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The Bromeliad Society Bulletin is the official publication of the Bromeliad Society, a non-profit corporation organized in 1950. The Bulletin is issued six times a year. Subscription to the Bulletin is included in the annual membership dues. There are four classes of member-ship: Annual, $5.00; Sustaining, $7.50; Fellowship, $15.00; and Life $100.00. All memberships start with January of the current year. For membership information, write to Mrs. Jeanne Woodbury, 1811 Edgecliffe Drive, Los Angeles, California 90026. Please submit all manuscripts for publication to the editor, 647 South Saltair Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90049

PresidentCharles A. Wiley Editorial SecretaryVictoria Padilla
First Vice PresidentJack M. Roth Membership SecretaryJeanne Woodbury
Second Vice PresidentFritz Kubisch TreasurerVirginia Berezin

Lottie Cave, California
Nat DeLeon, Florida
William Dunbar, California
Edward McWilliams, Michigan
Julian Nally, Florida
Russell Seibert, Pennsylvania
Mary Wisdom, Louisiana
Patrick Mitchell, Texas
David H. Benzing, Ohio
Ralph Davis, Florida
George Kalmbacher, New York
Fritz Kubisch, California
W. R. Paylen, California
Ralph Spencer, California
Charles Wiley, California
Wilbur Wood, California
David Barry, Jr., California
Virginia Berezin, California
George Milstein, New York
Victoria Padilla, California
John Riley, California
Jack M. Roth, California
Jeanne Woodbury, California
Ervin Wurthmann, Florida

Adda Abendroth, Brazil
W. B. Charley, Australia
Charles Chevalier, Belgium
Mulford B. Foster, U.S.A.
C. H. Lankester, Costa Rica
Harold Martin, New Zealand
Richard Oeser, Germany
Prof. Dr. W. Rauh, Germany
Raulino Reitz, Brasil
Walter Richter, Germany
Dr. L. B. Smith, U.S.A.
Marcel Lecoufle, France

Pitcairnia corallina. a species native to Colombia and Peru, has been in cultivation more than 100 years. Photograph by George Kalmbacher, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.

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


Jack O. Holmes, of Tampa, Florida, who collected this plant in the Amazon jungles, states that it is one of the most striking bromeliads he has ever had the pleasure of blooming. It is a large Aechmea, with leaves measuring almost three feet in length, so it is not well adapted to the small greenhouse or where space is at a premium. However, it appears to be fairly hardy, having wintered a long cold season in Southern California where the temperature dipped down as far as 38° There was no discernible damage. The inflorescence is a lovely shade of apple blossom pink; the foliage is crab apple green.

Aechmea castelnavii was first described by Baker in 1889. The plant has undergone several name changes, having been referred to as Ae. paniculigera and Ae. sprucei. Its native habitat extends from Costa Rica to Bolivia, where it is found growing on trees, usually in dense forests, and often by the sides of rivers.



Some time ago I persuaded Prof. Eugene de J. Marcano to accompany me on a botanical excursion to the eastern end of our island of Hispaniola or Santo Domingo, where we had observed on a previous trip a most interesting looking limestone hill parallel to the road to the town of Higuey. The lower part showed debris slopes covered by pasture and above that sheer rock walls streaked with blue black and with patches of ochreous red.

This time we observed with binoculars from the roadside masses of dark red vegetation below the rim and in isolated groups down to what looked like possibly accessible places. The climb through the waist-high grass and limestone rocks was not too difficult, and while keeping an eye on a heavy cloud formation to the east, we arrived at the foot of the cliffs, but the plants which had looked accessible from afar were way above our reach. Fortunately, we found some fallen plants in the grass, with few, narrow, rather soft leaves of a beautiful wine red all over, showing through the scales of both surfaces, and long recurved tips.

We realized at once that it was to us a new bromeliad, growing in masses of several-branched, long stemmed plants. The oldest part of the stems, covered with dry leaves, eventually decays and so some plants fall down, though roots are present at every growth. A 24 to 30 cm or more long scape some 5 mm in diameter is produced from the center of the loose rosette. The scape bracts are like the leaves in color and shape and partly show the glabrous wine red scape at the internodes. The flower head at the end, 6 or more cm long and some 12 mm in diameter, has a bract of the same wine red, the lower indistinguishable from the last scape bract. The others shorter with barely recurved tips, on the later examination were each found to shelter two purple flowers with exserted anthers — opening in succession. The smaller upper bracts cover only one flower.

