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 $15.00; Sustaining $20.00; Fellowship $30.00; and Life $750.00. All memberships start with January of the current year.
Address all correspondence to:
The Bromeliad Society, Inc.
P. O. Box 41261
Los Angeles, Calif. 90041-0241

PresidentTim Lorman
Vice PresidentW. R. Paylen
Recording SecretaryJeanne Woodbury
TreasurerJoyce Lorenz
Corresponding Sec.Elmer J. Lorenz

1980-1982: Doris Curry, Morris Dexter, Sue Gardner, Tim Lorman, Valerie Steckler, Harold W. Wiedman, Carl Bronson, Owana Jo Myers.

1981-1983: Eloise Beach, Nat De Leon, Charles Dills, Edgar Smith, John F. Utley, Leslie Walker, Wilbur Wood, Robert P. Wright.

1982-1984: Allen Edgar, Linda Harbert, Annie Navetta, Peter Paroz, Herbert Plever.

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


Published six times a year: January, March, May, July, September, November. Free to members. Individual copies of the Journal $2.50


Lee Kavaljian
Hal Wiedman
Dept. of Biological Sciences
California State University
Sacramento, Calif. 95819


Eloise Beach, David Benzing, Sue Gardner, Thomas Lineham, Robert Read, Edgar Smith and John Utley.

Copyright 1982 by the
Bromeliad Society, Inc.
MAY — JUNE 1982

Tillandsia diguetii
  Werner Rauh95
There’s a Frog in My Tank
  Dee Bundy97
Bromeliads Among the Cacti
  Sue Gardner98
Hohenbergia: A New Look
  Robert W. Read99
Hohenbergia - How This New Genus was Discovered
  Eloise Beach105
Hohenbergiopsis guatemalensis
  Robert W. Read109
A New Variety of Tillandsia gardneri from Brazil
  Wilhelm Weber110
A Yellow Variety of Vriesea capituligera
  Julian A. Steyermark112
Bromeliads in the Basement
  John Plov114
Newly Registered Hybrids
  Joseph F. Carrone, Jr.116
A Hair is Just a Hair
  David Benzing120
The Bond of Bromeliads
  Racine Foster121
Book Review
  Lee Kavaljian122
Finally, Press Time
  Valerie L. Steckler123
1982 Election of Directors
  Eloise Beach124

PICTURE ON THE COVER — Hohenbergia rosea. Photo by Robert W. Read. See page 99 for article.

Tillandsia diguetii Mez et Roland-Gosselin (1919)


In the Journal of the Bromeliad Society Vol. XXXI, Nr. 5, on page 218, one of my photographs was reproduced as Tillandsia diguetii. The plant in the photograph however, is not T. diguetii, but represents a new species, which I had received originally under the name T. diguetii from Dr. Jorg Rutschmann of Basel, Switzerland. The plant has a rosette about 20 cm high, the leaves are strict erect and the inflorescence is deeply sunken into the center of the rosette, much exceeded by the blades.1 T. diguetii, known only from the type locality of Manzanilla, Colima, Mexico, was re-collected by Renate Ehlers of Stuttgart, Germany, and I am very obliged to her for the flowering specimen that she gave me so that we are now able to show the real T. diguetii which in the vegetative state resembles a dwarf form of T. streptophylla.

T. diguetii is a stemless plant, only 7-8 cm high; leaves many; sheaths inflated, forming an ellipsoid pseudobulb of 2-2.5 cm in diameter; blades recurved, about 10 cm long, 1 cm wide at the base, attenuate, flat, recurved, and often contorted, densely and coarsely covered by whitish-gray, subspreading trichomes. Scape lacking; inflorescence sessile in the center of the leaf-rosette, compound, bipinnate, with about 5 spikes, densely capitate; primary bracts subfoliate, much exceeding the spikes, but exposing them because of the reflexed blades. The spikes are strict, sessile, elliptic-acute, 3 cm long, 1 cm wide, densely 2-3 flowered; floral bracts about 2 cm long, exceeding the sepals, imbricate, carinate, slightly incurved towards the apex, lepidote; sepals obtuse, coriaceous, membranaceous at the apex, lepidote; the posterior ones carinate and connate for 3-4 mm; petals 22-25 mm long, blue-violet.

The plant is cultivated in the Heidelberg Botanical Garden under the number B.G.H. 55202. The plant must be determined with the help of Subkey VII in the “Tillandsioideae” by L.B. Smith in Flora Neotropica, Nr. 14, part 2.

Photo by Werner Rauh
Top: Tillandsia diguetii.

Heidelberg, Germany


1 The plant is cultivated in the Botanical Garden, Heidelberg, under the number B.G.H. 46 40g and shall be published as Tillandsia nidus Rauh et Lehmann.

There’s a Frog in My Tank!


Photo by Dee Bundy
Bottom: Neoregelia carolinae tricolor and frog.

Articles about bromeliads and their amphibian inhabitants have been published occasionally and I would like to add some of my northern climate experiences to the available information on this topic.

A few years ago, on a day in June when I was watering my indoor light garden, I was startled by a frog. What turned out to be a leopard frog, Rana clamitans, suddenly leaped from one plant to another and finally settled on a leaf of a Neoregelia carolinae var. tricolor. The frog seemed very content living among my bromeliads and when the weather warmed up, I opened the french doors and screen so that it could leave the house. The frog would reach the door sill but apparently it had no intentions of leaving. Since we seemed to have acquired a resident who could even elude my cats, it was named Freddy, the friendly frog. Freddy watched me all summer from his leafy neoregelia diving board until cold weather came. Then one day Freddy disappeared, only to return in time for Thanksgiving. He showed his gratefulness by cooperating admirably by sitting still for my camera for 45 minutes. Freddy finally hibernated until early summer and again stayed with us throughout the warm months. He eventually disappeared permanently, and I found that I missed his quiet company.

