BSI Journal - Online Archive

Journal of the Bromeliad Society
Copyright 1986 by the Bromeliad Society, Inc.

Vol. 36, No. 2March—April 1986

Editor: Thomas U. Lineham, Jr., 1508 Lake Shore Drive, Orlando, Florida 32803
Editorial Advisory Board: David H. Benzing, Racine S. Foster, Sue Gardner, Victoria Padilla, Robert W. Read.

Cover Photographs. Front: Puya gerdae, found by the Drs. Gutta in the Dept. of Lima, Peru, and for many years thought to be P. roezlii is compared and described by Wilhelm Weber beginning on page 56. Photography by Peter Gutta. Back: John Barbie is back with his best-yet poster for the 7th World Bromeliad Conference, New Orleans, May 21-25, 1986.

51Inca Gold Carol M. Johnson
55Puya gerdae, A New Peruvian Species Wilhelm Weber
60Seventh World Bromeliad Conference, New Orleans, May 21-25, 1986 Shirley Grubb
62Hydroponic Growing of Bromeliads (continued) Klaus Sasse; translated by Harvey Kendall
66Tillandsia roseoscapa Werner Rauh
69A Matter of Patience Victoria Padilla
70A New Species in Our Habitat Gene McKenzie
71Neoregelia gavionensis, a New Species from Brazil Gustavo Martinelli and Elton M.C. Leme
74Bromeliad Flower Arrangement, No. 8: Aechmea fulgens with "Purple Heart" and Rhoeo May A. Moir
76Trouble With Green Ants June Bennett
77A New Subspecies of Tillandsia utriculata from Mexico Sue Gardner
82Judging the Winners Roland and Jean Schnabel
86Regional Reflections

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Inca Gold
Carol M. Johnson

n June 1985, I set off on a collecting trip to Amazonian Peru with Fred Fuchs and a group of orchid persons. We arrived in Iquitos, capital of Loreto Dept., simultaneously with the San Juan winds, the only winter known in the area. This cold wind blows north from the Bolivian mountains and the temperatures drop to comfortable 70's [F.] in the daytime and 50's at night. They also signal the beginning of the dry season. During our 10-day visit, the Amazon River dropped three feet. Had we stayed another couple of days, we would have been forced to hike to an alternate pier to board the boat. All of our collecting was done at relatively low altitudes, certainly none higher than the highest spot in Florida. Consequently, all of the collected plants adapted to the Central Florida summer climate very well, but later proved to be extremely cold sensitive.

There were several other bromeliad collectors in the group, but we had to take a back seat to the orchid collectors who outnumbered us considerably. My in-house bromeliad expert and tree climber, son Geoffrey, was unable to go, so my daughter Kristi went with me. She enjoyed every minute of the trip and was a great help: she carried my pole, pulled me out of the mud, taped up my bum ankle, and lit the way with her flashlight during middle-of-the-night excursions. She does not know a great deal about bromeliads, however, so I had to do all of the looking.

Credit: This map is reprinted with the kind permission of
Explorama Tours.
Our daily excursions from Explorama Lodge on the Amazon were by boat, and we could see masses of beautiful, red Neoregelia eleutheropetala, Streptocalyx poeppigii, and Aechmea mertensii all along the banks of the river in the trees. When we went ashore, however, the plants seemed to disappear, or to move out of reach. Those within reach were grabbed by the Boston Marathoners who got ashore first, or were well protected by wasps and stinging ants. After the first couple of days, I began to scrounge in the other collectors' leavings and to put spent plants in my collecting bag along with what I managed to find on my own. My dreams of bags full of Neoregelia pendula and Tillandsia wagneriana began to fade. We seemed to be getting very little of anything.

Collecting improved when we moved to Explornapo Lodge on the Napo River, but was still very disappointing. The orchid collectors were not doing very well, either. Packing for our return home in Iquitos, I managed only half a box of plants and they were a sorry sight.

My luck changed when we arrived back in Miami and took the plants to the Department of Agriculture inspection station. There, nearly all of the plants were fumigated. Not mine. I still believe that the USDA people looked at my open box and thought it was somebody's trash and passed it by. When I arrived home with the unfumigated plants, I put them all in private quarantine as I always do, and called my plant inspector. He scarcely looked at the plants. I could tell that he felt very sorry for me.

The plants were not potted immediately. Instead, they were placed upright in empty pots and left for nearly six weeks until they got used to Florida and the English language. A few at a time, they began to grow or product offsets.

Now, in 1986, I can say that my Peruvian collecting trip was the most interesting and productive to date. To be sure, the collecting was different. In Mexico and Honduras, the tillandsias practically leaped out of the trees into the collecting bag. We returned home from those countries with hundreds of plants, and the species were immediately recognizable. In Peru, it was difficult to tell just what we were collecting. The plants have grown and bloomed, one by one, and many have been sent to the Bromeliad Identification Center at Selby Gardens for Harry Luther to name for me. So far, for sure, I know we collected the following:

Aechmea chantinii. These plants looked like birds perched in the trees and it seemed a shame to disturb them. I did, however, bring several "birds" home. They are banded, unbanded, large, and medium forms, and pure species. Chantinii varieties in cultivation have all been so corrupted that seedlings seldom come true. Since the collected plants are sterile, I shall attempt to keep them that way and to propagate only from offsets.

Aechmea contracta. For many years I have grown a form of Aechmea contracta, which is few-leaved, upright, with black splotches at the base. The bloom spike exceeds the height of the plant in length, bears white-to-pale yellow blooms which rarely open. The Peruvian form begins its growth looking the same, except that the foliage is plain green. When grown hard (strong light, dry, no fertilizer) the plant develops gold flecking at the base and produces a shorter bloom spike, two- to three-branched, with yellow flowers which open much wider than its Brazilian counterpart. Aechmea contracta really is at its best when mounted, rather than when grown in a pot.

Aechmea nallyi. A large plant with shiny, arching, dark green leaves. The inflorescence reaches a height of three feet, is many branched with golden yellow blooms which contrast beautifully with the pink bracts. The bracts maintain color well after blooming is past. Few or no seeds are produced, but the crop of white berries is so heavy that the plant must be supported in the pot.

Fig. 1. Billbergia tessmannii, collected by the author in June, 1983, while on a trip to Amazonian Peru, shown in full bloom two years later. During cool weather the bloom spike lasts a long time.

Billbergia tessmannii. Dr. Nelson Redfern, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who was in our collecting party, presented me with a little plant which he thought was a billbergia. The plant bloomed in February of 1985 and has been identified as Billbergia tessmannii (fig. 1). The bloom spike (carmine bracts, white, mealy stem, recurved gold, purple, green blooms) is unbelievably beautiful and, blooming during cool weather, lasts for a long time. It produces no pollen, at least for me, and does not self-seed as others of the Helicodea subfamily do.

Fig. 2. This Neoregelia eleutheropetala, one of five forms collected by the author turns beautiful shades of red and bronze when grown in strong light.

Neoregelia eleutheropetala (fig. 2). We collected at least five forms of N. eleutheropetala including a monstrous one with center leaves incurved like a lotus. It is very hard to live with—one is enough. All of these specimens do very well in cultivation and turn beautiful shades of red and bronze when grown in strong light. Although I thought that we also had collected Neoregelia peruviana, N. rosea, and N. wurdackii, Harry Luther tells me that all of those things are really just forms of eleutheropetala. Ah, well! A rose is a rose is a rose.

