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.


W. W. G. Moir — Reigning Guru of the Bromeliad Cult
  John A. Stevens243
Some Quirks of Cork Bark251
A Fool-Proof Method of Labeling Neoregelia Crosses
  Joseph F. Carrone. Jr.252
Growing Neoregelias in Australia
  Grace M. Goode256
Unusual Leaves
  Edgar L. Smith258
Tillandsia schatzlii
  Werner Rauh260
Plant Growth Substances — More on Triacontanol
  Vernon Stoutemyer262
Fernseea itatiaiae
  Luiz Carlos Gurken264
Bromeliads of Barbados
  Debra Fisher267
News of the Affiliates271
Neoregelia kautskyi — A New Attractive Species
  Ervin Wurthmann272
Question on Darwinism Article
  W. W. G. Moir274
Bromelia balansae288
PICTURE ON THE COVER — Neoregelia pendula. Photo by Werner Rauh. Heidelberg.


W.W.G. Moir — Reigning Guru of the Bromeliad Cult


Goodale and May Moir in their Garden.

My visit to Goodale and May Moir's house and garden was inspired by curiosity as to what made the man "tick", as well as admiration for, one, his tremendous achievements in orchid breeding, and, two, his skillful writing about orchids and bromeliads. And when at last I found myself again in Honolulu, nothing seemed more important than a visit to a personage who seemed now to be the reigning guru of bromeliads, now that Mulford Foster and David Barry were gone. Goodale Moir has consented to my writing about the memorable visit to Moir bromeliad garden in Dowsett Highlands, Honolulu.

Articles in the Journal of the Bromeliad Society, signed cryptically "W. W. G. Moir" have one recurrent theme: That micro- (as well as macro-) climatic variations are capable of inducing mutations (e.g., in color patterns) in a given species.

Over twenty years ago I saw W. W. G. Moir at Fantastic Gardens in Miami, while he was visiting the then owners, the Robert G. Wilsons. I was employed there as a salesman. Mr. Moir's smooth round face looked almost orientally inscrutable as he passed down the aisles of the greenhouses, probably making mental notes of the many rare plants that the Wilsons were growing, and whether they were thriving or languishing.

During a visit to the Moirs' residence and garden in a suburb of Honolulu in July, 1978, I learned what the typically British trinomial initials represented, namely, William Whitmore Goodale. And that the sterling Scottish name, Moir, is pronounced Moy'-er.

Goodale (as he is known to close friends) has had several hundred articles published on orchids and their hybridizing, starting with Dendrobiums, Vandas, Phalaenopsids, Cattleyas, Epidendrums, the Laelinae Tribe, and recently, the Oncidieae. Research and collecting trips for the last-named tribe have taken Goodale to Jamaica and the Caribbean on numerous occasions. His seemingly endless hybridization of the miniature Oncidiums has been duly recorded in the list of New Orchid Hybrids published regularly by The Orchid Review.

But for the purposes of this article, let it be known that Goodale has devoted more and more time in recent years to growing bromeliads, and writing about them, and has possibly twenty-five or more articles in print on bromeliads, most of them appearing in the Journal of the Bromeliad Society. Goodale's style has always intrigued me: forceful, concise, sometimes a trifle opinionated.

Goodale and his wife, May Neal Moir, of small stature like himself, have lived in their comfortable home at 3311 Kahawalu Drive, Honolulu, since 1930. Goodale in that year engaged a contractor who usually built theaters (but theater construction was in a slump then) to build the Moir residence of hollow tile for $10,500. Goodale had picked up the 14,000 square foot lot at a tax sale for $3,500.

To reach the Moir residence I hired a taxi at the Waikiki Beach hotel where I was staying (after phoning to be sure the Moirs were home). The driver headed up the Pali Highway to Nuuanu Pali Drive (as I remember), continuing on the latter to Ala Kimo Drive, and then turning right at that intersection. But before that, the driver lost his way several times, and stopped more than once to inquire of pedestrians, in order to boost the meter reading to $9.00 by the time he pulled into the garage driveway of the Moir residence. I gave him a ten-dollar bill and told him to keep the change.

A single clump of nidularium brightens the doorway.

At the conclusion of my visit, Goodale told me about the city bus stop about two blocks away. The cost of the bus trip back to Waikiki Beach was less than a dollar. Two bus transfers downtown were involved, however.

The Moir residence is located in the Dowsett Highlands in the Nuuanu Valley, a couple of miles below the Pali, the scenic pass that is rich in Hawaiian legend and history, and that is often shrouded in a chill mist (actually low clouds) just as the busloads of tourists from the mainland arrive to thankfully stretch their legs, and hopefully to enjoy the superb view.

Normal rainfall in the Dowsett Highlands, 750 feet about sea level, is a lavish 125 inches annually, but there have been periods of severe drought in recent years. The rain occurs in three wet periods: November to February, March to June, and July to September. There is less rainfall in February, June, September, and October. A crazy pattern, perhaps, but it is the total that is meaningful for the luxuriant plant life that is everywhere evident in the Dowsett Highlands.

In a letter Goodale noted that if one wants to grow bromels well in the out-of-doors, he should arrange to be born and raised in a tropical climate that has well-distributed, generous rainfall. The thin-leaved kinds, including the wet tillandsias, revel in the rain-forest conditions prevailing in the Moir garden most of the year. On the other hand, the dry tillandsias and similar kinds grow successfully only high on trees or fern logs or on vines and Dracaena plants.

The walled-in garden provides protection from the wind whistling down through the Pali and also a comforting privacy for the Moirs. It is not surprising that this high above the city, winter night temperatures sometimes dip to a chill 48°F. (but rise to an agreeable 70°F. during the day). The Moirs have a large fireplace in their high-ceilinged, wood-beamed living room to ward off the winter chill. In summer 70°F. nights are followed by day temperatures as high as 90°F.

One thinks of Hawaiian Island weather as nearly perfect, but it has undergone cyclic patterns that are less than perfect. Old-timers like the Moirs say that weather seventy years ago was far more windy and rainy in the winter months. Recent winters of lessened wind were characterized by drought conditions. The stormy winter of 1978-79 completed the cycle with the return of the wind and rain that old-timers remembered.

