|Vol. 34, No. 5||September—October 1984|
|195||Lyman B. Smith: On His Eightieth Birthday T. U. Lineham|
|198||Why Bromeliad? Lyman B. Smith|
|199||The "Evolution" of a New Genus, Lymania gen. nov. Robert W. Read|
|202||A New Aechmea from Brazil: Dedicated to Lyman B. Smith on His Eightieth Birthday Wilhelm Weber|
|205||Puya, the Pineapple's Andean Ancestor (concluded) Mulford B. Foster|
|217||Bromeliads III: In the Land Down Under Tony Lea|
|218||Billbergia amoena var. stolonifera Elton M. C. Leme|
|220||They Write with Them: Tillandsias are used to Write Political Slogans on the Desert Sands of Peru Juan A. Rivero|
|221||Where Have All The Species Gone? Murray Cragin|
|222||Pitcairnia rubro-nigriflora, A New Pitcairnia Werner Rauh|
|225||First Report of Tillandsia recurvata in Georgia William F. Holstrom|
|226||My First Bromeliad Safari Larry Hodgson|
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yman B. Smith, botanist emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution, honorary trustee of the Bromeliad Society, and principal author of the most comprehensive monographic series on the Bromeliaceae yet written, will be eighty years old on the 11th of September this year. It is our privilege to wish him well on this occasion.
Dr. Smith has studied bromeliads since beginning his graduate work at Harvard University in 1926. The information he gathered during his frequent visits to South America to observe and collect plants and his years of study of herbarium specimens, combined with his remarkable ability to analyze, to remember, and to describe have brought him recognition as the foremost bromeliad authority in the world.
His exceptional abilities have been acknowledged by horticulturists in many ways. In 1952 he served as a malaria researcher under the auspices of the Rockefeller Foundation and taught Brazilians to identify host bromeliads so that they might concentrate their mosquito-fighting operations. He was a staff member of the Gray Herbarium of Harvard for 17 years, including five as curator. He then served the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution for 28 years, retiring in 1974 as senior botanist.
At various times Dr. Smith has conducted research in the significant herbaria of Europe and the United States, and has lectured at the George Washington University in the District of Columbia. He was the first to photograph the Morren paintings of bromeliads at Kew Gardens and made some of those photographs available to the members of the Society in recent issues of the Journal.
For many years there was the team of Mulford Foster in the field discovering plants and enthusiastically announcing "new" species, and Lyman Smith in the herbarium at home systematically preparing the documentation of those finds, sometimes playing down the "new" claims, but more frequently supporting the validity of Mr. Foster's assertions. This combination proved to be eminently successful in promoting bromeliads to the attention of both professional botanists and to amateurs. Throughout the years Dr. Smith has continued to support all interested students, giving freely of his time and sharing generously his store of knowledge, but always tempering criticism with humor. At the same time, he accepts suggestions with appreciation and has been known even to admit wryly that Aechmea marmorata when carefully keyed had to be a quesnelia. "My only mistake," he was heard to say. Or, when a student or an associate complains that a specimen does not agree with the keys, he will respond with smiling encouragement, "It happens to me all the time."
|Photo by Smithsonian Institution|
|FIG. 1: Dr. Lyman B. Smith|
Dr. Smith's publications, not counting the hundreds of articles written for various periodicals including Phytologia and this journal, began in 1938 with his studies on the flora of various Latin American countries. That activity continued through 1971 with his descriptions of the Bromeliaceae in Flora de Venezuela. There is no question that his most important and comprehensive work is the three-part series published for the Organization for Flora Neotropica: Pitcairnioideae (1974), Tillandsioideae (1977), and Bromelioideae (1979). His coauthor in these, as in earlier monographs, was his sometime student Robert Jack Downs. His systematic treatment of these subfamilies includes keys to the genera, subgenera, and the species, maps showing the geographic distribution of the plants, the exquisitely detailed drawings edited by or originated by Dr. Downs, and the descriptions. No other study approaches the scope and accuracy of this work.
Dr. Robert W. Read, Curator in the Department of Botany of the National Museum states:
I can't stress enough the value of Lyman's monograph to the advancement of research in bromeliads. It is the most complete gathering together of such information, in English or any other language, ever published. One may have difficulty still with the keys and descriptions, but if one realizes the small amount of material available for a tremendous number of species, the monograph will be recognized as the best that will be available for a long time to come. It is an indispensable reference for the support of any other kind of work in bromeliads. It will be the basis of all future taxonomic research in the family.Dr. Smith, although retired, still works at the Smithsonian arriving bright and early almost every day (even on weekends) preparing a supplement with errata and new taxa published since the final manuscript of his great monograph. Although he rode his bicycle until recently, he now allows himself the luxury of commuting with his youngest son, Steve, also a botanist at the Museum.
The entire world of bromeliad lovers, and particularly the members of the Bromeliad Society, thank Dr. Smith for his unsurpassed contributions to this field of knowledge and wish him continued health and productivity.
The editor acknowledges gratefully the help of Miss Victoria Padilla, Dr. Read, and Mr. Tom Harney of the Smithsonian staff in preparing this tribute.
Obviously "Bromeliad" is simply a shortening of the scientific name "Bromeliaceae" to indicate any member of the Pineapple family. We might call them all pineapples since they are members of that family, and not bother to find a new term. However, it would cause confusion to associate such diverse forms as the giant Puya and the Spanish moss under a name for which we have already a sharp and narrow concept. As the Bromeliaceae were unknown before the discovery of America, we did not have any such ancient general term for the family as there was in the case of grasses, sedges, lilies or orchids, and one had to be manufactured.
It is not possible to say now who first coined the word "Bromeliad" but it was probably some fairly recent botanist or horticulturist who was tired of having to use the phrase "species of Bromeliaceae" after the cumbrous and stately fashion of the old school. French and German botanists of the nineteenth century regularly used such single words for members of one family, had a standard way of making them, and seemed to find nothing undignified in the process.