Neoregelia mooreana. This is a fine form of N. mooreana with fewer, more upright leaves and darker teeth than my "mail order" mooreana. The leaves become bronzy in strong light. I find that it must be grown mounted on wood since its stolons grow straight down, even in a pot.

Streptocalyx. All of the Streptocalyx species are very special to me. Forget the nasty foliage. The blooms are incomparable. It does take courage to fight the insects, but I did manage to come back with several different species. The blooms on the Streptocalyx longifolius (pink and blue) are a great improvement over the rusty brown form already in my collection. Some of the wide, red-leaved forms collected have not yet bloomed, so cannot be identified. Streptocalyx poeppigii was in full bloom and spectacular all along the Amazon, but I avoided it since I am already overstocked.

The most recent blooming plant was a real puzzle. It resembled both Aechmea chantinii and Ae. nallyi. I sent it to Harry Luther at BIC and he reported that it keys out somewhere between subgenus Aechmea and subgenus Platyaechmea so is undoubtedly a natural hybrid. He also said he had encountered this same plant previously. I have also bloomed a billbergia with a "P-83" (collected Peru—1983) tag which greatly resembles Billbergia horrida var. tigrina, but since Harry said it is very unlikely that a Billbergia subgenus Billbergia would be found growing in Amazonian Peru, I guess I will never know what it is.

Many of my Peruvian plants have yet to bloom, and among them I am hoping to find Aechmea moorei, A. tessmannii, A. retusa, A. nidularioides, and who knows what Streptocalyx? None of the guzmanias and terrestrial tillandsias has yet bloomed, either. We sampled a form of Aechmea mertensii with solid red foliage, but I must confess that it is one of those which did not survive the trip.

The Neoregelia pendula? And the Tillandsia wagneriana? I collected some of them at the 1984 World Conference in Los Angeles. Where there's a will, or a buck, there's a way.

Longwood, Florida

Puya gerdae, A New Peruvian Species
Wilhelm Weber

uring the revision of the Bromeliaceae of the Leipzig Herbarium, I examined two sheets of a puya discovered and collected by Dr. Gerda Gutta during the 1973 expedition to Peru that she made with her husband, Dr. Peter Gutta, curator of the Leipzig Herbarium, and Prof. Dr. Julio López Guillén, the then director of the Botanical Institute of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima. The plants were growing in the valley of the Río Quisquichaca, below Arahuay (Dept. Lima), on steep rocky slopes about 2500 meters above sea level (cover photo and figure 3).

The specimens were first determined to be Puya roezlii E. Morren 1885 and were so labeled. After consulting the key in Flora Neotropica 14.1, I became doubtful because the Gutta specimen did not fit the description of either Puya roezlii or the nearest relative Puya longisepala Mez 1904. In order to clear up the identity I decided that I must examine the holotypes and was able to borrow the holotype of Puya roezlii from the Herbarium of Liège.1 At the same time, I received on loan the Bromeliaceae from the herbarium of the Wroclaw University (WRSL, formerly Breslau) and, fortunately, among those sheets was an isotype of Puya longisepala Mez 1904. Now it was possible for me to compare all of these relatives.

I drew all specimens with flower dissections and saw that the Gutta specimen was neither Puya roezlii nor P. longisepala, but a third, hitherto undescribed, species which I have named in honour of the discoverer Dr. Gerda Gutta and described as Puya gerdae. The Latin diagnosis has appeared in Catalogus Herbarii Lipsiensis - Plantae peruvianae II - Leipzig, 1984, p. 41, Abb. 3. The English description is given here as follows:

Puya gerdae W. Weber 1984.

Plant flowered about 1 m high. Leaves not seen. Scape to 30 cm long, about 10 mm in diameter, nerved, subdensely tomentose-lepidote; scape bracts suberect, the ovate sheaths not imbricate, but the narrowly triangular blades are much longer than internodes and subdensely lepidote, their margins serrate. Inflorescence laxly bipinnate, branched, pyramidal in shape, to about 50 cm in length and 22 cm in diameter; primary bracts lance-ovate, acuminate, to 40 cm long and 25 mm wide, nerved and dissite appressed lepidote, the margins serrate with spines about 2mm long; lateral branches divergent, to 15 cm long and about 10-flowered, the rachis moderately flexuous and subdensely lepidote. Flowers 50 mm long with pedicels up to 8 mm. Floral bracts lance-ovate, acute to 15 mm long, nerved, carinate, more or less lepidote, the margins faintly serrulate, much shorter than the sepals; sepals narrowly triangular-lanceolate, long acuminate, to 25 mm long and 5 mm wide, nerved, strongly alate-carinate together with the trigonous receptacle; petals lanceolate, acute, 40 mm long to 10 mm wide, without ligula or calli; stamens 37 mm long, anthers 5 mm long; subdorsifixed; ovary 10 mm long, conic; style 30 mm long, with erect and twisted stigmata.

Peter Gutta
Fig. 3. Dr. Gerda Gutta, in whose honor this species is named, is shown with
inflorescences of Puya gerdae W. Weber 1984.

Type. P. and G. Gutta, J. Lopez G. no. 508 (holotype, LZ; isotypes, SMF, WEB). Rocky slopes, valley of Rio Quisquichaca below Arahuay, 2500 msm, 26 May 1973.

You can easily distinguish Puya gerdae from P. roezlii by the pedicellate flowers and the strongly alate-carinate sepals. In P. roezlii the flowers are sessile and the sepals are obscure, obtuse carinate with thickened middle nerve. P. longisepala differs from the other two species with its pedicellate flowers and the much larger, obtuse, but distinctly carinate sepals. The analytical drawings (figures 4, 5, and 6), all prepared from the type specimens, illustrate these distinctive characters.

1. I am grateful to Dr. Demoulin, curator of the Morren Herbarium for the loan of the holotype.

Waldsteinberg, East Germany

Fig. 4. Puya roezlii E. Morren 1885: A. inflorescence with scape and inner leaves B. leaf fragment C. part of lateral spike with primary bract D. flowers (drawn in both maximal and minimal sizes) E. floral bracts F. sepals
G. ovary with style and stamen H. petal.

Fig. 5. Puya longisepala Mez 1904: A. lateral branch B. leaf C. flower D. floral bract E. sepals
F. petal with stamen G. pedicel and ovary.

Fig. 6. Puya gerdae W. Weber 1984: A. inflorescence B. primary bract C. flower with floral bract D. floral bract
E. sepals F. petal with stamen, below pedicel with receptacle and cross-section G. ovary with style.

Seventh World Bromeliad Conference, New Orleans, May 21-25, 1986
Shirley Grubb

raditions take time to build, and after 14 years world bromeliad conferences have acquired a pattern of events that are expected to take place. A short description of standard happenings, as well as some of our projected innovations may be useful for your planning.

The BSI Board of Directors annual business meeting will be held in New Orleans this year one day in advance of the conference. This will be an open meeting to which members are invited. A major event for both the registrants and the public is the standard bromeliad show involving a published schedule, judged entries, exhibits presented by the host and other societies, and the display of the top-ranked entries and their awards. Conferences usually include large sales areas where both commercial growers and members of the sponsoring society offer plants and supplies. A frequently observed custom is the introduction at these sales of new hybrids which in themselves serve as conference souvenirs.

Tours of local gardens and commercial nurseries are always anticipated with great pleasure as are seminars. These meetings are led by well-known specialists who give talks on subjects including both technical matters and bromeliad culture, frequently illustrating them with colored slides.