Excitement overtook us, and after gathering what we could, we started down the steep slope through the tall grass, watching the rain storm coming on us at full speed until it hit us. There was nothing to be done but just to let the warm streams run down our faces while trying to pick a way down. I have never felt so helpless and so wet in all my life! After what seamed like several kilometers through the grass we finally came to the car, changed our soaked clothes, and congratulated ourselves on our find. Although we kept a lookout for further colonies of our plant, none was seen nor have we ever run into it anywhere else since then. This would indicate that its habitat comprises this one limestone hill in the whole country.

Specimens were taken to our taxonomist, Dr. Jose de J. Jimenez in Santiago de los Caballeros, who did not know it either. So we sent it to Dr. Lyman B. Smith, who identified our plant as Tillandsia capitata Griseb., stating that it was the first record of that species in Hispaniola. He also stated that it is found in Cuba and in Mexico. He had collected it in a similar habitat near Cienfuegos in Cuba, remembering vividly the high limestone cliff and how difficult it was to reach any plants. We would have liked a new species but now settle for a first record.

—Puerta Plata, Santo Domingo.

Photo — T. E. Talpey
Limestone cliff showing dark spots which are masses of T. capitata.

Photo — author
Tillandsia capitata



Photo — Lee Boltin
Metopaulias depresses, the bromeliad crab, posed on a bromeliad leaf, enlarged 1.3 times.

The ability of many bromeliads to support a considerable aquatic and amphibious fauna is well known among tropical biologists. In fact anyone who has collected bromeliads in the wild has undoubtedly become acquainted with the myriad of creatures inhabiting the pools of water among the leaf bases of these fascinating plants. Mosquito larvae, tree frogs, lizards, and even small snakes are occasionally found. Bromeliad fanciers in south Florida or other subtropical regions very often find small frogs living in their plants, unless they have been sprayed in attempts to control the Anopheles mosquito. It will probably come as a surprise to most, however, that a real honest-to-goodness crab spends its entire life, living and breeding, in large tank bromeliads high on the cloud covered peaks of Jamaican mountains.

Land crabs are a common sight along tropical shores, particularly in South Florida where they may be seen scurrying across the highways after spring rains. With few exceptions crabs must return to the sea and salt water for the hatching of their eggs and maturing of the young. The Jamaican bromeliad crab, however, hatches its eggs and matures its young solely within the fresh water of the bromeliad tank, two to three thousand feet above sea level.

The 'wild-pine' or bromeliad crab is known scientifically as Metopaulias depressus Rathbun, and it is a monotypic genus endemic to limestone regions west of the Blue Mountains in Jamaica. Dr. R. G. Hartnoll (1964) reported that specimens were obtained from large plants of Aechmea paniculigera and Hohenbergia urbaniana. In addition, A. M. Laessle (1961) collected Metopaulias from Vriesea gibba. The present author observed and collected crabs in Hohenbergia urbaniana and Tillandsia excelsa, both on Mt. Diablo and above 2500 feet elevation. According to Hartnoll, crabs were present in over half the large bromeliads examined. Of the plants which he examined, one plant contained two adults and nine half-grown crabs; another, one adult and fifteen young. The crabs inhabit both the central tank and the leaf axils. Hartnoll further stated that "Metopaulias is active and aggressive, and it is evident that it must leave its aquatic shelter and move about among the plants in order to copulate, since a mature male and female are only occasionally found together. Some dispersal of the young is also clearly necessary, since the available space would otherwise quickly become overcrowded. No crabs were actually observed outside the bromeliads, but the predominant terrain of heavily eroded limestone and dense vegetation could easily conceal them, and it may be too, that they emerge only by night. The latter may be correct, for the bromeliad crab first came to my attention only after a plant of Tillandsia excelsa had been brought into the house. Sometime during the night I awoke to hear a strange clicking sound on the tile floor. Investigation revealed two small crabs and an adult scurrying about in the dark.

Another Jamaican crab, Sesarma bromeliarum, was so named because it was mistaken for the crab described earlier as inhabiting bromeliads. However, Sesarma bromeliarum is not known to occur in bromeliads, while Metopaulias depressus is the only crab known to complete its entire life cycle in these plants. Until recently Metopaulias was the only crab known to inhabit bromeliads.

—Capitol Hill, Washington, D. C.

References Cited

Hartnoll, R. G. 1964. "The Freshwater Grapsid Crabs of Jamaica," Proc. Linn. Soc. London 175 (2):145-169.

Laessle, A. M. 1961. "A Micro-limnological Study of Jamaican Bromeliads," Ecology 42:499-517.



