THE BROMELIAD SOCIETY BULLETIN
|President||David Barry, Jr.||Editorial Secretary||Victoria Padilla|
|Vice President||Frank Overton||Membership Secretary||Jeanne Woodbury|
|Treasurer||Jack M. Roth||Art Editor||Morris Henry Hobbs|
E. H. Palmer, President, Florida West Coast Bromeliad Society|
Lawrence Hiscock, President, Louisiana Bromeliad Society
Jack M. Roth, President, Southern California Bromeliad Society
Robert Wilson, President, South Florida Bromeliad Society
|Board of Directors|
David Barry, Jr.
Nat. J. De Leon
E. W. Ensign
Mulford B. Foster
James N. Giridlian
Henry M. Hobbs
E. H. Palmer
Jack M. Roth
Dr. Russell Seibert
O. E. Van Hyning
Wilbur G. Wood
Mrs. Adda Abendroth
Dr. Alberto Castellanos
Monsieur Charles Chevalier
Mulford B. Foster
A. B. Graf
Charles H. Lankester
Auckland, New Zealand
P. Raulino Reitz
Dr. Lyman B. Smith
A habit drawing, approximately one half life size, of a rare bromeliad, Canistrum fosterianum, a Brazilian endemic discovered and named for Mr. Mulford B. Foster. Gray-green leaves marked faintly with irregular, often diagonal brown markings. The bold scarlet inflorescence does not appear as often as we would like, but when it does bloom it is a rare and beautiful sight, looking more like a member of the lily family than a bromeliad. M. H. H.
No article appearing in this bulletin may be reproduced without the permission of the editor.
THEN AND NOW
EWS HAS JUST REACHED THIS DESK that Mr. Mulford B. Foster has been the recipient of a special citation awarded by the American Horticultural Society. Our sincerest felicitations go to the Old Maestro, for we heartily concur with the American Horticultural Society that his contributions to the study and popularization of bromeliads have not been surpassed by anyone at any time. Indeed, without Mr. Foster's enthusiasm, guidance, and knowledge there would probably be no international society devoted entirely to the family of bromeliads; in fact, one could say without fear of contradiction that without his efforts, bromeliads would still be largely unknown in this country.
The writer has been growing bromeliads since 1945. Before that time, with the exception of a few Billbergias, she, along with most gardeners, knew almost nothing about the wonderful pineapple family. It was at the meetings of the local cactus society that her interest in these little-known plants became aroused, for a few members were raising them in their succulent gardens. Then came the publication of the Fosters' book, Brazil: Orchid of the Tropics. In this delightful account of plant hunting, a whole new fascinating family of plants was brought to the attention of gardeners eager to grow something new and different. The writer decided that she must obtain some of these plants and after a little research was able to track down the Fosters' address and to write to them inquiring where bromeliads could be purchased.
The answer came in the form of a five-page mimeographed list of bromeliads today a cherished bit of paper and perhaps the first all-bromeliad listing distributed in this country. This list contained 75 items in all and included such rare plants as Ananas ananasoides var. nana, Hohenbergia penduliflora, Streptocalyx floribunda, Vriesea bituminosa, and Wittmackia lingulata. In 1949 Mr. Foster published a 20-page illustrated catalogue on bromeliads. At this time, too, Julius Roehrs was listing a few bromels, as was the Evans & Reeves Nursery in West Los Angeles. For a period of years, however, bromeliads remained a hard item to find; and it has not been until the advent of the sixties that these plants have started to take their rightful place in the world of horticulture.
Today one can accumulate enough catalogues listing bromeliads to make a sizable pile. Growers in Belgium, Germany, France, Holland, Brazil, Australia, to mention just a few countries, issue lists of unusual interest and all the plants are at reasonable prices. Certainly great strides have been made since the day that Mr. Foster's first list of 75 bromeliads appeared. Japanese nurserymen are going all out for these highly artistic plants, and their listings are amazing in their variety and length. Outstanding, too, has been the work of Australian growers, and a catalogue just received from Down Under describes over 175 bromeliads, many of them very choice items.
Bromeliads are certainly gaining in popularity in the United States and there is scarcely a garden show or horticultural exhibit that does not have a display of these plants. Advertisements of bromeliads are making their way into flower magazines so that the obtaining of bromeliads is no longer a challenge for the most ardent collector. In fact, Cryptanthus have been seen for sale at Woolworth's and plastic Neoregelias and Guzmanias have been noted in stores featuring imitation flowers.
Yes, thanks to Mr. Mulford B. Foster, bromeliads have rightly come into their own!
O. C. VAN HYNING
INCE 1954 I HAVE MADE NINE TRIPS TO MEXICO, (accompanied by my wife on eight of these), studying the flora, particularly the bromeliads; in that time we have covered the greater part of that country, with the exception of the extreme northwest, some of the more interesting parts many times. Although we have enjoyed our trips immensely, and have made lasting friends in various parts of the country, our main object has been the search for and study of bromeliads.
