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1981-83: Eloise Beach, Nat DeLeon, Charles Dills, Edgar Smith, John F. Utley, Leslie Walker, Wilbur Wood, Robert P. Wright.

1982-84: Allen Edgar, Linda Harbert, Annie Navetta, Peter Peroz, Herbert Plever.

1983-85: David Benzing, Connie Johnson, Ron Lucibell, Valerie Steckler.

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
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Chet Blackburn
Dept. of Biological Sciences
California State University
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Eloise Beach, David Benzing, Sue Gardner, Thomas Lineham, Robert Read, Edgar Smith and John Utley.

Copyright 1983 by the
Bromeliad Society, Inc.

The Functional Basis and Origins of Variations Within Bromeliad Species
  David Benzing51
Andre's Bromeliad Collecting in Colombia and Ecuador
  Lyman B. Smith56
Guzmania blassii, An Attractive New Species from Costa Rica
  Werner Rauh66
Bigeneric Hybrids A Listing
  Edgar L. Smith69
Neoregelia Roy
  Jimi R. Prinz76
The Bromeliad Identification Center77
Book Review
  Sue Gardner78


Guzmania blassii. Photo by Werner Rauh. See page 66.

The Functional Basis and Origins of Variations Within Bromeliad Species


Perhaps you have had occasion to wonder why so many bromeliads are so variable specifically, why they exhibit such varied sizes at maturity, different growth shapes and, most importantly, distinct shades of flower and bract coloration. Why, for instance, are the spikes of such plants as Aechmea bracteata, Tillandsia caput-medusae and T. bulbosa red in one locality, pink in another and, in some cases, very pale green in a third? Several of Florida's bromeliads are quite exceptional in this respect. Tillandsia utriculata is disappointingly dull and hardly worth cultivating compared to counterparts farther south. It and Guzmania monostachia deviate from their Mesoamerican relatives in other ways as well. Tillandsia utriculata is almost exclusively monocarpic in Florida (flowering only once, like the century plant) and nearly every blossom ripens a full complement of seeds just before the parent dies. Some Mexican material, particularly the more ornamental populations, set fewer fruits but routinely propagate by offshoot. Guzmania monostachia always pups, but its North American orange-spiked representatives prefer deep to moderate shade in the heart of the Fakahatchee Slough while Caribbean and Costa Rican specimens love full sun and develop deep carmine floral bracts before flowering. Is there a functional basis for these distinctions? If so, how did they evolve in the first place? Is there some significance to the geographic dimensions of their variation patterns?

Any group of plants whose members range as widely will parallel the bromeliads in intraspecies variety. They too will exhibit what biologists describe as "ecotypic differentiation". All species are identified by the traits each member individual shares with its brethren that distinguish it from specimens belonging to other species. Botanists construct taxonomic keys on the basis of these discrepancies. Yet we all know that plant species are not static; qualification for a particular Latin binomial does not mean that every individual so designated fits a single set of criteria, not even that established for the type specimen upon which the taxonomist bases the official description and Latin name. In fact, no two individuals are ever exactly the same. Biological identity is approached when pure inbred domestic stocks are created by the agricultural geneticist or horticulturist propagating grape vines or fruit trees, or bromeliads by cutting. In this second instance, offspring constitute a clone. But even here somatic mutations may occur, resulting in sports that no longer share all the features of their parent.

Guzmania monostachia growing in shade in the Fakahatchee.

In nature only the very rare population is exclusively clonal (propagates by asexual means). Rather, the typical species is comprised of individuals that engage to varying degrees in gene exchanges with neighbors whenever pollinators are available to promote seed set. The result is a group whose members exhibit a range of familial relationships. The extent of those relationships usually approximates the geographic distance between compared individuals within the population, since pollinators generally don't fly very far when foraging, and even those seeds dispersed by wind rarely travel great distances. Sometimes a major physical barrier to pollen and seed transport, such as the extensive expanse of water around Florida, isolates parts of more widespread populations so that gene flow among segregates is quite rare. In cases like this, dramatic ecotype differentiation inevitably results if enough time passes for evolutionary divergence to take its usual course.

Orange-spiked Guzmania monostachia in Florida.

Ecotypic differentiation is pretty much what the term implies. Ecotypes, meaning subgroups in a broader species with distinct traits that adapt member individuals for local circumstances, arise wherever environmental conditions warrant and gene flow (or its absence in this case) allows. Florida represents a very different habitat from that prevailing in Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad or Central America. South Florida experiences occasional frosts, and the animal pollinators there may not be the same as the Mesoamerican ones. Growing conditions are novel in many other ways as well. As a result, survival of Tillandsia utriculata, Guzmania monostachia and other bromeliads in peninsular Florida requires some adaptations and strategies that offer less benefit elsewhere. Unique traits expressed by a particular bromeliad group to accommodate life in Florida could have arisen there by mutation or been brought to the area by the occasional vagrant seed(s) which founded that North American population. Those few individuals may have possessed genotypes that were unusual where their parents resided. In any case, we have to assume that, whatever their origin, characteristics present in plants many generations removed from their colonizers must be adaptive. At least those features cannot be too detrimental!

Why might Guzmania monostachia prefer shady habitats and, like Tillandsia utriculata, produce relatively drab inflorescences in Florida? Tillandsia fasciculata and T. polystachia are unusually brightly pigmented when flowering in this northernmost outpost compared to some of their more southerly representatives. Let's consider bract coloration first. Why are inflorescence bracts bright pastels rather than green anyway? It's to attract pollinators and to encourage dispersal later if fruits are fleshy. Indeed, colorful bracts associated with soft edible berries on such plants as Aechmea bracteata are called "fruit flags" because of their come-hither effects on birds, the animals that most often carry bromeliad seeds to new host trees. Now you can see why brightly colored inflorescences are shorter-lived among the wind-disseminated tillandsioids and much more durable in many bromelioids.

