it was observed that there were 72 selling spaces, each about 10 feet square, arranged on the wide sidewalks along both sides of the narrow street between the plaza and a group of government and commercial buildings. The selling spaces are open-air and sellers place their plants in small heaps on the sidewalk in the manner of the Indian market-selling. (See Fig. 3 & 4.)

The Oaxaca public street market is the largest of its kind in Southern Mexico. As many as 2000 sellers and 30,000 buyers participate on some of the busier Saturdays (Waterbury 1968). It is the central market for a system of town and village markets in a region where 40% of the population is Indian (Beals 1975). The market system, dating from Pre-Columbian times, accounts for a large proportion of the trade in the region. City and rural populations are accustomed to buying commodities and consumer goods in the public street market, whereby large retail stores have a smaller role in retail distribution. These factors, together with the near absence of industry, make Oaxaca City more like a Mexican town of the 1900's. The December Christmas plant market is a product of this tradition and functions as an off-shoot of the main public market.

The plant market of Oaxaca is controlled by the municipality which, together with the Union of Market Sellers, organizes the stall and street sellers of the Oaxaca market system. The plant market only operates in December. The sellers are mostly Zapotec and Spanish-speaking villagers. Most of those interviewed by the author were from the mountain villages of the Sierra Juarez: Ixtepeje and Benito Juarez. Most of the sellers were women with husbands who were subsistence farmers who worked occasionally in timber-cutting or in a small-scale charcoal production. These mountain villagers were accustomed to taking village produce to the public or to other sellers. Apart from the goods they sell occasionally at the Saturday street market, they return year after year to sell plants daily in the December plant market. They pay the city market administration a peso a day for renting a sidewalk space. Their only other expenses are for transporting plant materials from the village to their selling space, and for purchasing additional plant material when necessary. The month of December is a quiet period in the yearly agricultural cycle, a time of rest and chores after the maize and bean harvests. The December Christmas plant market thus provides an important supplementary income to many peasant families in the Sierra.

The collecting of plants is an activity in which the entire family participates. The collecting sites are usually nearby and within an hour and half of the village. Men and boys do the tree-climbing for the bromeliads and orchids, and for the masses of paxtle and some of the showier lichen that grow on pine and oak. Women and girls participate in the ground collection of mosses, lichen, succulents, pine cones, and other plants from the more humid forest areas and rocky sites. Oftentimes bromeliads and orchids are ripped from the tree trunk with little or no concern for damage to roots and stems. Damage is also done to the bromeliads by having the aging basal leaves removed roughly. Plants gathered are placed in fiber bags and carried on human or burro backs to the village or to a central trucking point. Paxtle and lichen are often repacked in large string bags or wicker baskets. Much care is given to the long-stem flowering orchids which fetch a high price in the December market.

  Author
Fig. 3 Fig. 4
The Oaxaca Christmas plant market showing mounds ofSpanish moss
and various tillandsias and other bromeliads for sale.

Selling in the plant market is also a family affair. Related families frequently locate their selling spaces adjacent to one another, so that they may exchange labor, maintain vigilance, and take time out for other activities. Selling is done mainly by women, but men may also participate. In 1975, the wholesale price for a wicker-basket of paxtle averaged 100 pesos, with asking price of 120 pesos, and offers starting at 90. Individual flowering orchids and small to medium-sized flowering bromeliads such as Tillandsia punctulata, T. oaxacana, T. multicaulis are wholesaled from one to 2 pesos and retailed at 3 to 5 pesos. Small piles of lichen, paxtle, pieces of moss, two or three Tillandsia plumosa are sold at 3 pesos to the city resident or Spanish-speaking foreigner. Larger plants such as Tillandsia mexicana, T. dasyliriifolia were sold for 5 to 7 pesos, as was Laelia furfuracea with 2 to 3 flowering inflorescences with pseudobulbs. The most costly plants were rhizomes of Encyclia erubescens with several pseudobulbs and inflorescences with cascades of slightly purple flowers measuring about 2 inches across; those with undamaged flowers commanded as high a price as from 10 to 20 pesos. In short, there was no fixed price on anything.

Other plants are also used for Christmas decoration. The use of conifers as Christmas trees, seems to be a recent introduction from the United States since 1945. Their recent popularity among the urban middle classes has forced the government forestry officials to prohibit the sale of all cut juvenile conifers except those imported from Canada that carry a special import tag. These are sold in stores and are considered a luxury.

In some areas nonconiferous species are cut and used as Christmas trees. Balmea stormae, found in Michoacan, is a small tree with a growth form similar to a small fir; it is appreciated for its form and its bluish silver corky bark (Rees 1971). Clusia salvinii, found over a larger area, is a small tree with a similar form, has a green corky bark with thick oval leaves and fig-like fruits that look like green Christmas ornaments. Decorative long green cables of pine needles, freshly cut, inserted into twine, are hung across streets and private courtyards. Tinsel-like paxtle is sometimes draped on Christmas trees and hung on twine stretched between the columns of patios.

The Oaxaca plant market does not appear to be patronized by foreign tourists or resident Mexicans buying live plants to take back to their gardens and greenhouses. The only mention of the Oaxaca Christmas plant market that I have seen is by Norman Pelham Wright in his book, Orquideas de Mexico in which he mentioned seeing Encyclia erubescens, Laelia furfuracea, and Odontoglossum maculatum in 1957. In 1975 I counted as many as 15 bromeliads, 12 orchids, 6 lichens, 8 mosses and lycopods, and 13 other species being offered for sale either as entire plants, groups of plants, or foliage. The Oaxaca plant market remains a fine source for the horticulturist—a source that is little known outside the region.

Department of Geography, California State University, Los Angeles 229

Table 1. PLANTS OFFERED FOR SALE IN THE OAXACA CHRISTMAS PLANT MARKET

Binomial Common name
z= Zapotec
s= Spanish
December
flowering
or infl. only
Stated village
of origin

BROMELIADS entire plants
Catopsis floribunda-(Brongn.) L.B. Smith

Tillandsia bourgaei-Baker
Tillandsia califanii-Rauh

Tillandsia carlos-hankii-Matuda
Tillandsia dasyliriifolia-Baker

Tillandsia fasciculata-SW
Tillandsia grandis-Schlecht
Tillandsia karwinskyana-Schult
Tillandsia mexicana-L.B. Smith
Tillandsia multicaulis-Steud.