Although at least twelve genera of bromeliads are to be found in Mexico, by far the greatest number are to be found in Tillandsia, Hechtia and Pitcairnia, in that order. Being epiphytic for the most part, as well as usually being strikingly beautiful when in bloom, Tillandsias are the most noticeable; they are to be found from sea level to an altitude of nearly ten thousand feet, and in the desert as well as in the rain forest; they may vary in size from the miniature T. plumosa var. magnusiana, scarcely two inches in diameter, to T. grandis, a plant four feet in diameter, sending its flower scape eight feet into the air.
We will mention here some of the regions rich in bromeliads, with some of the most beautiful or unusual ones we have encountered there. Some of these species are here recorded for the first time from Mexico, while others, also quite handsome, have been known for many years.
Chiapas is the most southernmost state of Mexico, being bordered on the south by Guatemala, and is of particular interest in that a large part of its flora is Central American, rather then Mexican. There are a number of distinct habitats, each with its distinctive flora; there is the region along the Pacific coast, from Arriaga to Tapachula, in which are found the stiff dry kinds of Tillandsias; T. dasyliriifolia and T. concolor are two of the most common. The dry plateau around Tuxtla Gutierrez and southward is also rich in bromeliads; several Hechtias may be found, Aechmea bracteata, Billbergia pallidiflora, Tillandsia polystachya, T. circinnata, T. caput-medusae and similar forms on the stunted trees; and in the canyons, growing on the steep cliffs, T. capitata and various Pitcairnias. At least four to five thousand feet altitude one encounters deciduous trees, with many oaks included; this is still the dry region, east and west of Tuxtla. Many species are found here, although the majority are of the xerophytic type; T. caput-medusae, T. streptophylla, T. butzii, and similar forms. North of the highway one encounters an area of rain forest, with lush growth, and many of the thin broad-leafed species; among these are T. virginalis, T. flabellata, and T. Makoyana; also a great assortment of orchids, philodendrons and other epiphytic plants.
One of the most interesting regions is between Tuxtla Gutierrez and Ciudad Las Casas, and to the north; the Indian village of Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacan is located on the divide, at about eight thousand feet; here one encounters Tillandsia prodigiosa. T. ponderosa, T. adscendens, T. lampropoda; these large broad leafed forms thrive in the cool climate and the heavy fogs that nightly leave all the foliage dripping with moisture. Here too are to be found various cool-growing orchids, such as several species of Odontoglossum.
|Tillandsia dasylirlifolia found growing in San Juan Purua, a famous spa in Mexico|
|Tillandsias like to perch on cacti in Mexico|
Aechmea bracteata is widely distributed in Chiapas, as well as in other parts of Mexico, at altitudes below four thousand feet; I have never seen the red phase, however, except at the low altitudes of the "Tierra Caliente".
Aechmea lueddemanniana is not common, but occasionally is found in the rain forest.
Aechmea magdalenae is found at lower altitudes, to the north, near Pichucalco. The fiber from the leaves of this huge terrestrial is much used to make cord, nets, hammocks, etc.; it is quite resistant to effects of salt water, and used for fishing nets and lines by the aborigines.
Billbergia pallidiflora is found growing on rocks and low trees, in the drier sections of the state.
Catopsis berteroniana, a rather good sized plant, with orange colored inflorescence, is sometimes offered for sale in the native markets; C. subulata is smaller, of a more compact shape, and with the floral bracts orange also.
Fosterella micrantha is a small terrestrial, difficult to locate; however, it makes a nice pot plant, and is easy to cultivate.
The more arid regions have various species of Hechtia, mostly with spiny leaves and white inflorescences; H. tillandsioides, found north of Tehuantepec, has red flowers; H. schottii, on the brink of Grijalva canyon, has multiple inflorescences.
Tillandsia andrieuxii on pines and oaks, Teopisca.
T. argentea; near Guatemala border, on oaks and on rocks.
T. baileyi; Cintalapa; much larger than the T. baileyi from Texas, and with branching inflorescence and a bulbous base.
T. brachycaulis is not common; Cintalapa.
T. butzii; Teopisca; Cintalapa; plants larger than those from the state of Vera Cruz; called "polpos" by natives.
T. capitata occurs in three color phases, always found separately; a green phase was found at the Guatemala border, growing low on trees; on the cliffs south of Tuxtla Gutierrez is a bronze form; also on cliffs, near Ocozocuautla, we found a colony of plants colored a solid red.
T. caput-medusae is found sparsely over the state, at altitudes between three and five thousand feet; usually full of stinging ants.
T. carlsoniae; This is a beautiful silvery-gray plant, with the lower leaves drooping and the upper ones erect-spreading; the scape branches very near the base, presenting the appearance of a multiple inflorescence. Branches are broad and flattened, bracts a soft rose, petals violet.