I was not alone for long. That year there was an unusually large crop of tree frogs, Hyla crucifer, or “peepers” as they are called here. These frogs can be heard usually in the early spring near ponds and woodlands, when the males call their mates as loudly as possible in a high-pitched key. I know spring is coming when I hear a giant hum from the many swamps near our house. They love to move into my bromeliads outdoors during the summer. In the fall, I usually check the plants thoroughly when I clean them before bringing them inside ahead of the frost. That year in a single day I found a record number of 18 frogs among the plants brought in. Evidently I missed one, because all of a sudden I heard a loud peeping noise again in the same indoor garden! These small frogs are very difficult to locate since they are only about 1.5 in. in length. I finally found it sitting very happily on my bromeliad tree! It was too cold to put it outside, so it spent the winter in the indoor garden. Nightly loud chirping in my otherwise silent indoor garden presents quite an exotic touch to a snowy New England winter!

Manchester, Mass.

Bromeliads Among the Cacti


When we moved into our new home in the fall of 1978, one of the first landscaping projects that we undertook was the construction of a raised bed for cacti and succulent plants. The following spring, planting was initiated and several terrestrial, succulent bromeliads from our collection were placed among the other succulents. The bromeliads included several species of Dyckia: D. rariflora, D. platyphylla, D. fosteriana, D. brevifolia, D. niederleinii, and D. Lad Cutak; Puya laxa, Hechtia epigyna and some other unidentified hechtias that we collected in Mexico.

Few of these plants are normally grown in unprotected beds in our area. We had previously cultivated these plants as potted specimens and protected them in the winter. We therefore considered this project experimental and expected only limited success. The majority of the cacti and succulents that we planted have survived our winters with little or no damage.

The past January brought the lowest temperatures and the most prolonged period of freezing that our area has experienced in several decades. The temperature in our garden was approximately 20° F on two consecutive nights. During a period of approximately 36 hours, the temperature did not rise above freezing. There was no rain associated with the cold, but the ground was wet from the rain of the preceding days.

The succulent bromeliads in this bed did not show even leaf damage from the cold. In mid March, Dyckia platyphylla and Hechtia epigyna were producing inflorescences.

In addition to being cold hardy, these plants thrive in the heat of the southern Texas sun with no shading. They withstand drought, but respond well to frequent watering. The beds contain rich soil and are watered regularly. These plants have grown and multiplied much more rapidly than they did previously as container specimens. In many cases the original plants have provided numerous divisions, some of which have now formed large clumps.

Corpus Christi, Texas

Hohenbergia: A New Look


Photo by Hal Wiedman
The author photographing hohenbergias in the
Rio de Janiero Botanical Garden.

Hohenbergia humilis

The genus Hohenbergia, with two distinct subgenera, Hohenbergia and Wittmackiopsis, exhibits a remarkable distribution from about 90 miles off southern Florida to extreme southern Brazil. These two subgenera are separated not only morphologically by the shape of their ovules, certain anatomical features of the leaf, the branching habit of the inflorescence, and flower color, but spatially as well. The 19 species of Wittmackiopsis are restricted to the northern Caribbean with the remaining 21 species of the subgenus Hohenbergia restricted, but for a single species, to eastern Brazil. That single species, Hohenbergia stellata, exhibits a very disjunct distribution from eastern Brazil to the region around the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela and Trinidad/Tobago, with nothing reported anywhere in between. Certainly this is harder to comprehend than the disjunction of the two subgenera on opposite sides of the Caribbean. Another interesting observation on the distribution of the genus is its total absence from the island of Hispaniola. Even more interesting, I think, is the fact that while the island of Jamaica sports some 15 species, of which 14 are endemic, Cuba has only a single species which it shares with Jamaica. On the other hand the tiny Cayman Islands, midway between the Isle of Pines and Jamaica, have their own solitary endemic species.

During the preparation of Smith and Down’s Flora Neotropica monograph of the Bromelioideae (No. 14, Part 3, 1979), a number of new discoveries were made among specimens that had been recently collected in Brazil. In the genus Hohenbergia alone this amounted to six new species, two new varieties, and a new combination, all of which were published for the first time in Phytologia (Vol. 33, No. 7: pp. 433-440, plate II) in 1976. There is no doubt that there are more species yet undiscovered in eastern Brazil. Even the more common species are frequently left uncollected because of their cumbersome size, sawtooth leaf blades and generally unappealing nature. Although H. disjuncta, for example, was formerly reported from only a single collection, it was observed frequently in the trees along the roads in and out of Itabuna, Bahia, especially along the road to Itaju da Colonia. Hohenbergia humilis was found as a terrestrial growing in dry sandy thorn scrub near Plan Alto, Bahia. It would have been overlooked even then except for the bright red of the fruiting stalk. As is true also with H. rosea, had we not been able to bring back living material the flowers of H. humilis would still be unknown.

Hohenbergia catingae

Top: Hohenbergia stellata, inflorescence.







Bottom: Hohenbergia utriculosa, inflorescence.

While traveling in Bahia in 1975 with Dr. Gilbert S. Daniels, I got the impression that plants of Hohenbergia represented the dominant, large, epiphytic bromelioid genus in the region of Bahia around Itabuna. One of the most commonly seen species was H. blanchetii with its huge, highly branched inflorescences resembling open Christmas trees perched in tree after tree along the road from Ilheus to Itabuna. Occasionally we recognized the large coned H. brachycephala with its strongly angular cones on elongate stalks. Further south we found H. utriculosa high in some tabebuia trees. This species, formerly reported only on rocks, was more attractive than any we had seen so far with its bright green, glossy cones and pink stalks. When we traveled northwest from Itabuna toward Vitoria da Conquista, we made our way up the escarpment separating the steamy lowlands from the higher plan alto region. At about 700 m. elevation in a region where the warm humid air rises to form fog and low clouds, we spotted the brilliant rose-colored cones of Hohenbergia rosea growing high in the few trees still standing on a recently deforested hillside. Here, near Ipatinga the forest was decimated, the fields were burned over recently and the few remaining trees were badly damaged by both fire and serious erosion. The plants in bloom were inaccessible in the uppermost branches, but one that had an old dead inflorescence was within reach of our rope. By tying a rock on the end of the rope I was able, after several misses, to engage the dead inflorescence and a portion of a leaf. Such was the material upon which the species was founded. Upon returning to my office and laboratory in Washington, I carefully unpacked my treasure, such as it was, to find it shedding what I first perceived to be bugs. To my great surprise, however, I had unwittingly brought back viable seed of what was soon verified as a strikingly beautiful new species of Hohenbergia. These seeds have subsequently germinated, grown, and flowered in my greenhouse in Washington, D.C., and in Florida.