During that sunny and warm day in July as we sat in the Moir's comfortably furnished living room, gazing out the large picture window at the colorful masses of bromeliads just outside, Goodale talked about, in addition to bromeliads, such diverse subjects as the preserved flowers fashioned by Dr. James Harper, the insights gleaned from the book, Lives of a Cell, by Lewis Thomas, and the magazine Atlas from New York.

Both of the Moirs are inveterate readers. Neither radio nor TV disturbs the library-like stillness of their abode. Goodale said the only radio they possess is the radio in May's car.

The Moir garden is not a large garden. As the original bromeliads have multiplied and formed clumps, the Moirs have left them relatively untouched. Goodale, a small man, now in his early eighties, said that maintaining the bromel garden is more and more of a chore because the plants multiply faster than rabbits in the nearly-ideal Hawaiian climate. From a letter: "They seem to push each other around, but do hold each other up and this saves having to prop them up. At least that is one benefit of crowding."

A Place to Meditate.

Goodale and May have lived at 3311 Kahawalu Drive for forty-eight years but the walled-in garden is only thirty years old. For fifteen years of that time the entire area was occupied by orchids in landscape beds. Then bromeliads were started at the urging of Mulford Foster and David Barry. But Goodale made it clear that he and May have grown and loved bromeliads "since they could walk," and that since both "are island-born" familiarity with bromeliads that are the islands' mainstay (pineapples) goes without saying. In fact, Goodale Moir's long years of gainful employment were spent with "Amfax", Honolulu-based factors in the international sugar and pineapple markets.

The Moirs found, as have so many orchid lovers, that bromels were infinitely less demanding in their requirements than orchids. They required less spraying with chemicals, less attention to niceties of temperature, potting medium, nutrients, light, and drafts. Drainage, however, was an important factor with both orchids and bromeliads, and when the Moirs worked over what were formerly orchid-growing beds of tree fern, rocks, and gravel, all well-drained media, and planted bromeliads, the latter naturally took over with a vengeance.

From correspondence: "As trees grew too big we trimmed them back and used the tallest fern logs and Dracaena plants to grow dry bromels on as this was the only way to keep them alive. The whole area was maneuvered into many microclimates to grow them the best we knew how from having seen them in the wild. There were repeats of a single species in many microclimates to make different-looking species out of them and to bring on mutations and variants. The beauty of keeping the small neoregelias all together in a big display was an early project."

Among Goodale's continuing projects is the re-arranging of plants in the garden to bring all the mutants of a single species close together, in order to show visitors the effects of natural mutation. Much of the Moirs' material came to them as seed. Working with and selecting the different seedling variants have been a labor of love for the Moirs.

The views from the inside of the house (and in particular through the large picture window in the living room) influenced in large measure the decisions on placement of the plants outside.

The small forested area to the windward side provided a windbreak and shade for the shade-loving species.

In the midst of massed displays, tree fern logs higher than the others were placed, and planted with highly-colored or variegated plants, creating living jewels in raised settings.

Goodale believes that in the long run it is the massed planting of a given species or hybrid that makes the greatest impression on visitors.

The Moirs' garden is distinctly their own, and no other designer had a hand in it. Each season presents a distinctly different aspect, as foliar color changes and inflorescences appear, hold the stage for a period of time, and then fade.

The Moirs have about 140 species of bromeliads that they know, a "great number" they do not know, 75 to 100 hybrids, and six to seven inter-generics. To list them here would be tedious. The total number of plants runs into the thousands, because ordinarily the Moirs permit their plants to multiply in situ almost ad infinitum, thus forming mammoth clumps. The plant population is continually changing as the Moirs cull out particularly "vicious-leaved" kinds and large masses of others that were about to "take over" the garden. Botanical gardens and bromel fans in the Islands have eagerly accepted the Moirs' surplus and unwanted plants, and have brought new ones in exchange.

In addition, the Moirs are growing from seed sent by mail novelty bigenerics, such as × Cryptbergia 'Goodale', hybridized by Grace Goode of Queensland, Australia. Luis Ariza Julia of the Dominican Republic has sent seeds of his giant bigeneric Portemea and large Aechmea hybrids.

Doorway Planting

Tillandsia cyanea used as clumps.

The Moirs use Spectracide at half-strength if mosquitoes are bad and visitors are expected, and for scale insects protected from the weather on plants under the broad eaves of the house. Out in the open the hard rains keep the pests under control. Chameleons have invaded the garden from outside, and have done their part in decimating unwanted insects. However, the bul-bul birds have entered the scenario, threatening the chameleon population and even the Moirs' cats.

Cannibal snails control the herbivorous snails and slugs in the garden, but when these are scarce, invade the large ceramic jars in the garden where the water lilies and lotus are grown, to prey upon the aquatic snails found there.

In March the Lyon Arboretum of the University of Hawaii sent a truck to the Moir garden to pick up a load of bromeliads. Mrs. Moir lost no time in filling in the vacant areas with new acquisitions. Only by wholesale removal of plants, as in this instance, are the Moirs able to add other plants.

Many of the guzmanias, tillandsias, and vrieseas produce an abundance of seeds that germinate all over the garden. The thrifty seedlings make fine material to give away to visitors.


To visitors from the U.S. Mainland, the Hawaiian Islands are the fulfillment of their notion of Paradise on earth. The natural beauty of the Islands indeed staggers the senses. In this unsurpassed setting the Moir garden is a microcosm of the verdant beauty around it. The fact that bromeliads are the dominant plant family in the garden only heightens the pleasure of bromeliad lovers who visit it.

Miami, Florida

Some Quirks of Cork Bark

Cork is produced in only seven Mediterranean countries spread over about 1,000 miles: the south of France, Spain, Portugal, Algeria, Corsica, and Sardinia, with Spain being the largest producer.

Cork consists of myriads of 14-sided cells, each of which encapsulates a miniscule amount of air. In one cubic inch of cork there are 200 million of these cells, 50 per cent of which are air.