Some plants that require abundant seed production routinely set their own fruit to insure ripening a maximum seed crop. Not only are these plants self-compatible, they regularly shed pollen on their own stigmas and thus require no visits from pollinators. Plants lacking the capacity to propagate asexually are often autogamous (selfers), as are populations that live in temporary habitats and must reproduce often, or those that have access to only a few pollen carriers. Long-term disadvantages attend over-reliance on self-pollination, but the more immediate benefits accruing from this type of breeding system may be very high.

Once a population becomes autogamous, nature, in her continuous effort to economize, minimizes energy and materials committed to nonessential tasks. In this case, economy is achieved by cutting back on the production of floral pigments which are no longer cost-effective. As generations come and go and natural selection for high economy continues, colors fade, although the bracts themselves may remain little changed in size and shape; their protective function continues to be essential whether pollinators are required or not. For some reason Tillandsia utriculata and very possibly Guzmania monostachia in Florida do not seem to rely as heavily on pollinators (or the same animals) for fruit set as many of their relatives do elsewhere. Maybe the original colonists were autogamous even though many, if not all, of their parent populations today are comprised largely of outcrossers. Perhaps waifs that required pollinator service were less successful in setting seed and injecting their genes into growing Florida populations. Conceivably, T fasciculata, still brightly pigmented today, continued to attract adequate numbers of bird pollinators in its new Florida habitat while T. utriculata did not. Maybe parent populations of T. utriculata relied on insects to convey pollen, but those animals were not available farther north. Then again, Florida specimens may still receive some visits, but from night-flying moths that are not attracted by bright colors. It would be instructive to know which animals visit these two species in other parts of their ranges and how common comparable flower foragers are in Florida. Whatever the cause, at this point in time Florida's populations of Guzmania monostachia and several tillandsias bear the unmistakable mark of selfers that require high seed set. Tillandsia utriculata has progressed farthest along this route; asexual reproduction by offshoot is almost unknown in this species. Whether or not animals continue to participate in reproduction in these particular bromeliad populations will require close observation in the field both by night and by day.

Shade tolerance may have been promoted in Guzmania monostachia in Florida by those same cold periods that set the upper range limits for all nonhardy plants in North America. Freezing weather could have effected this evolutionary change by selectively eliminating the high-light-demanding individuals obliged to grow near the top of the forest canopy. More shade-tolerant plants those capable of succeeding closer to the ground where cooling occurs less rapidly would have had a better chance of avoiding frost damage than would specimens growing above. With such selection over enough generations, genes imparting shade tolerance would have become the norm in Florida's G. monostachia populations and the ancestral (Caribbean) habitat preference would have been lost.

Bromeliad growers should be aware of ecotypic differentiation. All kinds of traits vary with location across a bromeliad's geographic range. Some, like cold or heat tolerance, offer no clue to their presence. Only trial and error will reveal whether a particular specimen is better or more poorly equipped than its relatives to grow under frosty conditions. If possible, growers should inquire about the collection localities of the plants they buy. A grower in Florida or Louisiana is apt to have the greatest success with a Tillandsia imperialis collected at the lowest possible altitude. Someone cultivating their bromeliads in Quito, Ecuador or La Paz, Bolivia could afford to be less choosy. However, they should be more concerned about getting the cooler-growing members of lowland species. Hybridizers should also be aware of ecotype differentiation while selecting the best stock for their crosses. All of these comments underscore the importance of good records and identification. The more information on collection locality that follows a plant through the trade, the more valuable that specimen and its progeny will remain for the horticulturist and grower.

Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio

Andre's Bromeliad Collecting in Colombia and Ecuador


An illustration of Aechmea drakeana from Ecuador described by Andre in the Revue Horticole, 1888.

(Reprinted from Plant Life, Volume 1, Nos. 2 & 3, July & October 1945)

When Edouard Francois Andre, botanist, horticulturist and editor, journeyed from the mouth of the Rio Magdalena in northern Colombia to Loja in southern Ecuador, he collected and studied a great variety of plants, but there can be little doubt that his main interest lay with the bromeliads or members of the pineapple family. It must have been or he would never have continued to collect such difficult plants to prepare through all that grueling journey. Then after his return to France he spent many years studying his collections and produced as his one great monograph, the "Bromeliaceae Andreanae," an account of the 122 species and 14 varieties which he had brought back. Of these, 91 species were described as new either here or in his earlier brief enumeration, and it should be noted that the great majority of them are still considered valid. With excusable pride he noted that Humboldt and Bonpland found only 19 new species of bromeliads over a much wider area.

Andre's achievement in making such a notable contribution to science can best be understood in the light of his character and training as revealed in the narrative of his journey in "Le Tour de Monde" and in the introduction to the volume on his Bromeliaceae. Since Andre was not given to self-analysis, one must read between the lines to see the man. There one is struck with his enthusiasm for collecting and his firmness of purpose that sees him through the difficulties and disappointments of travel under the most primitive conditions. Yet all the time he is describing his hardships, he seldom fails to see their humorous side and point it up with a dry Gallic wit.

His training he dismisses briefly except for an affectionate tribute to his friend and teacher, Edouard Morren, the leading authority on bromeliads in his day. There is not even a hint that Andre was a landscape architect famed the length and breadth of Europe, and the bald statement of the scope of his commission from the French government is all we have to indicate the esteem of his fellow countrymen. The fact remains that he was superlatively well prepared to take advantage of every opportunity to advance natural science.

Thus, after an introduction much too long for Andre's approval, we find him and his two companions one day in late November of 1875 embarking on a new but ramshackle stern-wheeler at the Magdalena river-port of Barranquilla. He paid humorous tribute to the Yankee owners and skipper, passengers, food, service and last, and doubtless most difficult, to the mosquitoes.

The ship had to stop at intervals for fuel and Andre seized each such opportunity to rush ashore and collect. At Isla Brava, one of these stops along the torrid lower reaches of the Magdalena, he collected his first new species of bromeliad, Aechmea penduliflora with its delicate nodding inflorescence. Evidently it did not make much impression on him at the time, for Isla Brava is not mentioned in his narrative. Understandably the great heat (sand up to 127 F.), the poisonous snakes and the vara santa tree with hollow branches full of vicious ants, all had greater impact at the moment.