Tillandsia oaxacana-L.B. Smith
Tillandsia plumosa-Baker

Tillandsia punctulata-Schlecht. & Cham.
Tillandsia usneoides-L.
Tillandsia violacea-Baker
z venah
s maguey
s maguey
z venato chilindro
s magueyito
s maguey
z venah
s maguey
s maguey
s maguey
s maguey
s maguey
z venah
s maguey
s magueyito
z tuato
s magueyito
s magueyito
s pastle
s maguey
infl.

infl.
infl.

yes
infl.

infl.
infl.
yes
infl.
infl.

yes
infl.

yes
yes
infl.
Ixtepeje

Ixtepeje
Teotitlan del Valle

La Cumbre
Teotitlan del Valle

Ixtepeje
unk.
Juan del Estado (Etla dist.)
Ixtepeje
Ayutla

Benito Jaurez
Ixtepeje

Ayutla
Ixtlan
Benito Jaurez
ORCHIDS entire plants
Encyclia citrina-Llave & Lex) Dressl.
Encyclia erubescens-(Lindley) Schltr.
Encyclia polystachya‑

Encyclia sp.
Epidendrum aff. ledifolium-Richard & Galeotti

Epidendrum sp.
Isochilus major-Chamisso & Schlechtendal
Laelia furfuracea-Lindley
Maxillaria sp.
Odontoglossum cervantesi-Llave & Lex
Odontoglossum cf-maculatum-Llave & Lex.
Pleurothallis sp.
s bocabajo
unk.
z shrishi
s camote dulce
s aguanoso
z hee
s romero
s carrizo
s carisso
s lirio
z aguanoso richagua
s tigrillo
s camote de encino
s barcelitas
none
yes
yes

none
none

none
none
yes
none
yes
none
none
La Cumbre
unk.
Ixtlan

Benito Jaurez
Ixtlan

Ixtlan
Ixtlan
Benito Juarez
Ixtlan
Ixtlan
Ixtlan
Benito Juarez
CRASSULAS entire plants
Echeveria subrigida-Rose
Sedum dendroideum-Moc.
s conchitas
s sempreviva
yes
yes
La Cumbre
La Cumbre
PEPEROMIA entire plants
Peperomia sp.
s guaje de ardilla
yes
La Cumbre
MANZANITA foliage only
Arctostaphylos sp.
s manzanita
none
San Juan Del Estado
MISTLETOE foliage
Phoradendron sp.
s liria
yes
San Juan del Edo
CONIFERS pine cones, cyprus foliage
Cupressus aff. Lindleyi-Klotsch
Pinus leiophylla-Schl. & Cham.
Pinus pseudostrobus oaxacana-Martinez
Pinus pseudostrobus-Lindl.
s nebro
s pino
s pino
s pino
none
San Juan del Edo
unk.
unk.
unk.
FERNS entire plants
Polypodium sp.
Polypodium sp.
Adiantum sp.
Cheilanthes sp.
s helecho palma
s helecho palma
s helecho palma
s helecho palma
Benito Jaurez
Benito Jaurez
Benito Jaurez
Benito Jaurez
MOSSES mats of living plants
Campylopus sp.
Dendropogonella rufescens‑
Dicranurn sp.
Hypnum sp.
Leptodontium sp.
s musgo
s musgo
s lama verde
s colchoncitos
s lama
Ixtepeje
Benito Jaurez
Ixtepeje
Ixtepeje
Ixtepeje
LYCOPODS entire plants
Lycopodium sp.
Lycopodium sp.
Lycopodium sp.
s disciplina
s cacho de venado
s cacho de venado
La Cumbre
Benito Jaurez
Benito Jaurez
LICHENS mats or masses of plant
Usnea sp.
unk.
unk.
unk.
unk.
unk.
s barbita de arbol
s unk
s lama amarilla
s colchoncito
s lama blanca
s barbita de arbol
Ixtepeje
Ixtepeje
Yachatao
Ixtepeje
Yachatao
Ixtepeje

Footnotes to Table 1.

  1. A common name is often applied to a type of plant with no further distinction made for individual species.

  2. Zapotec names are written as they sounded to an English speaker with no training in linguistics.

  3. Locations are those stated by the seller; they have not been field checked.

  4. The large number of bromeliad species originating from the communal lands of a single village is partly explained by the mountainous terrain with deep semi-arid valleys and local relief of 2000-3000 feet.

  5. Some of the orchid common names may be the unreliable spontaneous inventions of a market seller to pacify a demanding foreigner.

CITED REFERENCES

Asociacion de Belenistas de Madrid, 1965, Belenismo, Arte y Tradicion de Hacer Nacimientos, Publicaciones Espanolas, Madrid.

Beals, Ralph L. 1975, The Peasant Marketing System of Oaxaca Mexico, Univ. of California Press. Berkeley.

Campos, Ruben M. 1929, El Folkloe Literario de Mexico, Publicaciones de la Secretaria de Educacion Publica, Mexico.

Foster, Mulford L. 1954, Bromeliads go to Market in Costa Rica, The Bromeliad Society Bulletin 4, p. 91-92.

Rees, John D. 1971, Forest Utilization by Tarascan Agriculturists in Michoacan, Mexico, Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of Calif. Los Angeles.

Santamaria, Francisco J., 1942, Diccionario General de Americanismos, Editorial Pedro Robredo, Mexico D.F.

Waterbury, Ronald G. 1968. The Traditional Market in a Provincial Urban Setting, Oaxaca Mexico, Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of Calif. Los Angeles.

Williams, Louis O. 1954, Tillandsias at Christmas Time in Honduras, The Bromeliad Society Bulletin 4, p. 87-88.

Wright, Norman Pelham, 1968, Orquideas de Mexico, Editorial Fournier, S.A., Mexico D. F.

 

I wish to thank Dr. Eizi Matuda for the identification of the bromeliads, Dr. Claudio Delgadillo for assistance with the mosses, and the staff of the interior greenhouses of the Instituto de Biologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico for assistance with the orchids.