Fresh flowers were obtained only after plants of H. rosea flowered in cultivation, whereupon they have been determined to be blue or pale violet. Therefore, the statement regarding flower color in the “Key to Subgenera of Hohenbergia” on page 1731 of Smith and Down’s monograph should be deleted: “...rarely white (H. rosea).”

In regard to flowers and flower color, too little is known yet to be able to make reliable characterizations. For example material identified as Hohenbergia catingae exhibits not only great diversity of vegetative habit but also a clash in petal color. Specimens with either bright yellow, or violet petals have been identified as variety elongata. The same situation also showed up in variety catingae. Examples of each of the latter varieties were studied at the home of Roberto Burle Marx, and in the Rio Botanic Gardens. The study of such diversity is best done while working with living collections and in the field, but during field work the plants do not always cooperate with flowers at the time of one’s visit.

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.

Hohenbergiopsis (L.B.S.) (L.B. Smith & R.W. Read) —
How This New Genus was "Discovered"


In September of 1974, while visiting Mrs. Louis Herring in Orlando, Florida, a group of unusual bromeliads came to my attention. There were several large specimens in the group, each one about 6 ft. in diameter, growing in the ground under a tall oak tree. Luckily, one specimen was in full flower. It was not brilliantly colored, but it was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Mrs. Herring gave me a piece of the inflorescence to send to the Smithsonian Institution for identification, and that was the beginning of an interesting sequence of events.

Dr. Robert W. Read, bromeliad taxonomist at the Smithsonian Institution, was quite excited about the find. He wrote: “It looks very much like Hohenbergia guatemalensis which is rather rare and not commonly collected. Dr. Smith described it ... however he did not have fresh flowers and there are some very interesting characters which I would like to study further.” Dr. Read asked for additional material for illustration and study and he wanted to make duplicate herbarium specimens to be sent to the herbaria of other institutions. Before long, I returned to Mrs. Herring and asked her to donate the entire inflorescence and some leaves as well. She graciously agreed to make the contribution of the plant materials to further the cause of bromeliad taxonomy.

After carefully examining the fresh plant material, Dr. Read reported: “It appears to be quite different from the genus Hohenbergia in Jamaica and the West Indies and may even be remote from the Brazilian portion of the genus. The main thing that I find, is what I don’t find. There are no petal appendages1 and it would not key out to Hohenbergia using the flowers.” That was the first hint of the eventual name change. Because of this fresh material, Dr. Read was able to write a more detailed description of the so-called Hohenbergia guatemalensis and it was published in Phytologia in 1975.

During the following months, Dr. Read and Dr. Smith concluded that the problem plant should not remain classified as a species of Hohenbergia because of the lack of petal appendages, since petal appendages are the major factor used to separate genera from one another in the Bromelioideae subfamily. Therefore, in the June 1976 issue of Phytologia, a new genus was described: Hohenbergiopsis, which means resembling Hohenbergia, and Hohenbergia guatemalensis was described as the only known species in the genus. Consequently, Hohenbergia guatemalensis became a synonym: a name replaced by another one recognized as having greater validity.

Photo by Eloise Beach
Hohenbergia guatemalensis, growing at the Herring residence in Orlando Florida.

Photo by Robert W. Read
Hohenbergia guatemalensis, inflorescence.

FIG 558. A-F, Hohenbergiopsis guatemalensis (Beach 74-107): A, leaf and inflorescence; B, spike;
C, flower less 2 sepals; D, sepals; E, flower showing filament tube; F, corolla and stamens opened.

From: Flora Neotropica, Monograph 14, Part 3, p. 1693. 1979.

The original collection of Hohenbergiopsis guatemalensis was made in April, 1939 by Paul C. Standley in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. It was growing on a tree in a dense, wet forest at an altitude of 1500-1600 m.

In cultivation, the plant forms a rosette up to 6 ft. in diameter with serrate leaves 4-5 in wide and 3-4 ft. long. The upper and lower leaf surfaces are dusted with silvery scales and are reddish toward the base. The inflorescence can extend to a height of 3 ft. and is branched at the base. The flowers are arranged in hohenbergia-like clusters. The sepals are green and the petals are purple, turning reddish as they age. The scape bracts dry to a light brown color as the flowers begin opening. The most noticeable characteristic of this species is the brown, woolly covering throughout the inflorescence and scape.

It was fascinating for me to be a part of this change from Hohenbergia guatemalensis to Hohenbergiopsis guatemalensis, a change that took nearly 2 years to become final. The bromeliad family lost a species of Hohenbergia but gained a new genus!


Smith, L.B. and R.W. Read, 1975 Notes on Bromeliaceae, XXXVII. Phytologia 30 (No. 5): 295-296.
Smith, L.B. and R.W. Read, 1976, Notes on Bromeliaceae, XXXVIII. Phytologia 33: 440-441.
Smith, L.B. and R.J. Downs, 1979, Monograph No. 14, Part 3 Bromelioideae (Bromeliaceae) in Flora Neotropica.

1 Petal appendages are very small flaps of tissue present on the inner surface of each flower petal in certain species.

A Note on Hohenbergiopsis guatemalensis (L.B.S.) L. B. Smith & R. W. Read


Investigations on fresh material of the former Hohenbergia guatemalensis L.B. Smith produced the very interesting and most unusual fact that its pollen is in tetrads, that is, the pollen grains when fully mature, remain in groups of four closely adhering grains. Unfortunately during the preparation of the manuscript for Phytologia (30 (5): 295-296) the peculiar character of the pollen was omitted from the amended description.