This particular cellular construction makes cork lightweight, buoyant, resistant to moisture, and impervious to such things as alcohol, sugar, acids, and salts. Cork is compressible, resilient, and chemically inert. Because of these qualities, it makes an excellent mounting medium.

It takes almost a quarter of a century to grow the cork-oak tree (Quercus saber, L) to a point where it can yield its first commercially useful bark. The tree then requires a nine year period to regenerate before it can be stripped again.

Patricia G. Hughes, Palos Verdes, California

A Fool-Proof Method of Labeling Neoregelia Crosses


Many bromeliad enthusiasts I have spoken with attach little importance to record keeping; others, and I am one of these, feel that records are essential and indispensable to progress. Without records in permanent form, evidence, knowledge and information could hardly be passed on from generation to generation without much of value being lost. Except in a very few instances where I have used as a parent a hybrid made by someone else, my records can reveal the genealogy of my hybrids all the way back to the species — or, at least, back to plants that were collected in the wild, whether they are species or otherwise. With such records, it is possible to repeat any crosses that have turned out to be exceptional.

Well, record keeping has its beginning in an appropriate method of labeling the flowers of an inflorescence at the time of pollination. In those bromeliads whose inflorescences are in the arrangement of a raceme, a spike, a panicle, or the like, where a tag of some kind can be hung onto or over the individual flowers as they are pollinated, a tagging method presents itself with little effort. However, among those genera such as Neoregelia, Nidularium, Canistrum, etc., whose inflorescences are arranged in a many-flowered, compactly-clustered group or head, conventional labeling methods are of little or no value. I would venture to guess that the reason there are so many neoregelia hybrids in existence today whose parentage is unknown stems from the fact that a suitable method of tagging such inflorescences may not have occurred to any of the various hybridizers as they began to work with this genus. This is not to be construed as a criticism of them or of their work, I feel, as I have said, that a method of tagging simply may not have occurred to them. Therefore, they had no way of identifying the crosses they made. But, perhaps as some say, they were satisfied not to be concerned about tagging — I hope not!

Well, for the most part, my work has been confined to the genus Neoregelia, and when I began to hybridize with this genus back in the 1960's, I felt that tagging was imperative if I was going to conduct a comprehensive breeding program, not just to produce and register acceptable new Neo. hybrids, but also to learn, record and pass on to all future hybridizers the knowledge that I gained. Heretofore, those hybridizers who were meticulous about keeping records of the crosses they would make, were limited by the small number of crosses — one, and in some cases, two — that they could put on a single plant, unless they become confused for lack of proper tagging of the individual flowers. When many different crosses were desired from any single, superior plant, much time was necessarily involved in building up the number of ramets, or vegetative propagations, of that clone. There was no easy way to differentiate among the many berries in a cup, which flowers had been pollinated by which pollen parent. There was no fool-proof method of tagging the individual blooms as they were pollinated.

Well, I have developed a fine method of tagging neoregelias, and it is absolutely fool-proof. In fact, it is now being used successfully throughout the bromeliad world by all those with whom I have shared it. Basically, it involves a small, wedge-shaped, plastic tag which may be cut from a plastic pot label. I use labels that are 6 inches long and 1¼ inch wide. From each large label I cut twenty or so of the small, wedge-shaped tags to measure 1¼ inch long by ¼ inch wide at the top, tapering to 1/8 inch or less at the bottom. Several hundreds are cut at a time and stored in a small, screw-top jar for use as I need them.

To understand why these tags are so important, as well as how they work, perhaps it would be best if I start where I approach a flower to pollinate it. The three petals of a neoregelia flower are forcibly spread apart to gain access to the pistil. The three stamens that are attached to the lower part of the petals will usually follow. The remaining three stamens that are attached to the top of the ovary will have to be spread or removed, also. Otherwise, they could possibly rub against the stigma and leave some of their pollen on it. This pollen could prevent proper contact of the foreign pollen that you want to apply to the stigma. I might add at this point that, with only very few exceptions, all neoregelia plants are self-sterile. This means that pollen from any given plant is incapable of setting seed on that same plant or on any ramet of it. However, pollen from any Neo. may be and usually is capable of setting seed on any other neoregelia plant. (There are exceptions for various reasons, but they have no point in this present article.)

When pollination of a flower is accomplished, the narrow end of one of the wedge-shaped tags is inserted into the flower alongside the style, until it gently touches the apex of the ovary. A very light tap on the top of the tag will set it in place. Be careful not to pierce the ovary! Of course, you have noted all relevant data on the tag before it was inserted into the flower. The name of the pollen parent, either abbreviated or coded if it is lengthy, is essential. You may desire to record the date. The name of the seed parent on this tag is optional and depends on your procedure when removing the ripe berries from the cup a month or more later. Surely, this is a small tag, but all of this information can be put on it if you use a sharp pencil and write small.

You may want to know just what holds these tags in place until the seed is ripe. Well, this is what must be done by you: After pollination, the stamens and petals are brought back to an upright position again with the instrument you used as a pollinating tool. Now, be sure that the sepals too are returned to their proper position because they play a most-important role later. This will hold the tag in position for the time being. Now proceed in a like manner with the other flowers that are open. Be sure that you insert a tag into each flower as you finish pollinating it. You may use as many different pollen parents as you have flowers open that day, but be sure to tag each flower with the name of the appropriate pollen parent used. NEVER USE MORE THAN ONE POLLEN SOURCE ON ONE STIGMA!

By mid or late afternoon, the petals of each flower will have begun to fold inwardly or twist somewhat around the little plastic tag. By another day, they will have dried, sticking to the tag and holding it firmly in place. And, if this were not enough already to secure the tag, the sepals. too. will tend to close together as the ovary becomes plump due to the fact that they are hinged at the apex of the ovary. The more the ovary expands, the tighter the sepals grip the tag. Many times I have inverted a plant to remove all water from within the tank of a Neo. without losing any of the tags therein.

By the way, before I commence pollinating, I make sure that the water in the cup is emptied, the cup well cleaned, and the inner leaves and bracts shortened if they can injure me while I pollinate. A small amount of water is allowed in the cup so that it barely covers the broad base of the flower head. Thereby, throughout the blooming period, the sepals and petals are always above the water level in the cup. The petals can dry against the tags. They do not become putrid because they are never under water.