An event begun in Corpus Christi in 1982 and now considered a tradition is the rare plant auction. This evening gathering is enjoyed by all bidders and observers who see and have the opportunity to acquire plants of unusual beauty and rarity. Bidding is open to all and the proceeds go to the Mulford B. Foster Bromeliad Identification Center at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida. The closing event of each conference is the banquet where the distinguished are introduced and the show winners receive their recognition, with the added value of some form of entertainment.

Within this framework, each host society is free to improvise according to its own character and personality. The New Orleans conference will open with ceremonies in the Saint Louis Cathedral followed by a showing of the Morris Henry Hobbs bromeliad water color collection at the Presbytère (a branch of the Louisiana State Museum). This art collection is of unusual value because it presents paintings of botanical significance combined with artistry.

Mr. Hobbs was inspired by the frequent use of bromeliads in the courtyard gardens of the Vieux Carré. As our contribution to the garden tours we will include conducted, walking tour visits to three patios (belonging to society members) tucked away behind heavy wooden doors and brick walls. Our other garden tour will begin and end with a streetcar ride on St. Charles Avenue with its mossy oaks to Mrs. Mary Wisdom's greenhouses and gardens which offer extensive bromeliad and cycad collections. This is planned to be a leisurely tour so that you may visit with friends and return when ready.

We have arranged, as a diversion from bromeliads, an afternoon trip on the "Natchez," a stern-wheeler, for a view of the busy Mississippi River-front.

The banquet entertainment will include Steve Pistorius, jazz pianist and his syncopaters, plus some of the original performers in the stage hit, "One Mo' Time." This will be your chance to hear the real jazz in the city of its origin.

1986 World Bromeliad Conference Seminars

Ms. Eloise Beach, "Cultural Tips for Growing Award-Winning Bromeliads" — A broad consideration of cultural techniques necessary to produce healthy bromeliads. Some common problems will be analyzed and possible solutions will be suggested. These topics should appeal to the beginner as well as the advanced grower.
Mr. Don Beadle, "Billbergia Hybrids—All You Ever Wanted To Know and Then Some" — A multimedia presentation of Billbergia hybrids focusing on known and putative parentages accompanied by background music. Don will bring a number of his hybrids for distribution.
Dr. David H. Benzing, "Biology of Brocchinia" — An indepth consideration of this heretofor neglected genus of bromeliads which is largely endemic to the Guiana Highlands.
Dr. Gregory K. Brown and Dr. Amy Jean Gilmartin, "Evaluation of Selected Taxonomically Important Floral Characters from Tillandsioideae" — An evaluation of the taxonomic importance of nectar scales characteristic of Vriesea and plicate staminal filaments characteristic of Tillandsia subgenus Anoplophytum in light of modern concepts of floral development.
Dr. Kathleen Burt-Utley & Dr. John F. Utley, "Systematic Studies in Hechtia — Sticky Problems" — A synopsis of recent work with this genus of desert bromeliads.
Dr. C. S. Gardner, "Pollination Strategies among Mexican Tillandsia"— A discussion of several new floral characters and their possible significance in pollination biology.
Dr. Amy Jean Gilmartin and Dr. Gregory K. Brown, "Subfamilies of Bromeliaceae: Ancestral/Derived Relationships among Bromelioideae, Pitcairnioideae and Tillandsioideae" — An evaluation of phylogenetic relationships of the subfamilies of Bromeliaceae using contemporary cladistic techniques.
Mr. Harry Luther, "Floral Variation in Andean Tillandsioids" — Presentation of the results of several years of field work in the northern Andes.
Ms. Jennifer A. Matos and Ms. Elizabeth Richardson, "Uptake of H3-Glycine by Tillandsia Recurvata—An Electron Microscope Study"—It has been shown that bromeliads take up water and a variety of organic and inorganic nutrients. A mechanism for incorporation of solutes into the cytoplasm has been suggested. The speakers will present micrographs showing H3-glycine incorporated into the cells of Tillandsia recurvata as well as micrographs suggesting the mechanism of cell-to-cell transport.

River Ridge, Louisiana

Hydroponic Growing of Bromeliads
(Continued from Vol. 35, No. 6, November-December 1985)
Klaus Sasse; translated by Harvey Kendall

ydroponics using the standing-water process in individual containers makes sense only when using Lewatit HD 5. Otherwise, the necessary frequent changing of the nutrient solution is too much trouble. As stated above, blooming plants also need a low-nitrogen fertilizer, for example, Nortal. At bloom time the nutrient supply is replenished every four to eight weeks with a fertilizer solution instead of with tap water. This fertilizer solution should have a conductivity of about 500μS/cm (with large plants in bright light) to 1000μS/cm. According to Table 1 0.4 to 0.8 g/l of Hortal is required. If the available tap water is harder than about 10°d, you should consider using rain water or in extreme cases even distilled water. Very acid rain water with a high content of sulphur dioxide can be balanced with 0.5 g of ammonium hydrogen carbonate to 10 l of water. —About every six months 25 to 50 ml of Lewatit per plant should be added. The fertilizing plan can be posted next to the water level indicator using an adhesive label. I wash my plants at this time with lukewarm water in a tub and also rinse the containers.

In bromeliads the nutriment solution should be at about 20 mm at the most. In some cases, such as just before an extended vacation, this height can be exceeded. By adhesion and capillary action the nutriment solution rises in the medium. The plant roots are thus sufficiently supplied even if they are far above the surface of the liquid. Submerging the roots in the solution is not necessary. In many plants the roots even begin to rot if they are submerged too long. Therefore, fresh, room-temperature water should be added only when the supply is nearly or completely exhausted.

The same care instructions can be applied to tubs. It is recommended that once a year you fill the container up to the brim with temperate water and draw it off again with a hose through the water-level indicator.

In continuing the hydroponics process after this flooding, one usually uses the significantly cheaper liquid or granular nutrient mixes. In Table 1 are some of the most important data insofar as they can be determined. With flowering plants you also need to use a high-bloom fertilizer. The dosages of nutrition are so arranged that depending on the type of plant, its size, location, and the season, it has a conductivity of 500 to 1500 μS/cm; in small vase-shaped bromeliads and in those with soft, light-green leaves, as well as in xerophytic terrestrial bromeliads the conductivity goes up to 1000 μS/cm. Liquid nutriments are very simple to use with a one-way applicator. At bloom time one applies a mixture containing about one-third high-bloom fertilizer. If the available drinking water is very hard or if its pH value is over 6.5 to 7.0, it is advisable to use a blend of rain water or simply use rain water, possibly deacidified with carbonate of ammonia. Purified tap water can also be used.

Table 1: Important data regarding some nutrient mixes.

Trade name Macro nutrients N-P-K Necessary dosage
for 1000 µS/cm
Content Ratio
Ion exchange resin
18-7-15 g/l 1:0.4 :0.8 Dependent on
the water
25 ml contain 1 g
FLORY 9 Hydro
15-7-22% 1:0.5:1.5 1.0 g/l  
Gaby Hydro
6-3-5% 1:0.5:0.8 5.0 ml/l  
8.4:3.1:3.9 1:0.4:0.5 5.0 ml/l  
    2.9 ml/l A complete fertilizer
suitable for hydroponics
Gaby High-Bloom
4-9-9% 1:2.3:2.3 5.0 ml/l High-bloom fertilizer
6-20-30% 1:3.3:5.0 0.8 g/l High-bloom fertilizer

As in the case of nutrient dosages, it is just as hard to establish general rules for frequency of flooding. My dyckias, hechtias, and puyas get flooded in the summer every eight to 14 days, in the spring and fall less frequently. In the winter I water from time to time with just a few drops on the medium. The flooding occurs as follows: for about 20 to 30 minutes nutrient solution is filled up to a third of the height of the medium and is then drained off. The nutrient solution is supplemented with water, if necessary, in order to reach the necessary volume.