Crab (Sesarma miersii) and leaf of Neoregelia

It is well known that a variety of animals including various micro-organisms, centipedes, ants, diptera, and frogs, exists in the tanks of bromeliads as well as various algae and one vascular plant (Utricularia). In some cases the relationship is obligatory; in others perhaps merely facultative. Biologically, one of the most interesting features of the Bromeliaceae is the extensive flora and fauna of the tank-bearing species. (Picado, 1913; Laessle, 1961).

While Dr. Lyman B. Smith and the author were collecting bromeliads in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, about 100 specimens of the grapsoid crab Sesarma (Halometopus) miersii Rathbun were found living in the water of the basal leaves or tanks of these epiphytes. The first locality where the crabs were discovered was along the shore of a small stream running into a bay 20 kilometers southwest of Sao Sabastion. Here the bromeliads Neoregelia cruenta (R. Graham) L. B. Smith were growing in partial shade on granite boulders about 10 meters from the stream.

Crab-inhabited plants of Neoregelia cruenta growing on large granite boulder near Sao Sabastion, Brazil.


Below - Neoregelia cruenta with crab which lives in the water contained in the bromeliad "tank."


The second location where the crabs were collected was between Caraguatatuba and Ubatuba at the mouth of the Rio Escuro. Here, the same species of crab was found living in the tanks of Wittrockia superba Lindm., Aechmea coelestis (C. Koch) E. Morr, and Aechmea pectinata Baker. Again, the plants were growing in partial shade on granite boulders but this time approximately 20 meters from the bay. Although we looked intensively for other "crab-bearing" bromeliad species in numerous localities along 200 kilometers of coast between Santos and Rio de Janeiro, we found them only near brackish water at the mouth of the two streams previously described. However, all of the bromeliad species are common and widespread in southeastern Brazil, and they grow in other types of habits (Smith, 1955).

Rathbun (1917) describes Sesarma miersii as having a "carapace a little broader than long, of equal width anteriorly and posteriorly." The more mature specimens that we collected had bluish black carapaces with orange markings on the dorsal surface and on the abdomen. The length of the carapace averaged about 18 mm. and the width about 20 mm. in the largest male crabs.

The crabs were identified by Dr. F. A. Chace, Jr., who points out that this animal is native from the Bahamas to Uruguay, but that these are the first records of Sesarma living in the tanks of bromeliads. Dr. Robert Read (1968) has recently encountered a crab of another species living on the island of Jamaica in the leaf bases of Aechmea.

Additional collecting will no doubt turn up other crabs living in bromeliads. Further studies might be useful in determining if the species actually breeds in the bromeliads. This is a distinct possibility, since the tanks hold water the year round, and Rathbun (1917) has pointed out that the eggs can be hatched in fresh water.

—University of Michigan Botanical Gardens, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Literature Cited

Laessle, Albert M. 1961 "A Microlimnological Study of Jamaican Bromeliads." Ecol. 42: 499-517.

Picado, C. 1913 "Les Bromeliacees Epiphytes, Considerees Common Milieu Biologique." Bull. Sci. Fr. Belg. Ser. 7,47, 215-360.

Rathbun, Mary J. 1917. "The Grapsoid Crabs of America." U. S. Nat. Mu,. Bull. 97

Read, Robert. 1968. Bromeliad Society Bull. In press.

Smith, Lyman B. 1955. The Bromeliaceae of Brazil. Smithsonian Misc. Collections 125: No. 1, 1-272.



Vriesea espinosae

When we think of a bromeliad we see before our eyes a pretty well-formed rosette, sitting on the branch of a tree or on rocks, developing a flower spike, which rises from the center of the rosette. The flower spike begins to flower, then to fruit, and then to fade away, but at the side of the old plant grows a young one, the offshoot.

But such is not always the case, for recently I found in Ecuador three different types of bromeliads which grow and multiply in quite another way—two are Vrieseas and one is a Neoregelia.

Let me first describe Vriesea espinosae. It is a bromeliad from the tropical zone, living in the dry forest near the coast. The small streets from the town lead through a thorny thicket. We pass shrubs from 6 to 9 feet in height and we see them covered with a grey, hard leaved Vriesea—which looks like a Tillandsia. You want to get one, you reach one, you pull, and pull down a whole network of plants. If it doesn't break, or if you yourself don't cut it, you can pull endlessly.

Now you have the plant in your hands—a grey-green rosette with hard narrow leaves, very similar to Tillandsia fasciculata, but quite different in its method of flowering. From the center of the rosette rise one or two flower spikes with very tiny bracts, but after a length of a foot or more there develops a new plant instead of flowering. This new plant grows, develops its rosette, and again rise one or two new plants from the center. The mother plant sometimes brings forth a third flower spike at the base and then begins to fade away, drying up entirely and losing its leaves. The junctions of the three flower spikes, all growing in different directions still remain, like links on a chain, and therefore the form of a gigantic net appears. With age the stalks between two links become hard and lose their bracts. Vriesea espinosae is not an attractive plant, but it is interesting because of its strange habit of growth. Some time ago a friend from Colombia told me that she has seen this plant with tiny blue flowers, but I have never seen it in bloom.