Smithsonian Institution
Assorting the Day's Collection

The other species of the lower Magdalena were typical of tropical lowlands around the Caribbean: Guzmania monostachia, Catopsis sessiliflora, Tillandsia valenzuelana and Aechmea magdalenae. It seems strange that he should be the first to discover the latter species, for it extends from Colombia to Yucatan, grows in dense impenetrable stands of great extent and has long been used by the Indians for its fiber. Possibly its resemblance to a pineapple caused earlier botanists to overlook it, or to look the other way rather than try to collect it.

Even on the more temperate upper Magdalena, Andre found the elevation still too low for optimum conditions for bromeliads. At Honda, he changed from the boat to the mule train which was to be his chief conveyance henceforth, and started southeastward up the Cordillera Oriental toward Bogota.

Andre was quickly adjusted to this new mode of travel and even the toboggan tactics of the mules on wet clay slopes soon failed to distract his attention from the spectacle about him. The trail rose, the temperature dropped, and soon Spanish moss, Tillandsia usneoides, and stunted vegetation marked the beginning of the "tierra fria" or cool upland where gaudy Ericaceae predominate.

At Facatativa he reached the rim of the ancient lake-bed in which Bogota lies. There he found his first truly Andean species of bromeliad Tillandsia incarnata, which covers the ground with a gray carpet flecked with the bright red of its bracts.

After a short stop in Bogota where he made some very helpful acquaintances, he continued across the remainder of the Andean chain of Villavicencio on the western edge of the great llanos or prairie country of the Orinoco Basin. Crossing the Andes he began to pick up new bromeliads in earnest: Tillandsia heterandra, Pitcairnia guaritermae and P. brachysperma, and Aechmea servitensis, as well as a number of older species. However, in the bromeliad-poor llanos, Andre found only Aechmea angustifolia, a characteristic species of the Amazon Basin.

From Villavicencion, Andre retraced his steps to Bogota, then swung off his old course toward a more southerly junction with the Rio Magdalena. At first he followed along the lazy curves of the Rio Funza where he found two more new tillandsias, then where the Funza suddenly drops off nearly five hundred feet in the great Tequendama Falls, Ande encountered his Tillandsia tequendamae with its own cascade of bright red bracts in a pendent inflorescence.

His route turned southward now to Barroblanco and Fusagasuga, whence he made a side trip to the famous Gulf or Chasm of Icononzo. A short distance from Icononzo he found a striking bromeliad which he later described as Aechmea columnaris on account of its slender inflorescence which reaches a height of eight feet and seems to be made of hundreds of golden beads. Its leaves are blood red for two-thirds their length, making even the sterile plants extremely ornamental.

Nearby Andre collected what might be called the minimum bromeliad, for it had no stem, no scape, and only a single flower in the center of a tiny rosette of leaves. It was later named Tillandsia Andreana by Edouard Morren. Andre also discovered Bromelia nidus-puellae which has a dense mass of flowers nested in the center of the rosette.

Back at Fusagasuga he turned westward again and descended the Cordillera Oriental to the Magdalena at Guataqui, finding little of note in bromeliads as he rapidly lost altitude.

After crossing the Magdalena in a precariously balanced dugout canoe he started up the first slopes of the Cordillera Central. Beginning with a single new pitcairnia just across the river, his list was increased by another pitcairnia, a tillandsia and three guzmanias by the time he reached the crest of Quindio Pass.

On the way up, his route passed for a time through stands of beautiful wax palms with white trunks like slender columns of ivory, and at Las Cruces he came to a hacienda whose economy was based in large part on the collection of this wax. The owner of the hacienda proved both intelligent and hospitable and Andre stayed for a while to take advantage of the rich collecting.

On one occasion his host organized a jaguar hunt for Andre's special benefit. Andre struggled down to the bed of a ravine through dense jungle and laid in wait for the jaguar to be driven past. Unfortunately some epiphytes among them some new tillandsias so distracted his attention that the beast got clean by him and he caught only a glimpse of it as it flashed into the brush.

Leaving Las Cruces, Andre went up over the divide and struggled into Salento after nightfall. Here his Tillandsia rariflora proved to be rare in more than flowers, for nobody has collected it in the seventy years that has elapsed since then. Another night on the downslope he was forced to spend in a filthy hovel at Tambores, but next day he reached Cartago in the Cauca Valley. The west slope of the Cordillera Central had netted him a new aechmea and four new tillandsias.

From Cartago, Andre turned sharp left and proceeded southward up the Cauca Valley. As usual, the return to the lowlands signaled the practical disappearance of interesting bromeliads. The same distance that had yielded him so many new ones in crossing the Cordillera Central, now gave him nothing new and very little old along the winding swampy Cauca.

By the time he reached Buga about seventy miles to the south of Cartago he felt there was little more to learn from the monotonous valley. So agreeing to rejoin his companions at Cali, he took one peon and started on a side trip across the Cordillera Occidental. After ferrying the Cauca, he went down its west bank over terribly muddy and often flooded roads until he reached Vijes. There he was warned that his intended route over the mountains was both difficult and dangerous, but feeling sure that the alternate route offered but poor collecting he stuck to his decision.

He was soon rewarded with some very rich collecting as his trail entered the dense humid forest of the Alto del Potrerito. There he found a great variety of cryptogams and the new bromeliads, Guzmania sphaeroidea and Tillandsia Carrierei, as well as Tillandsia tenuispica that he had discovered but a short time before.

As Andre climbed higher he came out on the rounded crests of the Cordillera with their short grass or loma formation. Then his route went down and for a time he found forest between Alto del Bitaco and the Rio Dagua. This stretch of trail drops three thousand feet in a short distance. Looking down, Andre remarked on the strange white pattern on the vegetation below and his guide explained that it was the bones of travelers and their mules picked clean by the vultures. In spite of the risks of such a trail, he still managed to collect a few more new bromeliads.