The Bromeliad Society of Broward County, Florida, is to be congratulated for the public plantings its members have instigated in their city of Ft. Lauderdale. According to their reports, the various beds of bromeliads do not seem to be affected by the gasoline fumes of passing cars and trucks. Aechmea bracteata, A. eurycorymbus, Portea leptantha and P. petropolitana, all in full sun, have thrived and sent out inflorescences. Under two trees there are a variety of bromeliads, all in handsome color.


Environments and Species

W. W. G. MOIR

It is most stimulating to read in Part 2 of "Microscopy — Macroscopy" by Lawrence Mason, Jr., in the May-June issue of the Journal of the Bromeliad Society, his views on the evolving of species in environments. This viewpoint I am thoroughly in agreement with, but I find it is seldom taught by biology or botany instructors; so it behooves me to stress some points and go a bit further than he has done.

One would almost think, however, from the words Mr. Mason used in the 5th paragraph of page 94 that plants had the ability to think and reason out their future course of action. Actually plants, bromeliads being no different in this than others, have just so many chromosomes and in these so many genes and hereditary and acquired units. In the process of dividing rapidly or slowly they may combine in different ways. How they combine may or may not be influenced by environmental factors, but the chances are good that they are greatly influenced by them. For each there are limited ways they can combine.

Had Mr. Mason gone on to show how planetary forces are entirely responsible for creating the environments plants live in, he could have driven home, more strongly, the survival of the many chance forms that occur. All the possible combinations of units would be produced if there were enough seeds to cover all combinations, but there are not always enough seeds and the laws of chance hold true. One would almost think from his words that they had the ability to make other forms not found in the possible combination of units they have in these genes. Yes, there are gigas forms among these combinations and they are limited.

Variants that are produced only survive provided their environment permits them to survive. Only in stable, good environments do great variations show up. Some very fascinating articles by researchers in recent years show that in the same species variations are great in stable conditions and very few in unstable conditions. Environment controls everything. When you have hybridization between two vastly different variants of a single species an entirely new set of units may be established. In such an arrangement maybe the units that more strongly bring out certain characters to the point these plants look like new species may happen. Yet self these hybrid variants enough in stable conditions and one gets all the forms that were present in that species in the first place. This point is what makes me so upset at the great hue and cry of endangered "species" that have been named from the hybrid variant forms. Give the ones that are left a stable condition (but not in captivity) and the "lost" forms will reappear, but the right environment must be there to do it.

The environments are always changing, and when all but one plant (Neptune) is on one side of the zodiac, as they are now as I write this in June, one cannot help but find vast changes in environment with "unusual weather" and unusual variants.

How fascinating it was to read recently an article by an astrologer replying to scientists to see him use the very statistics compiled by the Weather Bureau for seventy years and show them that for the United States the fourth day after the full moon was the wettest average day. Taking their own data, which they did not seem to look at, he proved that the moon has much to do with rainfall. Now if the moon has this effect, plus its tidal effect, there must be other planetary effects on plants and animals which are composed mostly of water.

Going back to Mason's article regarding his Neoregelia chlorosticta — his supposition about breeding his plant for 100 years etc., etc., just cannot happen. Nature has a way of preventing anything like that taking place in captivity. After a few generations without new strains coming in to that breeding, there is no seed produced, and the plants remain sterile. Why? I do not know. But to a hybridizer of plants, and even more strongly when intergenerics are involved, one finds this to be true. Even in the first generation of any cross one finds 50 or more percent of the plants will not breed further. In intergenerics it becomes much more complicated and still fewer offspring breed. The solution to this problem is to back cross those that breed to a strong vigorous clone of a species from the wild or a clone from some other breeder that had been grown under more nearly the environment under which that species evolved, and a vigorous fertile hybrid cross is produced.

No, Mr. Mason, your strain of offspring would die out, but you might keep the first few plants alive for as long as you vegetatively keep them alive by good culture.

Now as to waiting for variants in bromeliad species, just give them their best native habitat environment and variants will appear, as I have reported in an article on mutants, even to have several forms on one common rhizome system. Also letting them seed and germinate, in as good an environment you can create, you can find variants of vigor, size, intensity of color, etc., among these.

One does not always have to get tetraploids to get size increase. Higher elevation or higher latitudes equivalent to elevation can do the same thing without their being any increase in chromosome numbers. Also when this increase in size occurs often greater variation in color of flower can occur with it. I have written up the variation of a single species of oncidium with variants at different elevations from sea level to 3000 feet. In this case the flowering has changed three and six months later; size has trebled; and color mutants of the flower from normal yellow to pure white, white with red lip, white with orange lip, yellow with red lip and yellow with bronzed patterns of blocked out red by the yellow. But always greatest size is tied up with the all yellow. Smaller size goes with loss of yellow. Yet in all these changes there are still the same chromosome numbers.

Yes, polyploidy has a tremendous connection with survival of species to the point that all the diploid forms of a species can no longer exist in any area. Then one finds double the tetraploid number in these plants along with the tetraploids.

This subject has been one that greatly intrigued me for years. My wife and I have observed plants in all kinds of environments in the world in well over 60 countries of the tropics and in hundreds of variations of the environments in these countries. The thing to remember is that these environments never remain stable forever, for the planetary effects are continually changing. We returned to many of the same areas four or five times in wet season and dry in different years both in the North and South Tropic belts and Equatorial belt. We have gardened using these observations in microclimates for years to get the greatest benefit from our plants. I have bred hibiscus, lilies, orchids, sugar cane, and bromeliads and gardened for 70 years. The story is the same throughout all of them. Environments have been responsible for what one got, and environments have made both hybrids and species what they are today.

There are some very fascinating cases of hybrid swarms occurring in nature that are vastly changing the species of an area and eliminating some species. Whether these are all due to man's interference I am not able to determine, but in some cases over collection has done it, and wasps have mixed up species and hybrids that were left.

The most fascinating things that are occurring in nature are (1) the large flowered or gigas forms that are appearing; (2) the unusual vigorous natural hybrids that have become stable species. However, man is greatly disturbing these occurrences and preventing environments from completing this wonderful evolution which can only occur in these environments. Man has not learned to reproduce those environments in his habitats.