The second step in tracing our genealogy is to find the origin of "Bromeliaceae" and this is very clear. With few exceptions the scientific name of a plant family is derived by combining the name of one of its genera with the ending "aceae." Thus in 1805 the French botanist, Jaume Saint-Hilaire, defined the Bromeliaceae and formed the family name from the genus Bromelia.
Our next step takes us back to Linnaeus the father of systematic botany for he it was who established the genus Bromelia in 1754 according to the rules we now follow in making scientific names. The name was taken from the family name of Olof Bromelius, a Swedish botanist. Since Linnaeus also was Swedish, we might at first suppose that he had named the genus for a friend, but Bromelius died before Linnaeus was born.
Actually it was Plumier, the early French explorer of the West Indies, who first had the idea of renaming for Mr. Bromelius the genus that previously had gone by the Indian name of Karatas, and Linnaeus so credited it. Plumier was on familiar terms with the genus Bromelia in the West Indies. Bromelius, on the other hand, was famous mainly for the fine Flora that he wrote for his home town of Goetheborg and it is by no means certain that he ever laid eyes on a single plant of the great group that was to bear his name.
Associate Curator, Div. Phanerogams, Smithsonian Institution.
Reprinted from The Bromeliad Society Bulletin 1(2):11; 1951. This was Dr. Smith's first contribution to The Bulletin.
ifty some years ago when Dr. Lyman B. Smith first described Ronnbergia marantoides he stated, "This plant does not fit exactly any of the genera of the Bromeliaceae as defined by either Mez or Harms." In 1977, when we together described Araeococcus alvimii, we stated that the species "is a good illustration of the state of generic confusion in [subfamily] Bromelioideae." At that time we did not detect any close relationship between these two species. The time has come, however, to reexamine this complex of species from eastern Brazil, and to honor Dr. Lyman B. Smith, on his eightieth birthday, with a new genus henceforth to be known as Lymania.
The earliest published record of a member of this alliance was J. G. Beer's description in 1856 of a species named Lamprococcus corallinus. In that work he cited an unpublished combination "Aechmea corallina Brong.?". Beer's original diagnosis (translated from the German) states:
The plant originates from the collection of M. Morel in Paris; it is light-green, glossy. Foliage leaves 1' long, little more than 1" wide. The leaves forming a small, delicate cup. Inflorescence branched, far over-topped by the leaves. Upper leaves discolored, drooping. Rachis and branchlets dirty ochre-yellow. Berries deeply sulcate, lively cinnabar red, calyx lobes somewhat darker, together ¼" long. Petals hardly open, erect, pure white.It is important to note here that the ovaries (or berries) are deeply sulcate, for that is a key characteristic in the definition of the new genus. In the case of Lamprococcus corallinus J. G. Beer, that element was lost in later transcriptions. Baker (1889) omitted mention of the furrowed ovary and treated the species as Aechmea corallina in the subgenus Lamprococcus. Mez (1891-4, 1896, & 1934) likewise omitted mention of the sulcate ovary.
When J. G. Baker treated the complex in 1889, he derived his description of "Ae. corallina Brong. inedit. Lamprococcus corallinus Beer" principally from Prof. Morren's drawing of a plant that flowered in the Botanical Garden at Liege in September 1865 (fig. 2). His description of "Ae. brachycaulis Baker. Lamprococcus brachycaulis E. Morren, inedit." was also based on a Morren drawing (fig. 3), but this one was from a drawing made in 1883 of a plant received from M. Jacob Makoy and Company.
|FIG. 2: Lamprococcus corallinus Brong. ex Beer, painting by Prof. C.J.E. Morren in 1865 of a plant flowered in the Botanical Garden at Liege.|
|Photos by Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.|
|FIG. 3: Aechmea brachycaulis Morren ex Baker, painting by Prof. Morren in 1883 of a plant received from M. Jacob Makoy and Company.|
Recently, I have made extensive studies of Morren's drawings, Beer's description of Lamprococcus corallinus, and Baker's description of Ae. brachycaulis. As far as I know there are no known type specimens, hence a neotype is necessary for L. corallinus Beer, the Morren drawing is the type for Ae. brachycaulis Baker. I have tentatively concluded that these two are conspecific, and that Ae. corallina (Brong. ex Beer) Baker is the earlier name.
Further studies also indicate that Ronnbergia marantoides, described by Dr. Smith in 1931, and later treated as a synonym of Ae. brachycaulis Baker (Smith & Downs 1979), is indeed a distinct species and should be transferred to the new genus.
A third member of the complex was discovered by Read and Daniels in Bahia, Brazil, in 1975 and subsequently described as a new species, Araeococcus alvimii , by L. B. Smith and R. W. Read (1977). It, too, has the furrowed ovaries and "berries," fits very well with the other taxa being discussed here, and should also be transferred to the new genus.
21a. Lymania R. W. Read, gen. nov. Subfam. Bromelioideae. Plantae acaules, tenuiter stoloniferae vel crasse rhizomatosae; folia pauca, ubique minute lepidota, rosulam crateriformem vel utriculatam 15-30 cm altam formantia, vaginis late ellipticis, laminis ligulatis, canalem medianum non profundum praebentibus, supra vaginam contractis, minute serrulatis; inflorescentia ad 55 cm alta, simplex vel ramosa, aperta vel densa, scapo erecto, vaginas quasi aequante, scapi bracteis anguste triangularibus, membranaceis, bracteis floralibus minutis, triangularibus; flores polystichi, perfecti, 5-17 mm longi (petalis exclusis), laxe vel dense dispositi, ovario inferiore, profunde sulcato vel alato, tubo epigyno brevissimo sed manifesto, sepalis 2.5-10 mm longis, circa ad dimidium connatis, inermibus, valde asymmetricis, petalis liberis, eligulatis, albis vel pallide coeruleis, lamina elliptica vel suborbiculari, erecta vel patente, staminibus inclusis, antheribus sagittatis, apiculatis, polline porato, laevi, filamentis connatis vel liberis, eis petalis oppositis ad petala adnatis, placentis subapicalibus, ovulis sessilibus vel stipitatis, obtusis vel varie caudatis; fructus globosus, porcatus. TYPE SPECIES: Lymania alvimii (L. B. Smith & R. W. Read) R. W. Read.