At Las Juntas he started back after an unpleasant night with vampire bats. His Tillandsia fragrans comes from this locality and further on where he entered an arid region at Los Hornos (the ovens), he came on a great bromeliad, six to nine feet high with rigid leaves like fluted zinc and great red-violet panicles. This was the Tillandsia secunda of Humboldt. In the small settlement of Los Hornos the houses were surrounded by very effective hedges of Bromelia Karatas with its long leaves armed with great sharp hooks pointing in all directions.

Andre rejoined his companions at Cali, rested from an attack of fever and made preparations for the next leg of his journey. This part from Cali to Popayan was uneventful.

Next he had a choice of two southward routes from Popayan to Pasto and deliberately chose the worse because so little was known of its geology. Both his expectations and his fears were justified and the party reached Pasto much the worse for fever and little richer botanically.

At Pasto, Andre rested and refitted for two weeks and also took some short side trips. Best of these was the one to Laguna Cocha high in the western Andes near where the great Rio Putumayo has its source. A local mountaineer offered to guide him and they set out early one day with several other natives of Pasto. Leaving their horses at an Indian village they began the hard ascent of the Cordillera del Tabano by the "monkey trail" using their hands almost as much as their feet. On every side an infinite variety of cryptogams, orchids and bromeliads covered all parts of the trees and in spite of the difficulties of the trail Andre managed to collect a goodly number. Guzmania candelabrum hung from high branches like the chandeliers of a cathedral.

After going through a narrow defile so overgrown as to be almost a tunnel, they emerged on the Alto de la Cruz and were rewarded with a magnificent view of Laguna Cocha. A painful decent by two "ladders" of roots brought them to the edge of the lake at the hut of Casapamba, but not without losing two of the party who spent a miserable night in the woods.

The next day Andre set out in the driving rain to explore the lake margin. As he waded through tall sedges something like a telegraph pole suddenly loomed up before him. It was Puya gigas, one of the largest of bromeliads with a flowering stem thirty feet high. Although Andre was able to cultivate it in France, it never produced flowers there.

Smithsonian Institution
Puya gigas

Before leaving Pasto, Andre was met by Jules Thomas, a French resident of Tuquerres who had come especially to conduct him to that city. About halfway there, near the deep gorge of the Rio Guitara they encountered a beautiful puya with a graceful open panicle and pale green flowers. Years later Andre described it as Puya Thomasiana in pleasant memory of their association.

From Tuquerres, Andre made a short excursion to Volcan Azufral on whose lower slopes he found puyas, tillandsias, guzmanias and other plants that grow well in European cool houses. In sharp contrast to the deep lowland was the pale grass of the upper slopes and the riot of color in the crater lake of Laguna Verde and its surrounding amphitheater.

Andre had heard of the rich lowland country about Barbacoas to the northeast and decided to go collecting in that direction in spite of reports of the worst roads yet. He soon passed the western crest of the Cordillera and before him lay the great alluvial outwash from the bursting of the prehistoric lake that used to occupy the upper reaches of the Patia. At San Pablo the trail became too bad for his horse and he had to proceed on foot or riding in a chair strapped back to back on his Indian porter. About the same time he entered the rainiest country he had yet seen. Heavy storms were almost continuous and the Indians built their cabins on stilts like lake-dwellers.

If the trail to Laguna Cocha merited the title of "monkey trail" this could only be described as the "bird trail." At the Rio Cuaiquer which he had to cross on a swaying bridge of lianas, Andre found his Guzmania Morreniana with its close-packed chestnut spikes and hieroglyphic leaf-markings and Guzmania Eduardi with its brilliant red involucre. Both commemorate his friend Edouard Morren.

At Los Astrojos at the summit of a long climb, Indians had erected a rustic cross and adorned it with an epiphytic guzmania with appropriately blood-red leaves. This was Andre's Guzmania sanguinea which became popular in cultivation.

Near another crest, Alto de Armada, he looked up to see bright red and yellow heads of flowers hanging from delicate vine-like plants of Guzmania caricifolia and G. graminifolia. These two species that have yet to be rediscovered, he placed in a new genus, Sodiroa, on the basis of their habit.

Just short of Barbacoas, Andre turned back in order to save the collections he had made. In addition to the bad trail he had his worries from close landslides and a drunken porter whose delay in returning to Tuquerres nearly ruined the last lot of specimens.

Heading south on his last lap toward Ecuador, Andre traveled over a high nearly bare plateau where the only trees were an occasional alder or willow. However, the low vegetation of such genera as Bomarea, Fuchsia, Berberis, and Vallea was very colorful, and many high cascades added to the grandeur of the scene. Bromeliads were few, but he did find Tillandsia lajensis near the sanctuary of the Virgin of Laja and Tillandsia rectiflora by the natural bridge of Rumichaca which he crossed into Ecuador.

In Colombia, Andre had frequently been below the optimum range of bromeliads, but now in Ecuador he traveled at such an altitude that he was more often well above it. On the paramo above Tulcan, he met with his first Ecuadorian bromeliads including Tillandsia tetrantha var. scarlatina with brilliant red bracts.

By the canon of the Rio Chota he found both extremes of bromeliad range, with the new Puya aequatorialis on the bleak paramo and Tillandsia recurvata along with sugar cane plantations on the riverbanks some 4500 feet below. The puya was another indication of the height of his route since it is a genus of the open paramo formation above tree-line while the majority of bromeliads prefers dense forest.

After reaching Quito, Andre did a little local collecting and then had the good fortune to meet R. P. Sodiro who knew the region in great detail. On their expedition they went south to Corazon and then struck west down the Rio Toachi. At Tambillo near Quito, Andre found his Tillandsia pastensis for a third time. It is interesting to note how often Andre recollected his own new species, a situation which is eloquent of the neglect of the family by earlier collectors.

On the slopes of Corazon Andre found his Puya vestita with densely woolly sepals and Tillandsia homostachya, another member of the sub-genus Pseudo-Catopsis with zig-zag spikes of tiny flowers. At one point along the river they passed through a stand of horsetails, Equisetum giganteum, over fifteen feet high. The return was complicated by mutinous porters but Andre cowed them by heroic measures and brought his collections safely back to Quito.

A second trip was north and west of the region of Niebli where Andre found his richest collecting in Ecuador. In the haul were three new guzmanias and a new tillandsia and according to his illustration they even slept surrounded by bromeliads.