T. dasyliriifolia; Tonalα, Teopisca, Comitαn; grows much larger than in Oaxaca and other localities.
T. dugesii is one of the more showy of the Tillandsias; at flowering time most of the two-foot plant becomes fiery red; scape is also red, and the floral bracts emerald green, with violet flowers.
T. festucoides; when growing on dead trees in full sun, the leaves turn to red.
T. filifolia prefers a shaded situation, with considerable moisture; Ocozocuautla, Teopisca.
T. flabellata has two color phases, growing side by side; there is a green-leafed phase, and one in which the leaves are reddish purple; both forms are very beautiful, and make attractive pot plants.
T. guatemalensis; this is a strikingly beautiful plant, having thin, wide leaves of an attractive form, the color of the entire plant being brilliant red; the flowers are blue.
T. ionantha vanhyningii; on overhanging cliffs at top of Grijalva canyon; in cultivation requires a good deal of moisture.
T. lampropoda was found near Jitotol, growing high up in large trees of sweet gum (Liquidambar); not common, and very localized.
T. makoyana is a noble plant, three feet in diameter, with a dark red branching scape, four feet tall; Teopisca.
T. polystachya is common in most of the more arid regions; one form near Ocozocuautla is very large, with the leaves purplish at their distal two-thirds, the inner part being brick-red.
T. ponderosa; a few plants were encountered near Simojovel.
T. prodigiosa; known by the Indians as "Tecolumate"; grows on pines and oaks in the cloud forests, and is used to decorate altars, as well as the native homes.
T. punctulata is not as common here as it is in the state of Vera Cruz; Teopisca; Chamula.
T. rodrigueziana; 5000 feet, in dry pine and oak woods; resembles T. dugesii, superficially; Teopisca.
T. seleriana; Teopisca; La Trinitaria; heavily covered with silver-gray scales, and having soft rose-pink floral bracts, with violet flowers.
T. socialis; Rio Grijalva, growing in scattered clumps on rocks and stunted trees at brink of the canyon. Has hard, silvery-gray leaves and branching, glabrous red scape.
T. streptophylla frequents the dry oak and pine forests at altitudes around four thousand feet; Cintalapa; San Fernandez.
T. tricolor; locally very common, the plants often covering the tree limbs; in full sun gets decidedly red.
T. vicentina is epiphytic on large trees; inflorescence is vermilion, with violet flowers; Teopisca.
Vriesea werckleana grows on rocks and cliffs, near San Cristobal de las Casas; at a distance, with its tall flower scape and huge size, the plant reminds one of Tillandsia grandis.
P. O. Box 381, Maitland, Florida.
A REVISION OF NO. I
MULFORD B. FOSTER
T HAS BEEN GENERALLY ACCEPTED that most of the bromeliads send forth their inflorescences from the center of the main axis of the plant. The exceptions to this generalization have provided some interesting data on this subject. One of the early known exceptions is in the epiphytic rosette type of bromeliad in the genus Quesnelia of the subfamily Bromelioideae. In this genus the species lateralis has long been known to bloom laterally, as noted in Harms* (1930): "Occasionally an otherwise normally vegetatively shortened shoot forms bracts and blossoms. Such accidental formations (according to Mez, p.x.) are not rare in Quesnelia lateralis Wawra . . ."
Observations from the living material convince the writer that such formations are neither accidental nor rare in Quesnelia lateralis although this condition is abnormal to the genus.
The writer's first observation of an epiphytic bromeliad sending forth its inflorescence laterally was made in 1940 when he took Quesnelia lateralis in the Organo Mountains above Teresopolis in Brazil. It was very surprising to find this same species also blooming from the center. Immediately many of these epiphytic bromeliads were examined (they were also growing in clusters on rocks as well as in trees) and it was found that just as many of the plants were blooming from the base, (at a point below all of the leaves ), as were from the center of the main axis in the tube of the rosette. Later it was learned from Dr. Lyman B. Smith that this Quesnelia was originally named lateralis and at a later time was also named centralis. At that time botanists evidently thought that they were two different species. When this phenomenon of a duplex blooming habit was recognized in the one species, the species name, Q. centralis, was placed in synonymy. After having this plant in cultivation four years the writer has observed that Quesnelia lateralis not only blooms laterally from the base, but the same plant may bloom also from the center of the main axis. The lateral inflorescence may appear first, and then a month or so later another flower spike may appear from the center of the same rosette. I do not know of any other bromeliad in the entire family that performs in this manner.