Lymania is a genus of Bromeliaceae having elongate slender stolons or short stout rhizomes, with the few leaves in a smallish rosette, either in the form of an open basin (L. alvimii) or with the slightly inflated leaf sheaths forming a spindle-shaped somewhat tubular or ampullate reservoir. The leaves may be apple-green and slightly glaucous (L. alvimii) or glossy dark green to burgundy-red, and the blades are very finely serrulate to sub-entire often with a shallow median channel just above the sheath where the blade narrows. The inflorescence may be branched or simple, elongate well-above the leaves or congested in the throat of the vase. Flowers are polystichous, either well-spaced or congested, and are sub-tended by mostly minute triangular bractlets. The inferior ovary is deeply furrowed or winged, below a very short but manifest epigynous tube. The strongly asymmetric green or carmine sepals are 2.5-10 mm long, are fused for about ½ their length, and are soft tipped. The pure white to pale blue petals are free of each other but are alternately fused with the stamen filaments, and lack basal appendages. Two species exhibit connate stamen-filaments. Pollen is porate and smooth. The placentae are subapical, with sessile or stipitate ovules that are obtuse or variously caudate. The fruits are subglobose and ridged or furrowed. Mature fruits of L. alvimii are dark blue on a coral-red rachis, the fruits and mature coloration of the other species are still unknown.
|Photo by Smithsonian Institution.|
|FIG. 8: Specimen of Lymania smithii collected by Cleofé Calderón et al near Municipio de Una, Bahia, Brazil. This is the type specimen.|
This genus would key out following #21. Ronnbergia, and #22 Araeococcus on page 1494 of Smith and Downs (1979).
FIG. 9: Lymania corallina (Brong.
ex Beer) R. W. Read, illustrated in the field|
by Mulford Foster from plants collected at Aqua Preta, Brazil.
This fourth member of the genus has been identified erroneously in cultivation as Aechmea brachycaulis Bak., and with specimens as Araeococcus alvimii L.B.S. & R.W.R., but there can be no doubt it is a distinct species. Lymania smithii (figures 8 and 11) may be distinguished from L. corallina by the elongate, open, laxly flowered inflorescence and much smaller, green and white flowers; from L. marantoides and L. alvimii by the smaller flowers (less than 7 mm lg.), the nonconnate stamen-filaments and the ovules which are not long caudate but obtuse or only short caudate. Vegetatively L. smithii is easily distinguished from L. alvimii by the bottle-form of the rosette which may be green or burgundy-red.
As with the genus, this species honors Lyman B. Smith for his monumental contribution to our knowledge of bromeliads. We thank him.
Photo by R. W. Read.
FIG. 10: Lymania alvimii (L. B. Smith & R. W. Read) R. W. Read, grown at Read's home greenhouse from plants collected in Bahia, Brazil in 1975.
Photo by R. W. Read.
FIG. 11: Live plant of
Lymania smithii R. W. Read, grown at
Baker, J. C. 1889. Handbook of the Bromeliaceae, p. 52-53. ("17 Aug.-15 Oct." Tax. Lit.)
Beer, J. G. 1856 ("1857"). Die Familie der Bromeliaceen, p. 106. ("Sept.-Oct. 1856." Tax. Lit.)
Mez. C. Bromeliaceae. In: Martius, Flora Brasiliensis 3(3): 313-314; 1891-4.
Mez. C. Bromeliaceae. In: De Candolle, Monographiae Phanerogramarum 9:179, 198-199; 1896.
Mez. C. Bromeliaceae. In: Engler, Das Pflanzenreich IV (32): 123-124; 1934-35.
Smith, L. B. Contrib. Gray Herb. 95:43; 1931.
Smith, L. B.; Read, R. W. Phytologia 38(2): 139-140, pl. 8; 1977.
Smith, L. B.; Downs, R. J. Bromelioideae (Bromeliaceae). Flora Neotropica mono-graph no. 14, part 3. New York: New York Botanical Garden; 1979.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I am preparing a monograph of four species of Lymania and would appreciate receiving any specimens, living or dried, for verification and study. I plan to publish the completed monograph in the Smithsonian Institution Contributions to Botany in 1985.
I am grateful for the kind assistance of Dr. Dieter Wasshausen, Dept. of Botany, Smithsonian Institution, and Dr. William Dress (retired), Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium, Cornell University for translations of the German (Beer), and Latin respectively. I thank Dave Philcox and the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens for the slides of the Morren plates.
