BSI Journal - Online Archive


A non-profit corporation whose purpose is to promote and maintain public and scientific interest and research in bromeliads throughout the world.

There are 4 classes of membership: Annual $10.00; Sustaining $15.00; Fellowship $25.00; and Life $200.00. All memberships start with January of the current year.

Address all correspondence to:
The Bromeliad Society, Inc.
P. O. Box 41261
Los Angeles, Calif. 90041
PresidentElmer J. Lorenz, Calif.
1st V.P.Leonard Kent, M.D., Calif.
2nd V.P.Tim Lorman, Calif.
Rec. Secy.Jeanne Woodbury, Calif.
TreasurerJoyce Lorenz, Calif.


1976-1979: Robert G. Burstrom, Leonard Kent, Elmer J. Lorenz, Edward McWilliams, Harold W. Wiedman, Tim Lorman, Sue Gardner, Herbert Plever.

1977-1980: William Kirker, Leslie Walker, Eloise Beach, Fritz Kubisch, W. R. Paylen, Amy Jean Gilmartin, Edgar Smith. Thelma O'Reilly.

1978-1981: Jeanne Woodbury, Ervin Wurthman, Victoria Padilla, David H. Benzing, Louis Wilson, Joseph F. Carrone, Jr., Timothy A. Calamari, Jr., Roger Vandermeer.


Adda Abendroth, Brazil; Luis Ariza Julia, Dominican Republic; Olwen Ferris, Australia; Marcel Lecoufle, France; Harold Martin, New Zealand; Dr. W. Rauh, Germany; Raulino Reitz, Brazil; Walter Richter, Germany; L. B. Smith, USA; R. G. Wilson, Costa Rica; Robert W. Read, USA.


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

Individual copies of the Journal $2.00

Copyright 1979 by the
Bromeliad Society. Inc.

MAY—JUNE, 1979

The Picture on the Cover99
The Culture of Tillandsia seemannii in Germany
  Hermann Prinsler100
The Time Factor in Evolution
  W. W. G. Moir103
A New Pitcairnia from Ecuador
  Amy Jean Gilmartin106
Plant Growth Substances
  Vernon Stoutemyer108
Have you Ever Lost A Bromeliad?
  Charles Wiley110
Beautiful Ecuador
  Vern Magnuson113
An Interesting Tillandsia flexuosa
  Jeff Shimonski123
Notes from Brazil
  Luiz Carlos and Sergio Gurken125
Eric Rogers Knobloch126
Two New Hybrids127
An Inexpensive Propagator for Germinating Difficult Seeds
  Martin Tall129
Keeping Ants & Other Crawling Pests at Bay
  Cyril D. Bleeker130
Mulford Foster Memorial Fund132
Pitcairnia and Other Molluscs
  D. C. Speirs133
All Things Considered134
Guzmania weberbaueri Mez144
COVER PICTURE — Tillandsia crispa (Baker) Mez. Photo by W. Rauh.


Articles and photographs are earnestly solicited. Length is no factor. Please mail copy and all questions to the Editorial Office, 647 South Saltair Ave., Los Angeles, California 90049.

The Picture on the Cover

— Tillandsia crispa (Baker) Mez

In this issue the focus of attention is on Ecuador and its many extraordinary bromeliads. Since Andre made his memorable collecting trip in 1875, bringing back to Europe such outstanding plants as Tillandsia lindenii, Guzmania sanguinea, Guzmania lingulata variety cardinalis, Aechmea drakeana, and dozens of others of equal beauty, many explorers have set out to discover new bromeliads. The search is still on, and today we look toward Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru for new plants to beautify our homes and greenhouses.

Unfortunately, not all the bromeliads that have been collected in Ecuador have been amenable to cultivation, and much more study is necessary to determine their specific growing needs. A case in point is the tillandsia on the cover of this issue — Tillandsia crispa. Although it is listed in the catalogue of one of the major growers, it is a touchy subject at best. Several years ago the California Jungle Gardens imported several hundred plants, only to lose them in a short time. And none of those collected by Jack Roth, an account of whose trip appears in this issue, survived, although other bromeliads, such as Guzmania diffusa growing next to it, weathered the trip and have since bloomed.

Withal, it is an intriguing plant with its thin, shiny, crinkly (crispy) leaves which form an ovoid, bulbous rosette. The leaves, 4 to 12 inches in length, are green with maroon spots. Jack Roth found it growing as an epiphyte in damp woods, its brilliant inflorescences brightening the darkness of the forest. It grows at elevations ranging from 300 to 2300 m. The plant was first described by Baker in 1887, who listed it under Guzmania.

A study on the bromeliaceae of Ecuador was made by Dr. Amy Jean Gilmartin of Washington State University, Pullman, Washington. It was published in 1972 by J. Cramer in Germany. The entire text is in English.

The Culture of Tillandsia Seemannii in Germany



In the summer of 1976 I brought Tillandsia seemannii (Baker) Mez from Ecuador. Professor Rauh described this pretty, green-leafed, small tillandsia with its red inflorescence in the February, 1975, issue of the Journal of the Bromeliad Society and also mentioned the difficulty of growing it in Europe.

T. seemannii growing happily in a bed of moss.

Tillandsia seemannii grows in southern Ecuador between Loja and Zamora in a pass at about 2,800 m. At the time that I was there, the pass was covered with a cloud layer. It was very cool and damp. According to Prof. Rauh's article, Tillandsia seemannii had to grow here. I took a small path down from the road and crossed a swampy area covered with bushy trees. Suddenly, in the trees, which bore a kind of sphagnum moss, I discovered clumps of little green-leafed tillandsias with wonderful, red inflorescences. These were what I was seeking! They grow on the trees in damp moss. I collected various samples and sent them along with other collected plants to Germany. Unfortunately I was not able to determine one important bit of information to later cultivation, that is, whether the location was always covered with fog or whether at times there were also periods of sunshine up there.