Smithsonian Institution
Andre and companion sleeping among bromeliads; Niebli region, Ecuador.

After about a month, Andre left Quito and collecting a little more as he moved south he finally arrived at Babahoyo on the Rio Guayas and here his account in "Le Tour de Monde" ends. However, we know from his collections that he went to Loja before starting home.

After his return to France, his bromeliads occupied much of his time for the next thirteen years, and later botanists are grateful to Andre not only for the magnitude of his collecting but even more for the accuracy and fullness of his reports.


Since the original publication of this article in 1945 the following changes in nomenclature have been made:

Tillandsia heterandra becomes Vriesea heterandra
Tillandsia tequendamae becomes Vriesea tequendamae
Aechmea columnaris becomes Aechmea latifolia
Tillandsia fragrans becomes Vriesea fragrans
Tillandsia secunda becomes Tillandsia mima
Tillandsia rectiflora becomes Tillandsia Fraseri
These are all covered in my Bromeliaceae of Colombia.

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.

Reprinted from The Bromeliad Society Bulletin, Vol. XIII, No. 5, 1963.

Guzmania blassii, An Attractive New Species from Costa Rica


Guzmania blassii, basal primary branches of inflorescence and short secondary branches.

Some years ago, Mr. A. Blass, Mittelneufnach, Germany, received from Mr. Clarence Horich, Costa Rica, a beautiful wine-red colored species of Guzmania which had been identified as G. compacta but without field data. Mr. Blass gave some of the specimens to the Botanical Garden, Heidelberg, Germany, at that time. Both in his collection and the Botanical Garden they developed into beautiful plants. Upon flowering, it was evident that they indeed have affinities with G. compacta, but on the other hand there are remarkable differences between them. The differences have led to the conclusion that the specimens sent by Mr. Horich from Costa Rica can be described as a new species, named after Mr. Blass. The description of the new species is as follows:

Guzmania zahnii, inflorescence.

Guzmania blassii Rauh nov. spec.

PLANT: stemless or with a short rhizomatous stem, at flowering, 40-60 cm high; (see cover) LEAVES: numerous, forming a funnel-shaped rosette, 25 cm high and 20 cm wide. LEAF SHEATHS: inconspicuous, lanceolate-ovate, 8-10 cm long, 6 cm wide, pale brownish-green, lepidote with fine wine-red stripes. LEAF BLADES: above the sheath: 4 cm wide, up to 35 cm long, acute, even, nearly glabrous on both sides, basal rosette leaves on the upper side, olive green, brownish-red beneath, inner rosette leaves bright wine-red on both sides; INFLORESCENCE SCAPE: erect, thick, red, glabrous, 10-30 cm long; SCAPE BRACTS: densely imbricate, the basal ones subfoliate, wine-red, the upper ones gradually changing into the primary bracts; INFLORESCENCE: all organs except the yellow flowers are bright wine-red, up to 20 cm long and up to 7 cm in diameter, lax at the base, in the upper part dense-cylindrical with numerous spikes, tripinnate at the base, bipinnate in the upper part; basal primary branches with short 1-2 secondary branches, basal primary bracts similar to the upper scape bracts, exceeding the inflorescence branches, with broad ovate, boat-shaped sheath and 5 cm long blades; upper primary bracts shorter than the spikes, broad triangular, acute; all primary bracts glabrous, bright wine-red; INFLORESCENCE RHACHIS: thick, angled, glabrous, wine-red, visible at the base, spikes, shortly petiolated, erect-divergent, cylindrical, up to 3.5 cm long and 2.5 cm in diameter, with 13-15 flowers; secondary spikes shorter, with only 5 flowers; FLORAL BRACTS: broad-elliptic, sharply carinate at the base, wine-red, green tipped, glabrous, even, shorter than the sepals; SEPALS: up to 2 cm long, the posterior sharply keeled, connate for 7 mm, lemon yellow, whitish at the base; PETALS: lemon-yellow, up to 3.2 cm long, with 5 mm long, free, nearly erect lobes. Stamen and style included, the latter longer than the anthers, with green stigmas, petals postfloral turning brown.

DISTRIBUTION: Rainforest of Costa Rica, without exact locality.

HOLOTYPE: B.G.H. 55 238; Coll. C. Horich, Costa Rica, s. Nr.

Guzmania blassii Rauh nov. spec. : Similis est et G. compacta, Mez et G. zahnii (hook.f.) Mez. Differt a G. compacta his signis: Inflorescentia elongata (haud digitata-ovoidea) tripinnata, saltem basi; bracteae florales carinatae (haud ecarinatae), leves (haud prominenter nervatae). G. zahnii differt a G. blassii his signis: Inflorescentia bipinnata; spicae laxae, distincte pedunculatae, suberectae vel patentes, 5-12 florae; bracteae florales carinatae, fulvae (haud fuluide rubrae).

G. blassii differs from G. compacta in the following characteristics: inflorescence elongate, not digitate-ovoid, tripinnate, not bipinnate, floral bracts carinate, not ecarinate, even, not prominently nerved. G. blassii, however, shows affinities also to G. zahnii, of which wild-collected plants are rare in bromeliad collections today. In G. zahnii, only the inner rosette leaves, the scape bracts and the basal primary bracts are wine-red in color; at flowering all the other organs of the bipinnate inflorescence are bright yellow. The erect to spreading spikes are subcapitate to cylindric and have 5-12 flowers. The petals are connate only for a length of 7 mm. G. zahnii is also native in the rainforest of Costa Rica.

G. blassii is a beautifully colored species in the vegetative state and could well serve as a parent for hybridizing.

Heidelberg, Germany

Bigeneric Hybrids A Listing


Hybrid plants certainly hold a fascination for many plant lovers. Man has never seemed to be content with God's handiwork he is always trying to "improve" on nature.