echmea lymanii W. WEBER spec. nov. A Aechmea coelestis (K. Koch) E. Morren 1875 cui affinis, inflorescentia tripinnata, bracteis florales filiformis differt. Planta florens plus-minusve 60 cm alta. Folia suberecta vel recurvata, usque ad 80 cm longa, viridia, minute brunneo-lepidota, longiora quam inflorescentia. Vaginae distincte limitatae, ovales, usque ad 12 cm longae, 9 cm latae, ad basim ferrugineae, margines integris. Laminae anguste lingulatae, supra vaginam ad 45 mm, superiore 17-20 latae, canaliculatae, apices subrotundatis vel acuminatis et apiculatis, margines subdense serrulatis cum spinis atrobrunneis basales ad 3 mm superiores 1 mm longis. Scapus erectus, teres, plus-minusve 20 cm longus, 10 mm diametiens, tomentose albido-lepitodus. Bracteae scapalis basales subfoliatae et erectae, superiores lanceolatae, submembranaceae, reflexae, longiora quam internodia. Inflorescentia cylindrica, ca. 25 cm longa, 6 cm diametiens, subdense tripinnata multiflora. Bracteae primaris basales anguste lanceolatae longioris quam ramis lateralis, superiores gradatim reductae. Ramis lateralis subfasciculatis ad 12-floris, rhachis albido-tomentosis. Flores breviter (1-2 mm) stipitatis ad 12 mm longis. Bracteae floralis filiformae ad 7 mm longae, albido-tomentosae. Ovario subcylindrico, ad 10 mm longo, 3 mm diametiens, albido-tomentoso, ovules ad apices loculatis, tubum epigynum ca. 1 mm. Sepala cucculata, valde asymmetrica, 8 mm longa, 3 mm alto-connata, 3 mm mucronata. Petala et genitalia ignota – ab photographia (!Seidel) pallide albido-coerulea, valde patentibus, antherae et stigmata visibilis.
Leg. Alvim Seidel no. 954; Brasilia: Bahia, Aureliana Leal, Holotypus: WEB 624.
Plant when flowering about 60 cm high. Leaves suberect to recurved rosulated, to 80 cm long, green, minutely brown lepidote, exceeding the inflorescence. Sheaths distinct, ovate, to 12 cm long, 9 cm wide, basally ferruginous, margins entire. Blades narrow lingulate, above the sheath to 45 mm, the higher parts 17-20 mm wide, canaliculated, tips blunt or acuminate and apiculate, margins subdense serrate with dark brown spines 1-3 mm long. Scape erect, terete, ca. 20 cm long and 10 mm in diameter, tomentose white-lepidote. Scapebracts at base subfoliaceous and erect, the higher lanceolate, submembranaceous and reflexed, longer at the internodes. Inflorescence cylindrical, ca. 25 cm long, 6 cm in diameter, subdense tripinnate multiflowered. Primary bracts narrow lanceolate, the lower exceeding the lateral branches, the higher reduced. Lateral branches subfasciculate to 12-flowered; rhachis white-tomentose. Flowers short (1-2 mm) stipitate, to 12 mm long. Flower bracts thin filiform, to 7 mm long, white tomentose. Ovary subcylindrical, 10 mm long, 3 mm in diameter, white tomentose, ovules apical loculated, epigynous tube short (ca. 1 mm) funnelform. Sepals cucullate, with strongly asymmetrical imbricate wings, 8 mm long, 3 mm high, connate, with a 3 mm long terminal mucro. Petals and reproductive elements not seen, after photo (! Seidel) pale whitish-blue, their blades strongly spreading and the anthers and stigmata visible in the claw.
|Drawing by Author.|
FIG. 4: Aechmea lymanii
W. Weber spec. nov.|
A. Habit. B. Lateral branch
with primary bract. C. Postfloral flower.
Waldsteinberg, German Democratic Republic
For my second experience with Puya raimondii I flew from Cochabamba to La Paz, capital of Bolivia. The flight across the high plains northwest of Cochabamba was thrilling.
With letters of introduction to Bolivian Government officials, I was able to arrange a trip to the ancient granite mountain called Comanche. Since the authorities were interested in my suggestions to add more native flora such as puyas and cacti to the new botanical garden, they gave me every assistance.
For miles as we cross the desolate puna , we traveled due west in the direction of Peru, then turned south. In the distance we could see the hazy blue of earth's highest steam-navigated mountain lake, Titicaca, lying at an elevation of 12,500 feet. Here the sun and the moon were born, according to Aymara legends.
More than 110 miles long, 50 miles wide at its greatest width, and 1,000 feet deep, Titicaca is surrounded by mountains. Within its perimeter are several sizable islands, Coati and Titicaca being the most important. The water remains so cold that a man who capsized from his fragile balsa craft would have no chance to swim far before being paralyzed.
Dismal monotony in the vegetation of the landscape greets the eye in this puna area. I saw no tree. Very short yellow-brown ichu grass covers the ground without the usual sparkling green. Sparsely scattered, a few bulbous amaryllids seem to survive, although they remain underground most of the year.
Here and there we spotted a few low mounds of "mosses," which are not mosses but relatives of our sunflower. These are miniature compact shrubs covered with thousands of tiny white flowers. They form mounds tighter than ordinary mosses, hugging the earth to keep out of the drying cold winds.
A salt-lined river, the Desaguadero, courses slowly over the flat land from Titicaca to Lake Poopó. It is a lazy, thirsty, shallow river that looks as if it had never had a really good drink. Often wide but rarely deep, it looks more like the wet trail of some prehistoric giant reptile.
The climate is just as cheerless and monotonous as the landscape. A constant raw, chilly wind and meager dung fires in a poorly built shelter are hardly conducive to a cheerful soul. Undoubtedly this cheerlessness has influenced the Aymará Indians taciturn character.
Sources of food and water are meager. Dried roots and manure are used as fuel.
The lowly Indian who shares these lonely, bleak spaces with puyas and llamas would find it difficult to accept lower altitudes with fertile soil and easy living conditions.
Everything up here seemed either the driest or the longest, the hardest or the coldest, the smallest or the loneliest.
It was hard to understand how our Indian helpers, clad in scanty attire and barefoot, could tolerate the cold of this early morning as they rode in the back of the truck where the only windbreak was provided by the bodies of their fellows.
Although warmly clothed in red flannels, woolen shirt, heavy suit, extra coat, sweater, and a rubber raincoat over all, I was hugging myself to keep my teeth from chattering. And I was up front beside the driver with a hot engine to keep my feet warm!