The complications in breeding different chromosome-numbered genera in intergenerics is another factor scientists have not gotten into nor have they explained why some genera have to be males or females in breeding, plus the refusal of their offspring to be male or female are all serious problems. Yes, it would appear that plants can think and do refuse to be pushed into things they do not want to do, but possibly this is an environment control and a different environment can solve it. We should teach more about planetary effects and forces creating environments from the kindergarten on and orient and co-ordinate all science to these effects and not study these sciences each one alone as a separate unrelated subject.

I look forward to Mason's other articles which no doubt will appear before this one. But I hope he finally gives environment a greater place in our existence and goes further in his work. I am not an Environmentalist as this term is used in the media today, for I do not see how man can control planetary forces that make or break environments. But I strongly urge the protection from man of environments that are doing wonderful things with worth-while plants. Actually there are few species in any genera that offer much benefit to man; the rest just fill space and make oxygen to refreshen the atmosphere. This can be most efficiently done by members of the grass family, but how tiresome it would be with only grass! Aloha.

Honolulu, Hawaii


This year southern California experienced its hottest June on record. Usually June is a cool, foggy month, the weather not turning warm until after July 4th. It was interesting to note the effect this unexpected prolonged heat spell had on the bromeliads. Many of my bromeliads are planted out in the garden, so had to take the full fury of the sun's rays. The nidulariums came out well, with no burning whatsoever, even though some had sunlight. The aechmeas, particularly the Hummel hybrids, really burned. The water in the neoregelia cups burned the hearts of the plants, although they were not killed. The vrieseas, especially the soft green-leaved types, went unscathed, although V. fosteriana was harmed. All the billbergias suffered. — V. P.


Some Interesting Bromeliads from the Auyan-tepui, Venezuela

J. BOGNER

Author
Guzmania squarrosa in habitat.

In February of 1975, I was able to join Prof. Dr. V. Vareschi, Mr. O. Huber and wife, as well as several Indian carriers of the Kamarakoto tribe, in order to climb up the Auyan-tepui in the Estado Bolivar, Venezuela. The trip and climb up from Kamarata to the summit plateau took 3½ days.

The Auyan-tepui is one of the largest tepuis, having a flat plateau and high vertical cliffs around composed of pink to red sandstone. The summit plateau, which is divided by deep canyons and crevices, has bogs, creeks and small streams, wooded areas, as well as parts with lower vegetation. The surface of the summit plateau is about 700 sq. km., and the highest point measures approximate 2500 m. The average yearly temperature lies between 14-15° C, whereby the minimum of 4° C was established. The relative humidity is high, because there are fogs on the summit plateau. Also, during the dry season, fog usually covers the top of the Auyan-tepui in the early morning and during the forenoon, and then often it becomes clear at midday.

 
Fig. 1 Navia splendens growing on
vertical cliffs at Guayaraca.
Fig. 2 Pitcairnia ctenophylla.

We arrived at the mission station Kamarata by a small plane, because it cannot be reached by road. This village has an altitude of 450 m. There we hired six Indian porters and went by foot to the base of the Auyan-tepui, which took one day. Then it was going up very steep to the first step, called Guayaraca, with an altitude between 900 and 1200 m. On the margin of the first step are large rocks. There we saw growing on vertical cliffs Navia splendens L. B. Smith (Fig. 1), a very attractive bromeliad. At flowering time, the center of the plant is orange red. Navia splendens also grows at the foot of the Angel Falls (see cover photograph, made by P.J. van der Vlugt). Pitcairnia ctenophylla L. B. Smith (Fig. 2) with spiny leaves grows on thin accumulations of humus on rocks. The top of the first step is more or less level, and here are bogs, rocky places, streams, wooded areas and savannas, the latter originated through burning down the primary forest. In a forest area along a stream we found the large, very colorful flowering Guzmania squarrosa (Mez et Sod.) L. B. Smith et Pittend. (syn. G. cryptantha L. B. Smith) (see color photograph) which grows mostly in the humus of the forest floor. Tillandsia fendleri Griseb. and Catopsis berteroniana (Schultes) Mez (Fig. 3) were seen as epiphytes on trees, Ananas ananassoides (Bak.) L. B. Smith on the forest ground. Then we passed a bog, where many Brocchinia reducta Bak. (Fig. 4, 5) were standing; this bromeliad is very dominating there. Typical for this species is its water reservoir, which looks like a long tube rather than funnel-shaped. The flowers are small and white. Another kind, Brocchinia acuminata L. B. Smith (Fig. 6), has a bulbous-like water reservoir which is ellipsoid and formed by the leaf sheaths.

Fig. 3 Catopsis berteroniana

Then we passed a forest, called Talud, and went up the second step. We camped under an overhanging giant rock at "El Penon" at an altitude of ca. 1800 m. Just in our camp between large rocks was abundantly growing the tomentose Cottendorfia paludosa (L. B. Smith) L. B. Smith (Fig. 7). Below the foot of the cliffs we saw again Brocchinia acuminata L. B. Smith and also Connellia augustae (R. Schomb.) N. E. Br. (Fig. 8).

Right — Fig. 5 Brocchinia reducta

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below — Fig. 4 Brocchinia reducta growing in a bog at Guayaraca.

 
Fig. 6 Brocchinia acuminata Fig. 7 Cottendorfia paludosa

After a difficult pass through the Bonnetia forest we reached the base of the cliffs and entered the gorge to climb up the summit. Near the end we could not see when we would be up on the top, because we had to climb in a very narrow gorge. But suddenly we came out and had the view free to the summit plateau. It was fantastic!

There are several species of Cottendorfia growing on the summit plateau, but they were not in flower, so determinations were not possible or certain, one of them is Cottendorfia geniculata (L. B. Smith) L. B. Smith (Fig. 9). We also saw again Brocchinia reducta Bak. The Cottendorfias are found mostly in the accumulations of humus, which has a peat-like structure. The soil is very acid and poor in nutrients.

The most interesting bromeliad from the Auyan-tepui is Ayensua uaipanensis (Maguire) L. B. Smith (Fig. 10). The genus Ayensua is monotypical and its single species was first described as a member of Velloziaceae. It forms cushions often of considerable size. I have already reported about this curious plant in this periodical (Journ. Brom. Soc. 25: 215-219 (1975)).