A hybrid, as we all know, is a cross between two species, a species and a hybrid or between two hybrids. The hybridizer, be he a professional or a strictly one-time-amateur, hopes, and usually believes, he can create a plant which is not only beautiful but which is "better" than its parents. Sometimes the hybridizer does achieve this goal but quite often he fails. The ideal hybrid would contain the best features of both parents, but unfortunately this seldom happens. In an article in the Journal of the Bromeliad Society, Vol. XXXI, pp. 62-63, Bernard Stonor of Australia made some very interesting comments on hybrids.

Since bromeliads were introduced into cultivation, there have been many hybrids produced within this family. Some of the earliest seem to have been billbergia hybrids, and in addition, a large number of vriesea hybrids have been produced in Europe. Some of the most beautiful bromeliads seen in shows today are hybrids, especially among the neoregelias and cryptanthus.

Most hybridizing has been done between species and hybrids within the same genus. But there are hybrids which are created by crossing plants from two different genera. These are called bigeneric hybrids. There may be more than two genera involved in some hybrids but this listing is concerned only with the bigeneric hybrids.

When I first began to research the bigeneric hybrids for a program for my local study group, I was amazed at the large number which had been created through the years, since bigeneric hybrids are not the easiest hybrids to create. There seems to be a greater chance for incompatibility when more than one genus is involved in a cross.

Following is a list of the bigeneric bromeliad hybrids which I have encountered in books, catalogs, shows, private collections etc. Since some of the sources may be unreliable, there may well be grievous errors and omissions in the list but hopefully my attempt to bring all the bigenerics together in one list will prove to be of some value. Perhaps growers and hybridizers will point out mistakes so that they can be noted.

Photo by Grace Goode
Neolarium Surprise (Neoregelia Vulkan Nidularium sp.) A hybrid by Grace Goode, Australia. This plant seems to show good traits from both parents.

Photo by Edgar Smith
Neomea Nebula. A hybrid by E. Hummel.

Photo by Edgar Smith
Tejas Study Group member Mrs. Willie McGuffey holding
Aechmea chantinii Neoregelia Morris Henry Hobbs.

In this list the name of the hybrid (when one has been bestowed properly or improperly) is listed first, followed by the parents of the plant, when known. The hybridizer and date of hybridizing is listed next but this information is not so readily available. An asterisk (*) preceding the name of a plant indicates it is listed in a bromeliad catalog which was available to me.

There are 121 bigeneric hybrids listed of which slightly less than half seem to be available in the trade. No doubt, others are obtainable from bromeliad nurseries and private collectors. neomeas lead the list with 29 but neolariums are not far behind with 21. It is interesting to note that this list (from dates available) covers 100 years. The earliest date in the listing is Guzvriesea Magnifica produced by Ed Lemoine in 1880 and the latest is Eddy Ailstock's Neolarium Ethel Lee in 1980.

Naturally, in the years ahead, many many more bigeneric hybrids will be produced. Some of them will be beautiful additions to our bromeliad family while others will be vastly disappointing. The dedicated hybridizer is learning which plants tend to pass on certain traits to their progeny. When this knowledge is applied in the making of hybrids some lovely plants will result. There should be an exciting future for the bigeneric hybrids and for those of us who find them so fascinating.


Anamea (Aechmea Ananas)
*Scorpio: Ed Hummel

Anagelia (Ananas Neoregelia)
*Ananas bracteatus v. tricolor Neoregelia carolinae 'Princeps'

Androleachmea (Androlepis Aechmea)
*Crateriform (Androlepis skinneri Aechmea distichantha schlumbergii)
Androlepis skinneri Aechmea fasciata: Louis Dutrie
Androlepis skinneri Aechmea fulgens v. discolor: Dutrie

Billmea (Billbergia Aechmea)
Lasso (Aechmea lasseri Billbergia pyramidalis): Kelsey Williams, 1971
*Billbergia pyramidalis Aechmea lueddemanniana

Billque (Billbergia Quesnelia)
Perringiana (Billbergia nutans Quesnelia liboniana)
Rancougnei (Billbergia sp. Quesnelia liboniana)
Sebastian Laruelle (Billbergia viridiflora Quesnelia liboniana)

Canmea (Canistrum Aechmea)
*Jaspe: Ed Hummel
*Majo (Canistrum fosterianum Aechmea fosteriana)
*Smokey (Canistrum fosterianum Aechmea chantinii)

Cryptbergia (Cryptanthus Billbergia)
Fantasy (Billbergia pyramidalis Cryptanthus Lubbersianus): Kathy Dorr
Fantasy 'Curly Locks' (A curly leafed cultivar of the previous cross)
Goodale (Cryptanthus 'It' Cryptbergia Rubra): Grace Goode, 1978
*Meadii (Cryptanthus beuckeri Billbergia nutans): Theodore Mead *Rubra (Cryptanthus bahianus Billbergia nutans): Theodore Mead
(An attempt has been made to rename this Cryptbergia Red Burst but C. Rubra is such a well established name it should prevail.)
Billbergia pyramidalis v. pyramidalis Cryptanthus Cherry Sundae: Edgar Smith, 1979

Cryptmea (Cryptanthus Aechmea)
*Aechmea fasciata Cryptanthus beuckeri

Guzlandsia (Guzmania Tillandsia)
Tillandsia biflora Guzmania lingulata minor: Walter Richter, 1953

Guzvriesea (Guzmania Vriesea)
Elata (Vriesea incurvata Guzmania zahnii): Louis Dutrie
*Jeannieae (Guzmania lingulata Vriesea Rex): Ralph Davis
Madam S. DeSmet (Guzmania Mirabilis Vriesea Van Geertii)
Magnifica (Guzmania zahnii Vriesea splendens): Ed Lemoine, 1880
Mirabilis (Vriesea splendens Guzmania zahnii): Leon Duval, 1902
Guzmania lingulata Vriesea splendens
Guzmania lingulata v. splendens Vriesea Poelmanii

Neobergia (Neoregelia Billbergia)
Perneri (Billbergia nutans Neoregelia spectabilis): Brownie Perner

