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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

Shows the inflorescence of Fascicularia bicolor. The photograph was taken by George Kalmbacher, of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, at the Great Autumn Show in London in the fall of 1968. This bromeliad is a xerophyte native to Chile where it may be seen growing on rocky cliffs. Although it is hardy and easy to grow, it tends to be a reluctant bloomer.

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.


M. LeCoufle

M. Marcel Lecoufle, who lives in Boissy-St.-Leger, a suburb of Paris, likes to give his bromeliads as much natural sunshine and air as possible. From May, when there is no longer any danger of frost, until the beginning of October, he grows a number of his Tillandsias attached to a wire lattice, which is a part of his hen-roost, creating a living Tillandsia wall. The plants receive full sun during the afternoon when the weather is clear.

The Tillandsias are first attached to pieces of cork or wine-wood with a piece of nylon hose. The wood is then fastened to the lattice with a curved iron wire which is galvanized.



In December, 1968, Dr. Lyman B. Smith visited the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro, spending a whole afternoon at the new building constructed specifically for systematic botany. In the offices of the staff interested in the collecting and the study of bromeliads, he kindly answered many questions and vanished many of the existing doubts that many of us had. A great number of dried plants were examined, several determinations were made and many others were confirmed.

Dr. Smith was really surprised when he noticed new species of bromeliads that had been found in areas already traversed before by botanists and collectors. The construction of new roads has opened places unexplored till now and has made possible the discovery of new species.

In one of our collecting trips to the State of Minas Gerais, a few kilometers from the town Alem Paraiba and near the gate of a dairy farm, we came across a very old fig tree laden with blooming Aechmea bambusoides and Quesnelia quesneliana (the latter stouter and with more showy inflorescences than the ones we have seen in the State of Rio de Janeiro). In that farm we were welcomed and received the help we needed in obtaining specimens of these plants. The assistance of an expert in climbing trees, who made use of a rope and a ladder, was necessary.

When we left the farm we were given some suggestions for collecting. It was then that we had the greatest surprise of our expedition: near the place we had just left, on trees along the road and a few trees in the nearby pastures we again found Aechmea bambusoides. There it was the dominant bromeliad plant. Notwithstanding, this species had been collected only a few years ago and sent to Dr. Smith, who described it.

In our constant wanderings we have had the opportunity to observe, with binoculars, formations of bromeliads on rocky mountains far away. When they appear to be unusual, we do all we can to get them. Coming back also to places already explored but at different seasons has given us successful results, for only at flowering are we able to notice whether we have ever seen such species of bromeliads.

During the studies we had with Dr. Smith, we examined two species described from cultivation, which were recently found in their natural habitat, and without any reference heretofore as to their origin.

Aechmea candida
Neoregelia pineliana (Lem.) L. B. Smith, forma Pineliana L. B. Smith Phytologia 15, 3: 184. 1967.

Brazil, State of Rio de Janeiro, road to Born Jardim, Friburgo (on rocks in rain forest): leg. Ruby Braga 33 (December, 1968) RB.

Aechmea candida E. Morr. ex Baker, Handb. Bromel. 41. 1889: Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 126 1: 210. 1955.

Brazil, State of Rio de Janeiro, road to Pati, Petropolis (Epiphytic in dense forest) : Ruby Braga 22 et P. O. S. Braga 932 (July, 1968) RB: Maria Comprida Hill, Araras, Petropolis (in shade on rocks in open woods): leg. D. Sucre 4725 et P. I. S. Braga 1525 (February, 1969) RB (Collected sterile in August 1968). Bloomed in cultivation February 1969.

The young inflorescence with yellow calyx. In advanced stage the ovary and sepals becoming whitish as Type description.

However, our greatest pleasure was the chance we had to honor Dr. Lyman B. Smith by dedicating to him a new species of Neoregelia — Neoregelia lymaniana — with compound inflorescence and very decorative. Dr. Smith, renowned scientist, with his work on the revision of the genera, has made possible for bromeliologists of today to work successfully.

Also a new species of unusual Tillandsia, with spreading leaves and compound inflorescence—Tillandsia grazielae—was dedicated to Dra. Graziela M. Barrosa, our teacher in courses at this Botanical Garden, who has contributed much with her wise instruction in systematic botany.

These two new species are being described both by Dr. Dimitri Sucre B. and the author. Dr. Dimitri is a Rubiaceae specialist in Brazil, but he is also greatly interested in collecting bromeliads.

At the time Dr. Smith stayed with us—Semana de von Martius—it was impossible to have him free for a visit to the living collections of bromeliads we are forming in Petropolis. We then planned a weekend with him and Mrs. Ruth Smith, when they return to Brazil for a longer stay with us in 1970.

—Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.



Germination of Puya sp. seeds 30 months old.

A characteristic of the family Bromeliaceae is the short viability of its seeds; I could say that it has the shortest period of viability of any plant family, with the probable exception of the orchid family.

That the seeds of Tillandsias, Vrieseas, and Guzmanias—members of the subfamily Tillandsioideae—cannot be long lived is evident from their appearance, for they are minute, thin, and without any weight to speak of. Even those bromeliads that have seeds from fleshy fruits—plants of the subfamily Bromelioideae, fall into this category of a short period of viability. The third subfamily Pitcairnioideae have anemochoric seeds adapted by their very small weight and by the membranaceous, wingy margin of various size. The only exception is the genus Navia, which has only "naked seeds" without any of the signs mentioned above.

Walter Richter (1962) writes that the seeds from the subfamily Bromelioideae are just as short lived as other bromeliads with dry fruits and that viability is lost six months after ripening of seeds. I agree with this and do not hesitate to recommend that bromeliad seeds be sown as quickly as possible. But from the biologic point there are some exceptions, and I would like to write a few words about these.

Instances in which the viability lasts longer than a half a year are few — and it is these seeds which have attracted me. My first experience with seeds which did not germinate for 12 months after the collecting of ripe pods was with Tillandsia geminiflora. It is true that T. geminiflora has somewhat larger seeds than other plants of this lovely genus, but even these seeds are very small, thin, without any large reserves of nourishment and without any protection against drying by transpiration. Probably seeds of more Tillandsias are able to retain their viability for longer than six months, but their period of survival would not be much longer than one year. At the moment I do not have at hand any seeds with the exact date of gathering. In the case of Tillandsia geminiflora, I gathered the seeds myself in 1962 and immediately wrote the date of harvesting on the packet.

In 1966 I received from the University of California at Berkeley some seeds of an unidentified species of Puya with the notation that the seeds were probably no longer viable. The seeds had been collected during an expedition to the Andes in 1964. Attached to the packet was the notation: "Puya spec. Dept. and Prov. Cajamarca, 51 km northeast of Cajamarca on the road to Hualgayoc, 3850 m altitude. Plants 1 meter across and to 0,75m high, but mostly smaller; spikes clubbed, to 2m; spines black; leaves purple-red, black tinged over grey."

I first sowed these seeds in November 1966, and at this time their germination was nearly 100 percent. In the spring of 1967 I sowed more of these seeds, and the seeds proved to be about 50 percent viable. Generally, germination was much better in the light than in the dark thermostat-box. Fifty percent germination was retained in several repeatings of this experiment. So we can see that the seeds of Puya sp. did germinate well after 24 months, and even later after 30 months were 50 percent viable.

I have just received two small packets with seeds of Puya berteroniana Mez. and Puya venusta Phil. from the Universidad de Chile, Escuella de Ingenieria forestal. I shall sow these seeds at intervals of three months; I hope that I can get the proper date of the harvesting of these seeds.

Another species which I am testing for viability is Canistrum lindenii Mez, var. roseum L. B. Smith forma procerum I collected the infructescence, in which more than a half of the berries were ripe, on November 28, 1966 and kept the seeds in a room with central heating. I began to sow the seeds at one-month intervals, then at three-month intervals, and although the seeds are more than a year old, they still germinate. I do not know how long this viability will last.

I would like to try experimenting with other species and genera and to learn what conditions the seeds must be in to remain viable. I'd be very pleased if any of the members of the Society would write me of their experiences along this line. Also, I would like to try sowing seeds of exactly determined species with the known date of collecting and ripening of seeds; this would make it easier for me to continue my "heretic" experiments. —Botanical Institute, Pruhonice near Prague, Czechoslovakia.



Since I first began growing bromeliads I have accumulated quite a bit of information on the length of time that the seeds are viable. Most authorities indicate that the viability is of short duration, even with cold storage. I agree with the majority, but only to a certain extent. I have handled large amounts of seeds, both wild and domestic, under all types of conditions, and have found that duration of viability depends on the genus and seed type involved

The feather type of seed, such as is common among Tillandsias, has a very short viability as compared to the others.

The baccate seeds, such as occur in Aechmeas, Billbergias, etc., have a longer viability—possibly as long as six months with proper storage, perhaps even longer in individual cases. I have found that leaving baccate seeds in the berry until I am ready to plant them has worked better for me.