After I got home, I considered how I should grow the plants. Plants brought from the highlands of Ecuador on an earlier trip had been grown with my other bromeliads at ca. 18 to 25° C. These plants did not grow well and died after a short time. Since I had seen Tillandsia seemannii in its native locale, I decided to try a different method this time. I filled a propagation flat with fresh sphagnum moss and poked the Tillandsia seemannii rather deep into it, as I had seen them in their habitat. During the remaining frost-free months (September to mid November) I put the flat outdoors. Every two to three days the plants were soaked. At the first frost — which in 1976 did not come until mid November here — I put the flat with the plants in a cool greenhouse at 8 to 10° C. Here, too, the plants were kept wet the whole winter. The appearance of the plants indicated that they were happy. At the beginning of May the plants were again put outside. (In Germany the last frosts come toward the beginning of May.) Shortly thereafter the first plant bloomed. In the winter of 1977 the plants received the same treatment. In the spring of 1978 two plants bloomed, and now in the fall of 1978 three more plants are blooming.

In the areas of the USA that are similar to Germany, this method would also be successful. Growing the plants successfully in warmer areas such as Florida and California would have to be tested.

Broich, West Germany

(Editor's Note — this attractive little tillandsia, though just recently brought to the attention of present-day growers, was discovered by Dr. Seeman in 1847, who found it in the province of Loja, Ecuador. It was described by Baker in 1889, who mistakenly identified it as a guzmania. Mez finally put it in its rightful place. A delightful little plant with its brilliant inflorescence rising about two inches from its four inch rosette, it should be a sought-after item. In all likelihood its scarcity in collections is due to the fact that it is difficult to grow in cultivation. We congratulate Mr. Prinsler in having found the key to its successful propagation.)

A Note from Eloise Beach —

Fancy light meters are not needed to determine where good light levels are in your growing areas. Cryptanthus 'It' can be used as a light meter. Find an area where this plant grows with a bright pink color without any hint of white or yellow in the foliage. All of your bromeliads should do well in that amount of light. However, many would like even more light — especially neoregelias, tillandsias, dyckias, and many aechmeas.

The Time Factor in Evolution


The morning paper brought an article, the full height of the paper, labeled "Missing Link Never Existed — Scientist Thinks". My article on Darwinism in the Journal of the Bromeliad Society arrived in the mail a few hours later. The scientist discussing these same old thoughts on evolution was Dr. Miles Eldredge of the Museum of Natural History in New York, which publishes Natural History Magazine, the magazine that runs a series of articles "This View of Life" by Stephen Jay Gould. Dr. Eldredge is a believer in Big Jumps in evolution but he calls it "punctuated equilibrium" or "punctuationalism" as against "gradualism" of the Darwin theory. His argument for his point of view is that if it were "gradualism" fossils of gradational form should be found.

First of all, just how small a percentage of the living things, that ever existed, have been found as fossils? Just an infinitesimal percentage. Second, has anyone studied living things to see how long they stay in any form without change of some sort?

A recent Scientific American magazine had a whole series of articles on evolution and brought out one common fact, we gardeners have known for ages, and that is, that all living things continuously produce variants. They did not go on to show that it is the environment that determines what lives or dies or that the degree of environment change is what determines how big or small the variant or which of a possible category of forms in that thing's repertoire that survives.

If you are a keen observer of plants both in the wild and in the garden you see these big and little changes, especially so if you garden with microclimates. If you experiment with the same species in several microclimates the result is those same species looking quite different in various areas.

In the "Darwinism" article I covered the mutations in Aech. chantinii and concluded that tessmannii, zebrina. amazonica 'Dark Goddess' and chantinii were but one species. If fossils could be made of these forms all on one root system, as they have developed in our garden, how would scientists explain it if found in fossil form? Just consider for the moment, the time of when this development was taking place and the time at which they could be turned into fossils, that is, at which stage of mutation.

Changes, or degree of change, in weather materially affect what form the plant change takes on. Study a few hibiscus or panax hedges and see no end of mutants, some enough different to be described as new species. These can occur on but a single branch. What has brought them out? The mere fact of continuous mutilation of the plants by hedge trimming causes these. One can put up these mutations on a branch and grow each form separately and save forms that would not otherwise survive because the stronger take over.

The Aech. chantinii 'Dark Goddess' had been "robbed" several times by people who wanted pieces and also by our sharing it with friends. The result of the constant cutting resulted in an urge to mutate. Combined with the difficult growing conditions under the eaves of the house and the drought period we went through when we were asked to save water. Evidently the amazonica and zebrina variants were the forms to come out under such a situation. While in another garden, epiphytic on a tree, the form that developed was tessmannii.

But these changes happened suddenly and were established in no time. The 'Dark Goddess' form was almost eliminated, first by being robbed of the food and water and secondly being outgrown by the more vigorous forms that survive on less of these factors.

In the Nidularium innocentii complex with its vast array of variants one can study the environmental requirements quite easily trying them in various microclimates. The differences between them in growth might have ended in their being called different species, as happened in the chantinii complex, but the taxonomist in this case was probably a better observer or even a gardener and knew what to look for.

The sudden appearance of the grapefruit on a pomelo tree took place before the intermediate stage called pomelmousse. Had fossils of these been possible and separated from the pomelo would the scientist have even connected them with a pomelo other than that they were all citrus?

It is these big and little jumps that puts the real money in the pocket of horticulturists and nurseries. If a few more arguers of "gradualism" and "punctuated equilibriumism" visited such nurseries or gardened or returned to areas in the jungles every few years they might see how common these processes are. But they will have to train their eyes to see these; it does not come easily.

The duration and severity of the environmental change really has its effect on what variants are produced as well as allowed to survive. It is an environmental effect on how cells divide to make mutants on plants as well as how seeds are produced or variants permitted to live. Environment is by far the greatest force in evolution and the time of its change and duration that brings out evolved living things. I am most impressed on its control of variants production to produce better breeding variants. The testing for these brings you a lot nearer success than if you did not look for them.

Hybridization complicates all the simplicity of these variants. It no doubt has to take place between some of these variants of a single species. This hybridization results in greater hybrid vigor and can then crowd out the parents and eliminate them. So little is said about this hybridization side of evolution because so few scientists are plant breeders. Just stop for a minute and contemplate what has been done and is being done on food crops by selection and breeding of variants. The 35,000 variants that are available in wheat breeding for Dr. Carl Jensen's program at Cornell to make almost any kind of wheat flour that is needed is but one of these. I believe I have said enough to show that time is a tremendous factor in evolution. What you call various steps in evolution is immaterial and it is easier to say big or little jumps. It is important that you recognize they exist and that you make use of their occurrence or you practice the art of gardening to stimulate their production.