On maturity, and with a pair of tweezers, the berries are removed individually so that no tags become knocked over by my fingers. Then the berries are sorted into little piles as per the pollen parent indicated on the little tags. At this point a large pot label is prepared with the information from the small tags, the berries are processed to gather the seeds, and the small tags are discarded. They have served their purpose very well. It is wise to harvest berries from only one plant at a time, particularly if the name of the seed-bearing plant is not recorded on the little tags at the time of pollination.

With the use of my method of tagging neoregelia blooms, there is no longer any reason, nor any excuse, for the proliferation of new hybrids of unknown parentage! Surely, it can make registration of all new neoregelia hybrids a much less-complicated matter; it can put an end to further confusion in this genus where hybrids are concerned. I hope everyone will take the time and trouble (?) to use it.

Metarie, Louisiana

Growing Neoregelias in Australia


Of all the genera, the neoregelia is the most popular in Australia. New growers refer to them as "those plants with the brightly colored hearts." Neoregelias grow uniformly well from the tropics of North Queensland to the cold of Victoria.

Here, at Alexandra Headlands, Queensland, Australia, fifty feet above sea level and only two hundred yards from the Pacific Ocean, the neoregelias grow very well under the shade of trees. The temperature rarely falls below 50 degrees in the winter. We get high humidity in the summer which most of the bromeliads love — especially neoregelias. On the other hand, the tillandsias from the cool cloud forest will not grow here.

I grow my neoregelias in pine bark, banked up to three or more feet, forming ridges, which set them off to their best advantage. The valleys between the ridges are the pathways. Most of the 237 neoregelias that I have flowering now, (it is the middle of our summer) are hybrids from my own crosses. From seed to maturity takes about two years, if given the right conditions. The neoregelias blooming now are from 1976 seed, and when they are past their prime and offsetting will be transplanted to the "maternity" bed and their places in the main display beds will be taken by the 1977 seedlings. These latter are now in five-inch pots and by next June or July will be large enough to plant into the pine bark, minus their plastic pots. I place small rocks around their bases to give them stability until their roots have penetrated the pine bark. Weeds do not grow in pine bark, and the plants require very little water, as the pine bark stays damp for weeks after a rain storm, only the top inch or so drying out in a dry spell. Given the right conditions and occasional rain showers, bromeliads are the easiest of all plants to grow. In my opinion, garden enthusiasts who do not know about bromeliads, and neoregelias in particular, are deprived persons!

A view of Mrs. Goode's garden.

Neoregelia × Charm — a recent hybrid made by Mrs. Goode.

Unusual Leaves


In the March-April, 1979 issue of the Journal (Vol. XXIX No. 2), Wilhelm Weber has an interesting article about abnormal bromeliad flowers. To my knowledge, nothing like Herr Weber's unusual flowering has occurred among my bromeliads but perhaps I have not been as observant as I should. However, I have noticed two bromeliads which produced strange leaves.

There are always oddities in nature which plant growers find interesting. Variegation in foliage, double flowering, cresting, etc., are all "strange" developments in plants which, because they are unusual, make these plants more desired — and valuable.

But there are other unusual happenings which are simply different and certainly add nothing to the beauty or value of the plant. My two unusual leaf developments fall into this category.

Fig. A Fig. B

One leaf of a Vriesea 'Gemma' was actually composed of two "half" leaves. The two halves overlapped (Fig. A) but appeared to form a normal leaf. The overlapping was about 1/8 inch in width. As the plant grew and its base expanded, the leaf began to separate at its base. This splitting continued until the leaf was finally separated into two half leaves. Together they had formed a typical appearing leaf for even the tip looked normal. At no time however had the leaves been joined in any way.

But a different situation occurred with an Aechmea fulgens var. discolor variegata. (This is a plant which seems to me to have some inherent problems which make it difficult to maintain in a good cultural condition. But that's another story.) This aechmea had one leaf which had another very narrow leaf attached to it on the underside. The small leaf was almost ¼ inch wide and tapered to a point but did not extend to the leaf tip. (Fig. B). The small leaf was attached to the center of the normal leaf by its center. Only the edges were separate. But while the large leaf took on the lovely coloring typical of this aechmea, the narrow leaf remained dark green. The small "piggy-back" leaf grew in length but not width as the normal leaf grew. The leaves remained joined until the demise of the plant.

These odd leaf formations are of no great importance in the growing of bromeliads but, as Herr Weber remarked, are interesting. No doubt a close examination of our plants might reveal other strange leaf and flower formations. Mr. W. W. G. Moir has been sharing the variants of his Hawaiian garden with Journal readers in several interesting articles. Those of us who are not able to grow our bromeliads outdoors the year round can not observe these variants as Mr. Moir has but by observing our plants more closely as Herr Weber suggests we may find some interesting variations after all.

Dallas, Texas 75219

The fourth revised (1978) edition of Walter Richter's Zimmerpflanzen von Heute und Morgen is now available. Contrary to earlier editions which were banned from sale in the west, this book can now be purchased in book stores throughout West Germany. The publisher is Verlag J. Neumann-Neudamm, D. 3508 Melsungen (Berlin-Basel-Wien). The sales price in West Germany is approximately $15.00.

Tillandsia schatzlii Rauh A New Species from southern Mexico



For some years we have known of a small tillandsia that Dr. Rutschmann of Basel, Switzerland found in southern Mexico. Some time later the same plant was found by St. Schatzel of Vienna, Austria, who gave some plants to the Botanical Garden of Heidelberg, where they flowered. It is our opinion that this tillandsia is a new species, belonging in the same group as T. achyrostachys E. Morren and T. califanii Rauh, but it cannot be considered as a variety of either one of them. It is a separate species, which we have named after St. Schatzl, an enthusiastic bromeliad collector.