As yet I have said nothing about the third group—the so-called "winged" seeds of Puyas, Hechtias, etc. I have been saving them for my piece de resistance! Until recently I believed that they were of short viability also. However, not long ago, I found some packages of seeds that I had mislaid, and one package contained seeds of Hechtia montana collected in Sonora, Mexico, in November of 1966. The other seeds were Puya and Dyckia species collected in the summer of the same year. I did not think they were good but decided to plant them anyway. To my surprise, they all germinated amazingly fast. Approximately 60 percent of the Hechtia are now growing strongly; about 25 percent of the Dyckia germinated but they do not appear to be as strong. Roughly 40 percent of the Puya seeds are growing fairly well. This would indicate that the xerophytic and more primitive members are adapted for survival in a harsh environment by having a longer period of viability.

I suggest that it would be a good bet not to throw away any seeds without trying a germination test first. If anyone has information pertinent to this problem, I would be interested in hearing from him and exchanging experimental data.

—2054 W. 242 St., Lomita, Calif. 90717.



Ever wonder why foreign bromeliads have to go through an inspection station of the United States Department of Agriculture, Plant Quarantine Division? The following plant pests of potential importance to agriculture not reported or widely distributed in the United States were intercepted by plant quarantine inspectors on bromeliads during a three-year period, 1965-1967.

Plant Pest

Acutaspis tingi McKenzie
A. umbonifera (Newstead)
Arphnus melanotylus Ashlock
Asterolecanium epidendri (Bouche)
Atta mexicana (F. Smith)
Cimolus vitticeps Stal
Crophius costatus (Distant)
Dendrocoris variegatus Nelson
Diabrotica porracea Harold
Dysdercus mimulus Hussey
Dysmicoccus probrevipes (Morrison)
Echidnodes bromeliacearum (Rehm) Th. & Syd.
Exptochiomera albomaculata (Distant)
Helicina zephyrina Duclos
Melanaspis odontoglossi (Cockerell)
Metamasius hemipterus hemipterus (Linnaeus)
Metriona trisignata Boheman
Mimosestes dominicanus (Jekel)
Mormidea collaris Dallas
Ochrimnus vittiscutis (Stal)
Ogdoecosta biannularis (Boheman)
Oplomus rutilus Dallas
Paroecanthus aztecus Saussure
Phyllosticta bromeliae Alm. & Cam.
Procyrta intectus (Fowler)
Statira denticulata Champion
Tenthecoris distinctus Hsiao & Sailer
Xenochalepus omogerus (Crotch)



Country of Origin

El Salvador
Costa Rica

It is significant to note that many of the above plant pests do not feed on the bromeliad plant but merely use it is a conveyance for hitch-hiking from one place to another. The funnel shaped leaves of the bromeliad species make an ideal niche for the hitch-hiking bug to move from one country to another. Such a botanical phenomenon adds to the plant quarantine importance of the bromeliad plant which could act as a carrier for important economic plant pests not known to occur in the United States. This certainly does not discount the pest risk importance of the scale insects, borers, leaf miners and diseases which are plant pests of bromeliads.

The bromeliad family includes more than eighteen hundred species, all native to tropical and subtropical America. Because of their origin, closeness to the United States border and availability through collecting or from foreign nurseries, many bromel enthusiasts eventually go outside the United States for a source of supply. This plant material from a foreign source can be brought in by mail, air freight, cargo, passenger baggage or automobile. Such plant shipments must meet the plant quarantine regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture before being entered. Plant quarantines are America's first line of defense against the entry and spread of destructive plant pests threatening our forms, forests, gardens and food supply.

Plant propagative material in general must be imported through a special inspection facility, such ports being commonly referred to as Inspection Stations. Plant quarantine inspection and treating facilities are located at Brownsville, El Paso, Hoboken, Honolulu, J. F. Kennedy International Airport, Laredo, New Orleans, Miami, Nogales, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, San Pedro, Seattle and Washington, D. C. At these Inspection Stations qualified entomologists and plant pathologists are stationed who inspect, evaluate the plant pest risk of plant shipments, and perform treatments if needed.

Visual inspection for plant pests may produce negative results but does not necessarily indicate an absence. Plant pests can penetrate plants in such a way as to defy detection or be so minute as to be overlooked. Therefore, it may be necessary to treat the bromeliads to assure they are pest free. Methyl bromide fumigation or DDT-Malathion-Kelthane dip are the two most common treatments employed by the Plant Quarantine Division.