Honolulu, Hawaii


In my first article in the Journal of the Bromeliad Society on seed germination (page 184, September-October, 1975) I mentioned that tillandsia seeds were difficult to germinate by my method of sowing on peat pellets. Vrieseas also did not do well. Now, for these two genera I recommend the following changes in procedure:

First, make sure your seed is fresh.

Second, with a serrated knife cut off a piece of osmunda root that will fill a two-inch plastic pot. Pour a quart or more of boiling water over it. Then lay the seed on top of the osmunda root and pour tap water over it to make it stick closely to the root. Then put the pots in a two-inch high flat or container, cover it with a plastic bag open at one end, and, if possible, lay on top of a heating cable.

I sowed Vriesea retroflexa and Vriesea carinata in this way and got germination of about twenty seedlings for each species in seven days, with no mold to speak of.

Martin Tall, Woodhaven, New York

A New Pitcairnia from Ecuador


PITCAIRNIA COSANGAENSIS Gilmartin sp. nov. A P. sodiroi Mez. cui affinis, foliorum laminis latioribus, petalis longioribus sine ligulis, ovariis inferioribus differt. PLANT 1-2 m tall; LEAVES 40-50 cm long, blades 4.5-5.0 cm wide, serrulate in part, petioles ca. 11-15 cm long by 5-8 mm wide, serrate, sheath castaneous, floccose; SCAPE ca. 8 mm in diameter; SCAPE-BRACTS 5-12 cm long, minutely serrate, imbricate below only, strict; INFLORESCENCE ca. 12 cm long. by 5 cm in diameter, simple, dense, at least slightly ferruginous; FLORAL BRACTS 1.5-3.3 cm long by 8-12 mm wide, triangular, pale; PEDICELS to 3 mm long; SEPALS 3.0-3.5 cm long by 3-4 mm wide, slightly carinate; PETALS ca. 8-10 cm long or more, without nectar scales; OVARY ca. 5 mm long, inferior, distance between flowers 3-7 mm, in flower in December. MATERIAL EXAMINED: Davis 493 (S, TYPE), near Cosanga, across Rio Cosanga footbridge Prov. Napo, Ecuador, ca. 1800 m, 15 December, 1976.


This new species from Ecuador is similar to Pitcairnia sodiroi Mez but the leaf-blades are much wider, petals are longer and do not have nectar scales, and the ovary appears to be more nearly inferior than in the latter species. The figure illustrating the inflorescence, leaf-blade and petiole and a flower was drawn from the above cited herbarium specimen. This is the only specimen known to be collected to date.

Washington State University

The winter of 1978-1979 was one of the coldest experienced by southern Californians in at least three decades. What made the situation so serious for bromeliad growers is that the chill was accompanied by rain. Many heretofore hardy aechmeas.succumbed (A. ramosa and its hybrids) as did many tillandsias. The genus which came out the best was the Vriesea, even tender Belgian hybrids showing no ill effects.

Plant Growth Substances: The Morphactins


Tissue cultures have been used in the propagation of many plants but there is one unfortunate limitation with many bromeliads. The attractive leaf variegations and colorations of many of the most highly prized cultivars are usually not transmitted, since they seem to be chimaeral. A more promising approach for the transmission of these variegations would be the development of treatments to increase the proliferation of offshoots. The cytokinins promote bud proliferation and outgrowth and a number of experimenters are using them with this objective in mind. No conclusive results have been reported but some favorable responses have apparently been obtained.

An alternative method of encouraging bud proliferation and outgrowth is the use of auxin antagonists. Some very encouraging results have been reported with some monopodial orchids and with pineapples, and we suggest trials with the various ornamental bromeliads. The physiological basis for such treatments is that the auxin produced in the terminal growing points of plants is translocated downward and inhibits all buds below. Treatment with auxin antagonists or removal of the terminal bud removes this inhibition. This explains the responses which follow pruning of woody plants.

There are several classes of auxin antagonists, but for the present discussion we shall limit our attention to the morphactins. These compounds are fluorenols, which were discovered and studied by a German chemist. They are distinguished from other auxin antagonists by their ability to cause certain morphological changes and by their unusual chemical structure. They are derivatives of fluorene 9-carboxylic acid and there are three different derivatives, two of them chlorinated and one methylated, in the two different formulations which are now commercially available. One of these marketed as Maintain A is tree wound paint for pruning which is designed to minimize excessive formation of water sprouts. The other formulation Maintain C.F. 125, has the same three different chemicals in a different concentration and without asphalt. The chemicals are made by Merck in West Germany but these two commercial formulations are prepared by the United States Borax and Chemical Corporation which has offices in Los Angeles; Des Plaines, Illinois; Montvale, New Jersey; and Atlanta, Georgia. Wholesale distribution in the U.S.A. is at present through the firms of McKesson and Robbins and also through the laboratory supply company, VWR Scientific, which has branches in most major cities of the country. The major use of Maintain C.F. 125, which has been used in pineapple propagation has apparently been for suppressing the growth of turfgrasses on slopes or other situations where mowing is not very practical. This formulation has also been used to reduce the growth of hedges or trees.

The morphactins cause a loss of tropic responses to light and to gravity in plants. The plant toxicity is low and the dosages which may be used are not at all critical. They inhibit seed germination and have been used to some extent as herbicides for weed control. They antagonize some, but not all gibberellin responses.

Smoothey (1977) reported some promising results in orchid propagation and with pineapples in Queensland, Australia, through the use of Maintain C.F. 125. It was useful in the rapid propagation of a new pineapple introduction. About 20 offshoots were obtained in place of the usual 2 to 4 through application at 200 ppm. The timing of the application was critical and the treatment should be applied 25 to 29 days after flower induction. Forcing the plants aided the timing. Most of the shoots were produced on the fruits which became deformed and inedible. He reported as many as 50 shoots on one plant. Smoothey also cited some Japanese investigations in the tissue culture of tobacco in which growth promotion was obtained by adding Maintain C.F. 125 to the medium at 0.1 and 1.0 ppm along with 2 ppm kinetin.