Then there is Vriesea pastense. I do not know whether this is the correct name, but it is so called because it grows in the hills around Lake Paste. This province formerly belonged to Ecuador, but is now a part of Colombia. It has the same altitude as the neighboring province of Carchi in Ecuador. We look at the same beautiful meadows bordered with huge old trees laden with bromeliads. All is apparently quite the same as on the other side of the frontier. But in the hills which rise around the lake, there grows a bromeliad which I never saw on the Ecuadorian side. It is a terrestrial plant which reaches a considerable size. The bromeliad which you see in the illustration is a small one, as it was impossible to transport an adult plant. From the mother plant there grew on all sides six offshoots, which in turn were sending out new plants. None of these had formed roots. I did not have much time to study this bromeliad carefully, but from its structure and the flowerspike, it was obviously a Vriesea. The mother plant had formed a long red flower spike, which apparently had produced seeds, for I found quite a number of copper-colored seedlings in the neighborhood of the adult plant.

Number three is a Neoregelia. It is a subtropical bromeliad, growing among Aechmeas, as spiny as they, at an altitude of about 1800 feet. This Neoregelia grows like a vine, soft and green, the ends of the outer leaves forming long ribbons. From the base of the plant grows the branch, which after an irregular distance forms a new plant. It seems that the new plant develops from long grasslike tufts in the middle of which develops the definitive form, which remains one of a goblet. Inside this goblet sits the little white multiple inflorescence of the Neoregelia. These little green goblets, with their little white flowers hanging loosely in the tree, make a charming sight.

Vriesea pastense

To cultivate this Neoregelia one must find the stalk which enters the soil, because none of the little goblets or the grasslike growths have any roots. Growing in the rain forest, they surely get sufficient water in their funnels, but without that, they quickly fade away. In the same way and at the same altitude there grows a climbing orchid, a little yellow-flowering Oncidium, but every little bulb has roots, and therefore it is easy to cultivate. Perhaps, if this Neoregelia is not planted like a vine, but the branches cut off and every goblet put into moss, it will live and grow! There is always much to study about these strangely growing bromeliads!

—Quito, Ecuador.



(Translated from the German by Mrs. Adda Abendroth)


I am convinced that in the not too distant future the more deeply interested bromeliad fans will begin to raise their plants from seed. Many people feel, as I do, the deep satisfaction of surmounting obstacles that stand in the way. If you can manage to curb too high hopes of success in the early beginning of your experiments, eventual failures will not quench the courage to carry on; even partial success is an extraordinary stimulant. In my treatment of the subject I have endeavored to build on a realistic foundation—what I say is not a recount of what I have done. Too much technical knowledge might make personal experiments look too easy, and thus the operation would be incorrectly evaluated. Professional knowledge can be a drawback if you transfer greenhouse concepts to your work in the home; you would be building on a false foundation. I am in constant touch with a friend who has been very successful cultivating orchids, bromeliads, and other different tropicals in his home. He started by planting Aechmea seeds on sphagnum in a little earthen dish, which he placed near a window in an artificially heated room. He succeeded in this first trial; the seeds germinated and soon grew into little plants. Some were kept in pots and some were transplanted to grooves on a section of a branch and throve satisfactorily. Next he planted Vriesea seeds. He filled the lower third of a shallow earthen bowl with peat-meal, put a thin layer of sphagnum on it, spread the seeds, moistened them, and covered the whole with a piece of glass. The bowl was placed in a convenient spot in a heated room and got an additional cover of transparent paper again damping off. The Vriesea seed also germinated, although it took longer owing to its very nature.

Next, my friend transplanted the little seedlings into a covered glass bowl. He put on the bottom a 2 cm layer of sand, and on that a layer of sphagnum. The sphagnum is kept moist to provide air humidity. A slab of glass placed on the container is used for regulation. Into this miniature hot-house he puts the little pots and other containers with seedlings. Planted sections of bark and bark containers can also be kept in such a glass bowl. Cryptanthus seedlings root well this way, and the whole has a pleasing aspect.