The fact that pollen of this species is in tetrads may seem insignificant to the casual observer. When you consider, however, that only one other species in the entire family is known to also have pollen in tetrads, it takes on greater interest. That species is Androlepis skinneri. Although there was no reason to believe that Hohenbergiopsis guatemalensis and Androlepis skinneri have anything more in common than the fact of pollen in tetrads, a palynologist naturally would want to compare the tetrads more closely. After having sent pollen samples to Dr. J. Praglowski of Stockholm, Sweden, the following note was received: “The pollen grains of this Hohenbergiopsis species resemble those of Androlepis with regard to arrangement in tetrads and the type as well as the number of apertures. On the other hand the exine structure in Hohenbergiopsis guatemalensis is foveolate-(reticulate) i.e., is entirely different from the exine structure in Androlepis. In Hohenbergiopsis the congruent channels-perforations, very particular for the Androlepis are entirely lacking. I am inclined to stress that the pollenmorphological differences between these two taxa are more prominent than the similarities between them.” Naturally we will want to look more closely at other members of this alliance with an eye for pollen tetrads or some other interesting or peculiar characteristics.

In addition to pollen tetrads, other characteristics such as the absence of petal appendages, the fact that the stamen-filaments are joined to form a tube attached to the bases of the otherwise free petals, and the peculiar 3-lobed apex of each stamen-filament all served to weigh against retaining the species in the genus Hohenbergia. Hence, the genus Hohenbergiopsis was described in Phytologia 33: 440-441. in 1976.

The fresh material used in our study was sent to Eloise Beach from a plant that she found growing at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Louis Herring in Orlando, Florida. During the preparation for Flora Neotropica (No. 14, Part 3, pp. 1690, 1692-3, Fig. 558) a collection of this species by M.B. Foster and O.C. Van Hyning in the state of Vera Cruz, Mexico, was omitted making it appear that the only collection from Mexico was questionable. Indeed, the species appears to be widely distributed in Mexico. In June of 1981 Paul Desautels and I discovered that Hohenbergiopsis is the most conspicuous epiphytic plant in the trees by the parking lot at Palenque. Hal Wiedman reports that other collectors have taken the species further north in the state of Oaxaca. A number of newly germinated seedlings were found still attached to the old intact inflorescence of one of the Palenque plants. They are still thriving.

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.

A New Variety of Tillandsia gardneri from Brazil


Tillandsia gardneri Lindl. var. cabofrioensis Weber et Ehlers var. nov. A var. typica longe caulescentibus differt. PLANT: up to 30 cm long, caulescent; LEAVES: many, along the stem dense polystichous arranged, the older strongly recurved and mostly hidden by the stem, the younger erect to spreading, shorter as the scape, very dense white pruinose lepidote; SHEATHS: indistinct, at base subglabrous, whitish, to 20 mm wide; BLADES: narrow triangular, 9-10 cm long, few canaliculate, more soft than stiff, pale green, dense pruinose and the margins fimbriate lepidote, apex subobtuse attenuate; SCAPE: 12 cm long, terete, stout, about 6 mm in diameter, pale green, dense white lanate lepidote; SCAPE BRACTS: lance-ovate, dense imbricate, equal to or exceeding the internodes, the lower subfoliaceous, the upper with long subulate blades but all shorter at the base of the inflorescence, dense pruinose lepidote; INFLORESCENCE: subglobose, dense, composed from 6-7 spikes, 45 mm long, 35 mm in diameter; PRIMARY BRACTS: like the upper scape bracts, ovate, acute, shorter than the lateral spikes, 24 mm long, 12 mm wide, roseate, dense tomentose white lepidote; SPIKES: subdense distichous 2-4 flowered, rhachis stout, dense tomentose; FLOWERS: erect, sessile, 26 mm long; FLOWER BRACTS: erect, lanceolate, acute, 18-20 mm long, to 10 mm wide, coriaceous, carinate, at base with thickened middlenerve, roseate, dense tomentose lepidote, exceeding the sepals; SEPALS: lance-elliptic, broadly acute, 11-12 mm long, to 4 mm wide, posteriorly only 1 mm connate, carinate, at base with thickened middlenerve, whitish, at apex pale roseate, even, with hyaline margins, glabrous, only at the extreme apex and at base of the middlenerve few tomentose; PETALS: linear, 22 mm long, with 10 mm long and 4 mm wide ovate blades, base tubular, white, blades subspreading and pale violaceo-roseate; STAMENS: included, 13 mm long, white, flattened, in the upper part only single transversal plicate; ANTHERS: linear, thin, scarcely 2 mm long, yellow, basifixed; only PISTIL: visible in the claw, terete, white, 15 mm long; STIGMATA: very small, white, OVARY: subglobose, about 2 mm high, pale green, glabrous.

coll. Renate Ehlers, July 1981, BRAZIL, Ilha Cabo Frio, 5 msm, directly above the surf-zone saxicolous on cliffs; HOLOTYPE WEB 325. This very interesting variety is already known under the collector’s name Tillandsia gardneri ‘lilacina’.

[Tillandsia gardneri var. cabofrioensis must be placed in synonymy under: Tillandsia gardneri var. rupicola E. Pereira, see Bradea, Vol. III, No. 27, p. 214, Dec. 1981.]

Waldsteinberg, German Democratic Republic

A Yellow Variety of Vriesea capituligera


Vriesea capituligera var. lutea.

In wet montane or cloud forests, most frequently in cooler zones at relatively high altitudes, may be found the handsome epiphytic Vriesea capituligera. Its showy, dark red, closely set bracts of the robust, erect flowering spikes stand out in contrast to the predominantly dark green of the forest canopy.

When in flower, the solitary thick spike attains a height of 0.5-0.8 meters and protrudes prominently well above the spreading rosette of richly green leaves. Distributed from the Greater Antilles south in the Andes mountains to Peru, this species in Venezuela is confined to the wet cool forests of the Andes, the Coastal Range, and infrequently occurs southward in the sandstone table mountains of the Guayana Highland.

Throughout its range, the broadly ovate, navicular, vividly red floral bracts, enclose in their cup-like fold a dense cluster of usually yellow to white flowers. This red-and-yellow or red-and-white color combination is the normal color scheme present in the species.