Miller (1977) recommended treatments with 0.3 per cent chlorflurenol in lanolin rather than using a spray, which he recommended for outdoor use only, since the material is somewhat volatile and could affect untreated nearby plants in a glasshouse.

Miller very wisely pointed out some of the possible health hazards in the careless use of some of the auxin antagonists, including the morphactins. The manufacturers label stresses the usual precautions. Avoid skin contact and do not breathe the fumes. We suggest plastic, or if rubber gloves are used, natural rather than synthetic rubber.

Familiarity does seem to breed contempt and carelessness, after one has had some experience with dangerous agricultural chemicals. I was alarmed recently to observe a friend dipping orchid plants in a water slurry of two broad spectrum fungicides using his bare hands. One of the chemicals in it was probably involved in the recent disability retirement of the head propagator of a large nursery in this vicinity. I read recently that this same chemical will probably be taken off the market soon! Labeling and usage laws for agricultural chemicals are very strict, especially in California, and some chemicals can legally be applied only by licensed pest control operators. However, there are opportunities for serious accidents with some of the materials which can be purchased by the general public. Do be careful!

University of California at Los Angeles


Miller, R. D. 1977. Keiki induction using auxin antagonists. Australian Orchid Review 42: 83-84.

Smoothey. W. R. 1977. Proliferation of orchids. Australian Orchid Review 42: 81-82.

Have You Ever Lost a Bromeliad?


If you have had that experience and if you have the urge to try again, analyze the plant with Fig. 1 and see how your environments fit. List the three environmental requirements for each of the four plant characteristics. Control for each environment will be dictated by the items listed for each.

The first question that might be asked is "How will this help survival?" An answer to this question is facilitated by the actual process of analysis. One example, Tillandsia filifolia, will fit the as shown in Fig. 2. Note the leaf outline 'filiform' (threadlike) requires a high level of air movement and water frequency, and leaf substances requires a high level of sun.

Sun Water
Open rosette M M M
Vase to bulbous M M H

Filiform (threadlight) H M H
Lingulate (strap shape) L M M
Triangular M M M

Papery L M M
Leathery M N M
Succulent M H L

Glabrous (smooth, glossy) L L M
Lepidote (with scales) M M L
Tomentose (wholly) M H L

H — Requires high level
M — Requires medium level
L — Tolerates low level

Fig. 1

As a result of this analysis, Tillandsia filifolia requires a high level of all three environments. To the casual observer this fragile rather delicate plant could not tolerate this high level of conditions.

Analysis of similar types of tillandsias, such as juncea, setacea, and festucoides indicates a requirement for this same high level. The analysis has been proven to be correct in a great number of instances by subjecting plants which have grassy, filiform leaves to high levels of the environments as listed. Without exception they thrive, and when taken from a more benign environment, the improvement in growth is immediate.

Another example, Vriesea carinata fits the chart as shown in Fig. 3. This plant analysis indicates not only that medium levels of all environments are preferred, but more important, low levels of sun and air movement can be tolerated. This last capability makes this plant particularly well suited as a plant for the home.

Other broad leaf vrieseas fit the chart in the same way, and they all prove to be very comfortable in the home without growing leggy even with a low level of light. Other genera can be charted by the reader in a similar manner.

— Palos Verdes, California

Tillandsia filifolia Air
Sun Water
Plant Shape — Open rosette M M M
Leaf Outline — Filiform H M H
Leaf Substance — Leathery M H M
Leaf Surface — Lepidote M M L

Fig. 2

Vriesea carinata Air
Sun Water
Plant Shape — Open rosette M M M
Leaf Outline — Lingulate L M M
Leaf Substance — Papery L M M
Leaf Surface — Glabrous L L M

Fig. 3

On my fourth collecting trip in Ecuador in 1976, about three miles from the Colorado Indian Reservation, altitude I believe about 3500 feet, I spied a number of what looked like variegated bromeliads high in a tree off the road. My driver/guide being an agile climber sensed my excitement and quickly climbed the tree. On various levels of the tree he managed to collect fine beautifully variegated specimens of what I thought were Guzmania rhonhofiana. I waited for an inflorescence to confirm my opinion. The enclosed photo is of the single offset of the plant that bloomed.

Alexander Hirtz, probably the most active collector in Ecuador in the last few years, has told me he has never collected variegated bromeliads in all his travels throughout Ecuador.

Alfred M. Hodes, New Jersey

Hats off to the Bromeliad Society of South Florida who are helping with the nomenclature problem. In order to upgrade bromeliads, it is recommended that at the State Show at the Fairchild Gardens only plants with positive parentage be eligible for any major award.

Beautiful Ecuador — A Plant Collecting Diary


The author with an unknown species.

December 29, 1977 — Took off with Jack Roth and Hal Wiedman on the night flight to Ecuador — destination — Quito, where we are to rendezvous with Alexander Hirtz, a truly remarkable plantsman and person, who has agreed to act as our guide in some of the remote regions of his country.

December 30 — Arrived in Quito at 11:00 A.M. Quito is 2,860 meters above sea level with a population of approximately 600,000 people and is located within 25 klm of the equator. Quito is a unique city in that you are at such a high elevation but are yourself dwarfed by the volcano Pichincha which rises above the city. You have the feeling that you are in a fishbowl of magnificent colors of blue and green velvet. Because of the altitude, we found that we had to move slowly, so rested for the remainder of the afternoon. However, we did rent our transportation for the trip — a 4 wheel drive Nissan Rover. Our accommodations here in Quito are the residencia Santa Clara — very clean and comfortable.

January 1 — We departed for Rio Minda and Nono, just a short trip northwest of Quito. We passed through such unique villages as Cotocallao and Tandayapa. Our first venture into this beautiful country was almost indescribable — such lush vegetation and remarkably beautiful bromeliads and only 70 klm out of Quito. On this day we collected Guzmania superba, variegata, gloriosa (both the yellow and orange forms), Tillandsia incarnata, asplundii, Vriesea capituligera. Mesobromelia lymansmithii, Pitcairnia species, Pseudocatopsis, and epidendrum orchids in brilliant red, orange and magenta. We were out for over 12 hours and covered about 137 klms.