The seedlings can stay in the glass bowl only until they have reached a certain size. After that they must adapt to conditions in the room. If possible, it is better to place the plantlets in a window showcase, which is like a glass bowl on a larger scale. This should be big enough to accommodate a heating appliance and a neon light—facilities that help regulate the inside climate. Thanks to the versatility of modern heating and lighting equipment, the indoor showcase is no longer window-bound but can be put in a spot where daylight alone would be insufficient to grow plants. Luminosity is provided by neon lamps that give off red or orange light. There is experimental proof the artificial light foments the growth of plants Turn the light on in the morning when you get up and keep it burning until about 10 o'clock or later if you start later in the morning, taking into account the distance from the window and the season of the year.

Regulation of air humidity is achieved by frequent spraying with rain water or its equivalent—never use water from the tap. An air escape located at the top of the show window is a necessity. Regulate it to let off too much heat or an excess of humidity. Heating can be provided by a small heating device; a small container, an electric light bulb, low in wattage, may suffice.

A plant window offers a great many possibilities, especially for bromeliads. Quite a number of plants can be accommodated by mounting them on branches, suspending small containers, and placing the larger plants on the bottom. Conditions like these suit seedlings fine. Nonetheless, growth is slow; there is no saying how long it will take the seedlings to come into bloom. Personally I would not put all the emphasis on the flowers as the sole and foremost aim. For me it is more important that the plant enthusiast gets a chance to watch every step of development starting with germination. I am aware, of course, that only a limited number of growers share my point of view, which makes great demand on effort and patience. Still, success is ample compensation for all the toil.


Proper arrangements for the development to adulthood should allow for the growth rhythm to adapt to the change of season prevailing in our northern latitudes. The annual dry period which has considerable influence on the plants in their homeland coincides in Central Europe with the cold and somber winter months. The counterpart is our warm summer when vegetative growth proceeds, corresponding to the rainy period in the tropics. It is therefore essential to promote growth in every possible way while our summer lasts. Our winter conditions practically suppress growth, yet a total standstill, as some other tropicals have, is not a characteristic of bromeliads. The two periods and their opposite characteristics dictate the rules of cultivation.

Description of the generative and the vegetative ways of multiplication in back chapters ended with the plants having reached a certain stage of development including an assortment of leaves and roots of their own. Successive steps will also take into account as well the work rhythm and general routine. Methods of cultivation in pots and transplants are already familiar. Cultivation in pots gets preference when seedling lots are small, or if the plants have to be moved frequently. My own experience, however, is that the plants develop faster and more evenly in beds of soil. Also, nursing takes less time, including watering. Haphazard drying-out, inevitable in pots, is no problem in the soil. A dry spot in a bed can be corrected in a jiffy; the whole watering process takes less time.

An in-between step before definite transplanting to the soil can be transferring the seedlings into boxes, which can be placed on suspended boards. The plants will profit from the surrounding air and light and will progress nicely. Vriesea splendens or its hybrids can stay in such boxes until the bud appears. Then each plant gets a pot of its own. A few weeks later, after the inflorescence has grown and colored, the plants are ready for sale. Containers made of cement are better than wooden boxes because they last longer. The beds can be on the ground, but then they must have a heating device; otherwise it would be too cold. Fifteen cm between the ground and cover allows sufficient space to install the piping. The empty space between acts like a layer of insulation, provides a certain amount of warmth, and absorbs surplus humidity that may rise from the ground or come from above. This kind of bed can be surrounded by a low brick or cement wall. The soil for planting should be porous and fairly coarse. The combination depends on what may be available. Many possibilities can be made use of, for success does not depend on a particular fixed formula. Half decayed leafmold, heather soil, pine-needle soil, chopped or ground peat can all be used profitably. The ph value should be around 4-4.5. More acid is not so good. Sand should be added. Group I needs a larger proportion of leafmold and the addition of a complete fertilizer. Group II, that is Vriesea and Guzmania, does not get fertilizer; its roots are too sensitive to contact with chemicals. To induce the latter to root, loosen the mix with sphagnum, chopped brick, cracked crockery, etc., in order to increase porosity. The layer of soil should be about 8 cm high, in proportion with the size of the seedlings, and well compacted.

When planting, remember that growth will be slow in comparison with other plants. The ground occupied is not to be worked over for 6 to 10 months, a fact that means sufficient space between plants should be allowed, although one should always remember that close proximity favors growth. So closer planting has its advantages, but it may become necessary to transplant earlier. Care in transplanting is important. Too high is as bad as too deep. Don't compact downwards; press sideways towards the plant with both hands.

Transfer to pots can take place at any time. A general recommendation is to do it shortly before, or right after, bud formation. Cultivation in pots has advantages over planting in a bed when a certain stage of development has been reached or when the plant is about two years old. The purpose of the transplant is to accelerate development. But it pampers the plants considerably. Species native to the rain forest can take transplanting without harm. We know, however, that many bromels live a hard life in their native land. Cultivation must take this into account. We must give the plants what they are used to if we want to bring out their particular characteristics.