Claims of injury to bromeliads from methyl bromide fumigation have to be thoroughly investigated before the blame can be properly placed. Plants arriving in poor condition are frequently more susceptible to fumigation injury than are those in good condition. Several factors can be responsible for injury or death of the plants. Two of the most important causes of plant loss are poor packing at origin and freezing enroute. Delays in transit account for many casualties or, as often is the case with bromeliads, they are collected in the field and accumulated until several weeks of collecting is completed before the plants are shipped to the United States. Latta and Cogwell tested four hundred forty-one species of greenhouse plants, of which 93.3% were not injured by methyl bromide fumigation (2). However, it is known that certain species of Billbergia and Guzmania are injured by methyl bromide. As methyl bromide injury data to bromeliads are developed, it is distributed to all Inspection Stations and an alternate treatment is used on those susceptible species.

The importer should make certain preliminary arrangements before any plant material is shipped from a foreign source. This will minimize delays in delivery. The following procedure is suggested:

  1. Apply for a permit to the Permit Section, U.S.D.A., Plant Quarantine Division, 209 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030. The Permit Section will want to know the scientific names of the plants, if at all possible, the country of origin and the means of transportation.

  2. The instructions which you will receive with your permit should be transmitted to the shipper. These instructions will cover freedom from soil requirements, approved packing materials, size and age limitations, invoices, certification, addressing and use of the green and yellow labels for mail importations.

  3. Be prepared to complete United States Customs entry formalities.

Poorly ventilated shipments frequently break down in transit. If your shipper uses polyethylene bags, caution him to puncture the bags in order to allow the plant material to breath. Heat and absence of air inside a plastic bag can cause decomposition of plant material in a matter of days.

Because of the pineapple industry in Hawaii, and the danger of introducing foreign land pests of bromeliads into that state, such material can only be brought in under a postentry quarantine agreement. The plant material must be grown on premises approved by the state and periodically inspected for two normal growing seasons. This postentry period affords an opportunity for the detection of diseases and plant pests which may not have been discovered at the time the importation entered this country.

Offices of the Plant Quarantine Division are located at the principal U. S. ports of entry. Personnel in these offices can answer questions pertaining to the importation of propagative plant materials. Bromeliad societies may want to include in their programs a Plant Quarantine speaker. The Plant Quarantine Division also has a color, sound film entitled "Among Your Souvenirs" which depicts the work of this Division and would be suitable for showing at a meeting.

Literature Cited

(1) Mumford, Bessie C. and Girard, David H., "List of Intercepted Plant Pests" Report 1965, 1966, 1967, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Plant Quarantine Division.

(2) Latta, R. and Cogwill H., "Methyl Bromide Fumigation of Greenhouse Plants at U. S. Introduction Garden, Glenn Dale, Md.," E-526, U. S. Department of Agriculture.

—Plant Quarantine Division, U.S.D.A., San Pedro, California



Experiments with Omaflora and Brombloei to induce bromeliads to flower have shown that responses of the plants to the stimuli are not uniform. It is evident that some kinds of bromeliads are easy to force into flower while others are very stubborn. It has been assumed that stronger dosages of the solution used should be tried with this last type. As to this assumption I am remindful of a conversation I had with the director of the Pineapple Research Institute of Hawaii. This was when I first became interested in the chemical forcing of flowering in bromeliads. As is commonly known, this scientific organization is the leader in breeding pineapples and inducing them to come into fruit by the use of chemical sprays I expressed my admiration of the remarkable way in which they bring into fruit all of the plants in a field whenever desired. I remarked that they must have their controls down to perfection (using Omaflora or its equivalent as a spray). The director replied that he wished that they did have everything under perfect control, but this they could not claim as there was much to learn about the process. He added than the amount of dosage was critical and if they wanted the opposite effect, to prevent fruiting at times of over-production, all they had to do was to increase the strength of the application of the identical chemical used to induce fruiting.

In working with ornamental bromeliads we certainly do not want an opposite effect. Perhaps caution should be used when increasing dosages on the stubborn plants.

In follow-up applications on bromeliads, I would be inclined to repeat the first dosage with no increase in its strength. The theory, and it is no more than that, is that the plants involved must have retained in their system some of the chemical from the first application, and that the addition of the chemical in the second application would constitute an increase in the strength of the dosage. An unanswered question here is, how long does Omaflora, say, remain in the system of a plant that has been treated.

An entirely different approach to the treatment of stubborn plants would be to try weaker rather than stronger dosages.

—Honolulu, Hawaii



A few days ago while going through some old papers, I found a group of drawings which I had copied from early reports of Indian cultures in Alabama when I was in college many years ago. This particular drawing is copied from a reprint from the Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Volume XIII, 1905, by Clarence B. Moore, "Certain Aboriginal Remains of the Black Warrior River."