At long last in the distance we saw our objective, Comanche. Out of the vast plain extending far beyond vision jutted this timehewn granite mountain in splendid isolation, covering a square mile amid the miles of barren vastness. It appears to be out of place, for there is nothing else like it as far as the eye can see—and you can see far up there.
That ancient mountain gradually revealed an amazing picture. Grouped here and there among the giant granite boulders were nearly 400 plants of the Puya raimondii in varying sizes. I counted 40 in bloom!
What sight! The solitary, isolated specimen near Cochabamba had been a thrill. Now 40 times that! I was overwhelmed. No Indian hand had planted this colony (Fig. 5).
|Photo by Author.|
|FIG. 5: Mount Comanche’s Granite Wastes Reduce Most Plants to Pygmy Size. Raimondii’s Once-in-a-lifetime Bloom Soars 35 Feet.|
How could these mammoths of the plant world survive where there was so little sustenance? No other plant on this mountain, with the exception of one lovely golden columnar cactus, Trichocereus bertramianus , grew to be over three feet high.
Surrounding some of these gold-spined cacti were clusters of blue and violet lupine set off artistically by the orange-petaled, daisy-like senecio.
The few Aymarás living at the base of the mountain told us that the sight of 40 puyas blooming simultaneously happened but once in 25 to 50 years. I counted only three or four specimens that might flower within the next few years.
Only one was found that gave any evidence of being past the blooming period, and that was a huge charred and fallen trunk, a victim of past ravages by Indians. Nine feet in circumference, it may well have lain there several years even though partially burned. On it I counted more than 300 rings of leaf scars, assuring me that 150 years would be a conservative estimate of its age.
Several attempts have been made to transplant Puya raimondii to other locations, even to Argentina, but none has succeeded. We hope, however, that we shall have success in our efforts on this botanical mission, because we carried several medium-sized plants back to the botanical garden in La Paz, where every effort will be made to give them a happy home not far from their birthplace.
My herbarium specimens formed the most extensive collection of these flowers ever to be brought to the United States. I presented them to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C., and to the Gray Herbarium at Harvard.
Herbarium specimens are difficult to prepare, except for the simplest ferns or grasses; those of a puya are a real challenge. Nevertheless, from the first Puya raimondii which I visited, flowers, flower bracts, leaves, and even trunk scrapings were pressed between blotters, descriptive notes recorded, and photographs made (Fig. 6).
Photo by National Geographic
Photographer, B. Anthony Stewart.
FIG. 6: Practical Botanists,
Like Sentimental Damsels,|
Preserve Faded Flowers Between Pages.
Dr. Lyman B. Smith, in the National Herbarium, Smithsonian Institution, examines puya specimens forwarded by the author from Bolivia to Washington, D. C. Here he measures the petals of altitude-loving Puya fosteriana, whose Andean portrait (left) is an enlargement of the color plate on page 152. Such made-in-the-field photographs give laboratory scientists a complete story in recording new species.
The photographs are still the most conclusive and valuable proof of our efforts, as neither herbarium sheets nor words alone could possibly delineate the structure of noble puya raimondii. My records of the one Huakaqui specimen had to be complete, since the difficulties and complications of getting to the large colony of them near Comanche might have been insurmountable.
In this highland of the clouds one can always expect extreme contrasts, and in so far as comparison of size of plants is concerned, I certainly found the extreme in contrasts.
Largest and smallest of bromeliads are these two. Its very prominence make Puya raimondii
to man’s destructive whims; its neighbor, an unnamed tillandsia, is too small to be noticed.
Here, only a few feet from the huge puyas, I found the smallest member of the bromeliad family clinging tenaciously to granite boulders. It was a miniature tillandsia, barely an inch high, growing in close mat clusters. It had no soil for its sustenance, just a bare rock for its roots to cling to and only the elements in the air for food (fig. 7).
|Photo by Author.|
|FIG. 7: A 35-foot Puya Shares a Bleak Domain with a 1-inch Cousin Clinging Mosslike to a Rock.|
Both species of bromeliads, largest and smallest of their family, living side by side, were here long before the Inca civilization started. Like two tribal representatives of that empire, the Quechua and Aymará, they still hold forth with tenacity.
We left the land of the puyas and that amazing display of phenomenal plant growth with deep impressions. Not the least was the sad thought that this royal colony of puyas would gradually fall victim to the whims of a people who, to break the monotony of an otherwise colorless night, would thoughtlessly destroy them.
This 35-foot puya, living side by side with its inch-high tillandsia relative, should be protected by law. A national park, such as those in the United States, would give these rare plants the protection they deserve.
Of these two extremes, the pygmy tillandsia, independent of soil conditions and too insignificant to be noticed by anyone except a botanist, needs no protection.
But Puya raimondii is vulnerable in its majesty. Before it is too late, we hope that something may be done to preserve it.
he Third Australian Bromeliad Conference will be held in Brisbane, Queensland on the Easter weekend (5-8th April) 1985. The programme will consist of two days of lectures by noted growers and a one-day bus trip to view local collections. The organising committee would be pleased to welcome overseas bromelians. Please address enquiries to:
Conference Coordinator, Bromeliad Society of Queensland, P.O. Box 565, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane 4006, Australia.
Enthusiasm for bromeliads runs high in this continent down under—so far from their natural habitat. From Perth on the west coast to Cairns and Brisbane on the east, bromeliad study groups and societies have been formed, and bromeliads have become a common feature in the larger horticulture shows.
Interest in these plants was first kindled by the late Charles G. Hodgson of Melbourne, who had been growing bromeliads for a number of years before the Bromeliad Society was formed in 1950. He corresponded with Mulford Foster and became one of the first of the honorary trustees. In volume 1, number 2 of the Bulletin of the Bromeliad Society , he wrote of his early experiences and the status of bromeliad culture in Australia.