While collecting in Surinam (Dutch Guiana) in 1948, the writer had the good fortune to find another bromeliad with a lateral inflorescence. The plant itself resembled a very husky Bromelia karatas with heavily spined leaves, 8 to 12 ft. long, but, instead of the usual central inflorescence found in all species of the genus Bromelia, this plant had basal lateral inflorescences one foot long which extended under the leaves from the caudex in several directions. At first, I thought I had found the long lost Disteganthus basi-lateralis which was discovered by Melinon in French Guiana in 1846. But the leaves on this new discovery were so entirely different that it seemed that this must be a new species, and so it proved to be. Dr. Lyman Smith named it Aechmea lateralis and later he threw the genus Disteganthus into synonymy, renaming the old species found by Melinon, Aechmea basi-lateralis, (Phytologia, Feb. 1960, Vol. 7, No. 3).
Thus, we have two species of Aechmea, Ae. basi-lateralis and Ae lateralis with the inflorescences appearing laterally from the base of the plants. The old plant found by Melinon has never been taken again since his original collection.
The genus Greigia is the only section of the subfamily of Bromeliodeae in which all of the species have lateral inflorescences. This statement must be qualified because the writer has not, personally, seen every one of the species in this genus, but he has seen at least half of them and they all have lateral inflorescences situated in the leaf axis near the base of the plant. These numerous compact flower heads are so well hidden that at first one would think they were looking at a sterile plant even though it were in full bloom.
In the genus Dyckia all species have lateral inflorescences; their main axis always remains sterile, although they may have one or more flowering stalks each year which rise about midway between the center axis and the basal leaves.
The genus Encholirium is as consistent as Dyckia, for here again all of the species have lateral inflorescences. Encholiriums are rarely seen in horticulture. Like species in Hechtia, Dyckia and Deuterocohnia, they closely resemble each other as to plant forms but they differ in flowers.
In my paper, "Lateral Inflorescence in the Bromeliaceae" (No. 1) in the National Horticultural Magazine of Jan. 1945, I stated that, "all Hechtias have lateral inflorescences". Three months after that paper was published my first discovery of a new species, Hechtia melanocarpa, (taken in Mexico, 1936) came into flower; a six-foot inflorescence rose from the center! (My first generalization was being refuted!)
Later collections showed that the Hechtias are not consistent as to position of the inflorescences; some species may have lateral and other species, central inflorescences; some species have only one inflorescence such as H. melanocarpa (which is central) while others, such as H. Schottii, I have seen with as many as five lateral flower spikes issuing from the leaf rosette at one time, while the center axis remains sterile. In most instances, however, I have found but one or two lateral spikes on each plant at one time.
Again referring to the first article in the National Horticultural Magazine of Jan. 1945, there was, also a photo of Racine Foster holding the tall, branched inflorescence of a large plant of Deuterocohnia meziana which appears to be issuing laterally from the lower leaves. At first sight of this plant, growing on the banks of the Paraguay River near Corumba, Matto Grosso, Brazil, there was no doubt as to the position of the flower spike and so it was included in the list of lateral inflorescent bromeliads. A few of these plants were brought back alive and some years later permitted me observations of this unique plant when it was preparing to send up its first flower stalk from the center of the plant, and not laterally as expected. By the end of the second year, new leaves appeared next to the base of the scape, forming the continuation of the main axis; as they continued to emerge and develop, the old scape, still blooming, was gradually pushed over to the side, making it appear to be a lateral inflorescence. A few years later another new central inflorescence appeared. Acquaintance with this D. Meziana shows that it continues to flower throughout the year over a period of six to eight years from each inflorescence, which makes it a very unusual species. At the present time one of my oldest plants which I brought from Mato Grosso, in 1940, is producing flowers on two different flower stalks, while a third one is in the process of development. This plant has produced well over a thousand flowers on the two inflorescences.
While this plant sends out central inflorescences they do not appear annually as in the Dyckias. This Deuterocohnia sends up a branched, woody inflorescence four to seven feet in height which blooms over a period of several years. It seems incongruous to find a stiff, succulent, spiny rosette form of a monocotyledonous plant which develops an inflorescence that resembles a woody shrub.
No other bromeliad has the incredible habit of blooming year after year from the same branched inflorescence as does this Deuterocohnia. After each dry spell, or at the beginning of each rainy season, new buds swell and break into flower on newly formed branchlets. One plant which had an old woody stub of a scape, half an inch in diameter and only a few inches in length, still managed to throw out its new small branchlets covered with flowers.
Upon close examination of the six-foot inflorescence I discovered that under the outer covering of the stem there was a definite layer comparable to the cambium layer which is found in all dicotyledonous plants, such as our common woody perennials. According to Dr. Vernon Cheadle, who visited our garden several years ago, this is the first instance known of an inflorescence on a monocotyledon to have this layer comparable to the cambium layer found on all dicotyledonous plants.
Deuterocohnia Meziana proves to be one of the most adaptable bromeliads the writer has ever collected. It grows equally well on its native limestone rock almost at the river's edge, and high on manganese rock in the great pantanal (swamp) of Mato Grosso. In some instances the plants develop a very long prostrate trunk or caudex over a period of many years when growing conditions are favorable.