Among six pages of traced over designs from remains at Moundville, Alabama, (south of Tuscaloosa) was one which contains a pineapple. I cannot tell you now how long ago these people inhabited the Moundville site, but it was certainly prior to the travels of DeSoto. Some of these designs show the horned winged serpent so prevalent in the remains of the Yucatan.

The pineapple, then, was known to these people in an area where it does not grow because of freezing temperatures. This suggests the possibility of a trade in foods in produce many centuries ago.

—Orlando, Florida.



Vriesea appenii RAUH, nov. spec.

Photos by author  
Vriesea appenii

A Vriesea heterandra (ANDRÉ) L. B. SMITH, cui affinis, spicis majoribus vix complanatis, bracteis florigeris convexis firmis baud nervatis differt.

Planta acaulis cum inflorescentia 80 - 100 cm alta; folia numerosa in rosulam densam 80 - 90 cm diametientem disposita, vaginae 11 - 12 cm longae, 9 - 10 cm latae, utrimque atrobrunneae; laminae anguste triangulatae, longe acuminatae, supra vaginams 4 cm latae, 40 - 50 cm longae, utrimque lepidibus griseis dense obtectae; scapus erectus 30 - 35 cm longus, bracteae imbricatae, foliis similes, scapum vaginis involventes, laminae bractearum usque ad 20 cm longae, erectae, lepidibus griseis dense obtectae; inflorescentia ex 20 - 25 spicis laxe composita, usque ad 35 cm longa, 18 mm lata; bracteae primariae bracteis scapi similes, vaginae breviores quam pars sterilis spicarum, bracteae basales lamina longa spicam superante, tantum bracteae superiores breviter acuminatae; pars sterilis spicarum erecta, pars florigera erecto-vel rectangulariter patens, 12 - 14 cm longa, 1 cm lata, 10 - 20-flora, vix complanata; bracteae floriferae distichae, imbricatae, dorso convexae, 1,7 cm longae, 1 cm latae, ovali-triangulatae rubrae, dense griseo- lepidotae; flores erecti; sepala 1,2 cm longa, 4 mm lata, submembranacea, aequaliter libera, dense griseo-lepidota, apice rubro; petala atrolazulina apicibus recurvatis, marginibus integris, 1,8 cm longa, 4 mm lata, basi ligulis 9 mm longis; stamina in tubo corollae profunde inclusa, 1,4 cm longa.

Habitat: In valle Olmos prope Abram Procullam apud 2000 m.s.m. Nr. collectionis RAUH 15 420, 1967.

Holotypus in U. S. Nat. Herbario.

PLANT stemless, flowering to 80 - 100 cm long with the inflorescence extended. LEAVES, forming a dense rosette of a diameter of 80 - 90 cm; sheathes distinct from the blades, 11 - 12 cm long, 9 - 10 cm broad, brownish-black on both sides; blades narrow-triangular, tapering into a long tip, 4 cm broad above the sheath, 40 - 50 cm long, densely adpressed grey lepidote. SCAPE erect 30 - 35 cm long, 8 mm in diameter, scape-bracts densely imbricate and completely covering the scape, subfoliaceous with 20 cm long erect densely grey lepidote blades. INFLORESCENCE laxly composed of 20 - 25 spikes, 35 cm long and 15 - 18 cm broad, primary bracts similar the scape-bracts, their sheathes shorter than the sterile parts of the spikes; the lower ones with blades exceeding the spikes, the upper ones only short tipped. SPIKES polystichous arranged, their sterile part erect, the fertile 15 - 20 flowered part spreading lanceolate, 12 - 14 cm long, 1 cm broad, not strongly complanate; floral bracts erect, distichous, densely imbricate not carinate and inconspicuous nerved, ovate-triangular, 1,7 cm long, 1 cm broad red, densely grey lepidote. FLOWERS erect, distichous, 2,2 cm long, sessile. SEPALS free, densely grey lepidote, red-tipped: membranaceous, 1,2 cm long, 4 mm broad. PETALS dark-blue, with spreaded tips, 1,8 cm long, 4 mm broad, bearing two 9 mm long scales at the base; style and stamens included.

V. appenii is a remarkable, striking (when flowering) Tillandsialike Vriesea, which is closely related to V. (=Tillandsia) heterandra, another Tillandsialike Vriesea which is distributed from Colombia to Bolivia. The differences between the two species are the following:

In V. heterandra (ANDRÉ) L. B. SMITH the inflorescence is relatively dense, the complanate spikes short, the flower bracts carinate and distinct nerved; the petals whitish to rose-violet and crenulate at the margins.