Tillandsia schatzlii is a stemless (sometimes it has a rhizomatous stem) plant, which forms a small rosette of 25 cm in height and 12 cm in width; the leaf sheathes are inconspicuous, broad-ovate, 4 cm long and 3 cm wide, light brownish to violet; the narrow triangulate, attenuate, slightly succulent blades are brownish lepidote; sometimes they show crossbands. The inflorescence scape is shorter than the rosette, erect or curved; the basal scape bracts are subfoliate — the upper ones without blade and are of a raspberry-red color. The pendant inflorescence is simple, up to 16 cm long and 2 cm wide, with 8-10 flowers; the densely lepidote floral bracts are imbricate, ecarinate, up to 6 cm long and 2 cm wide, longer than the sepals, raspberry-red, green to the base. Sepals 2,9 cm long, acute, the posterior ones slightly keeled, connate for 3 mm and green; petals narrow-ligulate, up to 8 cm long, dark-violet, white to the base, recurved at their tips; stamens with violet filaments and the long style is exserted.

The plant was found on steep rock walls between Oaxaca and Tehuacan. It is cultivated in the Heidelberg Botanical Garden under the number 46 304.

The Latin diagnosis is published in "Bromelienstudien" VIII, Tropische und Substropische Pflanzenwelt 27 (1979) p. 426.

Mulford B. Foster Memorial Fund


Mrs. Jeanne Denny, West Cornwall, Connecticut
Mr. & Mrs. John M. Hall, Deltona, Florida
Mr. & Mrs. Lewis C. Sarasy, Belvedere, California
Mr. Andrew Price, St. Petersburg, Florida
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas L. Watkins, Clearwater, Florida
Bromeliad Society of Queensland
The Bromeliophiles of Greater Philadelphia
Mr. & Mrs. Whitman H. Merrin, Jr., Plant City, Florida
Mr. & Mrs. A. D. Van Hyning. Tampa, Florida
Mr. & Mrs. David J. Christiano, Springfield, Missouri
Mr. Jack Holmes, Tampa, Florida Bromeliad Guild of Tampa Bay
Mrs. Margaret M. Hick, South Australia
Mrs. J. B. Pike, Daytona Beach, Florida
Mrs. E. R. Knobloch, Braithwaite, Louisiana
Sacramento Bromeliad Society, California
Tarrant County Bromeliad Society, Texas
Bromeliad Society of New Zealand
San Diego Bromeliad Society

Plant Growth Substances



One of the most promising recent discoveries in plant science has been the identification of a growth factor in some plant waxes, particularly in alfalfa, by Dr. Stanley K. Ries of the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University. This substance was shown to be a 30 carbon primary alcohol. It has given strong increases in plant growth at unbelievably low concentrations, and it is hoped by all who are studying it, that it will increase yields of agronomic crops.

Triacontanol is obtainable from at least two chemical firms — Analabs, North Haven, Connecticut and Aldrich Chemical Company, 940 West Saint Paul Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233. It is a lipoid and some of these have been found to be growth promoting substances in plants. It is rather expensive and concentrations appear to be somewhat critical. Sprays applied to the foliage have been more promising than applications to the soil. It is under intensive study at a number of research centers and doubtless more precise information will become available.

A number of encouraging reports have been noticed from those who have applied alfalfa mulches to the soil or who have watered plants with infusions of alfalfa hay.

Dr. George Zentmeyer, a plant pathologist on the Riverside campus of the University of California, found long ago that alfalfa meal applied to the soil tended to revive avocado trees attacked by the Phytophthora root rot.

In a recent issue of the excellent and informative horticultural newsletter, The Avant Gardner (1978), a report was cited by a peony grower who had infused chopped alfalfa in a container of rain water set in the sun. This material was diluted and applied to peony seedlings. The treated seedlings responded with a much more rapid growth.

Dr. D. L. Hinerman (1979), a professor in the University of Michigan Medical School applied chopped alfalfa leaves as a mulch to seedlings of a Japanese rhododendron. The treated seedlings were measured and photographed, and the various growth increases ranged from about 20 to over 50 percent.

Alfalfa hay or meal is obtainable in most parts of the country in feed stores as bales, pressed cubes or pellets. Most health food stores carry dried alfalfa leaves in small packages which should also be useful to experimenters. They also carry alfalfa sprouts and these are now sold by most of the grocery supermarkets in this area. However, we believe that it is impossible that these immature plantlets would be old enough to form much of the plant wax which contains this growth factor. Alfalfa plants would not be hard to grow in the garden except in the coldest climates if the soil is limed to overcome excess acidity and if the seed is inoculated with the appropriate strain of Rhizobium.

The repeated results are sufficiently promising to warrant considerable experimentation with alfalfa treatments of soil and plants. Careful records should be kept of the rates and other details of application.

One complication in the use of 1-triacontanol (TRIA) has recently been pointed out by Jones, Wert and Ries (1979). They found that the presence of trace amounts of other long chain analogs of TRIA inhibited growth responses. This may present difficulty in attempting to use preparations from plant products or waxes.


Anon., 1978. Tonic Alfalfa. The Avant Gardner 10(19):151.

Hinerman, D. L, 1979. Stimulation of growth by alfalfa. Quarterly Bulletin, American Rhododendron Society 33(2):70-73.

Jones, Jennifer, Violet Wert, and Stanley Ries. 1979. Specificity of 1-triacontanol as a plant growth stimulator and inhibition of its effect by other long-chain compounds. Planta 144:277-282.

Those members who would like to communicate with a bromeliad grower in Argentina and obtain plants should write to Dr. Jose Luis R. Pignocchi, Espana 1, (3600) Formosa Pcia. de Formosa, Republica Argentina.

Fernseea itatiaiae (Wawra) Baker


Few people have probably seen this rare monotypic species, much less, grown and flowered it, but Dr. Harold Wiedman of Sacramento, California, has and has sent us these photos for our enjoyment.


To see this rare and lovely bromeliad, one must go to the Itatiaia National Park, situated on Mount Itatiaia, located northeast of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Here, this endemic species of bromeliad grows in large clusters amid high boulders and granite domes at an altitude of 8,000 to 10,000 feet. Because it is in a restricted area, Fernseea itatiaiae is protected by law against collectors and the dangerous introduction of goats, the worst enemy of the mountain flora of Brazil. The Park is an area of approximately 120 square km. where one can observe great xerophytic formations clinging to the mountain heights.