Cultivation in pots is the only correct procedure for them; at least a combination method should be applied. So we plant our bromeliads in the bed and let them attain half their final development there. Then we transfer them to pots and put the plants on a starvation diet. This will provoke them to develop their characteristic traits in shape and coloring. Cultivation pots should be small. Only the final container may be in proportion to the size of the plant. It should be stable enough to keep its balance when the plant is heavy from holding water. An overlarge pot is of no advantage; in fact, it handicaps cultivation. The grower likes to see the roots permeate all of the mix—he knows then that his plants are in a healthy condition.

Ordinarily, one transplanting a year is enough. The term varies, however, with prevailing conditions. Mostly transplanting should be done at the beginning of the growth period, in the spring. But the term is not a must; any time will do as long as the plants get adequate surroundings after potting. The mix is the one described above. Offshoots that may have rooted in the pot should be left there; they can be moved whenever it is desired.

A transition of one method to the other is cultivation in boxes—so-called "double-boxes," where these are still in use. They are deep boxes and get a packing of dung or cottonscraps in the bottom to produce warmth. A layer of peat goes on top of the packing and in it the pots are sunk. This is a good method for Aechmeas, Billbergias, Nidulariums, and Neoregelias; it is less convenient for green-leafed Vrieseas and their hybrids, or for Guzmanias. These need more of the uniform warmth that only the glass house can give. The warm packing has a good effect on the bromels that can stand the method, but they also need aeration and sometimes shade. The air warms up rapidly in the smaller space when the sun shines and it may get too hot. The plants can stay in the boxes from the beginning of May to the end of September. Then they must be returned to the greenhouses. (Pages 141-146)




Dr. W. Rauh

A very interesting Vriesea with densely and finely lepidote leaves, resembling in its vegetative state a Tillandsia, is Vriesea cylindrica. It was first described by Dr. Lyman B. Smith in 1957 (Contributions from the U. S. National Herbarium, Vol. 29) who stated that it was native to Colombia and Ecuador. We found this plant also growing in northern Peru near the Ecuadorian border in the company of Vriesea cereicola, V. patula, Tillandsia hamaleana, and others.

Vriesea cylindrica is one of the bigger, epiphytic, stemless species, which measures a height of 40-80 cm, the inflorescences included. The numerous leaves, arranged in a crateriform rosette, reach a length of 40-60 cm; their spreading, densely lepidote blades are lanceolate, acuminate, and 4 cm broad at the base. The inflorescence-scape is short and stout, the scape-bracts are arranged densely imbricate; the lower ones are foliaceous, the upper ones are broadly elliptic and provided with a short, reflexed blade. The inflorescence is slenderly cylindric and densely bipinnate; the lower primary bracts are like the upper scape-bracts; the upper ones are merely apiculate, obscurely lepidote and nearly equaling the spikes. These are strict erect, 6-8 cm long, 2-3 cm broad, strongly complanate and densely set with 8-12 flowers. At their base they bear a few carinate lepidote sterile bracts; the coriaceous floral bracts, arranged imbricate, are acute, about 24 mm long, equaling the sepals, scarcely carinate and mostly convex, and soon glabrous. The petals are about 3 cm long, green with dark purple margins. Stamens and style are excerted.

Vriesea cylindrica is, when flowering, a very handsome species, as its inflorescence is long-lasting. This species is closely related to two other Tillandsia-like Vrieseas: Vriesea harmsiana L. B. Smith and Vriesea tillandsioides L. B. Smith, both known from northern Peru. According to L. B. Smith these both differ from V. cylindrica because of the carinate floral bracts.

In V. harmsiana the spikes are densely flowered and much exerted above the primary bracts; the floral bracts are about 20-40 mm long and diffusely lepidote. In V. tillandsioides the spikes are few flowered, almost floral bracts are about 23 mm long and wholly covered by the primary bracts; the densely lepidote.

V. harmsiana is known from the region of Huanuca, growing at an altitude of 3000 m; V. tillandsioides was discovered in 1956 by the author, growing epiphytic on trees near Huancabamba at 2000 m. The species name "tillandsioides," chosen by L. B. Smith, is a good name, for in its vegetative state as well in full flower, it can be mistaken for a Tillandsia. Only a length-section through the flower, showing the two scales near the base, will prove that this plant belongs to the genus Vriesea.

All three species are beautiful and interesting, but suited only for collectors with enough space.

—Heidelberg, Germany.