Vase-shaped bromeliads must be flooded considerably more frequently. As a starting point water about as often as you would in normal soil media.

Any practical simplification compared to soil culture is achievable only if the flooding process is partially or completely automated or if a very large number of plants can be taken care of with one flooding.

Foliar Feeding

In regard to the absorption of water and nutrients, bromeliads are highly specialized plants. Among the vase-shaped bromeliads, the ability to absorb water and nutrients through the leaves is, depending on the species, more or less strongly prominent. Atmospheric or "gray-leafed" bromeliads form roots usually as anchoring devices or dispense completely with root formation. These epiphytic bromeliads absorb water and nutrients through the leaves by means of absorption scales known as trichomes (Strube and Breidbach, 1983).

Conditions in habitat regarding nutrient supply through the leaves were investigated by D.H. Benzing and A. Renfrow (1974) for several vase-shaped and atmospheric bromeliads. Unfortunately their data do not indicate reliable conclusions about the content of dissolved salts or the conducting abilities of Catopsis floribunda and Guzmania monostachia, the subjects investigated. Educated estimates lead us to assume several hundred μS/cm. The conductivity of rain water or water gathered from drizzle, from which atmospheric bromeliads gain their nutrition, is considerably lower by some 10 to about a hundred μS/cm. As experiments have shown, these very slow growing plants are also incapable of utilizing richer applications of nutrients and water; their growth is not notably hastened by heavy fertilizing.

A.N. Kaempfe (1982) tested and compared nutrient absorption through leaves and roots in three vase-shaped bromeliads in cultivation, Aechmea fasciata, Nidularium innocentii, and Guzmania minor. The plants were grown partly in soil and partly in exploded clay. For nutrient supply, Flory 9 was used.

Kaempf noted the following results:

  1. The tested bromeliads are able to nourish themselves through their roots as well as through their leaves. The extent of the contribution of each of these organs to the plant's nourishment is dependent on the species.
  2. Morphological and anatomical features, as well as the absorption capacity of the leaves (but not of the roots) are influenced by the method of fertilizing.
  3. Exploded clay proves to be the appropriate medium for bromeliads. It has the ability to store nutrients."
In addition, she determined that nutrient absorbability in the roots is not only dependent on the species but also clearly increases with the age of the plants; the roots of Ae. fasciata and N. innocentii are very absorbent, while in G. minor absorption through the roots was detectable only in plants ready to bloom; Ae. fasciata was able to absorb considerably larger amounts of nutrients through the leaves than were the two other species; N. innocentii even reacted with brown spots on the leaves when nutrients were applied in the vase. From her results Kaempf derives the following recommendations for fertilizing through the center of the plant:

Aechmea fasciata: 0.10-0.15%, or 1000-1500 μS/cm;
Guzmania minor: 0.06%, or 500 μS/cm;
Nidularium innocentii: no fertilizing in the center of the plant.

Table 2: Conductivity of the water in the plant of some bromeliads before and after fertilizing.

Species Conductivity in μS/cm
Before After
After seven days
Center Leaf Axils
Middle Exterior
Aechmea fasciata
Canistrum leopardinum
Guzmania lindenii
Vriesea fenestralis
Wittrockia amazonica

Since the recommended dosage for the aechmea seemed to me to be quite high, I conducted (in July, 1983) my own experiments on several plants. I first measured the conductivity of the water in the center of several plants (see Table 2), which up to then had been supplemented once a week (in Guzmania lindenii twice a week) with rain water or tap water (conductivity 200-500 μS/cm), and to which I had sporadically added a very small amount of Hortal. After this measuring process, all the centers were filled anew with tap water (400 μS/cm), to which I had added 0.4 g/l of Hortal (500 μS/cm). The total conductivity of the nutrient solution amounted to 900 μS/cm). Four days later I measured the water in two plants and seven days later in all the plants and in doing so distinguished among various places from which I took the water. The figures compiled in Table 2 do not satisfy scientific scrutiny but do show the following conclusions:

  1. The nutrient absorbability of the leaves varies considerably; it is greatest in plants with thick, stiff leaves, in which up to 90% of the chemicals added to the tap water are absorbed if no nutrients are offered.
  2. In a "starved" state, Canistrum leopardinum and Guzmania lindenii (probably Ae. fasciata, also) are able to absorb a moderate solution of nutrient salts within four days. Presumably even higher concentrations of nutrient solutions would be utilized and would cause no damage.
  3. The greatest absorbability is demonstrated not by the youngest leaves in the center of the plant but by the leaves that form the middle ring of the rosette.
Kaempf's recommendations are valid for plants grown in the greenhouse and are directed primarily at the commercial nursery person who wants to produce saleable plants in a short time. My plants sit on a widened window sill at a south window that is completely shaded in the summer by a deep balcony; the light conditions are sometimes very bad. In consideration of the facts, I give my plants liquid nutrients directly into the center of the plants about every three weeks in spring and summer, and about every three weeks in fall and winter. I also water once a week with rain water or with tap water that has been allowed to sit. Dosages of nutritional salts for plants with thick, firm leaves have a conductivity of about 1000 μS/cm; for other plants it is about 500 μS/cm. Plants with very light, soft foliage as well as seedlings and pups get even less nutritional salts. To produce the nutritional-salt solution I prefer to use Hortal and Flory 9 alternatively, occasionally also any of several mixes that are used in the cultivation of cacti in a mineral medium. In any case I value a high calcium content, since Kaempfs tested plants showed a great need for calcium. Kaempf, by the way, was unable to verify the frequently heard claim that blooming plants need great amounts of phosphorous.

Going From Soil to Hydroponic Culture

Going from earth culture to hydroponic culture not only requires much effort, knowledge, and experience, it is also often playing with the plant's life. The main problem is the fact that with few exceptions hydroponic culture causes the formation of new, morphologically different roots, and the old roots from the time of soil culture frequently loose their ability to function. Succulent plants such as cacti, for example, withstand this critical phase of the formation of a new root system usually quite well, since they can live for some time without absorbing water through their roots anyway. Many cacti are even able to regenerate their roots so quickly that the change represents no great threat to their growth phases.

Succulent bromeliads such as dyckias and hechtias in regard to the change are just about as insensitive as cacti. Xerophytic terrestrial bromeliads with less prominent succulence, such as many puyas, for example, require somewhat more attention but can be changed over most simply "dry" as is the case with the succulent ones. When the medium is as dry as possible, they are removed from their pots; the root system is shaken clean and fibrous roots are largely removed with a sharp scissors. Then one lets the plants dry in a shady place for several hours until the roots are dry enough to be cleaned further.. For this task I use a small, flat brush that has had the bristles trimmed back so that they are not so flexible. After this step, you can treat them with rooting hormones. To pot them up I use a mixture of pumice and exploded clay in a dry state. I use 3/8 mm grains for small plants and 8/16 mm for larger ones. The amount of pumice increases as the succulence of the plants decreases. The containers should not be too low; even with small plants they should be at least 8 cm high. Planting them together directly after the changeover is not recommended, since individual plants sometimes require special handling and since losses must also be expected. Special treatment, appropriate especially with less succulent plants such as puyas, consists of keeping the humidity up for several weeks after the changeover, for example by covering them with transparent plastic. Even for very small pups of succulent plants such covering is advisable. In the first few days after the changeover the plants are kept in bright light but completely protected from direct sun light. The production of new roots happens best at temperatures around 20 to 26° C; in some cases a soil-heating cable is necessary. Flooding does not take place until after 8 to 14 days, and then with clear water. Nutriments are not offered until later.