January 2 — Our schedule directed us to an overnight trip to Santa Domingo, which is due west of Quito. We took the newly paved road which winds through a beautiful area, with the ever present Andes surrounding us. We relaxed and enjoyed the drive and photographed several different species of bromeliads. We didn't collect at this time, as we planned to do so on our return trip to Quito via the "old road." That evening we stayed at a most enjoyable hotel called Tina Landia, which is owned and operated by friends of our guide, Alexander Hirtz. This beautiful hotel is situated at an altitude of approximately 2,500 feet and has a tremendous panoramic view of a breathtaking valley and river. There is a magnificently groomed golf course in the middle and upper regions of this property, which is surrounded by a jungle area where every tree is loaded with a great variety of epiphytes. It is also an aviculturist's dream and we saw dozens of kinds of birds, among them several species of Toucans and at least 25 species of nectar fruit-eating smaller birds.

Ecuadorean Countryside

We asked and received permission to collect a few plants in the area adjacent to the golf course. We collected Guzmania scherzeriana, Aechmea leucocarpa, Guzmania superba, and Guzmania patula which was spotted by Hal, and it later turned out that he collected a variegated plant as well. We also spotted a large Zamia lindenii on the road from the Tina Landia Hotel to Esmeraldas. At the extreme portion of Santo Domingo de los Colorados, we collected Aechmea leucocarpa. Tillandsia hamaleana and Tillandsia cornuta. As previously planned, we returned to Quito via the "old road," which was exactly that — a narrow, one-lane old dirt road that was barely traversable. We were indeed fortunate to have a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Of course, one always forgets how poor the roads are and the discomfort one must endure in the excitement of collecting such exquisite plants. On the return trip we collected Pitcairnia nigra, one, if not "the" most beautiful pitcairnias of all. To see it in its natural habitat, growing on a hillside in full color, is an unforgettable sight. We also collected Guzmania patula, G. sanguinea (both the large and small varieties), G. variegata. G. wittmackii, G. gloriosa, and G. xanthobractea — a tremendous plant with enormous yellow bracts. We also found Tillandsia narthecioides and T. triglochinoides, as well as Vriesea gladioliflora and V. cylindrica.

January 4 — Our first day with our guide, Alexander Hirtz. We were taken to a volcanic crater called Pullagloqua by the natives. The only road to this crater was extremely treacherous, being very narrow and full of ditches and holes; without a guide it would have been impossible to traverse. In this crater live a few people in very modest homes who tend to their cattle and sheep that freely roam this lush green pasture. In this beautiful setting we collected Tillandsia fendleri, superba, bicolor, fraseri, ampla, hamaleana, and the ubiquitous complanata.

January 5 — Our second collecting trip with Alexander Hirtz was to Baeza, Puyo, and return to Quito. Baeza is a remote section south east of Quito. It is the last bastion of civilization before entering the primitive jungles of the Oriente. On the roadside we collected Tillandsia complanata, ionochroma, buseri, micrantha, riocreuxii, and tetrantha var. aurantiaca. The accommodations in Baeza were somewhat primitive, but despite sleeping in rooms located over the pig pen and the chicken coop, we fared well. On our second leg of the trip to Puyo, we observed many of the same plants as we had seen on the previous day, but we did see a few exciting new plants: A very beautiful yellow Guzmania diffusa, Guzmania conifera, Tillandsia hirtzii (named after our guide by Dr. Rauh) and a newly discovered streptocalyx. At the lowest elevation, very near Puyo, we collected the beautiful Aechmea zebrina.

A word of caution for others who might be contemplating a trip to Ecuador to collect Aechmea zebrina. Invariably you will find a large tarantula living in this species. We engaged the services of a very young boy to obtain the zebrinas as they were always at the top of a very thin, tall tree. Every zebrina that was tossed down to us contained a very fat tarantula.

The ubiquitous Tillandsia complanata

The return trip to Quito was via Ambata, Latacunga, and on into Quito. Some of the collecting on this portion of the trip was very dangerous, as the roads are carved out of a very steep mountain, and as the vegetation grows along the road it gives you a false feeling that you can walk or climb down this embankment without much difficulty. Not so! You soon realize that once past the vertical tree line there is nothing between you and the bottom of the mountain. We were extremely cautious, to say the least. We collected Aechmea tessmannii, a very rare golden guzmania near Banos and a small tillandsia that looked like a vriesea with a long pendent spike, which we later identified as T. pretiosa. We also obtained seeds of Pitcairnia rubens.

Jack Roth, The Happy Warrior

January 9 — While in Quito we tried to line up a trip with Texaco to airlift us into one of their oil exploration areas — a remote village called Santa Cecilia, located in the jungles of the Oriente. However, the plan aborted. This was unfortunate as this is one of the most spectacular sections of the country with many bromeliads that have not yet been described.

January 10 — Off to Cuenza, 440 klms south of Quito on some very primitive roads. We saw many interesting Indians along the way, some tending to their small flocks of sheep and cattle, some sitting on the edge of the road spinning the raw wool into a spool for selling or trading at the local market. Almost every Indian was dressed in black and avoided eyeball contact with strangers. We spent four days in Cuenza, headquartering at the Hotel Crespo. Our guide was Padre Angel Andreetta and his able assistant Mario. Padre Andreetta is a noted orchidologist who is presently writing a book on the orchids of Ecuador. Mario is a young student at the local university studying agronomy.

The first trip out from Cuenza was to Rio Leon where we collected mostly gray leaved tillandsias. By far the most spectacular was T. tectorum growing on the sides of extremely steep cliffs and ridges. The small tectorum is seen almost everywhere, but the large variety grows only at a very high elevation. The large tectorums grown on wind-swept ground, hanging on for dear life as they are buffeted by very strong winds. They attach themselves to anything that will hold them, mostly low chaparral and cactus plants and are almost always in large clumps which facilitates collecting.

On the last day in Cuenza we headed east for Limon — Indaza. Here we collected one of the most beautiful bromeliads we have ever seen. The discussion continues at the present time as to the proper identity. The plant itself is approximately 12 to 14 inches in diameter and about 16 to 18 inches in height, with the most beautiful violet/purple branch spike that nature could create. Unfortunately, there was only one plant in flower, so we tried, and I hope successfully, to identify juvenile plants in the same location which we brought back with us. The flowering spike is similar to that of Tillandsia wagneriana.