A different color combination is prevalent in an isolated sector of a cloud forest in the state of Yaracuy. Here on a few forested ridges, bordering quebradas which drain northeastward into the rio Taria of the western part of the Coastal Range of Venezuela, occurs a rare but dominant local color variation. In this variety the entire flowering portion is yellow, including the floral bracts and flowers. All the populations seen in this sector exhibit this yellow color combination. All plants were observed at altitudes of 1200-1300 meters as epiphytes on tall forest trees, generally at heights of 10-15 meters from ground level on tree trunks. In some cases, tall palms were favored by the bromeliads.

This localized geographical variant may be recognized formally as follows:

Vriesea capituligera var. lutea Steyermark, var. nov. A var. capituligera bracteis florigeris petalisque luteis recedit. VENEZUELA: Estado Yaracuy: Distrito San Felipe: virgin cloud forest at Vuelta de Pavo, 5 km. south of Candelaria, 10 km. north of Salom, Lat. 10° 15’ N., Long 68° 29’30” W. alt. 1200 m., 7 Dec. 1980, Julian A. Steyermark & Victoriano Carreno Espinosa 123808, “epiphyte; entire inflorescence butter yellow, including flowers, bracts, and rachis; leaves rich green; growing half way up palm 15 meters” (TYPE, VEN).

Additional collections from the same locality in the Estado Yaracuy are Steyermark 106183 and 106260.

Herbario Nacional Caracas, Venezuela

Bromeliads in the Basement


Here in the Pacific Northwest, with our cool, damp and dreary winters and relatively low electric utility rate, a basement plant room with fluorescent lighting seems to be a viable alternative, at least on a small scale, to the outdoor greenhouse.

Currently, my wife and I operate in our basement an 8x12 ft. plant room, well-stocked with a wide assortment of tillandsias, orchids, and miscellaneous other plants. Although space limitations preclude growing many of the larger species, we manage to squeeze some 2000 plants into the small room. Of necessity the majority of the plants are miniatures, although we do find room for an occasional large species of Vriesea. We try to avoid species in the other subfamilies because their toothed leaves make them rather poor neighbors in crowded conditions.

The basic layout consists of 2 shelf units of 4 ft. fixtures at one end of the room, with 4 tubes per shelf and a total of 7 shelves each 2 ft. wide, and at the other end a 3-tiered shelf with 8 tubes, each 8 ft. long, over it. The latter is our newest arrangement and is much preferable to the 4 ft. shelves from the standpoint of light quality and attractive display, although space usage is slightly less efficient. The 3-tiered design allows larger plants such as lower light-requiring vrieseas to be grown on the lower shelf, while smaller plants requiring higher light levels go on the upper shelves where they are closer to the light tubes. Small, mounted plants are hung across the back and ends of the fixtures; their mounts are hooked to wire mesh specially hung for this purpose. Plants on the back shelves and wire mesh are easily viewed due to the arrangement of tiers, although reaching them without first moving plants from the front shelf can be a problem. Fortunately, these are the largest plants, so it is usually only necessary to move one or two plants.

There are always a few mounted tillandsias hanging from the front of the fixtures, and a few potted plants growing out on the floor, following what seems to be a basic rule of horticulture which states that a plant collection will always expand to fill 110% of the space allotted to it.

Climatic conditions in the plant room seem to be ideal, regardless of the outside weather. Beyond the heat of the lights themselves, no additional heat is needed, even in the coldest weather. In January this year, when the outside temperature dropped below 20° F., the minimum night temperature inside was a moderate 54° F., and this was the measurement obtained next to an exterior wall. The daytime temperature, with the lights on, peaked at about 76° F. during this cold spell, which was one of the worst on record for this area. During our usual, more moderate weather, a daily range of 60° to 80° F. is to be expected. Summer temperatures seem to range from 70° to 85° F., even when the outside temperature rises above 100° F. No matter what the outside weather is, the basement plant room seems to be a pleasant place; always warm, humid, “sunny,” and tropical, always with a few bromeliads and orchids in flower, and perhaps best of all, a place which can be reached without venturing out into the howling winter wind and driving rain, or the sweltering summer heat.

For all the advantages of the plant room, however, I would be less than honest if I did not mention a few disadvantages. Apart from the obvious limitations of space, the major problem is that it costs just as much to operate in summer as in winter, in contrast to conventional greenhouses, which would be substantially cheaper in summer. I hope to deal with this problem this summer by building an unheated outdoor greenhouse which in this climate should house the plants for as much as 6 months of the year, thus having the best of both worlds.

The only other problem has to do not so much with the bromeliads as with the orchids. For some of them, it seems that the climate in the plant room is a little too uniform, since some need cool, dry rest periods, or shorter days than the unvarying 14 hour days I have been giving them in order for most of them to flower properly. Undoubtedly this is not an insurmountable problem, given more time for experimentation. This was our first year in the plant room, and I have been reluctant to make many changes so soon since there will be time enough for experimental changes next year. In the meantime, our first year has been a resounding success, and I remain quite enthusiastic about the future. While basement plant rooms may not be practical for growers in warmer regions, I can heartily recommend them to those of us who live in harsher climates.

Milwaukie, Oregon

Newly Registered Hybrids

Reported by Joseph F. Carrone, Jr., Hybrid Registrar

Portea Lepitana (Portea leptantha × Portea petropolitana var. extensa)

This fine hybrid is certain to be of interest to every bromeliad enthusiast living in areas where bromeliads can be grown out-of-doors all year. The cross was made in 1973 by a long-time friend of the Bromeliad Society, Sr. Luis Ariza Julia of “Three Palms” in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. The hybrid flowered for the first time in 1978. It is somewhat large-growing for indoor culture, but performs well as a landscape subject because the inflorescence stands well above the foliage and lasts in color through the fruiting stage. Its colorfulness endures for a period of several months. When in flower, it attains a height of about 130 cm (about 52 in.) with leaves up to 110 cm (about 44 in.) in length and up to 7 cm (about 2½ in.) in width. The bright green leaves are tipped red. Small spines along the leaf margins are red above and brown beneath. The erect scape is rose-pink; the flower cluster, a panicle, is pyramidal in shape and loosely branched. Bracts have the same color as the scape. Pedicels are up to 3 cm (1½ in.) long and pink; the ovaries are 1 cm (2/5 in.) long and light green to pink in color. Sepals are up to 12 mm (½ in.) long and green, eventually turning pink in color. At anthesis the creamy yellow tips of the petals flare outward while their basal portions form a tube. The petals extend beyond the sepals by about 10 mm (nearly ½ in.) at this time. Only a few flowers open at the same time. Considering all of its characteristics, this hybrid seems to be a highly decorative addition to the list of fine hybrids S. Luis Ariza Julia has made.