The changeover from soil to hydroponic culture is done best in the spring. It is also possible in summer, but not recommended in fall and winter nor shortly before or during bloom. The plants to be switched over should be healthy and in good condition.

"Dry" changeover, in contrast to the yet-to-be-described "wet" changeover, has the advantage that it is simpler and disinfecting the root system is not necessary. "Wet" transfer of xerophytic terrestrial bromeliads is, however, possible and is recommended especially if the plants are to be grown on in the standing-water method.

In regard to problems occurring during the changeover of nonsucculent members of other plant families, the vase-type bromeliads do not require an intact root system. As described in the preceding section, they can be fed through the leaves. Risks otherwise experienced with changeover are thus avoided. You can even dispense with the plastic covering for the sake of humidity, if the centers are well formed and functioning. This, of course, should be a prerequisite for the changeover as are good health and a general good condition of the plant.

Vase-shaped bromeliads are transferred "wet." The best time for this too is the spring. After the plants are removed from the pots, the roots are washed in lukewarm water. Severely matted parts are best cut away with sharp scissors. Although in hydroponic culture completely different, light-colored, soft roots are formed, I have never completely cut away all of the old roots because the new roots develop partially from the old root stumps and it is also possible that the old roots remain partially functional. In any case, they must be shortened enough that they never dip into the nutrient solution. After careful washing (any remaining bits of soil invite rot) the roots are disinfected for 15 to 20 minutes in a 0.5 to 1.0 percent solution of Chinosol (the common gargle form of Chinosol is available in tablet form of 0.04, 0.5, and 1.0 g in pharmacies), then washed in clear water and potted up with damp exploded clay. The centers of the plants are filled with water or a weak nutrient solution and checked during the next several weeks. At first, I add only clear water to the surrounding container and add nutrients only after one to two months. As in the case of dry potting, the plants are protected from direct sun but kept bright and not too cool. In plants with insufficiently developed centers, for example in pups, I recommend covering them temporarily with a sheet of plastic. The relative humidity under this cover is at the right level when the cover is slightly fogged on the inside.

[To be continued]

Tillandsia roseoscapa
Werner Rauh

Fig. 7: This big plant, collected in Mexico, is considered by the author to be Tillandsia roseoscapa, first described in 1972, and so named because of the rose color of the scape and the floral bracts.

n Cactaceas y Succulentas Mexicanas, vol. 17, no. 4, 1972, E. Matuda published a description of the very remarkable Tillandsia roseoscapa Matuda, so named because of the rose color of the scape and floral bracts.

In December 1984, Mr. Wülfinghoff, a bromeliad collector, brought us a big Tillandsia, collected in Mexico, which flowered in the past weeks. Although there are some differences in the description between the type and the Wülfinghoff plant, we consider the latter to be T. roseoscapa1 (fig. 7).

This terrestrial plant is short-stemmed (stem up to 4 cm in diameter), flowering up to 1 m high. The numerous leaves form a dense rosette of 40 cm in height and 60 cm in diameter. The sheaths are conspicuous, up to 12 cm long, 6.5 cm wide and dark leatherbrown beneath; the triangular blades are 3-4 cm wide and 30 cm long, tapering into a long, caudate, curved tip, dying off soon (fig. 8). The erect, stout scape is up to 55 cm long, 1 cm thick, green, glabrous, some-what gray lepidote beneath the nodes; the scape bracts are densely imbricate: the basal ones subfoliate, the upper ones only acute with a long, densely lepidote, bright pink sheath, enfolding the scape. Inflorescence (fig. 9) bipinnate, up to 30 cm long and 2 cm in diameter at anthesis, with 15-18 spikes. Primary bracts similar to the upper scape bracts, acute, shorter than the spikes, erect, 3.5 cm long stipitated, strongly complanate, 5- to 6-flowering.

Fig. 8: The leaves of Tillandsia roseoscapa form a dense rosette and taper into long, tail-like, curved tips.
Photos by the author.






Fig. 9: A portion of the T. roseoscapa inflorescence showing its bipinnate
primary and floral bracts with
characteristic bright pink color.

Floral bracts densely imbricate, carinate, acute, oblong-lanceolate, up to 3 cm long, 1.2 cm wide, lepidote, bright pink, green to the base, exceeding the sepals. Flowers subsessile, up to 5 cm long, greenish yellow. Sepals membranaceous, the posterior sharply carinate, oblong-lanceolate, 2.5 cm long, 0.5 cm wide at the base, pale greenish, glabrous, laxly lepidote, unequal high connate. Petals narrow ligulate, up to 4 cm long, erect, pale yellow-green, white at the base. Filaments pale green, flattened, straight; only the anthers exceeding the petals. Style and stigma pale green, long exserted.

This plant was collected by Wülfinghoff (no. 207) near Ixtlan (road from Oaxaca-Tuxtepec-Chiapas), in a barranco, growing as a terrestrial near the edge of the barranco walls. Tillandsia roseoscapa is cultivated in the Botanical Garden of the University of Heidelberg under the number 65 589 and seems to be rare in cultivation.

In the original diagnosis of Matuda the flower color is not noted.

1. The inflorescence scape curve was caused by being carried in a suitcase.

Heidelberg, West Germany

A Matter of Patience
Victoria Padilla

verything comes to those who wait is the moral of this little tale, and it is told to give heart to those growers who are fearful that some of their bromeliads will never bloom.

About thirty years ago, shortly after I had moved into my present home, I received from Walter Richter of Crimmitschau, DDR, three little packets of seed marked "Alcantarea." I was excited receiving seeds from such a noted plantsman, although at the time I had no idea what an Alcantarea was. I planted the seeds in a good porous mix, covered the pots with glass, and kept them in a warm place in my greenhouse. As might be expected not all the seeds germinated, but those that did grew with a gusto not usual to most bromeliads. The seedlings grew and grew, and I kept transplanting them into ever larger containers. Finally, they became too big for the greenhouse, so I planted them directly into the garden. In no time they made handsome specimens, adding much to the landscape design, so I did not care whether they bloomed or not. I still did not know what they were.

The first to bloom turned out to be Vriesea regina. The year was 1972, about 20 years after the seeds were sown. It was indeed a handsome plant, well worth waiting for. In its native Brazil, V. regina thrives in the cool, humid conditions to be found on the steep slopes of the Organ Mountains. It proved to be very happy in a semishaded spot in my garden, which happens to be in a frost-free area.

V. regina is at all times an attractive, graceful rosette with lettuce-green leaves, about 3 feet long and 3 to 5 inches wide. The six-foot inflorescence is branched with red bracts and pale yellow flowers that emit a delightful jasmine-like fragrance. The inflorescence was colorful for about six months. V. regina does not produce pups, but rather plantlets around its base. These I planted in the garden, and in ten years I had another fine showing of blooms. These plantlets are growing at a faster rate than before, so perhaps I will not have to wait so long for another blooming.