Neolarium (Neoregelia Nidularium)
Ethel Lee (Nidularium Ruby Lee 'Variegata' Neoregelia carolinae v. tricolor 'Perfecta'): Eddy Ailstock, 1980
* Marchalii (Neoregelia macrosepala Nidularium fulgens)
Mystery: Ed Hummel
Red Queen
Something Special (Nidularium fulgens Neoregelia Vulkan): Grace Goode, 1977
Something Special 'Thor': A very different cultivar of above cross
Souvenir de Casmir Morobe (Nidularium rutilans Neoregelia carolinae): Dutrie
Surprise (Neoregelia concentrica Nidularium sp.): Grace Goode
Vulcan: Hummel
*War Paint: Hummel
Neolarium Thor Neoregelia macrosepala: Grace Goode, 1979
Neoregelia Amabilis Nidularium fulgens: Louis Dutrie
Neoregelia binotii Nidularium innocentii: Dutrie
*Neoregelia carolinae Nidularium fulgens
Neoregelia concentrica Nidularium rutilans: Dutrie
Neoregelia concentrica v. proserpinae Nidularium fulgens
*Neoregelia Fosperior Nidularium fulgens
*Nidularium innocentii Neoregelia carolinae: Dutrie
*Nidularium innocentii Neoregelia Fireball: Nat DeLeon
Nidularium innocentii Neoregelia princeps: Dutrie

Neomea (Neoregelia Aechmea)
Blanca: Hummel
*Exquisita: Hummel
Leonardo (Neoregelia carolinae Aechmea tessmannii): Jeffrey Kent, 1978
*Marnieri (Neoregelia carolinae Aechmea chantinii): Mulford Foster, 1958
Memorial Ralph Davis (Neoregelia johannis v. rubra Aechmea chantinii)
*Nebula: Hummel
*Polka Dot: Hummel
*Polka Parade: Hummel
*Popcorn: Hummel
Porcupine: Hummel
Ralph Davis: Ralph Davis
Ramo: Hummel
*San Diego: Hummel
*Stardust (Aechmea chantinii #15 Neoregelia ampullaceae v. tigrina 'Midget') Joe Carrone, 1974
*Strawberry (Also called Neomea Meadii)
White Ghost: Hummel
Violet Beauty: Hummel
*Whiskey Street: Ralph Davis
*Zippy: Hummel (This possibly is also referred to as Aechmea Zippy)
Aechmea chantinii Neoregelia Morris Henry Hobbs
Neoregelia carolinae Aechmea fasciata
Neoregelia carolinae Aechmea fulgens v. discolor
*Neoregelia farinosa Aechmea distichantha v. schlumbergi: Foster
*Neoregelia spectabilis Aechmea recurvata
*Neoregelia tristis Aechmea miniata

Neophytum (Neoregelia Orthophytum)
*Blushing Bride (Neoregelia Blushing Bride Orthophytum navioides)
*Gary Hendrix (Neoregelia carolinae 'Princeps' Orthophytum navioides)
Hytime (Orthophytum vagans Neoregelia concentrica): James Georgusis
*Lymanii (Neoregelia bahiana v. viridis Orthophytum navioides) M. Foster, 1958
Mollie S. (Neoregelia marmorata Orthophytum navioides): Bert Foster
*Ralph Davis (Neoregelia carolinae Orthophytum navioides): Nat DeLeon
*Ralph Davis 'Wide Wings' (Neoregelia carolinae meyendorfii Orthophytum navioides) DeLeon
*Neoregelia carolinae Orthophytum saxicola

Neotanthus (Neoregelia Cryptanthus)
*Cardboard: Foster
*Firefoam: Hummel

Nidumea (Nidularium Aechmea)
Chantrieri (Nidularium innocentii Aechmea fulgens v. discolor): Dutrie
Claret Cup: Hummel
Loeseneri (Nidularium billbergioides Aechmea calyculata)
Santa Cruz
*Superstar (Nidularium innocentii v. innocentii Aechmea fasciata): DeLeon
*Superstar 'Midnight' (A dark form of above cross)
Weilbachii (Aechmea weilbachii Nidularium billbergioides): Grace Goode
Aechmea gamosepala Nidularium purpurea
*Nidularium antoineanum Aechmea fasciata
*Nidularium billbergioides v. citrinum Aechmea fasciata
*Nidularium fulgens Aechmea fasciata
*Nidularium procerum Aechmea fasciata
*Nidularium regelioides Aechmea fasciata
*Nidularium rosulatum Aechmea fasciata

Ortholarium (Orthophytum Nidularium)
*Little Bit: Hummel (Apparently sometimes listed as Orthotanthus Little Bit and even as Nidularium Little Bit)

Orthotanthus (Orthophytum Cryptanthus)
*What (Orthophytum saxicola v. rubra Cryptanthus 'It'): John Garretson, 1971

Orthomea (Orthophytum Aechmea)
* Powderpuff (Orthophytum navioides Aechmea fasciata v. purpurea): Nat DeLeon

Portemea (Portea Aechmea)
Luis Ariza-Julia (Aechmea mulfordii Portea leptantha): Luis Ariza-Julia, 1972

Quesmea (Quesnelia Aechmea)
*Dart: Hummel (Sometimes listed as Quesnelia Dart)
*Lymanii (Quesnelia quesneliana Aechmea distichantha v. schlumbergeri)
*Aechmea chantinii Quesnelia testudo
Quesnelia marmorata Aechmea chantinii
Quesnelia marmorata Aechmea fasciata: Hans Gulz
*Quesnelia testudo Aechmea distichantha v. schlumbergeri

Streptomea (Streptocalyx Aechmea)
*Streptocalyx poeppigii Aechmea fendleri

Vrieselandsia (Vriesea Tillandsia)
Professor Bouillenne (Vriesea Souvenir de Joseph Mawet Tillandsia fasciculata): Charles Chevalier, 1931
Vriesea Baron deSelys Tillandsia imperialis: 1912
*Vriesea incurvata Tillandsia flabellata: DeLeon
Vriesea Mariae Tillandsia multicaulis: DeLeon

Dallas, Texas

Neoregelia Roy


The photograph on the back cover is of the sole survivor of a cross between Neoregelia melanodonta 'Red' and N. spectabilis 'Pinkie'. I kept only this one plant, because it most closely exhibited those qualities which it was my intention to enhance when I selected the parents. The other plants from the cross were attractive, but I was seeking a really unusual show plant, and this was the one I selected.