1. Vriesea harmsiana

2. Vriesea cylindrica

3. Vriesea tillandsioides spikes with bracts, after L. B. Smith



When William Bartram traveled in the state of Florida, he must surely have felt that it was a verdant, never-ending garden of Eden. However, little did he know that the state's natural heritage was soon to be spoiled, polluted, and commercialized at an ever-increasing rate. The great John Kunkel Small was moved to write of this in Eden to Sahara: Florida's Tragedy. But such eminent botanists as Dr. Frank C. Craighead and Dr. Edgar T. Wherry can still but lament what is happening.

After many years of traversing the peninsula I want to weep when I see the concrete, asphalt, dying, burning Everglades. It seems that man would rather empty the Okeechobee Bowl through canals into the sea than let it filter slowly southward to produce what was once a natural mecca. Surely I do not deny the rainfall problem, but the floodgates could have been lifted and the spillways lowered to save the 'Glades. It is not enough to see the scorched Tillandsia, Epidendrum, cypress, and other vegetation along the Tamiami Trail (U. S. 41) from Naples to Miami. What will really sicken the botanist, the ecologist, the lover of beauty, the epiphytic fancier, herpetologist, etc., etc., is to take a short drive along Alligator Alley, the new route to go straight from Naples to Ft. Lauderdale. The Big Cypress Swamp is being subdivided for homes, industry, etc.

I took a three-mile walk over bone dry, black soil in the cypress stands. It is really tragic to see nearly every orchid pseudobulb blackened and to see the "FOR SALE" signs. I penetrated quite deeply into the Fakahatchee Strand, and I am sorry to report that even in the formerly protected hammocks, the epiphytes are disappearing.

I was fortunate enough in securing nearly-ripened Tillandsia pruinosa seed pods, and with about as much care as you can give brom seedlings, I managed to produce about 2,000 three-year old plants. This year I have placed over 600 plants in certain areas where I hope they will survive. I plan next year to distribute more and to try to widen its distribution. I am reporting this now because fairly soon new range records will be recorded - let it be documented first with the localities I have on file, some on topographic U.S. Geodetic Survey maps, some on my own maps. I admit this is no way to save the Corkscrew Swamp, the Big Cypress Swamp, or any other part of the 'Glades. But perhaps it can save a species. I can only say that plants have been placed in areas in Collier, Monroe, Lee, Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach Counties.

I am quite interested in the views of others on this matter. Perhaps a group in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama could work together to germinate seeds and move the plants. It is thankless and expensive and tiring work, but we are on the brink of losing what is left. There was a time when I was opposed to moving plants and upsetting natural ranges, but my experience in rearing a very rare butterfly and successfully moving the colony from its threatened habit - it took three years of careful investigation of its ecological relationships - to assure me I could do it. There is some self-satisfaction in seeing it fly on a lazy May afternoon. An expressway and theater now occupy its former habitat.

There are several eminent botanists in THE BROMELIAD SOCIETY whose publications have taken much trial-and-error out of growth from seeds. There are others who are not members who may be willing to lend their knowledge.

The great water-shed of the Glades must be saved, at least in part. If our children are to ever appreciate their natural heritage, we must all act NOW. You cannot produce results without pushing - lamentation won't let the Roseate Spoonbill have its home.



Note: " indicates secondary accent, ' indicates the primary or main accent. Unless otherwise indicated, the e and i are short, and the a is pronounced in some cases like the a in "am", in others like "uh" - the particular sound is usually obvious. Y represents the long i, as does "eye".