J. R. Brandao
Fernseea itatiaiae in habitat.

Fernseea itatiaiae is a small plant with firm, narrow, bright green, heavily spined leaves, 6 to 8 inches long, which might easily be mistaken for a delicate type of dyckia until one observes the flower spike, 8 to 16 inches tall, which arises from the center. The cylindrical inflorescence, 3 to 4 inches long, bears brightly colored flowers, which are very important to the ecosystem because they are frequently visited by rare mountain hummingbirds.

This bromeliad was first described by Baker in his Handbook in 1889.

New neoregelia hybrids recently registered by Charles Coolbaugh of Lakeland, Florida:

N. × Bubblin over — (N. johannis × Irene) × N. melanodonta
N. × Grande Silverado — N. johannis rubra × N. × Takamara Grande
N. × Little Cherub — N. marmorata × N. ampullacea var. tigrina
N. × Pixie — N. × Fairy Paint × N. tristis
N. × Luv — N. × Morrisoniana × N. johannis
N. × Madrid — N. marmorata × N. × Avalon
N. × Baton Rouge — N. johannis rubra × N. × Morris Henry Hobbs
N. × Copper Top — N. carolinae × N. × Scarlet O'Hara

Bromeliads of Barbados


Inflorescence of Bromelia penguin.

The Caribbean island of Barbados is popular with tourists and residents alike because of its unique character. It is the most easterly island of the West Indian chain, and it differs from most of the other islands in that it is non-volcanic and covered with a coral cap. Lying approximately thirteen degrees north of the equator, Barbados has an almost constant temperature of 83°F. Barbados is fairly flat as compared with the neighboring islands, with elevations ranging from just above sea level around the perimeter of the island to an elevation of one thousand feet in the central hills.

The average yearly rainfall is sixty inches. This varies from year to year, with most of the rain falling between July and November. This is one of the drier Caribbean islands, with sufficient rain to produce lush vegetation without washing out too many festivities. The preponderance of sunny days over rainy ones makes the island an ideal vacation spot.

Being a bromeliad enthusiast, I was glad to have the chance to visit Barbados for a year and study the plants in their natural habitat. I was at first disappointed by the apparent lack of bromeliads, as most of the island's 166-square mile area is used for growing sugar cane and has been since the mid-1600's. However, there are many steep-sided gullies cutting through the island, some as deep as one hundred feet. Due to their inaccessibility they are relatively untouched by man, and it is in places like this that one finds remnants of the native flora.* There are two densely wooded areas that are noteworthy: one is the privately owned Turner's Hall Woods in St. Andrew, and the other is Joe's River Forest in St. Joseph which is a national park owned by the Barbados government. The island's indigenous bromeliads can be found in these places.

The first native bromeliad I came across was Bromelia penguin L., which is a large plant found throughout the West Indies and in Central and South America. It grows in a basal rosette with many stiff green leaves five to six feet long which are well armed with large hooked spines about half an inch long. These strong spines make it difficult to handle the plant without wearing gloves, so that Bromelia penguin is hardly suitable for indoor cultivation. The specimens I found were blooming in March, and by May the edible seed pods were well developed. The stalked inflorescence is pyramidal in shape and supports many flowers which are rose colored with white margins. The flower, which is surrounded by bright red central leaves, lasts for several weeks before the seeds begin to develop. Bromelia penguin is found growing in sunny places and is usually terrestrial, although it may sometimes be found growing on coral boulders and gully walls. There is a fine clump of these plants growing on the edge of a citrus orchard at Haggatts Research Station in St. Andrew.

Bromelia karatas L. is a very large plant which is similar in appearance to Bromelia penguin, and it has the same general distribution. The leaves are longer, up to ten feet in mature specimens, and are slightly less than two inches wide. As with Bromelia penguin, the leaves of Br. karatas are edged with strong brown prickles (about one quarter inch long), so once again gloves are necessary when handling the plant. The flat-topped inflorescence is found sunken in the center of the rosette and is surrounded by bright red inner leaves, and blooming time is March. The flower petals are pink with white margins, slightly lighter in color than those of Bromelia penguin. Bromelia karatas is usually terrestrial but may grow in soil pockets on boulders. It occurs in some gullies and forms dense groves in Turner's Hall Woods. Due to the long leaves and sharp spines it was difficult to get close enough to photograph any inflorescences.

Inflorescence of Aechmea lingulata.

Aechmea lingulata is a large epiphytic or terrestrial bromeliad found in some gullies and in Turner's Hall Woods. The thick leaves are about four feet long and three inches broad, forming an erect rosette, and small (less than 1/8 inch) sharp prickles line the margins. The inconspicuous white flowers are borne on branching spikes which are about one foot long and arise from the center of the leaf rosette. I found blooming specimens in the spring months of the year, though they may bloom at other times as well. The local name for Aechmea lingulata is "Monkey Banana," but this may be a misnomer as pet monkeys would have nothing to do with the fruit.

According to E. G. B. Gooding, noted Caribbean botanist, there may be other bromeliads that are indigenous to Barbados but are rare now that most of the land is under cultivation. Mr. Gooding is in possession of some manuscript notes, author unknown, that date back about a hundred years. These notes state that Pitcairnia bracteata Ait., P. bromeliifolia (augustifolia Ait.), and Tillandsia lingulata were at that time found in Barbados. The latter two plants have been seen in Turner's Hall Woods, but only one or two specimens of each have been found. Further exploration of the Woods could probably reveal more.

Bromeliads imported from other countries are grown in many parts of Barbados. A lovely collection can be seen at Andromeda Gardens in St. Joseph, and there are some growing at Welchman Hall Gully in St. Thomas. Large clumps of other Caribbean bromeliads are growing well at Ashford Bird Park in St. John. It is certain that many private collections could be located with a little persistence, as the climate of the "Island in the Sun" is ideal for propagating and growing these beautiful and fascinating plants.

Haggatts Research Station, St. Andrew, Barbados, W.I.


* When exploring gullies care must be taken to avoid the dangerously hidden water holes which are due to fissures in the coral and limestone substrate.


Gooding, Loveless, Proctor. 1965. Flora of Barbados. Her Majesty's Stationary Office, London.