Billbergia Strawberry (Billbergia Fantasia × Billbergia Muriel Waterman)

Mr. Bruce Thom of Thom and Schwarz Greenhouses of Concord, California indicated that this hybrid is the result of his collaboration with Mr. Bart Schwarz. The cross was made in 1977 and first-flowering occurred just 2 years later. The hybrid combines the excellent characteristics of each of its parents and is characterized by sturdy growth and bold color. The broad, leaf sheaths that form the trunk of this strongly tubular to vase-shaped plant are colored rosy maroon overlaid heavily with white, cream to yellow. The leaf blades are up to 3 in. wide and tipped maroon but have less spotting than the sheaths. The inflorescence, though somewhat short, displays its flowers well at the top of an open cup. The deep rose-colored floral bracts can be nearly 6 in. long and over an inch in width. Flowers in most of the seedlings which have thus far produced them, have been deep violet, shading to white at the ovary. Mr. Thom reported further that several plants of this hybrid have already been selected to receive more definitive recognition with cultivar designations. This seems to be a very desirable new hybrid which should attract much attention as it becomes known.

Aechmea Margarita L. (Aechmea dealbata × Aechmea fasciata)

The cross which produced this hybrid was made in 1974 by S. Luis Ariza Julia of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. First-flowering occurred in August, 1979. As could be expected from the union of 2 parents that are very similar both vegetatively and florally, the progeny could be mistaken at first glance for either parental species. Sr. Ariza states that the plant is a funnel-shaped rosette about 52 cm (21 in.) tall when in flower. Leaves are 35 cm (14 in.) long, green, but frequently tinted reddish, and have faint, short, white cross markings. The scape is 5 mm (¼ in.) in diameter, rosy red and floccose. The scape bracts are deep pink to rosy red. The flower head is compact, conical, 8 cm (3 in.) long, deep rose pink, with 3-5 short branches originating from the base of the flower head and subtended by narrow, long, pointed, primary bracts that are rather papery and have serrate margins. The individual flower bracts, which are bright pink, extend in length beyond the blue petals. In summary, this is a very handsome hybrid deserving a place in any extensive bromeliad collection.

× Neophytum Hytime (Orthophytum vagans × Neoregelia concentrica)

This bigeneric hybrid was registered by Mr. James Georgusis of New Orleans, Louisiana and is characterized by an ananas-like growth habit with long, triangular, deeply channeled, recurved, olive green leaves from 8-12 in. long, and 1 to 1¾ in. wide. The leaves are sometimes tinted bronze-red. The leaf margins are minutely serrate, but the teeth are much smaller than those on the leaf margins of ananas. As the hybrid matures, the center of the plant takes on a bright red to brick-red color. The tight flower cluster displays narrow petals of blue to purple color. This hybrid demonstrates again the strong influence the genus Orthophytum has on its bigeneric progeny that result from crossings with species of Neoregelia. All such hybrids to date have been narrow-leaved, larger or enhanced versions of the Orthophytum parent species. This is the first hybrid to be registered having a blue-cupped species of Neoregelia as one of the parents. Just as was expected long before the hybrid reached maturity, the red of Orthophytum vagans was dominant over the blue in Neoregelia concentrica; no blue-centered plants appeared.

Neoregelia Zodonta (Neoregelia zonata × Neoregelia melanodonta)

The registrant for this hybrid is Mrs. Dottie Oishi of Palm Bay, Florida. Although very little information was sent in with the application for registration, Mrs. Oishi stated that the hybrid is of medium size with up to 16 spotted or striped leaves having dark spines and that the flowers have purple petals. She added that this hybrid is self-fertile.

Billbergia Old Glory (Billbergia Fantasia × Billbergia Pixie)

Mr. Ben L. Sill of Seneca, South Carolina is the registrant of this new hybrid. The flowering plant is approximately 10 in. high and has an upright tubular shape. In contrast to B. Pixie which has 2-4 leaves, the hybrid had 7 mature leaves at flowering; each leaf was from 2-2½ wide, which is appreciably wider than the leaves of B. Pixie. Leaves are red, and heavily spotted with cream when grown in bright light. The inflorescence exhibits characteristics of both parents. The inflorescence stalk is relatively upright much as in B. Fantasia, but the flowers more closely resemble those of B. Pixie. The stalk is red, as are the floral bracts and the ovaries are greenish-pink. The proposed name of Old Glory is derived from its striking flower. The tips of the petals are blue for about ½ of their length and the remaining basal half is pale cream; the calyx is red, thus completing the red, white and blue combination of each flower.

Billbergia Lois Poteet (Billbergia amoena var. rubra × Billbergia distachia var. rubra)

Mr. Ben L. Sill of Seneca, South Carolina has named this hybrid after his wife who is a botanist by profession. The flowering plant is 12-16 in. high and has 8-10 slightly recurved strap-shaped leaves, each 2-2½ in. wide. The lower surface of each leaf is lightly dusted and reddish purple, while the upper surface is relatively glossy and greenish-red when grown in medium light and redder when grown in bright light. Cream colored spots, inherited from the pollen parent, are evident on both sides of the leaves. The plant, while tubular near the base, has a relaxed open shape as the leaves bend outward. The inflorescence exhibits characteristics of both parents in that it droops at the top of the plant. The inflorescence of B. amoena var. rubra is somewhat more erect and that of B. distachia var. rubra droops to the base of the plant. The floral bracts are large, attractive and rose-red, the ovaries are green, and the calyx is green with blue at the very tip. The petals are green tipped blue. Plants from this cross exhibited a considerable amount of variation and at least one other specimen, which has not yet flowered, is deserving of a cultivar name according to Mr. Sills. This specimen is well-shaped and has leaves which are uniformly colored on both surfaces, no spots, and very few scales.