January 16 — Off to Machala, west of Cuenza located on the Gulf of Guayaquil. Approximately 157 klms from Cuenza we collected Zamia lindenii. This cycad proved to be very prolific in this particular region. It is a very large Zamia with beautiful long leaf structure. We collected 8 small plants, as well as some nice large Guzmania gloriosa.

January 17— Headed back toward Quito via Riobamba and Ambato. We collected sparingly on the return trip, as the vehicle was already filled to the top. What a sight we must have been to the many people we passed along the road. If you can imagine a greenhouse on four wheels with three men cramped over with plants in every conceivable corner and on top of you — well, it is no wonder that people's heads turned as we drove by.

It is very difficult for me to summarize this Ecuadorean trip, as the country is so fascinating. It is one of unparalleled beauty and a plant-person's paradise. Unfortunately, Ecuador is going through a very traumatic time with the discovery of oil and the many changes it brings about. There is too much burning and denuding of the beautiful forest and jungles, and the subsequent loss of tremendous quantities of plant life is tragic. We were very fortunate to have made our trip, to have collected some of Ecuador's most beautiful plants, which are making themselves at home in our southern California garden. We brought back thirty large cartons of plants, which were all cleaned before they left Ecuador, so were not fumigated here. We have kept about 95% of them outdoors. Our loss has not been over 20 percent, which is a good number.

Hollywood, California

Ecuadorean Bromeliads

Left — Guzmania wittmackii

Right— Tillandsia pretiosa

Left — Pitcairnia (unknown species)

Right — Vriesea fragrans

Left — Aechmea hoppii

Right — Guzmania bipartita

The Atlanta Bromeliad Society will hold its first annual Georgia Bromeliad Show on July 28 and 29 at Cumberland Mall in Atlanta. Although this society has been in existence since 1972, this will be its first show.

The Sacramento Bromeliad Society will hold its annual show and sale on June 16 and 17 at the Shepart Garden Art Center. The show's theme is "The Beautiful World of Bromeliads."

One of the outstanding cryptanthus to be introduced this season is Cryptanthus "Ruby" — a sport of C. rosea picta, which was imported from Europe by Exotic Bromeliads of Lakeland, Florida. It is in size and shape much like "Pink Starlight", the main difference being the color which is a dark ruby red.

An Interesting Tillandsia flexuosa


Tillandsia flexuosa is a common bromeliad well known to Tillandsia enthusiasts. Being a rather unshowy plant, it is not much prized by collectors.

In May of 1978 I had the opportunity to participate in a turtle-collecting expedition in northeastern Venezuela. While looking for turtles, I kept an eye out for plants that might have been worthwhile introductions to my collection. I was not too enthusiastic, for this region is quite arid and the flora is not very diverse. (Many Ceruis spp. and an unbelievable number of Bromelia humilis.)

One afternoon while exploring a large limestone embankment on the coast east of Chichirivichi, I came upon a mass of T. flexuosa. I was about to dismiss them as uninteresting, when something unusual caught my eye. These plants appeared to be stoloniferous. Upon closer inspection I realized that each inflorescence had about three plantlets forming at the base of the scape. By the time the flowers on a developing scape had begun to open, the scape-produced plantlets beneath them had attained a size of approximately 5 cm in diameter. The plantlets would remain on the inflorescence, flower, and in turn produce more plantlets giving a stoloniferous effect.

I collected a number of plantlets and also a few seedlings that I gathered nearby.

T. .flexuosa occurs in Florida, the West Indies, Central America, and South America. It is known to have several forms. But to date as far as I know this "viviparous" form is found only in Venezuela (pers. ob.) and Panama (pers. comm. Nat De Leon).

"Vivipary" is not uncommon in the plant kingdom. In the Filiceales, Diplazum proliferium occasionally produces plantlets at the base of the pinnae. Kalanchoe of the Crassulaceae forms plantlets on mature leaves. The family Araceae has in it an unidentified species of epiphytic Anthurium that produces plantlets on its roots (pers. comm. Monroe Birdsey).

Sporadic production of plantlets is caused by a distortion or destruction of the hormonal balance in the structure (i.e. scape, leaf, etc.) where "vivipary" occurs (Weber 1977). However, in the presently considered T. flexuosa, a mutation has taken place, a change in a gene in somatic tissue which can be asexually propagated.

I do not believe that seedlings will perpetuate this trait, for this mutant occurred in a very confined area. Maturation of seedlings that I collected will prove or disprove this speculation.

I feel that consistent proliferation of new plants from the developing scape of the progeny of this T. flexuosa qualifies it to be considered a distinct variant. I propose that this variant be named T. flexuosa variety vivipara.

Miami, Florida

Note From Brazil


Tillandsia sucreii (E. Pereira)

This interesting and gracious tillandsia has been found only on certain hills in the midst of the city of Rio de Janeiro. It was originally discovered by the botanist Dimitri Sucre on Pavao hill close to the Rodrigo de Freitas Lake. Later, we found it on other hills not too far from the sea. It is usually found growing on steep rocks of difficult access at heights between 100 and 500 m. Sometimes it shows up in mixed formations, such as with Tillandsia brachyphylla and T. pulchella var. saxicola.

T. sucreii is a rather small (about 9 cm in length) plant with silvery leaves and a rose colored inflorescence 9 to 11 cm in length.

Eric Rogers Knobloch


It was with a sense of deep personal loss that we learned of the death in January of one of our most esteemed members — Eric Knobloch. Whenever most of us thought of the state of Louisiana, we thought of him, his charming old plantation home, his boundless enthusiasm for all beautiful things, and his great love of bromeliads.

With the artist Morris Henry Hobbs, he founded the first affiliate after the formation of the Society, the two men pointing the way for all future affiliated groups to follow.

He also served on the Board of Directors until failing health prevented his being active. But his gentle, unselfish nature did much to promote a genuine interest in these plants in his home state.

Mr. Knobloch was known throughout the South for his work as a preservationist, beginning with his first restoration in the Vieux Carre with his wife in 1935. He purchased his home, the Mary Plantation House, in 1946 on the eve of its scheduled destruction. This 300-year-old house, set amid a dream-like garden filled with 400-year-old oaks and beautiful palms, ferns, bromeliads, and other exotics, was always open to those interested in gardening and the growing of bromeliads. In 1974 he was honored by the Louisiana State Federation of garden Clubs for his work as conservationist and botanist.