Gooding, E.G.B. 1974. The Plant Communities of Barbados. Government Printing Office, Bridgetown, Barbados.

Graf, Alfred Byrd. 1976. Exotica. Roehrs Company, Inc. East Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Macpherson, John. 1963. Caribbean Lands: A Geography of the West Indies. Longman Caribbean Limited, Trinidad and Jamaica.

Part of a letter received from The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens reads as follows: "Do you know of anyone having old prints or paintings of bromeliads he would be willing to donate or sell to the Mulford B. Foster Identification Center? The Center would also appreciate any information regarding books or articles on the family Bromeliaceae or any of the genera. Anyone with a question about the center itself or about a plant should contact us. The Center is open 6 days a week and is open to the public. The identification of a plant costs $5.00 This charge covers the costs of new books, a microscope we soon hope to purchase, and various other necessities for the functioning of the Center." Address is The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 800 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, Florida 33578.

News of the Affiliates

Of all the affiliates there is none busier than the Bromeliad Society of Central Florida, who are preparing for their World Conference in 1980. They promise all members an elegant time, the heart of the festivities being located close to many of Florida's leading tourist attractions. The reservation form which is enclosed with this issue gives specific details.

The recently formed affiliates deserve commendation for the fine work they are doing. The Northeast Oklahoma Bromeliad Society had a beautiful show with more than 150 plants entered for competition. Also in the limelight is the Mississippi Bromeliad Society with its 30 members, many of whom are expert collectors. They meet in Jackson. They have participated in competition at the Mississippi State Fair for the past 2 years, and this year had over 400 entries and over 200 varieties. Allan G. Edgar, Jr., is the president of this very active group. Yes, there are bromeliads in Mississippi, other than the native Spanish Moss.

Neoregelia kautskyi A New Attractive Species


New neoregelia species have received less attention than neoregelia hybrids and horticultural selections in recent years, but a new attractive species, such as Neoregelia kautskyi, is certainly worthy of recognition.

Neoregelia kautskyi was first described in Bradea of the Herbarium Bradeanum in Volume 1, No. 11, September 30, 1971, by Dr. Edmundo Pereira. It was first discovered by Roberto Kautsky growing as an epiphyte in humid forests near Sao Bento in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil.

This neoregelia is outstanding for the unusual coloration of the foliage when the plant is mature and well grown. The plant looks as though the glossy chartreuse to moss green foliage had been heavily spattered with dull red or reddish brown paint. The plant has approximately 20 to 25 leaves, with the outer leaves being 9 to 11 inches long and 3 inches wide at the base graduating to a relatively blunt tip. The overall diameter is 12 to 14 inches. The coloration of the foliage becomes more pronounced with the advent of shorter days and cooler nights.

Culturally, Neoregelia kautskyi prefers a very high light situation, even tolerating considerable sunlight except for the most intense rays of midday during the warmer months. Fertilizing requirements are low, and moisture requirements in Florida are moderate. Poor light or over fertilization or a combination of both will cause a darker greening of the foliage and loss of the red spotting along with elongation of the leaves. While a challenge to even the better growers, N. kautskyi is worth acquiring, and given one's best care — the rewards are worth it.

Valrico, Florida

This is the time of the year that we pause and give thanks to those who have helped to make this Journal possible. First, there is our very fine printer, Gary Ezzo, of Kerr Printing, Arcadia, California, who is always most cooperative, who always gets out the Journal on time, who prints a periodical that ranks among the finest in the field of horticulture, and who is indulgent with the editor's peculiar style of setting up a journal. Then there is Bud Moore, of Colour Image, South Gate, California, who does the color separations. Readers will agree that the color work is very fine. What is always important is that the work is always ready when it is promised.

Then there are the contributors — too few for a society of this size, but it is helpful beyond measure to have the good old standbys who fill the pages with informative and interesting material: W. W. G. Moir, Dr. Vernon Stoutemyer, Bernard Stonor, Luiz Gurken, Wilhelm Weber, J. Bogner, D. C. Speirs, and. last, but not least, Dr. Werner Rauh. The journal would certainly be less colorful it if were not for his beautiful colored illustrations. The journals for the coming year will contain many of his articles and photographs.

Questions on Darwinism Article


Several readers of the Journal have written in or phoned to ask questions about my article on Darwinism, and most have agreed with the conclusions. First, some questioned my separation of mutants from variants, even with both of them making their own kind as well as all the other forms that the species or genera may have in their repertoire of forms for different environments. But, remember, I explained why I divided mutants from variants.

A question asked was "When a mutant occurs in natural surroundings, with no human hand present to separate the "pup" from the parent and so perpetuate its mutant characteristics, does it have any means available to perpetuate and spread to other disassociated locations?" Yes, it continues to reproduce itself both asexually and sexually. If, however, the form it mutated on is so powerful it takes all the strength from the common root system, it may be smothered. If it is up on a tree it can go off in one direction and eventually the root system separates. It reproduces by seed all the various forms in the bagful of mutant forms that species have coded into their reproduction mechanism. Usually, if it is a variegated mutant, it can go even more variegated to albo marginata, striata, lineata or other forms and can go back to the solid green. No variegated form reproduces by seed in bromels. The seed of a variant does not produce only that exact variant but produces all sorts of variants of the type species if it is one of the species that does this.

The celebrated example in our garden shows that the amazonica and zebrina forms of Aechmea chantinii are far more powerful than the "Dark Goddess" form and are about to choke it off, while the "Dark Goddess" seems to be growing deeper green leaves, darkening up and being stunted by these mutants. You see the whole plant system is in less choice conditions, and only the strong survive. The more green on the leaves the better able the plants are to survive. In nature there is a greater chance of tree parts falling on these epiphytes and breaking them apart than in one's garden. These parts can land on other trees below or even on the ground and grow there. Yes, the "pup" can reproduce sexually and asexually and can be more or less pure or continue to mutate, but it is usually the environment that decides what will happen.