The next species to flower was Tillandsia rauhii. Its tough, blue-green leaves, touched with a glint of silver, make it a decorative plant, so I kept it in a large container on my terrace. I had no idea what it was until Dr. Rauh identified it as the plant he found growing on a vertical cliff in northern Peru in 1956. It finally bloomed in 1982, remaining a striking specimen for a year. This plant proved to be another giant with the leaves 3 feet long and 4 to 5 inches wide forming a rosette with a spread of over 4 feet. The 3-foot inflorescence was spectacular rather than beautiful. The stout spike was grayish, bearing dark blue flowers that appeared only on the underside. Unfortunately, the plant produced neither pups nor plantlets. Another specimen from the same lot of seedlings was planted in the garden and continues to get even larger but shows no signs of ever flowering.

The third bromeliad, Vriesea imperialis, was easily identifiable, for I had seen it growing in Bob Wilson's garden in Costa Rica. It is surely one of the giants of the genus, the leathery leaves measuring 6 inches wide and 5 feet long. The upperside of the leaves are green tinged with red, the underside a deep maroon. When the weather gets warm and the plants get more sun the entire leaf turns a rich burnished red. I have two plants in the garden which take a prominent place among the ferns and palms. One bloomed in 1985—over 35 years after I planted the seeds, but it made such a handsome rosette, needing no attention whatsoever that the tall, 6-foot spike was just an added bonus. The yellowish, slightly fragrant flowers emerge from a stout red stem and are colorful for many months. Plantlets form around the plant while it is still young. The companion plant still shows no sign of flowering, but it continues to grow and grow. The leaves, over 8 inches wide now, form a rosette at least 6 feet in diameter. I hope it never blooms, for few bromeliads are so imposing.

In the case of these three species patience did pay off. Perhaps if I could have kept them in the greenhouse with frequent fertilizing, they might have bloomed sooner, but they have given me no end of pleasure. My garden is to me a little Eden, and to quote Mohammed, "Patience is the key of Paradise."

Los Angeles, California

A New Species in Our Habitat
Gene McKenzie

Anne Collings
Fig. 10: Neoregelia kautskyi, pencil drawing on rag paper, 16" × 22½"; by Kiti Wenzel. The artist's attention to botanical detail and artistic presentation are noteworthy.

he Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society of Fort Myers, Florida, has discovered among its members an artist whose ability to draw faithful reproductions of the intricate colorings and markings of bromeliads deserves to be shared. She is Katherine Wenzel, a member of the Lee County Art League and a bromeliad hobbyist.

Kiti begins her work with a pencil sketch of her subject on 22" × 30" rag paper, a high quality product that holds and enhances color. Then she applies the color with pressed crayon pencils, blending and controlling for the most lifelike effect. She also works with colored inks, pastels, and watercolors. Her life-size drawings dominate the light background with their color and detail.

Some of her drawings exhibited at our 1985 show included Aechmea fasciata, A. chantinii, Cryptanthus 'Elaine', and Billbergia nutans.

Because of the enthusiasm for her work, Kiti has been invited to show her drawings at the World Bromeliad Conference in New Orleans in May. She plans to exhibit at least a dozen drawings, and will have a limited edition print of Aechmea 'Pickaninny' (page 93) as well as bromeliad posters for sale.

The artistry of bromeliads is becoming available to us through the work of a number of really fine artists and that favorite plant can now be ours to admire and show for all time. This is an exciting time for bromeliad lovers to promote their plants and to discover the boundless talents of their local society members.

Fort Myers, Florida

Neoregelia gavionensis, a New Species from Brazil
Gustavo Martinelli and Elton M.C. Leme

E.M.C. Leme
Fig. 11: Neoregelia gavionensis, native to the State of Rio de Janeiro, is related to N. macahensis but differs from it especially by its smooth-edged, red-spotted leaves.

eoregelia gavionensis Martinelli et Leme sp. nov. Species nova a N. macahensis (Ule) L.B. Smith affinis praesertim limbo foliorum viride cum maculis rubris, bractea floralis ecarinata et petala apice purpureo differt.

Plant epiphytic, propagating by very short stolons. Leaves about 20, ligulate, erect, 27-40 cm long, forming a funnelform rosette (fig. 11), sheaths about 11 cm long, 6-7 cm wide, elliptic, dark purple on the inside, toward the base densely covered with adpressed scales on both sides; blades 16-28 cm long, about 3 cm wide, entire, on both sides green with irregular red spots mainly toward the apex, glabrous on the upper side, underneath sparsely lepidote. Apex subrounded or acuminate, tipped with a short point 5 mm long; scape about 4.5 cm long, 6 mm in diameter, sparsely lepidote; scape bracts slightly imbricate, 17-27 mm long, 20 mm wide, triangulate-acuminate, entire, sparsely lepidote. Inflorescence simple, sunk in the center of the rosette, 4 cm in diameter, about 40-flowered; involucrate bracts triangulate, short acuminate, about 3 cm long, sparsely lepidote, green; floral bracts oblong-lanceolate, apiculate, ecarinate, entire, sparsely lepidote, about 30 mm long, 5-10 mm wide, green, equaling the middle of the sepals. Flowers about 5 cm long, pedicels 1-2 cm long, sparsely lepidote; sepals lanceolate-acuminate, asymmetric, ecarinate, connate for 1 mm, 20 mm long, 6 mm wide, glabrous, green; petals spathulate with an acuminate apex, connate for 5-9 mm, white with purple apex, 21 mm long, 5.5 mm wide; stamens high adnate to the petals; ovary ellipsoid, slightly complanate, plain, glabrous, 8 mm long; placentae subapical; ovules obtuse; epigynous tube evident (fig. 12).

Fig. 12: N. gavionensis Martinelli & Leme. A. floral bract B. petal C. pistil and section of ovary D. sepal, ovary, and pedicel with floral bract.

Type: Elton M. C. Leme no. 376 (holotype RB; isotype US), in proximity of Sao Joao River, Gaviões, County of Silva Jardim, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, December 1981.

Neoregelia gavionensis Martinelli & Leme sp. nov. is closely related to N. macahensis (Ule) L.B. Smith, differing from it mainly by its entire and red-spotted leaf blades, ecarinate floral bracts, bigger flowers, and purple-tipped petals.

As an epiphyte, N. gavionensis grows in the forests covering the lowlands of the periodically flooded places called Gaviões in the basin of the São João River. That stream—the largest in that part of the state — plays an important part in the life of the local fauna and flora. After the flooding period, the sedimentary deposit found in the lower parts allows a condition for the proliferation of microorganisms, which in turn have a decisive influence in sustaining the local biota. These lowlands, rich in epiphytic plants, especially bromeliads, have a key function in maintaining the equilibrium of the riverside vegetation.

The local scenery, unfortunately, has been undergoing a drastic change during the last few years. Because of their high fertility, the forested lowlands are priority for expansion projects. The destruction of the natural vegetation is the first step and so countless irreplaceable forms of life have to be sacrificed.

Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden

Bromeliad Flower Arrangement, No. 8: Aechmea fulgens with "Purple Heart" and Rhoeo
May A. Moir

s always I marvel at the extraordinary combinations of color that nature produces, particularly in the bromeliad family. In my garden the Aechmea fulgens is always a very showy plant with its vermillion spikes and bright blue-purple flowers that appear almost like berries. I asked myself if I could come up with an arrangement that would play up the blue-purple color. I cut the A. fulgens inflorescences and carried them around the garden looking for leaf material that would match or compliment the blue-purple color. I spotted the "Purple Heart" Setcreasia purpurea which was almost a match, but just using these two items would make an arrangement too thin because of the fine textures so I kept looking. I wanted large plain leaves and thought of using A. fulgens leaves until I noticed some small plants of Rhoeo spathacea (discolor). I gathered some Rhoeo and brought it all into the house to find a container for them. I needed something that would not compete with these exciting colors.

Fig. 13: Aechmea fulgens arranged with "Purple Heart" and Rhoeo.

I found an old wooden bowl in the shape of a fish. When I tried the "Purple Heart" stems I quickly saw that their curve repeated the upward curve of the tail of the fish. After placing all the "Purple Heart," I then put in the many heads of A. fulgens as a central mass. Then it was only a matter of filling the Rhoeo leaves around and in back of the A. fulgens. The Rhoeo gave visual weight and covered the mechanics of the arrangement.

When using a wooden container one should not put water directly into it. One can either line the bowl with foil or use a kenzan that has its own bowl, which is what I used. The "Purple Heart" and Rhoeo could have been arranged without water but I felt the A. fulgens needed water. It lasted about a week.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Trouble With Green Ants
June Bennett

n addition to growing nidulariums in my rain forest, one of each species is kept in a shade house for close observation and propagation. So, after spending a recent weekend away, I popped into one of my shade houses and was confronted with several of my prized nidulariums displaying large areas of dead tissue. I knew it couldn't be sunburn because these plants had spent two seasons in the same location and had not suffered any ill effects.

Within half an hour of my discovery another plantsman called by and on seeing the nidulariums said, "I see you have a green ant problem. They will kill your plants, you know." I wasn't convinced that the green ants (Oecophylla viresens) were responsible for the devastation. They have always been considered of benefit because they eat small insects in the garden. Nevertheless, I sprayed the ants with pyrethrum every time they appeared. The ants died, but the plants continued to suffer.

Having lived in the tropics for several years, I have often observed these ants constructing their nests. To do this they stitch together with silken thread the immature leaves of tree, shrubs, and, in my garden, bromeliads. Some nests consist of just a few leaves pulled together to make a temporary cover such as the ones in my shade house. The more permanent dwellings can be over a foot long.

To begin the nest the ants use the little hooks on their feet to attach themselves to a leaf. Then they pull another leaf towards them, and with a thread produced by a half-grown larva, which they hold in their jaws, they move to and fro to cement the leaves together. Sometimes they form a chain to pull the leaves into position and to form this chain the ants hold each other around the waist with their jaws. I've seen a chain over four inches long. Green tree ants are very aggressive and it's no fun if you become involved with a nest.

When our problem continued, our son, Dean, decided to observe the ants more closely. He found that they can cause irreparable damage to bromeliads. Once they have taken up residence, if disturbed in any way they will inflict damage rapidly by excreting acid. We are not sure just what does go on. We have seen the ants spit. Even where bodies of dead ants have lodged in leaves, we have found breakdown of cellulose. Dean discovered the main nest hidden in a clump of Portea petropolitana var. extensa. We hosed the plant and drowned most of the ants. We also killed the plant (but I have noticed a new offset).

During the ant episode we lost three nidulariums. Several other plants will take at least a year to recover. We would like to hear from anyone who has the solution to the problem. How do you eradicate ants without damaging the plants?

Box 1135, Cairns, 4870, Queensland, Australia 76

A New Subspecies of Tillandsia utriculata from Mexico
Sue Gardner

or several years there has been confusion about the identity of Tillandsia karwinskyana Schultes, a species described in 1830. Many of the plants in cultivation under that name are T. utriculata L. subspecies pringlei (Watson) C.S. Gardner (Gardner 1984). Tillandsia utriculata is generally thought of as a monocarpic species up to 2 meters in height, while the plant in the trade as T. karwinskyana are small, 20 to 30 cm tall including the inflorescence.

Tillandsia pringlei, described as a species in 1891, was treated as a synonym of T. utriculata by Mez (1935), then transferred to T. karwinskyana by Smith (1951). An examination of living material revealed characters not apparent on dried specimens that support Mez's treatment of T. pringlei within T. utriculata. However, distinctions in habit and inflorescence characteristics support its recognition at the subspecific level.

Tillandsia utriculata subsp. utriculata is a widespread epiphyte of dry, low elevation forests from Florida, through the Caribbean, the Gulf states of Mexico, and Central America into northern South America. Subspecies pringlei is a saxicole in east-central Mexico (fig. 14), found at elevations between 100 and 1500 meters. The characters that distinguish it from the typical subspecies are the same as those often associated with saxicoly or with xerophytic habitats. Plants in these populations tend to be smaller and less variable in size, and the inflorescences are less highly branched than those in epiphytic populations. Considerable overlap in these characteristics occurs, however, between the two subspecies (Gardner, 1980, 1982). Plant height, including inflorescence measured in the most variable population of subsp utriculata varied from 25 cm to 158 cm (fig. 15 & 16) while the most variable of subsp pringlei ranged from 34 cm to 82.5 cm (fig. 16). The plants of epiphytic populations are monocarpic, only rarely producing offsets after attaining maturity although seedlings often produce basal proliferations (Benzing and Davidson, 1979; Gardner 1980, 1982, 1984). Plants in saxicolous populations, however, are polycarpic, forming large clumps (Gardner 1980, 1982, 1984).

Smith & Downs (1977) describe T. karwinskyana as having "leaves ...15-20 cm long . . . persistently lepidote throughout with coarse spreading scales . . ." and T. utriculata with "leaves ... 4-10 dm long, densely and finely pale-appressed-lepidote throughout." They add that T. karwinskyana has an "inflorescence simple or few-branched," while the T. utriculata "inflorescence [is] central, amply bi- or tripinnate or rarely simple . . ."

Fig. 14: Tillandsia utriculata
subspecies pringlei.
Photos by the author.






Fig. 15: Two plants of T. utriculata subspecies utriculata collected from thorn forest north of Tampico, Mexico. Note the inflorescence of the small plant to the left lying along the center of the meter stick.

Fig. 16: Plant height of T. utriculata subsp. utriculata (U), subsp. pringlei (P), and
T. karwinskyana (K), population samples from various elevations. Range, mean, standard deviation, and sample size are indicated.

Fig. 21: Tillandsia karwinskyana on canyon wall near Queretaro, Mexico.

Fig. 17-20: SEM photographs of trichomes from abaxial leaf blade of T. utriculata subsp. pringlei and close up of portion of ventral wing (17 & 18), and T. karwinskyana (19 & 20). Bar represents 100 μm.

Fig. 22: Distribution of T. utriculata subsp. utriculata (partial circles), T. utriculata subsp. pringlei (triangles), and T. karwinskyana (stars).

Indumentum, the remaining character distinction, was found useful in distinguishing these species although considerable variation was found among populations of T. utriculata. Plants from populations at the highest elevations tend to be most densely lepidote. The scurfy gray leaves of the most densely lepidote T. utriculata, however, are distinguishable from the tomentose leaves of T. karwinskyana. This characteristic is useful in determining dried specimens. Examination of the trichomes under scanning electron microscopy revealed distinctive surface ornamentation on the central surface of the wing cells of T. utriculata that is lacking on those of T. karwinskyana (fig. 17-20). This characteristic is easily determined under compound light microscopy at magnifications of 100× or greater.