Right — Fig. 8 Connellia augustae

Left — Fig. 10 Ayensua uaipanensis

Right — Fig. 9 Cottendorfia geniculata
All photos by the author

The living plants brought back are growing well now after a long time of acclimatization. They like rough peat as culture substrate and soft water (rain water).

I thank very much Dr. J. Steyermark, Caracas, and Dr. L. B. Smith, Washington, D.C. for the determination of some species.

Botanic Garden, Munich, Germany


Bromeliads by Bill Seaborn is a 42-page colored picture book devoted chiefly to the bromeliads that the affable Bill Seaborn has growing in his nursery. It is too bad that at the time the photographer visited the nursery, there were not more plants in bloom, for it is difficult to recognize the species from a photo of an immature plant. This, too, is the great fault to be found in that gigantic tome Exotica. The most interesting part of the book is that devoted to Mr. Seaborn's trips to Mexico. Most of the cultural hints tend to be good, but I question whether many plants can tolerate temperatures in excess of 120° F. However, as a picture book, this one is fun, and the colors are good.


Have you renewed your membership for 1977? If you enjoyed this issue, you will more than like those journals planned for the coming year. Please get in your renewals as soon as possible.


Aechmea phanerophlebia — an Observation. I first saw this bromeliad in 1970 growing on an old, gnarled tree on the edge of the city of Mineiros, Brazil. The tree was on the verge of dying, leaving the aechmea in almost complete exposure to the sun. I collected a small plant of this in another location, near a small village called Pelois and found that it grows very rapidly. But though the plant withstands full sun in Brazil, when I left my plant in full sun last summer for a short time it got two neat burned spots on it. Fully grown it holds about a quart of water, and I saw some collected specimens in Brazil growing in a bucket of water. Planted in garden soil, in full sun, I saw a plant of which was almost completely vase-shaped when collected, spread out into an open rosette about two feet across.

David R. Kinish OSB


The Titillating Tillandsias

 

Right — T. prodigiosa

Rauh

Left — T. foliosa

Right — T. stricta

Right — T. tectorum
Rauh

Rawe
Left — T. geminiflora

Right — T. xiphioides
Rauh


Notes on Two Tillandsias Found in Argentina and Brazil

ROLF RAWE

On a trip to South America I found two of the tillandsias that are pictured on page 245 of this issue.

Tillandsia geminiflora was "collected" in the middle of the road winding around the Corcovado above Rio de Janeiro. Although I did not see as much as a single plant on any tree, I did find a broken branch lying on the road attached to which were three little Tillandsia geminiflora. The plants had already been processed for the herbarium, for they had been pressed when several cars had run over them. Nevertheless, being the eternal optimist, 1 carefully dissected the mass of wood pulp and resurrected what was left of the plants, smuggling them in my luggage out of Brazil and into Buenos Aires. There the little clump sat for five weeks on moist sand under a bench in a friend's little greenhouse, from whence it was taken up again (with some roots by this time) and shipped by sea (six weeks) to my home in Capetown. That was three years ago. The plants have grown into a lovely cluster and are flowering regularly. I have been able to pollinate the plants and I am looking forward to a nice harvest of seeds, whereupon this species seems safeguarded for South Africa.

Tillandsia xiphioides, distinguished by its large, white, wavy flowers which have a delightful carnationlike fragrance can be found growing in Argentina. I collected the larger high-altitude form just outside Tilcara at 2,500 meters in the high cactus desert of the Argentinean-Bolivian border province of Jujuy. There it grows mainly on perpendicular rock walls, occasionally also on tall cacti. It gets at most ten inches of rain a year and endures temperature extremes from 90°F. down to 30°F. and possibly lower. The plants collected there have all done well; the seedlings, however, are giving me headaches as they are the slowest I have ever seen, and having grown palms, cycads, and cacti for some years that is saying something! However, T. xiphioides regularly divides and produces a few new shoots each year, but by its very nature it is a species which will not be pushed, but grows its own slow and steady way. For this reason I do not think it will ever be too common in cultivation.

Another tillandsia that I collected on this trip was T. didisticha (See P. 192 of Issue No. 5 for this year). This plant grew very high on enormous smooth trunked trees — being almost completely inaccessible to the collector. Even with a long iron hook I could not reach this plant. So I had to go to war with the tree, bombarding it with whatever missiles were handy. After a half-hour bombardment, by which time I had lame arms, I had twenty plants of this outstanding species. All have done well and have flowered several times, and there are about 5,000 sons and daughters coming along nicely!

Kommetjie, Cape, South Africa


Regional Reflections

NORTHEAST

In the Clearfield area (Pennsylvania) where we live, the winter temperatures are sometimes below zero F. We have two greenhouses, a ten by twenty-foot lean-to and an even span eighteen by twenty-one-foot, both attached to the garage and both electrically heated. To conserve electrical energy and most importantly to reduce costs, both houses were inner lined with four mil polyethylene sheet plastic attached to the redwood roofers with thumb tacks. The material has a light transmittal value of approximately 95%, so the light rays were not noticeably reduced. In fact, the light had a pleasing diffused effect. Although it was effective in insulating — an air space being created between the outer glass and the plastic attached to the underside of the roofers — it was cumbersome to remove, bulky to handle, and not pleasing to the eye. It was effective in reducing heating costs by approximately 25 percent.

In the December, 1974 issue of the American Orchid Society Bulletin, we read of the use of "Bubble Pack" as an insulating medium. This was being used successfully in greenhouses in Europe. We obtained a roll 250 × 4 feet at approximately ten cents per square foot. The air bubbles were 3/8 inches diameter with a radius of 3/32 inches. George W. Park Seed Company advertises this material in smaller rolls.

To apply, cut the "Bubble Pack" into strips to fit between the roofers. Apply bubble side against the glass, as one would hang wall paper. Before applying, mist lightly both the glass and the plastic. Avoid using too much water. If too much water is used, it will be difficult to obtain a good adhesive contact. Start at the ridge piece and place in position using both hands; then work down still using both hands. Use some pressure to squeeze the bubbles. If this is not done, the "Bubble Pack" is likely to fall, for it is only the strength of the molecular adhesive force between the two inner faces that keeps it in place. Once it is firmly in position it stays in place. Occasionally a corner may come loose. Just mist spray a little water in the area and push the "Bubble Pack" in place.