There is only one other species of Deuterocohnia in our garden, D. Schreiteri; it, too, has a central inflorescence but persists for only one season and does not bear the under cambium-like layer on the inflorescence.
While the production of lateral inflorescences in bromeliads is not common except as in a few genera as cited above, it is to be noted that the phenomenon does occur in all of the three subfamilies: Pitcairnioideae, Tillandsioideae and Bromelioideae.
In three species of the Tillandsioideae, Tillandsia multicaulis, T. monstrum, and T. complanata, we find flower stalks emerging laterally from the axils of the rosette leaves and not from the center axis.
T. multicaulis bears from two to five erect Vriesea-like spikes from the rosette leaves and T. monstrum bears one or two tall Vriesea-like spikes laterally from the rosette leaves.
T. complanata (see Brom. Bull. Vol. 4, No. 1, 1954) is the most fantastic species in the genus so far as flower spikes is concerned. This broad-leaved Tillandsia, with its many (10 to 40) delicate six to ten-inch lateral inflorescences hanging down from the axils of the basal leaves, is, indeed, a surprise. The scapes are almost thread-like, often are branched, and hold small spikes of delicate blue flowers. Year after year they continue to appear from the basal leaf axils until the plant dies from old age. This species does not produce new offshoots and propagates entirely from seed.
The writer has collected this species from Cuba to Bolivia, brought them back alive, but has never succeeded in keeping them in horticulture for more than six months.
The results of my studies of the living plants point out the fact that taxonomic work must not be confined to herbarium material or drawings made from these pressed plants. Very often the artist who makes the final drawings for the plate is not the observer of the live plant, and, therefore, may place the inflorescence in the wrong position, change the shape of a plant or depict a number of features without actual knowledge of the living plant. It may not be too far wrong in assuming that most botanical drawings are made from preserved herbarium material and it is to be admitted that the degree of success has been astonishing considering, the inert condition of the plants. The collector has too often taken only fragments of the plants and has given too little information as to habits of growth of the plant and color of the plant and color of the flowers.
The very fine colored, full page illustrations of Dyckia shown in Descole's "Genera et Species Plantarum Argentinarum" erroneously show all of the species of that genus to have central inflorescences. This same error is made in numerous other botanical papers.
The first time the writer noticed a lateral inflorescence in Dyckia frigida, he photographed it, but he hesitated sending these photos and observations to the herbarium. Knowing that Dyckia have been collected and described for so many years, I felt that it would be an unnecessary exposure of my own amateur ignorance. But now it has only assured me that all observations should be noted and recorded not only to reveal something new but to correlate the findings of others.
The caulescent habit of a number of the Tillandsias such as T. pulchella, T. stricta, T. firmula, T. decomposita and others gives the plants the appearance of having lateral inflorescences. These plants, when not in flower, may show several old dried inflorescences emerging laterally from the stem, not unlike the large rosette type of D. microcalyx. The writer has found the large rootless plants of T. decomposita with as many as ten old scape stubs protruding laterally from the twisted main stem, but as in all this type of Tillandsia, the new inflorescence appears in the main axis of the plant, to be later pushed aside when new axis leaf growth starts again. It is not difficult to understand how such plants as these caulescent Tillandsias could have been described as having lateral inflorescences.
Thus, we find that because of so many deceptive appearances in herbarium material, the best observations should be made from the living flowering plants when determining the location of lateral inflorescence, especially in the Bromeliad Family.
Rt. 2. Box 491. Orlando. Florida__________
* HARMS: translation by Dr. L. B. Smith
NE AREA OF OUR PATIO PLANTERS SHOP is a long rustic shed affair covered with saran. Here in my "Pineapple Alley" are all the members of the bromeliad family that I can get together to sell. "Pineapple Alley" is more of a pet name than a proper one, but I like it. A favorite customer, aged 10, was showing a friend around one day when I heard her point out one plant as a "cow catcher." (Bromelia balansae) I was really interested when she called another plant "Pi-nellas Annie." She was talking about Aechmea pineliana. I'm glad Margaret has pet names for her bromeliads.
In the past many bromeliads were named for botanists and men in other scientific fields. Other bromels were named for noblemen many of whom were patrons. Some plants were given classical names or were named after the place where they were found. Aechmea victoriana was named after a town in Brazil, and Puya yakespala was named for a town in Argentina. Today many plants are named in honor of people active with bromeliads.
Bromeliads, often called bromels, are often referred to as "cousins to the pineapple" or as "green buckets," because of the amount of water they can spill when disturbed. They are known as "wild pine" in Trinidad, "wild parasitos" in Costa Rica, and "gallos" in parts of Mexico.