In V. appenii the inflorescence is very lax, the many flowered spikes are spreading horizontally and not complanate; the flower-bracts are rounded on the back and not distinctly nerved; the petals are dark-blue and entire (not crenulate) at the margin.

This beautiful species was found by the author in Northern Peru in the valley of Olmos in an altitude of 2200 m. This valley is extremely rich in bromeliads and here the author discovered also V. olmosana.

V. appenii flowered in the summer of 1968 in the Heidelberg Botanical garden. The inflorescence lasted for nearly 2 months.

This striking plant was dedicated to Hans von Appen, Lima, Peru. The author is greatly indebted to L. B. SMITH for studying the material.

—Institute for Systematische, Botanik der Universitaet, Heidelberg.

  Photos by author
Vriesea heterandra



(Translated by Adda Abendroth, Teresopolis, Brazil)

Cultivation of Group 1

Discussion of the plants in previous chapters has made it clear that the species making up Group 1—Aechmea, Billbergia, Neoregelia, and Nidularium—are much hardier than Guzmania and Vriesea. From the economical point of view, it is necessary when raising large sets of seedlings to keep the two groups separate from the very beginning, and much more so if outstanding results are to be achieved.

The beginning of the growth period is such an important item in the life of the plants that I shall start my explanation of cultivation measures at this point. The exact moment of commencement of growth depends on conditions prevailing in the surroundings. Longer sun-hours in January and February spell the end of the winter rest period, as temperatures rise in the glass-house. Let in all the light you can; humidity can be raised by a slight spraying before midday. Bright, sunny days generally end with a sharp drop in temperature towards night. Compensate for this drop by raising the artificial heat. A medium reading from 12 to 15° C on overcast days and at night is best. The increasing intensity of sunlight in March and April may cause burns on the plants should it get too strong. As yet we don't use shading; rather we start the hardening treatment by aerating the house after midday and by more frequent spraying. The process should be continued in the months that follow.

An exception to the general rule in connection with the above treatment concerns the various species of Nidularium, especially Nidularium innocentii and its varieties. Their reaction to light differs from the rest of Group 1; they dislike direct sun. They are the one bromeliad that should always be shaded. The other measures are the same as described for the Group. By the end of April heating can generally be discontinued. During the night the houses remain closed. Aeration should be keyed to the outdoor temperature and the local situation. The roots should be kept uniformly damp; excess or lack of water should be avoided. In May, even on hot days in April, shading becomes a necessity.

In my efforts to find a process to profit by direct sunlight in order to obtain hardy, well-shaped, and good-looking plants of a pleasing color, I have evolved and tested the following method. The first heat-spell is successfully beaten with a slight spray of shading paint on the panes—just enough to prevent leaf-burn. Rain accompanying a thunderstorm will soon wash away most of the paint. I then put on another spray if necessary. By June or July successive squalls will have reduced the shading on the panes to a thin veil—which provides a most advantageous grade of light effect. The plants get larger, their leaves broaden, and, if goes with the species, put on a fine dress of silvery scales. During the summer months, the houses are aired all day long—from morning till evening, if the weather is warm. The houses are closed only on rainy days when the air cools fast. The plants cannot take the double assault of adverse conditions and will soon lose their prime condition. Correct regulation, carefully regulated supply of light, warmth, and humidity improve growth and may occasionally produce a quite large specimen.

The hardening process is continued through September by plenty of aeration and, as far as possible, uninhibited access of sunlight. Always remember, though, that direct sunlight can cause burning if the air panels remain closed. Transition to winter should start in October. Lots cultivated in double boxes should be moved into the houses in the beginning of the month. It is best to put them on suspended side-boards; there they will benefit from the light and won't be too wet. In addition, you save space on the benches where you may want to put other plants. It is well to affix a lath on each side of the suspended boards; close the sides with heavy cardboard nailed on the laths. Fill the space with ground peat and sink the pots in that. The arrangement is a precaution against too rapid or excess drying. Smaller plants can also be preserved in this manner; put them in boxes with peat and put the boxes on the suspended board.

Watering routine in winter is practically limited to a weekly inspection with hose or watering-can in hand. Otherwise, one spraying before midday is enough when it is not too cold. The temperature for Group 1 is 12 to 15°C. A slight drop is admissible during the night, but the low should never stay at 12° for any period of time. If periods of severe cold cause an inevitable decline of the house temperature, stop watering and spraying until conditions return to normal. It the temperature drops even more, empty the water from the funnels. If the plants are kept too wet in winter, there is always the risk of damage. But do not let the potmix get too dry. Owing to its very composition, once the mix has dried out completely, it cannot regain the ability to absorb and retain water.