After Mr. Hodgson’s death, the torch was carried by W. B. Charley of New South Wales, another grand old man, who wrote many articles for the Bulletin and the Journal from 1960 until 1971.
Today it is Olwen Ferris, of Queensland, who represents the Society. She is an indefatigable plantswoman who both edits the very fine Bromeletter and operates a flourishing bromeliad nursery. She is held in the highest esteem.
Considering the difficulty in importing plants, it is hard to believe the variety and quantity on hand. They are a hardy breed, these Australians, and they are not deterred from getting what they want. Besides importing from Europe and the American continents, they have made numerous hybrids. Derek Butcher’s checklist of Australian bromeliad hybrids appeared in 1982. This 28-page booklet was published under the auspices of the Bromeliad Society of South Australia. It illustrates the extent of the growers’ interest in hybridizing and maintaining careful records of the results.
|Photo by Author.|
|FIG. 12: Billbergia amoena var. stolonifera. The small size of this new variety contrasts markedly with the exceptional length of the stolon.|
n June of 1981 an interesting new variety of Billbergia amoena was found in the State of Rio de Janeiro. This plant was described by the eminent Brazilian botanist Edmundo Pereira and Jose Luiz Moutinho. Their Latin diagnosis, originally published in the Boletim de Herbario Bradeanum 3 (27); 1981 follows:
Billbergia amoena (Lodd.) Lindl. var. stolonifera Pereira & Moutinho n. var. Differt a forma typica et a varietatibus adhunc cognitis, planta longe stolonifera. Typus state of Rio de Janeiro, County of Cabo Frio, Búzius, collected by Luiz K. Correia Araújo, no. 39, June of 1981. The holotypus is in Herbario Bradeanum under the number HB 71.215.
This new variety is unusual mainly because its small size contrasts so markedly with the variable but usually very long stolon that can reach to almost one meter in length. For this reason, the plant would be an interesting garden specimen.
In nature, it thrives in the coastal regions, at sea level, growing as a terrestrial and sometimes forming huge masses under the bushy restinga vegetation, and also in sunny places. The plant in the photograph was found in the place known as Costa Azul, County of Rio das Ostras, RJ. Its geographical distribution is not precisely established yet, but we can be certain that this new variety grows at least from the coastal region of Sao Pedro da Aldeia up the County of Macaé, State of Rio de Janeiro.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
illandsia purpurea is a small bromeliad that grows in clumps in the deserts of Ecuador and Peru from sea level (on beaches) to about 900 m, although it has been reported occasionally at much higher elevations.
In the Desert of Uchumayo, in western Peru, it may form very large clumps that sometimes unite to cover extensive areas of sand, the so-called “tilandsiales” of the natives. As the sand dunes move, so do the tillandsias. They are said to be capable of recovering after being buried under sand sometimes for long periods.
In some areas T. purpurea may be the only plants to be seen in the desert, and thus, in the absence of rocks, they are the only writing material available to desert calligraphers (fig. 13).
T. purpurea is a small plant, not more than three or four inches high and has the appearance of a young (not elongated) T. bergeri. The flowers are purple, or blue and white (fig. 14).
In rainy areas T. purpurea can be grown in pure beach sand, heaped as high as possible above the pot rim, and fully exposed to the sun. It may also be attached to a twig, but no roots are formed and clumping is difficult under these conditions.
This plant is pictured in Victoria Padilla’s book Bromeliads (1973) under the name T. straminea , which is now a synonym. There is no mention made of this species in the text.
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
|Photo by Author.|
|FIG. 13: Tillandsia purpurea provides a way for man to make his mark on Peruvian deserts.|
|Photo by Author.|
|FIG. 14: Clusters of Tillandsia purpurea growing in pure sand.|
ecently, we have seen many articles and photo portfolios on hybrid bromeliads. This trend, no doubt, reflects the increasing interest in these plants by our membership. But with the increasing interest in hybrids I have begun to note a seemingly disproportionate decrease in the interest shown in species. A good indicator of this trend can be found in commercial retail mail order bromeliad catalogs. While the works of Lyman B. Smith, Victoria Padilla, and Werner Rauh shown an incredible diversity of genera and wealth of species of the Bromeliaceae, most of the catalogs are fairly well dominated by the hybrids even to the extent of 85 percent of their total listings.
I am certainly not against hybrids, many are indeed very colorful and striking. They have a place in bromeliad collections. What I fear is that the rapidly expanding interest being shown in hybrids might persuade commercial growers to concentrate exclusively on them.
I ask those of you who must rely on commercial mail order to call on your growers to seek out and to propagate for sale the many, many diverse species not now readily available. I suggest that members send color transparencies and articles on the many lesser known and seen species to the editors of the Journal for publication so that our membership may see their beauty.
Perhaps as a result of renewed interest we shall see a marked lessening of the phrase “not presently available in cultivation” that now accompanies the listing of so many plants in growers’ lists.
|Photo by Author.|
|FIG. 15: Pitcairnia rubro-nigriflora showing its bushy habit and dimorphic foliage.|
itcairnia rubro-nigriflora Rauh spec. nov. is a most attractive and colorful discovery from northeast Peru near Tarapoto, Dept. of San Martin. It owes its name to the bicolored sepals which are bright red in the basal half and dark violet in the upper half. These colors give the impression that the plant is already in full, open flower when in only the prefloral state.