Pineapples are called "Ananas", a name given to them by the Guarani Indians of Brazil. These Indians also call pineapples "abacaxi"; if not edible the Indians call them either "gravata" or "caroguata" these terms being used mostly for spiny plants that are often utilized for fiber.
The early Spanish who came to this country called Tillandsia usneoides "tree beard" or Barba de Pace. The American plantsmen who followed gave this Tillandsia the familiar name of "Spanish moss." It is interesting to note that the Aztecs used this bromeliad for decorating their temples their name being "paxte."
Billbergia nutans, a most common bromeliad, has many exotic names despite its grass-like appearance. It is known as "queen's tears," "tropical tassel," "friendship plant," and "fairy earrings." Aechmea mariae reginae is often referred to as the "queen of the species", and in its native Costa Rica is known as "Flor de Santa Maria." Aechmea ornata (hystrix) has been called the "porcupine plant;" Aechmea marmorata, the "Grecian vase;" and Aechmea filicaulis, "the living mobile" because its thread-like inflorescence may reach six feet in length.
Vriesea splendens, "the flaming sword," has also been called "the flaming torch," symbolizing the torch of learning rising out of the prison of ignorance, the prison being typified by the barred leaves. Vriesea Χ Marie has been called "the painted feather" and Vriesea hieroglyphica, "the king of bromeliads."
Foolish or wise many names are given to bromeliads so view your plants with this in mind a nickname is only a form of affection.
Pineapple Alley, 1055 34th St. So., St. Petersburg, Florida.
|E. O. Palmer|
The upper photo shows a hanging dish garden with
B. Χ fantasia and B. horrida with fern and ivy.
The picture opposite shows some fine specimens of
Ae. marmorata in lava rock.
J. M. RILEY
HE NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN IN WASHINGTON, D. C., is located just a few hundred yards from the capitol building. The casual visitor would never recognize the main structure as a conservatory, as the building is very grave and serious from the outside, although the inside is warm and generous in feeling. The roof is high enough to permit the housing of fully mature palms and small trees. The floor plan consists of a large center section surrounded by four wings and a work area. The main section is devoted to a jungle environment with a waterfall and a stream meandering through mature growth of palms, philodendrons, and the usual assortment of tropical ornamentals. One wing is devoted to ferns, one to succulent plants, one to small trees and shrubs including mature orange trees, bananas, and an undergrowth of ornamental houseplants. A whole wing is devoted to bromeliads!
The bromeliad display is unusual in that the plants are grouped in masses on the floor. The only hanging plants in this area are a few rhipsalis and orchids. The bromeliad collection is characterized by groups of several mature plants displayed together. So as to permit members to locate various plants of interest, the following paragraphs will be primarily a listing of plants observed. In a few instances, a keen observer may have private reservations regarding the parentage of certain plants listed. However, preoccupation with names is not the best way to enjoy the hobby.
The old standby Tillandsia usneoides is present as streamers from the treetops. A single sprig of T. recurvata is tucked jauntily into a rhipsalis basket, and, as usual, T. ionantha is close at hand. A handsome Tillandsia about a foot in diameter is mounted among the rocks in several places.
Aechmeas are well represented by the following; Aechmea Χ 'Foster's Favorite,' A. fulgens discolor, A. chantinii, A. fasciata, A. nudicaulis, A. orlandiana, and others. There is an especially handsome display of Aechmea fulgens in powdered grey and green. At the time of my visit, A. nudicaulis, A. chantinii, A. orlandiana, and bromeliifolia were in bloom. A. weilbachia had flowered recently and was a mass of lovely translucent berries of bluish white.
Billbergias on hand are B. nutans, B. macrocalyx, B. vittata, B. leopoldii, and B. zebrina. Unfortunately, these plants do not look too thrifty, their colors tending to run to a dull green.
Neoregelias are presented by N. spectabilis and a small plant, probably N. tristis, whose green leaves become increasingly peppered with maroon spots until the center is entirely colored. Several Nidulariums are also on hand, with nice displays of N. fulgens and N. regelioides backing up choice plants. N. striatum and several unlabeled species are also present.
Only three Vrieseas are to be seen the spectacular V. hieroglyphica, a small plant in bloom reminding one of V. carinata, and a plain leaved plant with a bloom of deep mahogany color.
The humble Cryptanthus does yeoman's service filling in the gaps at the feet of larger plants. C. zonatus is well represented, as are C. tricolor and several nice plants of C. terminalis.
Larger and less usual members of bromeliad collections are also in evidence Bromelia pinguin, Ananas bracteatus, Pitcairnia corallina, Dyckia sulphurea, and Neoregelia acanthocrater, and others can be noted.
It was surprising that many of the nice Florida natives are not seen in the gardens. In a national garden, a monument to our agricultural beginnings, such as a tree decked out with members of Florida airplants including orchids, bromeliads, and perhaps some companion plants, would seem to be a necessity. The author wrote a letter to the assistant director, Mr. E. Sauerbrei, suggesting such an addition to the display.