argenteus –a
aurantiacus –um
bracteatus –a
brevifolius –a
densiflora –um
a kaw' liss
ā eranth' us
a gay" vifo' lia
al' bi cans
al' bi da
al' bi flos
al bew" si fo' lia
a lo" ifo' lia
al pes' tris
alten sty' nee eye
altiss' ima
am a zahn' ica
am e thist' ina
a mee' na
ampullā' see a
an' seps
andree ā' na
andree ew' zee eye
angust' ee
an gust" i fo' lia
an an" asoy' deez
a fill an" dri flo' ra
a kwil ee' ga
a raw' jee eye
arbor' ee us
argent' ee us –a
arven' sis
atro rew' benz
awgus' ta
awranty' a cus — um
awree o ro' zee a
bah hee ā' nus
bal' an' see
bal" biss ee a' na
barrelett' ee eye
bar' lee eye
bay" see latter ā' lis
bough man' ee eye
bernew ee ā' na
bertero" nee ā' na
bew' ker eye
ben rath' ee eye
by' color
bin o' tee eye
bil ber" jee oy' deez
bit ew" min o' sa
by-vi-tā tus
blo' kee eye
bloomen ah' vee eye
brackee caw' lis
brackee fill' a
brack tee a tus –ta
brā dee ā' num
brazil ee en' siss
brevifo' lius –a
bromeelee uh fo' lia
bro mee lee oy' deez
bŭll bo' sa
birchell' ee eye
butt' see eye
see spit o' sa
ka kee' ola
kā lick" ew lā' ta
kan' dida
kap" it mi dew' see
kar kar' o don
kar din ā' lis
kar" ik uh fo' lia
kar" in ā' ta
kar" ee o' see
kar" o ly' nee
kawdā' ta
kaw less' enz
chantin' ee eye
chantree air' eye
chee" apen' sis
chill en' sis
kloranth' a
kloro fill' a
kloro stick' ta
kriss anth' a
kriss o stack' iss
sir sin ā' ta
sit ry' num
klav i spy' ka
see less' tiss
see rew' lee a
see rew less' enz
koh mā' ta
koh moh' sus
kum pack' ta
kum press' a
kon sent' ricka
kon' color
kon glom" er ā' ta
koh nif' era
kor al eye' na
kor ko" va den' sis
kriss' pa
kro kā' ta
kro ko fill' a
krew ent' a
kus pi dā' ta
sy a' nee a
sill in drā' ta
sill in' drica
dack till eye' na
dass il eer" ifo' lia
dass il eer" ee oy' deez
dee al bā' ta
dee' billiss
decompŏz' i ta
de kor' a
densi flo' ra –um
densi spy' ka
dez met" ee ā na
de van" sa yā' na
erectifolius –a
fosterianus –a –um
hoehneana –um
horrida –um
kermesiana –um
dye kla mid' ee a
did iss' tick a
dis' color
dis tack" ee a
dis ti kan' tha
divers" ifo' lius
don" il smith' ee eye
drak" ee ā' na
dew art' ee eye
dwid' ee
durat' ee eye
dew val" ee ā' na
ee burn' ee um
el' e ganz
ee lewth" ero pet' ala
ensiform' is
ee reck' ta
ee reck" to fo' lius –a
ee rew bess' enz
ee reeth" ro dack' ti lon
ew feem' ee ee
ex ot' i ca
far in o' sa
fass ee ā' ta
fass ick" ew lā' ta
fast ew o' sa
fen es trā' lis
fern an' dee
fy li caw' lis
fy" li fo' lia
flajell" ifo' lius
flăm' ee a
flex ew ō' sa
flor' i da
fo lio' sum
fos ter ee ā' nus –a –um
frij' i da
feerst" en berg i ān a
fŭl' jenz
fuss' ka
gamo see' pa la
gard' ner eye
jem" in i flo' ra
jer" min i ā' na
gees breck' tee eye
jy gan tee' a
jy' gis
glad ee o" flo' ra
glazz" ee o' vee eye
glom" er ā' ta
grass' i lis
ham ā' ta
heck tee oy' deez
hell i kōn" ee oy' deez
het er o fill' a
high er o glif' i ka
hoe nee ā' na –um
hay nee ā' na –um
hol shir ee ā' na
hail shir ee ā' na
hor' id a –um
hew' mill is
hy' brida
illus' tris
im brick ā' ta
im peer ee ā' lis
in cā' na
in car nā' ta
in curv ā' ta
in flā' ta
in o sent' ee eye
insig' nis
inter mee' di a
eye o nanth' a
eye rid i fo' li a
it at" ee eye' ee
ix ee oy' deez
jo han' is
yo hahn' is
yong' ee eye
jun' see a
ker mess" ee ā' na
key nast' ee eye
lass er' dee
lass in" ee o' sa
lee' vis
laj" in ar' ee a
lalind' ee eye
la marsh' ee eye
lam prop' o da
land beck' ee eye
lass' er eye
latter ā' lis
latt i fo' lia
latt i spy' ka
legrell' ee
lee o dee en' sis
lep tan' tha
lep top' o da
lepto stack' ee a
lib o nee a' na
leetz' ee eye
lin den ee ā' na
lin den' ee eye
ly nee a' tum
lind" lee ā' na
ling ew lā' ta
lit o rā' lis
lon ji bract" ee ā' ta
lon ji fo' li us
lon ji pet' a la
lo pezz' ee eye
lor entz" ee ā' na
lubber see ā' nus
lub' ber see eye
lewd" i mān ee a' na
lew i man' ee eye

(to be continued)




Pitcairnia integrifolia




Pitcairnia andreana




Pitcairnia heterophylla


Photos — George Kalmbacher

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