All of us who knew Eric Knobloch over the years will miss his whimsical humor, kindness, joie de vivre, and incredible intellectual capacity. His wife, Marguerite, will continue to live at Mary Plantation.

Two New Hybrids

Cryptbergia Χ Goodale

This hybrid was made by Grace M. Goode of Australia, who crossed Cryptanthus 'It' with Χ Cryptbergia rubra. The cross was made in 1976 and flowered in 1978. W. W. G. Moir, who grew on some of the seeds, writes of the plant as follows: "It has 35 leaves of coppery bronze color underlaid with green. The longest leaves are about 35-38 cm. long and 3 cm. wide at the middle with sharp toothed edge. It has made a terminal head of about 20 flowers that come out one to three on some days and then skip a few days. The flowers are about 2.5 cm across with 3 petals edged in deep blue and the midrib and center of flower is greenish yellow. The plant is very showy and shines. There is very little resemblance to either parent except that it has a vigorous cryptanthus growth, standing much higher and bolder than a cryptanthus and more vigorous than the Χ Cryptbergia Rubra. It is a very worthwhile addition."

Aechmea Χ Patriot

This hybrid was made by Glenna Simmons of Mt. Dora, Florida, in 1971, using Aechmea distichantha schlumbergeri as the seed parent and A. cylindrata micrantha as the pollen parent. It first bloomed in 1978.

It is a hardy plant, withstanding winters below 25°. It is an open rosette, two feet tall by two feet wide, and is a fast multiplier. The leaves are a medium green with faint grey horizontal lines on the back, and some grey dusting on the front. They average 20 inches in length and 2½ inches in width. The inflorescence rises almost two feet. The bloom lasts about a month, but the inflorescence turns an attractive red that lasts for some time.

An Inexpensive Propagator for Germinating Difficult Seeds


Since I have been fairly successful in germinating seeds of thirty or more kinds of bromeliads, perhaps it would be helpful to others to describe my present system of germination of difficult seeds, e.g., those of fuchsias, double petunias, cacti, and bromeliads. Don't be surprised at my inclusion of cacti; I have just grown successfully seeds of Ferocactus, Mammillaria, Epiphyllum, etc.

As in my previous articles, I recommend peat pellets as the seed mix. Also useful are the various mixes of peat and perlite for sale by seed companies. These contain no earth.

I use one and three-quarter-inch square plastic pots to protect the peat pellets. Then I put twelve of these pots in the bottom of a plastic bread box, about 14 inches long, 2½ inches high, and 4½ inches wide. This is covered by one (or two) plastic grocery bags, leaving the ends open.

Underneath this are two pieces of quarter-inch three-ply plywood, cut to fit the bread box. Tack a three-foot heating cable, with self-contained thermostat to the bottom piece of wood with insulated staples, being careful not to pierce the insulation.

Be sure not to let the two heating wires touch each other at any point. Keep the propagator one or two feet away from the window and under fluorescent tubes, it you have them.

With this apparatus and lots of tender loving care, you should be able to germinate most genera of Bromeliaceae.

Woodhave, New York

The Bromeliad Identification Center at the Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida, is now open to receive bromeliads for identification. See Issue No. 2 of this year for details.

Keeping Ants & Other Crawling Insects at Bay


Where there are mealy bugs, scale or aphids, one usually will find ants harvesting their sugary secretions. Although I have never actually seen an ant carrying any of these pests from one location to another, this circumstantial evidence leads me to believe that ants are at least partially responsible for the establishment of new areas of infestation by these pests. Tillandsias, having a reputation for their dislike of most commercially available insecticides, make it a difficult task to eradicate infestations. There are several different forms of mealy bug; some attack the roots of most bromeliads which are grown in pots under predominantly dry conditions, while others attack the tender leaves of seedlings and the leaf axils of most tillandsias with bulbous leaf bases which offer protection from the sun and predators.

This is certainly a case where prevention of infestation is better than cure. One solution to this problem lies in the fact that most crawling insects (including the juvenile stage of insect scale) do not like to walk on water. To isolate hanging plants I have suspended the rail upon which these are hung, to the ceiling by wire supports which pass through moats of water. Each of these supports are made of a single length of wire bent to form a hook at the top end, a loop at the bottom and ending midway as a circular 'table' which supports the moat containing water. A guide to the construction of these supports is given below (see also figure 2).

1) On a 46cm length of 3mm gauge wire mark off the following lengths using a felt pen with all measurements taken from one end of the wire which we shall refer to as 0. : 4cm, 21cm. 28cm. 30cm.

2) At the 21cm mark bend a loop with the aid of a dowel and vice. Upon closing this loop, twist the two ends together into a spiral up to the 28cm mark.

3) At the 28cm mark bend the remaining 18cm of wire out to 90 degrees to the rest.

4) At the 30cm mark bend the remaining wire back in a circular path so as to surround the other structures thereby forming the circular 'table' upon which the water moat will rest.

5) File a tapered point onto the end marked 0.

6) Using a heated l mm gauge wire, melt an undersized hole through the center of a plastic cap taken from a spray can.

7) Soften the plastic cap in hot water and then place it on the bench with the open end down. Now force the tapered end of the wire through this hole and pull the cap all the way down the wire till it seats onto the circular 'table'. If this procedure is done correctly, it should not leak water.

8) Bend the wire at the 4cm mark so as to form a hook.

9) Paint the wire to prevent corrosion. The support is now ready to be hooked to the ceiling, to have a rail tied to the loop and to be filled with water.

The isolation pot grown plants is simply achieved by placing the legs of a free standing bench into wide dishes which are filled with water. On a smaller scale, the individual potted plant can be placed on the top of an inverted clay or plastic pot which is standing partially submerged in the middle of a wide, water filled dish. If this method is used in a glasshouse, the use of unglazed clay pots as the partially submerged support results in raising the surrounding air humidity since these act as water wicks.