20190 Lynton Ct., Cupertino, California
T HAS BEEN FAIRLY WELL ESTABLISHED that the amount of light affects the color of the leaves of many bromeliads. For example, in the native habitat of the plants, you see a vast difference in the amount of color in the foliage of plants separated only by a few feet because of a difference in the amount of light. But that isn't the whole story, either, for the chemical composition of the moving air that surrounds the bromeliads has something to do with color, too. In certain tropical areas where there are inactive volcanos, fumes containing various chemicals are often arising. Poas Volcano (in Costa Rica) although inactive is constantly smoldering, with plumes of vapor rising from the crater, and in the near vicinity of the crater are found the most beautiful red bromeliads of all. Why? Several miles away the same species will be almost entirely green, with perhaps tiny red markings similar to the red type found near volcanic areas.
Morris Henry Hobbs, New Orleans, Louisiana.
In the January-February 1961 issue of the Bulletin, mention was made that plants brought from the highlands to sea level lost their color. It is very likely that the hot days and cold nights of the mountains had a lot to do with good color and the change to sea level a lot to do with the loss of same. It is said that bromeliads grown in glasshouses here at Mt. Tomah (Australia), which is 3,000 feet above sea level and which has a great temperature fluctuation, are better than those grown at Sydney which is at sea level. Another likely cause of color change is that mountain soil is rich and acid and water is also acid, a fact which intensifies color.
Billbergia nutans is grown here in pure gristed tree fern, including the heart, which makes a rich compost with acid content of ph5. This produces lovely pink foliage with yellow spots, a change from the usual character of this Billbergia, which is usually all green. During the cold months the color goes back to light green. Billbergia decora is another bromeliad in which I have noted a color change. This plant, kept in the glasshouse the year round, has silver and green foliage in the winter and dark bronze and silver during the summer months. In summer the temperature may range from 40 degrees at night to 100 degrees during the day. In this instance, it would seem the extremes in temperature are conducive of good coloring.
Proper conditions are rather difficult to maintain at all times and in all places, but some attempt could be made to simulate the temperature changes found at high altitudes. Cooling the greenhouse at night and forcing the heat during the day might bring about some rather interesting variations in color.
W. B. Charley, Mt. Tomah, Australia.
A note in the Bulletin for January-February 1961 called attention to a color change reversible with illumination level, shown by a plant suspected to be a hybrid or variety of Neoregelia carolinae. The plant has since bloomed and shows characteristics of both carolinae and farinosa, and so is tentatively identified as a hybrid between these species. Mr. Foster made this cross and named it Neo. morrisoniana; apparently the cross has also been made elsewhere as my plant is of European origin, and the question arises whether that name should apply in this instance.
An opportunity arose to try some plants in a greenhouse, and this was one chosen. Under the more intense illumination an orange-red flush developed, more or less over the whole plant; and it is interesting to note that this color also, at the higher illumination level, proved to be likewise labile. It has come and nearly disappeared several times during the course of the summer, as the prevailing weather for a week or so has been predominantly sunny or overcast. Both parent species can color up in bright light, and the characteristic seems to be intensified in the hybrid.
Another plant has been found to show a similar behavior in following variations of light intensity. Vriesea imperialis, green when received, turned red when exposed outdoors in a location where it received sunlight about half of the day. At the approach of cold weather it was brought indoors and the red faded, but is now returning under the light received in a greenhouse.
A striking example of the effect of light on color, but whether or not reversible I do not know, is encountered with Aechmea 'Foster's Favorite.' The foliage color may be green, deep mahogany, light red, or straw-colored, according to the amount of light it receives.
Blooming, too, has its effect on color. On the one hand there is often the development of color when flowering is imminent; on the other, changes may ensue when the process is complete. There is nothing surprising in the fading of bracts of, say, Billbergias and Aechmeas as they wither; but changes may also take place in parts that are still sound. The pink disappears completely from the blooming head of Tillandsia lindenii; the bright red rosette of Nidularium fulgens fades to flesh-color; the foliage of "discolor" plants may change to green on the old part that has stopped growing, so that it contrasts sharply with the developing offsets.
Roger K. Taylor, Baltimore, Maryland.
|For those members who grow their Dyckias in dish gardens, these photos taken by Mr. Charles Lankester of Costa Rica in the Matto Grosso of Brazil are submitted to show how this genus grows in its native habitat.|
INCE LYMAN B. SMITH IS IN A STATE of continuous publication, we sometimes lag behind his production speed! His seventeenth issue of "Notes on Bromeliaceae" was published in September 1961 in Phytologia. Vol. 8 No. 1. Herein he handles the subject of Hechtia in Mexico and Central America. In this treatment he includes an artificial key to the entire genus Hechtia as well as the description of three new Hechtias discovered by M. B. Foster and O. C. Van Hyning in Mexico in 1957. These three new species are H. lanata, H. caudata, and H. fosteriana.