Cultivation of Group II

Again we will start with the beginning of the growth period. Conditions, however, differ somewhat from those of Group I, which in a way undergoes a sort of rest period in view of the climatic effect and the treatment the plants get. The higher temperatures of from 15 to 20°C medium required for Group II call for more humidity, as a diet of warmth accompanied by drought would—or rather, will—mean fiasco, or at least permit an attack of pests where bromeliads are concerned. Biologically, well-balanced growing conditions are a safe measure against pests. Suppression of growth, as in Group I, does not occur in Group II. Transition to the new growing period is less evident. Sunshine in spring is often quite intense and may cause burns. As early as February danger lurks in too much sun. Cryptanthus—which should be included in Group II in spite of its often hard and sturdy leaves—is especially touchy at this time of year. It is in danger of burns as early as February when conditions prevail which the species will easily stand at a later date. Therefore, shading must be thought of quite early in the year.

On sunny days in spring, spray before midday when the house is permeated with warmth, once or twice, to raise air humidity. On overcast days, or when it is cold, sprays should be given only if the house temperature is above 18°C. Remember the iron rule that plants should be dry by evening, while air humidity should be sufficiently high. As the season proceeds, the temperature must be raised. Aeration should begin only towards the end of April and the beginning of May. Vriesea splendens, and its hybrids especially, are so warmth-hungry you can hardly overdo the supply; but mind, direct sun during hot spells is apt to burn their leaves; therefore, give them lavish shade for it will improve their looks. This group does not react to light by enhancing design on the blades as does Group I. You can tell if a Vriesea is receiving too much light if it has yellowish leaves and faded or otherwise deficient markings. Development of spike is also affected by a too bright location. The stalk stays shorter than normal; the colors are poor. In short, the effect of too much light on Group II is the opposite of that on Group I. This is one of the reasons why I stress segregation of the two groups in cultivation. Optimum results can be gained only if you give each group its proper treatment, not when combined cultivation forces you to compromise.

Ground humidity should be maintained fairly high during the growing period, both in soil and in pots. It is therefore necessary to give extra heat even in summer, especially during spells of had weather, because a high humidity level lowers temperature considerably. For extensive seedling lots of Vriesea and Guzmania I recommend night heating all through the summer. Better growth will certainly make up for the extra outlay.

During the vegetation period the plants should always get the benefit of uniform and constant warmth and humidity, similar to the conditions in their homeland. Spraying may be raised to 4-5 times daily in the summer. Use the finest spray and avoid puddles on the ground. Shade must always be given, plenty of it. How to provide it depends on facilities at hand. Permanent shading with shading spray must not be overdone. Movable shading apparatus is the ideal. It enables the gardener to give the plants full benefit of available luminosity, which also affects the prevailing temperature.

As autumn nears, shade should be given more sparingly. Hardening, as for Group I, is not necessary, is not even advisable, because we do not intend to interrupt the plants' natural growth; we want them to reach bloom maturity as soon as possible. Only the climate, involving the seasonal changes, is apt to quench temporarily development factors that count in cultivation. Let me repeat: our winter does not impose a rest period for bromeliads. During the cold months aeration is to cease entirely. To counteract drought caused by heating, keep the pathways moist, as well as the areas under the tables, by spraying when the house is sufficiently warm. The well-known gardener's rule that spraying water should equal the temperature in the house is now under dispute; it is given less importance. Personally I have a strong feeling against spraying very cold water on warm plants or applying cold water where the air is warm.

Temperature in the house should be about 18 to 20°C in the winter. A decline to 15° is not harmful if it is only temporary. Still lower temperatures are bad for this group. They can be kept higher for the very warmth-hungry species, the hybrids. A warm underground considerably favors development of Vriesea splendens for one, and of its hybrids, especially in youth, but also adult plants appreciate it. It some-times can provoke premature flowering. (Pages 147-152)

An interesting note comes from Frank Butler of Chickasaw, Alabama: A few years ago the city of Mobile set up an organic compost plant. The compost consists mostly of paper, and it also contains some plastic and ground glass. This year I decided to experiment with the compost on Aechmea bracteata. I was amazed at the results. When I bought this bromeliad it had about six leaves about nine inches long. I mixed the "Mobile-Aid with some coarse builders' sand. I put the plant and the mixture in a seven-inch pot, dampened the mix, put water in the cup, and waited one month. During the month I fertilized it once with Atlas Fish Emulsion. At the end of the month the plant had developed from 15 to 20 new leaves, and each of them was about 15 inches long. For more information on this compost, write to the City of Mobile, P O. Box 1827, Mobile, Alabama 36601.