We have used it successfully for two seasons and are pleased with it. It is not removed during the summer months, but left on all year. Although the light is diffused it is efficient in light transmittal. The interiors of the houses are much more pleasant than when the sheet plastic was used. In summer we use a 47% woven polyethylene shading on the outside. We do not know how long the "Bubble Pack" will last, but in the two seasons there has been no noticeable deterioration in the material. "Try it; you will like it."

Samuel A. Shull, Clearfield, Pennsylvania

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Whether we grow our bromeliads in the house, in the greenhouse, or outdoors, we must make certain adjustments for our cooler, wetter southern California winters. We know that due to the shorter days and cooler temperatures, plants grow less during the winter than during the spring and summer. Outdoor plants will show hardly any growth at all from November to March, while indoor plants grow very little during this period. It may very well be that plants need this semi-dormant phase in order to build cell material in preparation for later growth and particularly for bloom. Therefore, we should adjust our fertilizing program to complement nature's pattern. Do not use fertilizer that stimulates growth during the winter months. In other words, use a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen (the first of the three numbers on the label).

While the plant shows little or no growth during the winter months, other processes are going on inside the structure. Photosynthesis, for example, continues throughout the year in order to move the chemical energy within the plant. Phosphorus (the middle figure on the label) is the chemical element that stimulates this process and should be present in moderate amounts even during the winter. It is during this time also that the plant builds and distributes its store of sugars and starch. The chemical element most necessary to this process is potassium (the third figure). Therefore, our fertilizer should have a small amount of potassium while the plant is in this apparent dormant stage. The plants that are grown outdoors, then, should receive weak feedings about every two or three weeks of a fertilizer that has a ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium approximately as follows: 1-2-1. Most people agree that bromeliads grown outside the year round should receive no fertilizer at all during the winter. The harsh weather conditions seem to require that the plants' development remain as nearly dormant as possible.

Also to be considered during the winter is adjustment to the dimmer and shorter days. In order to produce strong color and healthy, firm leaves, we want to give our plants the most light possible without burning them. During the winter this means removing some of the shade from the greenhouse roof, moving the plants from a north window to an east window, and allowing a little more morning and evening sun to strike the outdoor plants. In the foggy coastal areas, most bromeliads can stand full sun exposure in the winter except during a strong Santa Ana condition. Special care should be given, however, to guzmanias, most vrieseas, Aechmea chantinii, and a few others.

Watering during the winter months is also problematical. Outdoor bromeliads should be kept dry in order to prevent fungus development and "heart rot." After a rain, tip the plants over and drain all the water from the tanks. If the plants are in the ground, you can draw off the water with a meat baster and soak out the final drops with a rolled paper towel. Even in the greenhouse or in the home, it is recommended to water less during the winter. Of course, artificial heating helps to dry the soil and the tanks, but we should also be on the watch for any hint of rot. If it is caught soon enough, it may be possible to save the plant by keeping it absolutely dry for six weeks or more. If the fungus has progressed so far that the center leaves come out completely with the slightest tug, remove all loose leaves, drain the plant and keep it dry until spring. Hopefully you will at least get some offsets.

What plants survive well outside during our chilly, wet winters? Most tillandsias are hardy; neoregelias usually do well, as do billbergias, canistrums, hohenbergias, nidulariums, porteas, quesnelias, and catopsis. Most aechmeas will survive the winter outside (not chantinii), but some are then very reluctant to bloom — e.g. fasciata. People along the coast have had good luck growing most vrieseas outside in the winter, particularly if they receive some close overhead protection or are stationed near a heated building. All of the terrestrials are hardy with the exception of the highly variegated forms. Cryptanthus species are variable, but even C. 'It' has been known to thrive on a covered patio. In conclusion, it is certainly safe to say that warmth and protection from rain, hail and other falling objects will provide us with the most beautiful plants, but it is not impossible to grow beautiful specimens outside all year round in southern California.

Harvey Kendall, Placentia, California

CENTRAL TEXAS

Once again those of us living in Texas have moved our plants into protective shelters — some into greenhouses and others into homes or apartments. I am sure most of us acquired more bromeliads during the summer months and most of these plants will give us no problems over the winter (except finding space for them). However, for those who grow their bromeliads in apartments or homes, some of the tillandsias may prove "difficult".

It seems that under ordinary house conditions, many of the gray-leaf tillandsias are difficult to grow, I'm certain there are those who would disagree with this but I am referring to tillandsias grown under regular, every-day, house conditions. Of course, special lighting, humidifiers, fans, or other "aids" might lessen the difficulties of growing tillandsias indoors. But experience has convinced me that some tillandsias are definitely not suited to house culture.

However, over the years, there have been a few species of tillandsias which have given me no problems during their residence in my home. I would like to recommend these to other indoor growers. Tillandsia ionantha has always been easy to grow and flower. T. streptophylla doesn't seem to complain. The small form of T. caput-medusae (I have not tried the large one) has grown and bloomed well and so have our native Texas T. baileyi and T. recurvata. Obviously, all of these plants are "dry-growers" and this would help explain their adaptability to indoor environment.

Needless to say, these tillandsias need very bright light, though I have grown Tillandsia baileyi in surprisingly low light. These plants need only to be misted "occasionally".

Of course I'm certain there are other tillandsias which will adapt to indoor conditions besides the few I have mentioned for I have not tried to grow all species. I am growing a few tillandsias which have done well through one or two winters indoors but I do not feel this is long enough to qualify as "reliable". But the plants I have listed are the ones which have steadily, year after year, proven hardy under ordinary home environment for me.

Edgar Smith, Dallas, Texas


In a recent issue of the Journal an interesting method of mounting tillandsias on fern slabs and cork bark was delineated, and it is true that mounting on organic supports is beneficial to the plant culture. However, I used the method described about two years ago and found that the silicone glue separated easily from the organic material within a few months. The glue remained strong — the joints did not, and the plant roots had not developed enough to hold the plant fast.

Here then, is a method of mounting tillandsias I have developed that is easy, fast, and permanent...and is especially adaptable for mounting on "driftwood." Determine the position where you want the plant to be affixed; drill a small (1/4 or 3/8) hole through to the back of the wood. Drive a small nail, brad, or carpet tack on the back near the exit hole leaving the nail head about 1/16" above the surface. Securely twist one end of a fine wire around the plant roots, pass the wire through the hole, pull tight and wrap one turn of the wire around the nail head. Snip off most of the excess wire. No glue, no nylon hose, and no drying time. Instant (almost) affixation, and works especially well if you are in a hurry to get the planter ready for "Show."