Of the forty-one recognized species of Hechtia, all but three are found in Mexico. One species, H. texensis, is found only in the United States. H. scariosa occurs in both the United States and Mexico, while H. glomerata has the longest range of all the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala. One species, H. guatemalensis, has been found in Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Included also in this number are descriptions of a new Tillandsia, two new Pitcairnias, and new combinations of nomenclature in Aechmea muricata and Ananas monstrosus.
More recently has come the February 1962 issue of Phytologia (Vol. 8, No. 5) which contains Dr. Smith's "Notes on Bromeliaceae XVIII." This handles a very interesting survey of the genus Gravisia in Tropical America, describing six species and one new varietal combination. Two species of this group are new. G. fosteriana and G. rubens from the collections of M. B. Foster in Brazil.
And now comes the surprise! Our old species, Tillandsia tenuifolia, found from South Carolina to Florida and the Greater Antilles, from Mexico to Salvador as well as Venezuela and northern Brazil, receives at long last its genuine, long-lost name which was given to this small, grass-like Tillandsia in 1797, Tillandsia setacea.
Tillandsia tenuifolia is, however, a good legal name, but for another species and all its varieties. How patient these bromeliads are bearing a wrong name all these years!
Tillandsia pulchella now becomes T. tenuifolia var. tenuifolia.
T. pulchella var. disticha takes its new name T. tenuifolia var. disticha.
T. pulchella var. saxicola is now T. tenuifolia var. saxicola.
T. pulchella var. surinamensis is now T. tenuifolia var. surinamensis.
T. pulchra var. vaginata becomes T. tenuifolia var. vaginata.
This issue also places on record that Robert and Catherine Wilson collected two new varieties of Vrieseas from Costa Rica: V. heliconioides var. polysticha and V. hygrometrica var. angustifolia, as well as a new species, V. apiculata.
Lee Moore brought back from Peru a new Greigia, G. amazonica, said to come from the Amazonian lowlands. This is, indeed, a surprise, as most of the Greigias have been found on the high volcanic mountains from Colombia to Mexico. Mr. Moore also brought back the new variety of Neo. eleutheropetala var. bicolor and a new species of Neoregelia, originally distributed under the name Neoregelia ossifragi, but now known as Neoregelia mooreana.
Dr. Smith also describes one new Puya, P. vargasiana, found in Peru by C. Vargas, and a new Pitcairnia, P. egleri. This plant is dedicated to Dr. Smith's friend and colleague, the late Dr. Walter Alberto Egler who lost his life in August, 1961, while exploring the Rio Jari in Brazil. Another new Pitcairnia is described by Dr. Smith, P. oranensis, found in Argentina in 1938 by the Goodspeed Expedition. Dr. E. Matuda found a new Mexican Pitcairnia, P. matudae, and R. Dressler, back in 1949, found, also in Mexico a new Tillandsia, T. dressleri.
Plant by plant the great family of Bromeliaceae grows and grows; by Dr. Smith's tireless publication pace, the names are corrected and the family becomes better known.
The new book by Walter Richter, Zimmerpflanzen von heute und morgen; Bromeliaceen (Houseplants for Today and Tomorrow: Bromeliaceae), is a most creditable creation! It would be difficult to describe completely this production because of its many facets. It is a veritable encyclopedia of the bromeliad family, giving a commendable horticultural, botanical, and historical survey. The book is replete with photos showing many kinds of bromeliads in their native habitats as well as in different horticultural environments.
The nearly 400 black and white photos give fascinating detail concerning phases of bromeliad history, including a fascinating series of microphotos comparing the peltate scales on different leaves of bromeliads as well as a nice comparison of various types of their seeds.
This book, of 370 pages, contains over sixty fine color photos of outstanding bromeliads, some of them very faithful color reproductions, one of the most exquisite of these being the one of Tillandsia cyanea.
Mr. Richter is a very conscientious grower of bromeliads. He is an honorary trustee of The Bromeliad Society and has contributed a number of articles to the Bulletin over the past dozen years. Some members will recall that he wrote a handbook in 1950 entitled Anzucht und Kultur der Bromeliaceen. He resides in Crimmitschau, East Germany, Neumann Verlag, Leipzig is the publisher of his books.
Rt. 2. Box 491. Orlando. Florida.
Editor's Note Copies of Phytologia may be had by sending $1 for each issue to H. N. Moldenke, 15 Glenbrook Avenue, Yonkers 5, New York.
Copies of Mr. Richter's book may be obtained by sending 24 German Marks ($6.00) to Verlag J. Neumann-Neudamm, Melsungen Bez. Kassel (West Germany), Postfach 90.