New South Wales. Australia

Mulford Foster Memorial Fund

Contributions are still being received for this fund which was set up to help defray the expenses of the Mulford Foster Bromeliad Identification Center at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. The response on the part of the affiliates has been most gratifying. The newly formed Jacksonville Bromeliad Society raised the money through a plant auction, sending 50 percent of the proceeds, and they plan to do this each year. Also, the Hawaii Bromeliad Society raised over $250 through a plant and bric-brac auction, which they were pleased to contribute to the Identification Center. It is a painless way to contribute to the fund, and as Brian Hepton, the president of the Hawaii Bromeliad Society, wrote "It made for a very enjoyable meeting with the result that all went home with a new bromeliad and yet we are still able to send you a donation." If bromeliad societies held plant sales each year and contributed all or part of the proceeds, it would well insure the existence of the Identification Center.

Checks may be mailed to the Mulford B. Foster Memorial Fund, 846 North Irma, Orlando, Florida 32803.

Contributions for January and February

Mr. & Mrs. W.E. Radford, Orlando
Althea Van Hyning, Maitland
Bromeliad Society of South Florida, Miami
Jacksonville Bromeliad Society
Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Loerke
Mr. & Mrs. Martin Wittbold

Mr. & Mrs. Spencer R. Stein, Cincinnati

Corpus Christi Bromeliad Society
Greater Dallas Ft. Worth Bromeliad So.
Muriel Foster DeDeo

New York Bromeliad Society, Inc., Staten Island

Bromeliad Society of San Francisco, Inc.

Mr. & Mrs. Eric Knobloch, Braithwaite
Shreveport Regional Bromeliad Society

Bruce B. Foster, Philadelphia
Dr. & Mrs. Russell Seibert

Indianapolis Bromeliad Society

Rosena Whitlock
Mr. & Mrs. James Dunn

Hawaii Bromeliad Society

South Eastern Bromeliad Society, Inc.

Pitcairnia & Other Molluscs


While reading through the Nomenclator Zoologicus recently, which lists all generic names in the animal kingdom, I came across a number of names common to both botany and zoology. Duplications occur fairly often, especially for names ending in -ia or -phyllum. This does not affect the stability of names though, since botanical nomenclature is expressly independent of zoological nomenclature, or vice versa if you are a zoologist. With a copy of the Bromeliad Glossary, published by this society, I found a number of names to be in common.

As the title of this article suggests, Pitcairnia is not just a terrestrial bromeliad but also a mollusc. Keeping it in good company are the genera Brocchinia and Canistrum, which also are molluscs. Similarly, Fascicularia is not the exclusive property of photosynthetic freaks but is shared by a coral.

These were the only bromelaceous names to be exactly duplicated, insofar as I could determine. In the close-but-not-quite category are two molluscs. Andraea and Navea, which come within a hair's breadth of Andrea and Navia. Likewise Aechmia (butterfly) and Nidularia (protozoan) approach but do not meet Aechmea and Nidularium.

It is rather unlikely that any confusion will come of all this, unless one is doing a literature search on these genera by referring to various indexes. In native habitat, Pitcairnia (the shelled one) is not likely to be found next to Pitcairnia (the green one). Fascicularia, being a marine underwater organism, is in no danger of being confused with Fascicularia of terrestrial Chile.

Calgary, Canada

Those who read German and those interested in tillandsias will find the key of the species Tillandsia — grouped according to color of the flowers most helpful. It was done by A. H. Lehmann, collaborator of Prof. Rauh, University of Heidelberg. It can be purchased from the German Bromeliad Society for $4.00. Address Kurt Krauer, Siesmayerstrasse 61, D-6000 Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

All Things Considered

The year 1979 promises to be one of accomplishment for the Society. January saw the opening of the Bromeliad Identification Center at the Selby Botanical Gardens, and later in the spring the Society became the International Headquarters for the registration of bromeliad hybrids. In this connection a list of all the known bromeliad hybrids to 1979 is being printed.

In the fall will appear a booklet on judging prepared by Mrs. Valerie Steckler of Louisiana. Watch further issues of the Journal for the date of its issuance. A Bromeliad Conservation Committee has also been formed — its purpose being the preservation of the endangered species.

In Florida work is going on for the World Conference to be held in Orlando in May, 1980. It is being hosted by the Bromeliad Society of Central Florida, but the other affiliates in that state are also lending a hand. A new group is being formed in the north Florida area to be known as The Jacksonville Bromeliad Society, Kay Carter, president. The meetings are held the first Friday evening of each month at the Landon High School in Jacksonville. The Second Florida International Bromeliad Show will be held at the Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Coral Gables on May 19 and 20. The show is sponsored by the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies and the Bromeliad Society of South Florida.

Texas is certainly having its share of shows — each affiliate putting on a display. The 1979 Southwest Bromeliad Guild Show and Sale will be held on May 26 and 27 at the Dallas Civic Garden Center at Fair Park. The theme is "Bromeliads in Pompeii — Why Not!" This event is being staged by the Greater Dallas/Fort Worth Bromeliad Society.

In the far West, each of the affiliates appears to be doing its thing in the way of shows. The biggest event, planned in connection with the annual meeting of the Board of Directors, will be held on June 9 and 10 in Palos Verdes. The show is being staged by the Bromeliad Council of Southern California.

The Bromeliad Society of Hawaii, which received its charter from Mrs. O'Reilly, the Affiliate Chairman, last November, boasts of a membership of over one hundred — a good number for a beginning group. Plans are under way for the formation of another affiliate in the big island of Hawaii.

The newest group to be formed in California is the Northern California Bromeliad Study Group. It hopes to draw its members from the towns to the north and east of San Francisco.

For The Connoisseur

Guzmania weberbaueri Mez

Ecuador is the home of many glorious guzmanias, a number of which have been grown successfully under cultivation — melinonis, saguinea, wittmackii, gloriosa, lingulata, eduardii being several seen in collections.

The plant illustrated here, although of great beauty and procurable in the more discriminating nurseries, is not a common greenhouse item. Like many of the more brilliant guzmanias seen throughout Ecuador, this is a "stout" plant — when in flower measuring over three feet in height, with green leaves of equal length and 2½ inches wide. Thus, it is really too large for the average greenhouse.

It is to be found growing as an epiphyte and as a terrestrial in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru at elevations ranging from 3,000 to 6,000 feet. Although guzmanias definitely have been greenhouse subjects in southern California, Jack Roth is growing a number of those which he collected at higher elevations outdoors in his Hollywood garden.

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