Metairie, Louisiana

Society Services

Seed Fund — Seeds for sale and exchange. For information and seed list, send stamped, self-addressed envelope to Diana E. Pippin, P.O. Box 2352, Riverside, California 92516.

Hybrid Registration — To register your hybrid, send for application blanks and rules to Hybrid Registration Chairman, Joseph F. Carrone, 305 N. Woodlawn Ave., Metairie, Louisiana 70001.

Bromeliad Slide Library — Interesting programs for affiliated groups. For information and availability send stamped, self-addressed envelope to Owana Jo Myer, 14895 Gardenhill Drive, La Mirada, California 90638.

The Bromeliad Identification Center

Recent Contributors —

Libby Beese
The Bromeliad Society, Inc.
Bromeliad Society of South Florida
Bromeliad Guild of Tampa Bay
Florida West Coast Bromeliad Society
Ann and Jim Mann
Northeast Oklahoma Bromeliad Society
Hazel H. Quilhot
Sarasota Bromeliad Society
Seminole Bromeliad Society
Shreveport Regional Bromeliad Society
Southwest Bromeliad Guild
Cecil and George Waggoner
Foster Whitlock
Imperial Polk Bromeliad Society
Contributions are welcome from individuals and affiliates.

Identification —

For identification of your bromeliads, send a whole plant (if small) or an entire leaf plus its sheath, the inflorescence and as complete a description as possible as to habitat and the natural growing conditions to:

Mr. Harry Luther
The Bromeliad Identification Center
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
800 South Palm Avenue
Sarasota, Florida 33577
A check or money order for $5.00 per specimen should be made out to the Bromeliad Identification Center and forwarded separately from specimens. The fees contribute to the maintenance of this excellent center.

A Hair is Just a Hair — or is it?


Fig. 1. Portion of seed coma of Tillandsia balbisiana. Each hair is about 10 microns in diameter.

One hazard of epiphytic life is gravity — or rather its effect. Life on a permanently wet surface is impossible for epiphytes such as the gray-leaved tillandsias as many an overzealous novice grower has discovered. In nature too, a fallen specimen is soon a dead one if the soil below is moist. Specialized wiry roots securely anchor older juvenile and adults to hosts, but what about the first few months of life? Are those delicate seed hairs equally refined for their task? One scanning electron micrograph of a Tillandsia balbisiana seed coma tells much of the story (Fig. 1). Note the double barbs on each of the clustered hairs. These help hold the young seedling close to bark surfaces where conditions are best for growth. Perhaps someone should survey tillandsioid seed hairs. They may turn out to be good taxonomic markers to help distinguish closely related populations; or maybe they can tell us something about a plant’s habitat preference. Distinct microanatomies may be required for securement to smooth as opposed to rough barks, or to different kinds of stone in the case of cliff dwellers and other saxicoles.

Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio

The Bond of Bromeliads


I will always remember the 1980 World Bromeliad Conference in Orlando, Florida, because it was the culmination of my 43 years with Mulford Foster and our bromeliads.

When I was asked to present the Mulford B. Foster Best-in-Show Award during the Conference, I found myself at the podium shaking with nervousness due to the vastness of the audience, the startlingly brilliant lights and my responsibility. Then I discovered that the Award was to be given to our son Bert, of all people. What a dramatic situation that was, heightened suddenly by the audience members rising to their feet! What a tribute that was to Mulford! To this unexpected turn of events, I did not know enough to say “thank you” at that time, so I wish to say it now accompanied by my deep appreciation for the years of warm friendship provided by the bond of bromeliads.

In retrospect, I see clearly now how wonderful bromeliad friendships have been. This strong network of friendships around the world began over 40 years ago, and at the top of the list, of course, are Ruth and Lyman Smith, and all of the people in Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, and Argentina who were bromeliad friends of Lyman’s. Those wonderful people gave us endless assistance of immeasurable value, not only in the ways and means of dealing with our collection problems, but also in establishing long-time friendships.

In New Zealand and Australia our letters and plants created a new and intense interest in bromeliads and valuable and lasting friendships too. In New Zealand, one of the first bromeliad enthusiasts was Muriel Waterman and she passed on her fervor to Harry Martin, Bea Hansen and of course to many others. In the early days, Charles Hodgson of Australia started our many friendships there. More recently, we have come to know Maurice Kallet. I regret that we have not met or corresponded with Bernard Stonor who has contributed many articles to the Journal. Now, there are so many bromeliaphiles in Australia that it is almost impossible to maintain a satisfactory correspondence with them, although we would like to keep recent friendships active.

In Japan, we have had many correspondents including Mr. Takemura, Dr. Murata, Dr. Nishida, Mr. Yamanaka, Mr. Inaba and more, leading to a present-day friend, Mr. R. Ishikawa, who spent a few days at “Bromel-La” when Mulford was first paralyzed.

Throughout Europe, long-time friendships developed all because bromeliads were the core of our conversations. Some of our very fine art books were sent at frequent intervals by Luigi Califano in Italy, who like Richard Oeser, we remember, passionately loved tillandsias and cycads. In France and Belgium, Julian Marnier-LaPostolle, Marcel Lecoufle and Ernest de Coster all kept friendships alive with letters and gifts. We were honored that these gentlemen visited “Bromel-La” in person.

In Mexico, there were Bill Boone and Prof. Eizi Matuda; in Costa Rica, Charles Lankester and Bob Wilson were also intrigued with the ever-expanding bromeliad horizon.

Throughout the U.S. enduring friendships with David Barry, Jack Roth, Thelma Hodge, Victoria Padilla, Morris Henry Hobbs, Eric Knobloch and many, many more came as dividends from our mutual interest in bromeliads.

At home in the Orlando area, our fellow bromeliad lovers Julian Nally, Ed Ensign, Bill Frase, Oather VanHyning and Eloise Beach became dear friends via bromeliads.