Following is a short description1 :
Plant with subterranean, rhizomatous stems and, therefore, forming bushes (fig. 15). The single rosette has dimorphic foliage: the basal leaves without blade are black-brown and white lepidote; the few (1-2) normal rosette leaves have a conspicuous, spoonlike, small (2 × 3 cm), brownish, glabrous sheath and a long ligulate blade, tapering into a narrow tip and narrowing at the base into a 25 cm-long, spiny petiole. The blade is up to 80 cm long and 7 cm wide, glabrous beneath with a prominent midrib and nearly glabrous above. The margin is even or loosely spiny. Inflorescence is simple, erect, 70-100 cm long (fig. 16), mostly shorter than the leaves. Scape up to 30 cm long, 3 mm thick, green, round, somewhat white-wooly. Scape bracts erect, long-lanceolate, acute, longer than the internodes, soon drying off and then nerved. Fertile part of the inflorescence erect, 30-50 cm long, with a round, green, white-wooly axis.
|Photo by Author.|
|FIG. 16: Pitcairnia rubro-nigriflora inflorescence.|
Flowers numerous, loosely arranged in spiral form, strongly zygomorphous, erect, with 1.5-2 cm long, olive-green, white-wooly pedicel. Floral bracts lanceolate, acute, praefloral longer, postfloral shorter than the pedicels. Ovary half epigynous, 0.5 cm long, bright carmine, loosely white-wooly. Sepals up to 3 cm long, at the base also bright carmine, in the upper half (2 cm) dark black-violet like the petals. Petals forming a curved, zygomorphic, 7 cm long tube, black-violet with a narrow white margin, and a dentate, white ligule at the base. Filaments whitish, shorter than the petals with 1 cm long, narrow, yellow anthers. Style with violet, twisted stigmas.
Holotype: Rauh and von Bismarck 53 676 (Aug. 1980), in the Herbarium of the Institute for Systematic Botany of the University of Heidelberg (HEID).
Distribution and locality: Mountainous forest, at 800 m above Tarapoto, Dept. of San Martin, northeast Peru, near the road.
The plant is known today only from the type-locality, and we cannot find any relationship to other known Pitcairnia species. The color of the sepals is really striking. Another remarkable characteristic is that all unpollinated flowers fall off leaving only the pedicels in place. The plant is easy to grow and has already flowered several times in the Heidelberg Botanical Garden.
1. The Latin diagnosis will be published in Bromelienstudien XV, Tropische und subtropische Pflanzenwelt , which is now being Printed.
Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany
all moss, Tillandsia recurvata, is a widely distributed bromeliad surpassed only by Spanish moss, T. usneoides , in the extent of its range. The northernmost locality record for this species was Jacksonville, Florida, until the discovery of a specimen on St. Catherines Island, Liberty Co., Georgia.
While on a photographic assignment at the New York Zoological Society Wildlife Survival Center on St. Catherines Island in November 1983, staff photographer William Meng noted and photographed this plant growing on the southwest side of a loblolly pine, Pinus taeda. I identified it for Mr. Meng, and, obtained confirmation of this northern locality record from Lyman B. Smith at the U. S. National Herbarium.
In January 1984, New York Zoological Society Curator of Herpetology John Behler visited the island and collected the specimen of T. recurvata , which has since been deposited in the National Herbarium.
The St. Catherines Island discovery extends the known range of T. recurvata approximately 145 km. The warming effect of the ocean on the island habitat may have allowed this species to extend its range this far north. It is known to respond readily to favorable long-term changes in climatic conditions by extending its range, as it has done in eastern Texas. Whether or not the occurrence of T. recurvata on St. Catherines Island is a recent phenomenon or a temporary response to current weather conditions is unknown. It is rare on the island at best since Mr. Behler was unable to locate any additional specimens.
I thank John L. Behler, David H. Benzing, Timothy Hohn, William Meng, and Lyman B. Smith for their comments and encouragement, and the New York Zoological Society for assistance in the preparation of this report.
Benzing, D. H. The Biology of the Bromeliads. Eureka, CA: Mad River Press; 1980.
Smith, L. B.; Downs, R. J. Tillandsioideae (Bromeliaceae). Flora Neotropica monograph no. 14, part 2. New York: Hafner Press; 1977.
Bronx, New York
s I stepped out the plane, I had to zip up my jacket. It was cooler than I had expected, but then I remembered that tropical nights can be chilly. At any rate, it was a far cry from the subzero temperatures and the three-foot-deep snow that I had left behind only that afternoon. Already, as my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I was able to make out a few isolated specimens of tropical vegetation around the otherwise barren airport.
The trip to the hotel reserved for this northerner a host of surprises: palms of all sizes and shapes, a few cacti, spreading fig trees, and what looked for all the world like the pine trees of my country (I later found out that they were casuarinas). The hotel itself had an indoor courtyard with palms and pittosporums. Leaving my bags in the hotel room, I rushed out to the moonlit beach where coconut palms danced in the wind and breakers crashed upon the sand, bringing to my nostrils the unaccustomed scent of sea water. Paradise.
The next morning I was up bright and early, exploring first the beach, then the inhabited areas near my hotel. I noticed that the gardens contained giant specimens of plants that we at home consider house plants: schefflera, weeping fig, plumeria, crotons, hibiscus, and, of course, palms. I failed, however, to sight any bromeliads.
I spent part of that first day on the beach, part of it buying supplies, and the rest just getting oriented. The next day was going to be busy because my companions and I were to visit one of the lushest tropical gardens in that part of the world.
We left early in the morning, and none too soon at that, for we had not fully realized the distances to be traveled or the limitations of the local transportation, particularly on a weekend. On the way we saw rows of stately royal palms, tall stone walls overgrown with bougainvillea, colorful flowering shrubs, and exotic birds, including the omnipresent vultures.
The final lap of the trip was the most interesting as we zipped rapidly along the last few miles by taxi, the bus having reached the end of its route. I had just realized that the branches hanging low over the taxi roof were filled with epiphytes when we screeched to a halt in front of the garden gates. There could be no doubt about it. We were in bromeliad country for right above me was an arrow-straight palm trunk on which grew a magnificent tillandsia with a red flower spike.