From the N. melanodonta 'Red' parent, the seedling inherited broad, squat leaves, heavily emarginated with bright carmine red, cross bands of the same color, as well as those upturned spines on the tips which are a major point of difference between N. melanodonta and some of the other closely related species in this genus. These characteristics were exhibited when the plant was only about 4 inches tall. Many of the others from the cross were either slow to show such features or had them to a much less marked degree.

A little later in the growth of the seedling I had selected, the influence of the N. spectabilis Pinkie parent began to appear. The first trait I noticed was the silver-white banding on the underside of the leaves; a common enough occurrence among neoregelias, but absent in the N. melanodonta 'Red' parent. As the seedling developed, red spots appeared, and as I moved it to brighter and yet brighter light, they became more prominent. With exposure to brighter light, the plant also developed a more yellowish color.

This was my first attempt at producing a hybrid and since my late husband had been teasing me about my efforts, I named it for him. Blatant, outright flattery as this was, it was successful in that the wisecracks stopped.

I have been growing Neoregelia Roy for several years and have a considerable supply of plants. In addition, I have remade the cross using superior plants, selfed N. Roy in order to produce improved plants and used it in crosses with other plants. For example, from a cross with N. cyanea, I have seedlings which should produce broad leaves with carmine red cross bands.

I predict that N. Roy and its progeny will give us some wonderful new plants in the next few years.

Alice, Texas

The Bromeliad Identification Center

Recent Contributors

Corpus Christi Bromeliad Society
South Seminole Garden Club
Tarrent County Bromeliad Society
Central Circle, Sanford Garden Club
Bromeliad Society of Central Florida
Tejas Bromeliad Study Group
Bromeliad Guild of Tampa Bay
Mulford B. Foster Memorial Fund
Ann and Jim Mann
Bromeliad Society of Queensland
David and Mary Christiano
Bromeliad Society, Inc. Auction
Hazel Quilhot
Seminole Bromeliad Society
Corpus Christi Bromeliad Society Memorial for Ruth Smith
Imperial Polk Bromeliad Society
Houston Bromeliad Society
Merril P. O'Neal
Alice Brown

Contributions are welcome from individuals and affiliates.


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.

Book Review


CUMULATIVE INDEX OF THE BULLETIN AND JOURNAL OF THE BROMELIAD SOCIETY Volumes 1-XXX (1951-1980) by Clyde F. Reed. Contribution of the Reed Herbarium No. XXIX Baltimore, Maryland, 1981. Braun-Brumfield, Inc. Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106.

This volume of 179 pages opens the door to the utilization of the vast amount of material that is contained in the first 30 years of the Bromeliad Society's Bulletin/Journal. This exhaustive index contains indices to: articles by various authors; people who are mentioned in the text; botanical gardens and herbaria; societies, affiliates, exhibits, displays and shows; common names and uses of bromeliads; in memoria; geographic areas; chemicals; genera and species; plants other than bromeliads; animals; and various other subjects.

If you have ever looked through past issues to see what was published on a particular subject, or about a person, you will appreciate the time this book will save. Dr. Reed is to be congratulated for this valuable contribution.

Corpus Christi, Texas

Funds generously contributed by the 1982 World Bromeliad Conference, Corpus Christi, Texas have paid for the color separations, other than those used for pp. 70 and 71, used to print this issue. Funds for the color separations used for the illustrations on pp. 70 and 71 were provided by the Tejas Bromeliad Study Group, Dallas, Texas.

ATTENTION AFFILIATES: If you have not received the Affiliate Newsletter, contact the chairperson for the Affiliates of the Society, Mrs. Mary Jane Lincoln, 1201 Waltham St., Metairie, La. 70001.

HYBRID REGISTRATION To register your hybrids, send for application blanks and rules to Harry Luther, Hybrid Registration Chairman, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 800 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, Florida 33578.

Coming Events

May 14 and 15
Oregon Bromeliad Society's Seventh Annual Show and Sale. Washington Square Mall, Portland, Oregon. Show Hours: May 14, 10 AM to 6 PM; May 15, noon to 5 PM.

May 14 and 15
Acadiana Bromeliad Society Fourth Annual Show and Sale. Natural History Museum & Planetarium, Lafayette, Louisiana. Show Hours: May 14, 1 to 5 PM; May 15, 10 AM to 5 PM.

May 21 and 22
River Ridge Bromeliad Society Third Annual Show and Sale. Harahan Recreation Center, 6601 Tenth St., Harahan, Louisiana. Show hours: May 21, 2 to 9 PM; May 22, 10 AM to 5 PM.

May 21 and 22
Bromeliad Society/Houston Show. Houston, Texas

June 4 and 5
The Southern California Bromeliad Council Show, Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia, California

June 17, 18, and 19
Atlanta Bromeliad Society, Inc. Fifth Annual Show and Sale. Cumberland Mall, I-285 West and US 41, Atlanta, Georgia. Show and Sale Hours: June 17-18, 9:30 AM to 9:30 PM; June 19, noon to 5:30 PM. During the Show, the Board of Directors of the Bromeliad Society, Inc. will meet.

BROMELIAD SLIDE LIBRARY Interesting programs for affiliated groups. For information and availability, send stamped, self-addressed envelope to Owana Jo Myers, 14895 Gardenhill Drive, La Mirada, California 90638.


Vol. XXXII, No. 2, p. 69:
Title of the article should read:
"A New Dwarf Puya from Bolivia"

Vol. XXXII, No. 3, p. 110:
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.

Vol. XXXII, No. 6, p. 259:
The 4th paragraph, last sentence should be replaced by: "After many years of debating, investigation and searching, the Identification Center was finally established and became an important function of the Bromeliad Society, Inc. After the death of Mulford B. Foster, the Identification Center was renamed The Mulford B. Foster Identification Center in his memory."

Neoregelia Roy

Photo by Jimi R. Prinz

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