While attempting to fasten tillandsias to organic material I have tried airplane cement, white glue, nylon hose, fish glue and other adhesives. Nothing works as well as the method described above, and it also helps to thwart pilfering of your small tillandsias on show arrangements.

A. J. Novak, Austin, Texas


New Orleans, Bromeliads and All That Jazz

KATHERINE JESTER

From the city of ancient oaks draped with Spanish moss comes a cordial and sincere invitation to all of you to come to the World Conference of the Bromeliad Society, Inc., June 2-5, 1977. Your hosts will be the New Orleans Area Bromeliad Societies.

A complete schedule of the conference and registration forms will be included in the Jan.—Feb. 1977 issue of the Journal. Besides a show, there will be affiliate displays, commercial displays, tours, and a plant sale. Tours will be conducted in the morning and seminars in the afternoon, so there will be no conflict or overlapping of scheduled events. The tours will include bus tours to the homes of area bromeliad collectors and a walking patio tour in the French Quarter. Evening social events will feature a river cruise and a banquet.

There have been inquiries about the New Orleans weather in June. The New Orleans metropolitan area is virtually surrounded by water. Lake Pontchartrain, some 610 square miles in area, borders the city on the north and is connected to the Gulf of Mexico through Lake Borgne on the east. In other directions are bayous, lakes, and marshy delta land. All this water helps to modify the temperature of the city.

The climate of New Orleans is best described as "mild"; the average daily temperatures for May and June ranging from 68° and 69° to 84° and 87°. Relative daytime humidity is about 64 percent; the average rainfall for May and June is 4.2 to 4.7 inches. Air pollution is not a serious problem. Years ago there were invasions of mosquitoes as a result of heavy hatches of salt marsh mosquitoes and southeast winds; but in recent years a highly efficient mosquito control program has eliminated the problem.

Casual lightweight clothing is most comfortable for daytime wear in June, and long dresses are quite acceptable for evening wear. All show events will be air conditioned.

Affiliate societies interested in receiving further information about the show and displays should write to Mr. George Anderson, P. 0. Box 26661, New Orleans, Louisiana 70126. Commercial exhibitors may write to Mr. Bob Wegmann at the same address.

Start planning now to attend the Bromeliad Conference. A warm welcome awaits you with bromeliads — and all that Jazz!

New Orleans, Louisiana


Tillandsia Cucullata L. B. Smith

WERNER RAUH

Rauh

In her book The Bromeliaceae of Ecuador (1972) A. J. Gilmartin writes on page 164 that "this species has apparently been collected only one time and may be restricted in its distribution to the area around Sevilla de Oro (Prov. Azuay). Certainly for such a conspicuous plant to have been missed from other sites where collectors worked seems unlikely".

On our trip to Ecuador in 1975 we found far northwards in the Prov. Pichincha along the new road Quito-Baeza-Lago Agrio, above the small village Papayacta in a destroyed cloud forest in an altitude between 2800m and 2400m a big Tillandsia which is doubtless in comparison with the type (Camp E-4952) Tillandsia cucullata L. B. Smith. It grows there as an epiphyte and is not very rare, but young plants are difficult to collect, for there are more big tillandsias as T. buseri, T. ionochroma, T. complanata and others, and young plants of the different species are not easy to distinguish one from the other.

T. cucullata is really a beautiful and attractive plant which belongs in this group of those Tillandsias (subgenus Tillandsia), which have secund (hanging) flowers as T. mima L. B. Smith, T. secunda H. B. K. and T. marnieri-lapostollei Rauh. All these mentioned species grow as terrestrials or on steep rock walls; only T. Cucullata seems to be epiphytic. As no photographs exist in literature of this exciting plant, we will picture it in the following short article.

T. cucullata is in flower up to 2 (-3)m tall and forms a big rosette of a diameter of 1m and more. The dark-brown ovate sheathes of the leaves are up to 25cm long and 10-15cm wide; the blades are 50-60cm long, above the sheathes 9-13cm wide, pale green, ligulate, acute and subglabrous. The erect scape is short, up to 50cm long, very thick and shorter than the leaf rosette. The scape bracts are short laminate, longer than the internodes and carmine-red. The erect, bipinnate inflorescence is 1,2 to 1,8m long, up to 30cm in diameter, with numerous, mostly horizontal spreading spikes. Axis very thick, bright carmine-red and gray lepidote. Primary bracts broad triangle, acute to attenuate, subglabrous, carmine-red lepidote, longer than the 3-4 long stipe of the spikes. Those are 8-16cm long, spreading and secund flowered; flowers 10-12 per branch, short and thick pedicelled, lax, arranged so that the flexuous carmine-red axis is visible. Floral bracts cucullate, up to 3,5cm long and 2,5cm wide, coriaceous, acute, carinate, inconspicuous lepidote without, denser lepidote within, bright dark carmine-red, longer than the sepals, these up to 2,2cm long, the posterior slightly carinate, glabrous, green to carmine-red; petals up to 2,5cm long, purple-violet, white at the base, with obtuse recurved tips. Stamens and style included, fruits up to 5cm long, green, hanging.

Mrs. Hilde Rauh holding stalk of T. cucullata.

Collection number: Rauh 37546 (15.6.76)

The discovery of the new locality of T. cucullata means that the area is much more extended than A. J. Gilmartin assumed, and the author is quite sure that T. cucullata will also be found in the region between the two known localities.

Our plant differs from the original description of L. B. Smith by the carmine-red (not yellow) and carinate (not ecarinate) floral bracts.

In a further article we will report on the other Tillandsias of the Subgenus Tillandsia with secund flowers, of T. mima and T. secunda.

Institut fur Systematische Botanik, Heidelberg, Germany

__________

I am very grateful to my friend L. B. Smith for sending the type material.