I suppose that I should let the cat out of the bag at this point and say that I wasn’t on a bromeliad expedition to tropical Guatemala, to the cloud forests of Venezuela, nor even to the exotic isle of Puerto Rico. I was, to tell the truth, in good of Miami, Florida, U.S.A. The lush tropical garden was, of course, Fairchild Tropical Gardens. To many Americans, Miami probably seems as run-of-the-mill as breakfast cereal, but to a pale face from the Great White North, who had never been any further south than northern Pennsylvania (and in the winter at that), it is a plant-lover’s dream. I was so enthralled with what I was seeing that, during the first day alone, I walked face-first into no less than three palm trees (planted, for some strange reason, right in the middle of the sidewalks) while my eyes were busy elsewhere.
As a novice bromeliad enthusiast, I was thrilled by the sight of so many of these gorgeous plants. I had somehow received the impression that tillandsias, with the exception of Spanish moss, were rather rare in Florida, and that I would have to look very carefully to find any at all. It turned out that I had to look very carefully not to step on them for the ground below many trees, especially live oaks in the area just south of Miami, was literally covered with them. I later found that in order to see Spanish moss in any quantity I would have to go further north and west.
The largest common tillandsia was T. fasciculata whose spectacular flower heads were just turning red when I was there in early March. T. recurvata, T. utriculata, T. balbisiana along with numerous lichens and some dried out ferns [Resurrection fern, Polypodium polypodioides ] literally covered the branches of the oaks. It was hard to believe that they could support all that weight.
The gardens were simply fantastic. I spent three days there trying to soak in the richness of the subtropical vegetation. With the exception of occasional billbergias and aechmeas growing on tree trunks, and seeming to be very much at home, the real bromeliad collection was to be found in the Rare Plant House where both terrestrial and epiphytic specimens of many genera flourish in luxuriant plantings.
Time was rushing by as I visited many of the local tourist attractions. I finally decided that with a rental bicycle I could go where I wanted to and stop where I wanted, and I was willing to expend the effort. The bicycle proved to be just as fast as the bus.
The Coconut Grove and Coral Gables areas were full of interesting private gardens where cultivated bromeliads, especially billbergias and aechmeas, could be seen growing on trees. They really seemed to like the Miami climate even if it is only subtropical.
Parrot Jungle was a real treat. There I saw huge quantities of bromeliads of every size, shape, and color growing both in beds and in trees. I also had the opportunity there of meeting Nat DeLeon, the Bromeliad Society president, whom I mistook for the head gardener.
I just had to come back home with a few plants and decided that DeLeon’s Bromeliad World was relatively accessible compared with other commercial sources. So, off I went on my bicycle for what turned out to be a 40-mile round trip in 85°F heat and full sun.
The plants, though, were magnificent and the choice overwhelming. With my $20.00 and the owner’s help I left with Aechmea ‘Mend’, Ae. orlandiana ‘Ensign’, two flowering vrieseas, ‘Blaze’ and ‘Odenrode’, and a cutting of Hechtia marnier-lapostollei. In bromeliad-starved Canada such plants are totally unavailable, so you can imagine that I was in seventh heaven. I packed them carefully into my back pack (not without pricking my fingers on the hechtia, of course) and pedaled the 20 miles back. That exercise caused the potting mix to spill everywhere, but I reasoned that it saved me a bit of work as I had to bring the plants back home bare-root anyway.
During the next few days I managed to get a ride to a few parks near the Homestead area. In the Costello Hammock Park, I saw for the first time the thin, grasslike Tillandsia setacea. This tillandsia had darker green leaves than any of the others I had seen and was growing in relatively deep shade. The leaves looked almost like pine needles. In the Everglades I saw many of the same species as in Miami, more T. setacea, and on the Mahogany Hammock nature trail and along the highway we saw our first and only tank-type bromeliads, a light-green one, which I assumed to be Catopsis floribunda , growing about halfway down some palm trunks. It was impossible, unfortunately, to stop the bus to get off and look more closely.
My trip was now at an end and I had certainly seen a lot. I regret, however, not having been able to attend the monthly meeting of the local bromeliad society. There are no such societies in my area and I would have loved to see how such a society meeting works, not to mention the opportunity to meet fellow amateurs. The parks and gardens of southern Florida were, truly, impressive. I hope to go back some day to see more such as the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on the west coast.
I hope that you, too, can fill what might otherwise be an ordinary vacation with a sense of adventure and make it into — a bromeliad safari.
The purpose of this nonprofit corporation is to promote and maintain public and scientific interest in the research, development, preservation, and distribution of Bromeliaceae, both natural and hybrid, throughout the world. You are invited to join.
|September 22-23||San Diego Bromeliad Society Annual Show, “Bromeliads Bonitas.” Casa del Prado (Rm 101), Balboa Park. Thelma O’Reilly (619) 463-6788.|
|September 22-23||Sooner State Bromeliad Study Group 1st Annual Show. Tulsa Garden Center. Georgia Waggoner (918) 733-4602.|
|October 6-7||Florida International Bromeliad Show. Sponsored jointly by the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies and the Sarasota Bromeliad Society. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 800 South Palm Ave., Sarasota. John Bollin (813) 327-3066.|
|October 12-13||River Bend Bromeliad Society Annual Show, Oakwood Mall, 197 West Bank Expressway, Gretna, LA. Peggy Rowe (504) 392-3989.|
|October 19-21||Bromeliad Society of Central Florida 9th Annual Show with the Central Florida Annual Lawn & Garden Show. Leu Gardens, 1730 N. Forest Ave., Orlando, Mrs. Audrey McCrory (305) 846-4955.|
|November 9-11||Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society Second Annual Show, Lee County Garden Council & Activities Center, Ft. Myers, FL. Terry Virta (813) 455-3090.|