pectinatus –a
nay' nus
nash un ā' lis
nay vee oy' deez
nid u lair" ee oy' deez
ny' ti da
newd i cawl' is
new' tanz
ox i dent ā' lis
ee sir i ā' na     ā sir i ā' na
oh' lenz
oe land i ā' na
or nā' ta
ort gees' ee eye     ort jees' ee eye
oss ee ā' nus
pallid i flo' ra
panick ew lā' ta
pa ry' bi ka
pastewk off i ā' na
pax i ā' num
pectin ā ' tus –ta
pendul i flo' ra
petio lā' ta
petro polli tā' na
fan ero flee' bia
spectabilis –e
sawn der zee oy' deez
sax ic' o la
sca lair' is
shir i met" i wee' eye
shee dee ā' na
shimper ee ā' na
shlumberg' er eye
shry' ter eye
skler i ā' na
sell oh ā' na
sar' ah
ser ā' ta
set ij' er a
sin ew o' sus
skin' er eye
spay tha' see a
spec tab' i lis –ee
sfass" i la' ta
sfeer o sef' a la
splen' denz
stand' lee eye
stel lā' ta
steno pet' a la
strowss i a' na (ow as in how)
(misspelled in Wilson under Aechmea)
strep to fill' a (not strep to fy' la)
porteanus –a
procera –um
purpurea –um
roseus –a –um
ruber, rubra, rubrum
fillipo-co berg' ee eye
pick' el ee eye
piment' eye-velloh' so eye
pinell" ee ā' na
pin' guin
pit cair" ni fo' lia
pit ee air' eye
plat ee nee' ma
platz man' ee eye
plew mo' sa
peel man' ee eye
pail man' ee eye
peen ew lā' ta
pee pij' ee eye     pee pig' ee eye
poly an' tha
poly stack' ee a (not poly stash' ee a)
poly trick oy' deez
por tee ā' nus –a
pree tex' tus
prin' seps
pro see' ra –um
pro dij ee oh' sa
pru i no' sa
soo" do scap o' sus
sit a sy' na
pic' ta
pew bess' enz
pull kell' a (not pull chell' a)
pew niss' e a (not pew niss ee' a)
per per' e a —um (not per per ee' a)
per per' ee o-ro' zea
per am i day' lis
kwelk' ee eye
ra seen' ee
ry mond' ee eye
ra moh' sa
rair i flo' ra
re cur vā' ta
re duct' a
re jy' na (not re jee' na)
reg nell' ee eye
re mo ti flo' ra
ry kar' tee eye
rid' lee eye
rodigasi ā' na
ro zeo-pic' ta
ro' ze us;   ro' ze a;   ro' ze um
rostrum ak will' ee
rew bell' a
rew' ber;   rew' bra;   rew' brum
rew' bi da
rew pest' ree
ruz' bee eye
san' der ee
san guin' e a
sar men to' sa
sawn' der zee eye
striatus –a –um
variegatus –a
viridis –e
zebrinus –a
stry ā' tus –ta –tum
stro bi lā' see a
sub seek un' dum
sul fur' e a
soo per' ba
sir in am en' see
tab ew li form' is
tay' tee eye
teck tor' um
ten ew i fol' i a
ten' ew iss
tess e lā' ta
tess' man ee eye
tess too' do
tex en' sis
thir soy' dee a
ty gry' na
till and see oy' deez
tink tor' e a
toh ment toh' sa
try bair' ee eye
try an gu lair' iss
trick ol' i piss (not trick o leep' is)
trin i ten' sis
tris' tiss
ew ni spy' ka
us nee oy' deez
vay' ganz
vaj i nā' ta
vall er and' ee eye
van high ning' ee eye
van volx em' ee eye
var ee gā' tus –ta
veech' ee eye
ven e zwel ā' na
vee noh see spy' ka
ven us' ta
veer' a
ves ty' ta
victor i ā' na
vig' er eye
vir ess' enz
vir' i diss –dee
vir i di flo' ra
vit tā' ta
war' ming ee eye
waw ray' nee a
web er bough' er eye
wed dell i ā' na
wyl back' ee eye
wer der man' ee eye
wit mack i ā' num
zif i oy' deez
zahn' ee eye
zee bry' nus –na
zoh nā' tus

The above contains botanical variety names as well as the species names.

M. Lecoufle
Tillandsia stricta growing on wire lattice in the garden of Marcel Lecoufle, Boissy-St. Leger, France

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