Our files bulge with the letters and publications from our wide, international circle of friends which the bromeliads initiated, cultivated and maintained. As the next 30 year cycle of bromeliad history begins to turn, I am overwhelmed and grateful with memories of the past and am touched by the newly-formed friendships of the present which will continue into the future the great human bond forged by the beauty of bromeliads.

Orlando, Florida

Book Review


THE RODALE BOOK OF GARDEN PHOTOGRAPHY by Charles Marden Fitch. Published by American Photographic Book Publishing: Watson-Guptill Publications. New York, N. Y. 1981. $12.95.

Have you ever lavished your time and energy hoping that the photographs you were taking would be wonderfully clear, dramatic and worthy of submitting to this Journal for publication? Then when they have come back from being processed, have you felt keen disappointment at seeing a blurred subject, competitive background or total overexposure? Take heart, because here in this book of 160 pages is every kind of helpful advice succinctly and clearly stated. Even if you are satisfied with your current level of expertise, there is much useful information for the more advanced photographer also.

There are separate chapters on composition and style, cameras and lenses, color versus black and white film, filters and accessories, light and lighting, outdoor techniques, travel photography and even how to organize your photographs. Both color and black and white illustrations taken in identified locations all over the world serve to provide important lessons by examples. A number of pairs or groups of photographs shown side by side make completely clear the contrasting points the author makes in the text. For example, a series of 6 photographs of an orchid flower shows the same flower under different conditions of lighting so that the reader can perceive immediately the usefulness of reflectors, backlighting and sidelighting, the hazard of lens flare and the advantages of natural diffused light. In another example, a pair of photographs of a tree fern demonstrates the dramatic difference between an ordinary photograph of the fern growing in nature and another of the same fern in the same location taken from a different perspective or vantage point to heighten visual interest.

The format of the paperbound book is 8x11 in. There is also a list of references for further reading and an extensive index. Mr. Fitch is an internationally known lecturer and author in addition to being a member of the Bromeliad Society, Inc. He is to be congratulated for providing from his extensive experience and knowledge so much help in this very straight forward, easily readable presentation. Read this book and send in your spectacular slides of bromeliads!

Sacramento, California

Finally, Press Time!


The “Handbook for Judges and Exhibitors” went to press April 26, 1982 and will be distributed at the World Conference in Corpus Christi, Texas, June 10-13, 1982. As early as the 1972 Houston World Conference, Ervin Wurthmann and others emphasized the need for standardized judging techniques, qualified judges, and a handbook concisely written to contain all of this information. The scales of points to be assigned in judging bromeliads were woefully inadequate. Exhibitors, the vital ingredient of any show, needed help in obtaining an answer to the question: “What are the judges looking for in my plant?” Affiliate societies setting up their first and/or subsequent competitive shows needed a practical guide. The Handbook came into being for one simple reason: it was needed! Official recognition of that need came in 1977 at the New Orleans World Conference when I was asked by the Directors of the Bromeliad Society, Inc. to prepare the “Handbook for Judges and Exhibitors.”

Earlier, in 1975, under the auspices of The Greater New Orleans Bromeliad Society, Inc., I had organized a series of schools for bromeliad judges. Knowledgeable members of the GNOBS were recruited to research the various genera commonly seen in competitive shows. Presentations of lectures, slides, written class notes, and discussions of the merits and demerits of the over 100 plants displayed made up the 9 hour day. The judging examination required each student to point score 6 plants for school credit. Similar school sessions were held in Florida, Texas and California.

Those early school notes were revised first by the GNOBS Handbook Committee and subsequently by George Anderson, Associate Editor, and me. To that skeletal text, we the editors, made revisions and added further pertinent topics so that the Handbook of today began to emerge. It is a handbook in the truest sense of the word. Its cover and half-tone illustrations were executed by Florida artist John Barbie who won first place in the Art Division of the 1980 Orlando World Conference. In format it is 6x9 in. with water repellent covers, and the text is printed on durable paper that can take both rough handling and much usage. Article subjects range from “Setting up the Standard Bromeliad Show,” “Critically Evaluating Which Plants to Show,” “Point scoring the Show Plant,” “How to Write a Schedule,” to “Timely Tips for Bromeliad Photographers.” Affiliates will find here all the necessary rules and regulations with which they must comply in order to award the Mulford B. Foster Best of Show Award and BSI MEDALLIONS. It is the final authority, approved by the Board of Directors of the BSI, for the rules and regulations governing Standard Bromeliad Shows throughout the world.

Austin, Texas

1982 Election of Directors


Ballots for the 1982 election of the directors of The Bromeliad Society, Inc. are included with this issue. All members are urged to vote for the directors-at-large. Members residing in Florida or the Outer region (outside the U.S.A.) may also vote for a director to represent their region. Be sure to return your completed ballot in the official envelope provided. Please vote now!

Contrary to information published in the Jan.-Feb. 1982 issue of the Journal, the regions of Louisiana and Texas are NOT qualified to elect directors. Publishing deadlines made it impossible to use the 1981 membership rolls as required, so 1980 figures were substituted. Both regions showed a decline in national membership for 1981 significant enough for them to lose one director each.

At the end of 1981, membership in The Bromeliad Society, Inc. was distributed as follows: (total membership was 2,587)

Region Membership

OUTER: All countries outside the U.S.A. 16.3% 3
FLORIDA 16.3% 3
TEXAS 9.4% 1
Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
CENTRAL 6.8% 1
Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin
WESTERN 6.7% 1
Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

One director is allowed for each 5% of the total membership residing in that region. In addition, 2 directors-at-large (from any region) are elected each year by the entire membership.

Affiliated societies can help their regions gain more directors by conducting membership drives seeking new members for The Bromeliad Society, Inc. Since 1978, total membership has dropped by 26%. Membership in the Outer region has increased by 34%, while the United States has lost 32% of its 1978 members. If each member would recruit just one new member this year, the society would be greatly strengthened.

Apopka, Florida

1982 World Bromeliad Conference Poster by John Barbie.

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