Bromeliads: More 'In' Than Ever

H. ALTON LEE

On a recent marathon trip from St. Petersburg to New York and back, my wife, Paula, and I decided that instead of counting out-of-state license plates to pass the time, it would be interesting to keep a record of how many bromeliads we saw while traveling. Usually, we can get most of the 50 states before we leave Florida anyway, so we decided it would be a much greater challenge to spot the various kinds of bromeliads. Our conclusion at the end of a two-week trip is that the bromeliad craze is really mushrooming everywhere, including some very unexpected locales.

There was scarcely a florist or greenhouse we looked in which didn't have Aechmeas fasciatas in bloom at prices ranging from $35 (Charleston, S. C. and Raleigh, N. C.) to $42.50 for a double spike plant in Concordville, Pa.

Pineapple plants were also in great abundance in all kinds of stores in Savannah, Raleigh, Charleston, New York, and Lima, Pa. Those in the greenhouse in Lima were all labeled Cryptanthus bromelioides var. tricolor. I observed a customer calling this error to the attention of the proprietor. He could not have been less interested. Prices of the pineapples (almost all of them variegated) ranged from $4.95 to $7.00.

The Lima Greenhouse, where we used to shop and never saw bromeliads, also had A. fasciatas and an unidentified guzmania for sale. The guzmania, which was not in bloom but looked like lingulata minor, was $12.95.

On 57th Street in New York, four restaurants in a three-block line had bromeliads on display in their windows. None of the restaurants looked especially thriving, nor were the plants — mostly fasciatas, which appeared to have been gassed. There were also some Vriesea splendens and Guzmania lingulata var. minors on display in these. The latter plant was also spotted at plant shops in Raleigh and Washington (in bloom) for $10.00.

Philippine Airlines, located in the forties on Fifth Avenue in New York had devoted its entire window to tropical plants and most bromeliads. In addition to the aforementioned, we noted Guzmania lingulata var. splendens and Nidularium billbergioides var. citrinum.

The Dupont-Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, continues to devote a full and large room to an excellent bromeliad collection. It seems far superior to that seen at Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Miami, which I find a little puzzling.

During our vacation we also had some time to catch up on magazine reading and found bromeliads well represented. A friend shared the December 1975 issue of Flower and Garden with us. It features a large article on bromels by editor Padilla. We also noticed that summer issues of House Beautiful, House and Garden, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes and Gardens all have house layouts which feature bromeliads. Usually it's an Aechmea fasciata or a Neoregelia carolinae var. tricolor.

A new magazine called House Plants and Porch Gardens has a large article on bromeliads in the August, 1976, issue. The article has nice color plates, though, unfortunately, the outlines got garbled and don't always match the photos they identify. A second new gardening magazine, Popular Gardening Indoors, is advertising "A Bromeliad Spectacular" for its upcoming winter issue to include "how to build a movable bromeliad wall" and a visit "with the world's foremost bromeliad authority." The July, 1976, issue of Sunset also had a large article on bromeliads.

Bromeliads were even represented at the movies. A film we saw in New York, "C'est Magnifique," much of which was shot in Acapulco, includes a scene wherein heroine Jacqueline Bisset lures Jean Paul Belmondo to her love nest by the sea. The beach house includes an indoor pool and waterfall. The pool is studded with Neoregelia carolinae var. tricolors in bloom. In a destruction scene at the conclusion of the film, the bromeliads appear to be holding their own while the whole cottage is disintegrating.

Of course, on the way home, we observed Spanish moss throughout the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. It seems also to be holding its own even near the super highways.

Upon arrival home, one of the first pieces of mail I opened was an advertising circular for luggage. The model is sitting behind a row of luggage on a long couch. On the table to her right is a large plant in bloom: Aechmea fasciata!

Gulfport, Florida


QUESTION BOX

Q. When is a good time to remove pups from the mother plant?

A. The best time is when the pup is 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the parent plant. If the pup is too small, it might not root. Usually pups grow much faster on the parent plant.

 

Q. Should one always remove pups from the parent plant?

A. Yes, if you want a number of plants or wish to grow single specimens. Sometimes bromeliads are effective when grown in clumps and in such cases the pups are not removed. Removing pups will usually force the parent plant to send out new offsets. However, most plants will produce one or two more pups even if none is removed.

 

Q. What is the best way to remove pups?

A. Pups grow either on the end of a stolon or from the leaf axils. If the pup appears at the end of a stolon, which usually is tough, one can use a knife, small saw, or shears to remove the pup. Cut the stolon close to the parent plant; but if the stolon is long, a part of it may be cut off before it is put in a pot for rooting.

Care must be taken when removing pups from the leaf axils of such plants as guzmanias and vrieseas, for they are easily harmed. It is usually best to strip away the leaves that surround the pup and gently ease it away from the parent plant. This can be done with the help of a sharp knife.

 

Q. How are pups rooted?

A. Pups may be rooted either in pots or in a regular potting tray. The important thing is that the pup is fastened securely so that it will not wobble, so as not to injure the new root ends. It should not be planted too deeply, as the plant might rot off at its base. However, the mixture (your regular potting mixture will do) should be kept damp at all times. If using a pot, select one that is small, as roots form better when restricted at first. Later the plant may be transferred to a larger pot.

 

Q. Are there some bromeliads that never send out offsets?

A. Yes, there are a few, such as Puya raimondii, Tillandsia complanata, Tillandsia lucida, and several others. However, some plants, as T. utriculata, which apparently does not send off pups in the wilds, will occasionally do so in cultivation. Then there are plants, such as T. grandis, which produce numerous small plantlets around the base while still immature.


Multiple Inflorescences

Just as variegation seems to be appearing more often in bromeliads, so is the phenomenon of multiple inflorescences. Growers are continuously writing to ask why their bromeliads are presenting them with more than the usual single flower spike. The Aechmea orlandiana pictured above is a case in point. Tom Arrington, of Beaumont, Texas, who took the photo, states that the plant is one year old and seems to be normal in every way except for its five flower stalks. It has had no special care, has not been fertilized, and has been hanging on a tree this past summer. One spike appears to be branched. Reports have been received of a hybrid aechmea with 8 inflorescences, a hohenbergia also with 8, a billbergia with 2, and an Aechmea fasciata with 2 — to name just a few. Who has an answer to this puzzler?


Send comments, corrections and suggestions to: webmaster@bsi.org
© 1951-2012 Bromeliad Society International, All Rights Reserved.
All images copyrighted BSI.