The next question was "Epiphytic plants are a remarkably different form from terrestrial plants — but how did they come about?" First, they are not different, except that epiphytic ones are much more able to survive than terrestrial ones when separated from their growing medium. There are many grades of difference between the various genera — from tiny plants to trees. There are terrestrial trees that live for years as epiphytes. The ficus family is a' good example of a plant starting life as an epiphyte.

When the questions come as to how orchids evolved, I do not believe anyone can answer exactly, but many good guesses are available to choose from. In my subsequent article on the "Time Factor in Darwinism" I pointed out that both large and small steps in evolution can happen rather quickly for environmental changes bring them about. These can be both slow bit-by-bit processes and very big changes. Environments control everything, even for us humans, who feel so far superior and removed from the rest of nature, which is not the case. Natural hybridization is the single largest other factor to environment in evolution. It, combined with the variant production, allows the hybrid, through hybrid vigor, to eliminate all signs of the original species and any variants of intermediate stages. You can see these in nature, but not in fossils. Are paleontologists able to recognize hybrids? This I doubt unless they have had years of breeding experience.

The question of saving many mutants as they occur is one the horticultural trade is very alert to. Look in any plant catalogue, and you see all the new "sensations" both mutants and variants that are continually being brought forth.

When it comes to these new theorists on "punctuated equilibrium," just how good observers of nature are they? It has always amused me, from high school days on for the past 70 years, to see and read of these new "discoveries". They may be a coin turned over, or the picture looked at upside down or turned inside out. Would it not be better if all of us looked more closely at the condominiums of lives that occur in each cell and answer the plea of Dr. Lewis Thomas given in his book The Lives of a cell? Let us find out how these bacteria in all their forms got together to play the finest game of cooperation. Man in all his superiority has never attained the equal of these. Should all of those bacteria go on strike at once where would man be? Even if the spirochetes alone slow down in moving the microscopic genes around at mitosis, what a catastrophe would occur!

The Bromeliaceae have much to teach everyone. Someone might come up with a beautiful new theory on how the various repertoires of mutants are brought about in each species to suit the environmental changes. Bromels have a beautiful array of different mutants to put out at each turn in the weather change, and man should study them carefully to see how stronger growing mutants can come at the exact right moment to carry on the life of the plant and replace the weaker form. Bromels are far ahead of man, even though stationary, in adapting to change. Watch the Aechmea caudata make its variegated mutants up high off the media and then the next growth is an all green form twice as large and tough as all the previous growths with leaves half again longer. These seem to be thumbing their noses at adversity. You, who do not grow masses of each species and let them fight it out, miss so much in life. Give them an ideal location to live in, then crowd them and see what they can do for survival. They are far more resourceful than man.

All you need to do is have a garden and develop microclimates in it or go to the wilds and really observe not just one but a series of times over the years to the same places.

Now for a few questions on my part. Just where do all the small neoregelias that were tied up with Neoregelia ampullacea stand today? Padilla's book separates them into species, yet in a recent issue of the Journal tigrina was given as a variety of ampullacea in a Carrone article but was it the species tigrina or a var. tigrina? Has anyone, who reads this journal, actually seen them as mutants on ampullacea, pauciflora, punctatissima or tigrina? If these are mutants they must go either way. But if these do not occur as mutants they are separate species. I ask this, for recently I was sent pieces of ampullacea 'Midget', another form from 'Los Nietos' (just a slightly bit different (variants)) and also Neoregelia 'Empressa'. I was told that 'Midget' was what Mr. Carrone used in getting his small new neoregelias. Yet all of these are double the size of the tigrina I grow and quite different. Just where do these plants belong? Has anyone actually removed them as mutants or were they collected in nature as separate plants? It looks to me like these plants I received were all hybrids of the cross tigrina × ampullacea. The difference between the one from Los Nietos and 'Midget' is the difference in the coloring between Aechmea amazonica and Aechmea zebrina both forms of Aechmea chantinii. Maybe Carrone or George Anderson could give us interesting comments on these forms in the Journal. But above all I am vitally interested in whether they were found as actual mutants connected together and deserve the name N. ampullacea before the variety name? They are much closer to tigrina than they are to ampullacea and look like hybrids. Usually mutants keep the shape of their parent but may be smaller or larger, entirely different colors may occur, but seldom of another type of growth.

Another point — Tillandsia capitata from Hispaniola is entirely another kind of grower from T. capitata from Mexico. It is a purple, small, slender hairy plant while the red form of capitata from Mexico is strong, robust, red-bronze, smooth and shiny. Surely these are two species for one has a six-inch peduncle (Hispaniola) and small flower head and plant stools out while the other has a short wide flat topped head of flowers and makes few keikis.

Surely the Journal could have someone to sort out these matters with descriptions and not have to send plants for identification to Selby Gardens when you have but one of each and do not want to part with them. These Mexican reds must be several years old before they get red while the Hispaniola purple is gray-purple from the start.

Also what is T. juncea supposed to have for a peduncle and flowers — purple or red stem and flower of red or purple? We have both yet they grow alike.

Surely there are many others who have observed these variants and mutants (actually seen them on the same root system), but why not a bit more in the Journal about them. There must be very fine specimens that are variants but not variable enough to get a variety name but could get a cultivar name for that clone. If you ever become a breeder of plants these variants can be so much more useful to you than the common type. Please let us hear about them. There are variants that are extremely difficult to breed, but when they do they are far superior to all the others. This is true in other genera, so why not bromeliads?

3311 Kahawalu Dr., Honolulu, Hi. 96817

Bromelia balansae


Bromelia balansae Mez is a large terrestrial bromeliad, the plant closely resembling that of a pineapple. It is certainly not for the small garden or the greenhouse, for its sharp spines make it a wicked plant to handle. In fact, it is used in the tropics as barriers, instead of fences, to keep out both men and beasts. Its inflorescence, however, is one of the most striking in the entire bromeliad family.

While driving down a busy boulevard, one of our members, Hans R. Ashauer of Capistrano Beach, California, was surprised to see this bromeliad growing in a brick planter. There were a number of plants, two of which were in bloom — healthy and evidently very happy in their confined spot and oblivious of the fumes of the passing motor traffic. Mr. Ashauer took this photo, as he wanted to share the beauty of these plants with other members of the Society.

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