Living, flowering specimens of T. utriculata subsp. utriculata or subsp. pringlei are distinguishable from T. karwinskyana by corolla color and conformation. The corolla of T. utriculata is thin, creamy white, and the petals twist apically at anthesis forming a lateral aperture and distinct zygomorphy. The corolla of T. karwinskyana is chartreuse, relatively firm, and regular or slightly irregular.

Tillandsia karwinskyana occurs as a saxicole on canyon walls in arid or semiarid regions of north-central Mexico (fig. 21, page 79). Figure 22 shows the distribution of populations of T. karwinskyana and the two subspecies of T. utriculata in central to northern Mexico.

Literature Cited:

Benzing, D . H . ; Davidson, E.A. Oligotrophic Tillandsia circinnata Schlect. (Bromeliaceae) : an assessment of its patterns of mineral allocation and reproduction. Amer. J. Bot. 66:386-397; 1979.
Gardner, C.S. Variation in Tillandsia utriculata L. (Bromeliaceae) and a new subspecies. Contr. papers Second Int. Congr. Syst. and Evol. Biol. Vancouver, British Columbia. Abstract, p. 206; 1980.
__________. A systematic study of Tillandsia subgenus Tillandsia. College Station: Texas A. & M. University; 1982. Dissertation.
__________. New species and nomenclatural changes in Mexican Tillandsia-I. Selbyana 7:361-379; 1984.
Mez, C. Bromeliaceae. Das Pflanzenreich. IV: 1-667.
Smith, L.B. Studies in the Bromeliaceae XVI. Contr. U.S. Nat'l Herb. 29: 427-520; 1951.
Smith, L.B.: Downs, R.J. Tillandsioideae (Bromeliaceae). Flora Neotropica. Monograph no. 14, pt. 2. New York: Hafner Press; 1977.

Corpus Christi, Texas

Judging the Winners
Roland and Jean Schnabel

ver since the Handbook for Judges and Exhibitors was published, we in The Bromeliad Guild of Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida, have tried conscientiously to comply with the judging procedures, but our first shows produced less than satisfactory results. The need to improve the procedure for selecting Best of Show, Best of Division, Best of Sections, etc. became apparent. We found that we were expecting judges who had been on their feet for three hours to stop thinking in terms of plants in individual classes and to start thinking in terms of "best of." We noticed that there were two influences not mentioned in the Handbook: fatigue and personalities. The application of the Handbook rules needed help, so we devised a system to promote more objective results and to promote harmony.

Some judges, it seems, must try to persuade everybody else to vote for their favorites. How many times have you observed that a panel with an outspoken chairman seems to influence the voting of other panels? Or who has not overheard a strongly opinionated panel member trying to make all of the decisions? And how many weary judges have concluded, "Well, if they feel that strongly, maybe they're right." We avoid the influence of personality by asking each judge to depend on his own experience and best judgment in scoring each of the top award candidates.

After the general judging, we bring together all award-of-merit plants (95 points or more) as though we were about to judge a second show and place the plants according to the schedule divisions. In front of each plant or exhibit we place copies of the appropriate point scoring form (one per judge). The form for point scoring foliage plants of different species is shown in figure 23. The judges are told to give the score they honestly believe the plant deserves even if their score is below 95. Each judge then point scores the plant, records his score on one of the copies of the form, turns the form face down in front of the plant, and moves on to the next. Since the judging is not done in any set order there is a minimum of congestion.

When the judges have finished their work, our clerks chairperson, with an assistant, uses a printing calculator to add the scores for each plant and divide by the number of judges to learn the average score (we use decimals as far as needed to eliminate ties). After writing the exhibit number on the printed tape and circling the score, the tape is left in front of the plant. The highest score wins Best of Show, those with the highest scores in each division receive Best of Division, and so on down the list. And that's all there is to it: qualified judges quietly making their own decisions in an unhurried atmosphere.

Fig. 23

How do our show committee members and judges feel about this procedure? Our clerks chairperson was not a convert until she clerked at another show about the size of ours where the procedure was to have all the judges gather around a few plants at one time trying to determine which had better qualities. The judges chairman, trying to think on his feet, had clerks move plants into position to be judged every ten minutes, or so. One plant which should have been considered for an award was left out because of the confusion. Each plant had to be rejudged each time it advanced. The judges were wearied by this long process and said so. Our clerks chairperson is now a true believer.

The reaction of the judges? One judge told us that he hates our system and will never judge a show where it is used. Most of our judges love it just as strongly. They say our system makes the show less tiring and much more pleasant. They appreciate the nonpolitical environment of the final judging.

You are welcome to try our system. We will be glad to answer your questions.

Tampa, Florida


Fascicularia Cultivation
Rolf Rawe

ver the years I have found the cultivation of fascicularia, of which I have three species in cultivation, easy in the extreme. They grow in either clay or plastic pots and in a loose, general garden compost. I have found them extremely vigorous plants maturing fast and making plenty of offset [please see p. 265, 268-269, Nov.-Dec. 1984].

Unfortunately, our summers here near Capetown are far too hot for these plants and as a result they do not colour up while in flower as they should. I have had better results growing under 50 percent shade cloth than under fibre glass roofing.

The plants are well worth the little space they occupy especially when keeping in mind the great ease of cultivation. With me, the plants have been exposed to soaking winter rains with night temperatures down to 5° C [41°F] and, conversely, quite severe drying out with day temperatures in the 30° C [85°F] range, all without lasting ill effects.

Groot Drakenstein, South Africa

The Bromeliad Society, Inc.

The purpose of this nonprofit corporation is to promote and maintain public and scientific interest in the research, development, preservation, and distribution of Bromeliaceae, both natural and hybrid, throughout the world. You are invited to join.

Affiliate shows: Charlien Rose, 4933 Weeping Willow, Houston, TX 77092.
Affiliated societies: Stan Oleson, 1030 Alma, San Pedro, CA 90731.
Awarded cultivars: Tom J. Montgomery, Jr., 206 Eastway, Galena Park, TX 77547.
Bylaws: Valerie L. Steckler, 40 Oak Valley Court, Austin, TX 78736.
Conservation: Mark A. Dimmitt, The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Rt. 9, Box 900, Tucson, AZ 85743.
Finance & Audit: Gregory A. Reid, 27281 Las Ramblas, Suite 200, Mission Viejo, CA 92691.
Hybrid registration: Nat De Leon, P.O. Box 560524, Miami, FL 33256-0524.
Judges certification: William E. Frazel 12500 Lake Rd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33325.
Membership and subscriptions to the Journal: Linda Harbert, 2488 E. 49th, Tulsa, OK 74105. See title page, for membership dues. BSI Membership Promotion: Bob D. Whitman, 2355 Rusk, Beaumont, TX 77702.
Mulford B. Foster Identification Center: Send specimens and contributions to Harry E. Luther, at the Center, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL 33577.
Nominations: Allen G. Edgar, Jr., 5460 Saratoga Dr., Jackson, MS 39211
Publications: Annie Navetta, 3236 S.E. Clinton, Portland, OR 97202.
Seed fund: Harvey Beltz, 3927 Michigan Circle, Shreveport, LA 71109.
Slide library: Mary E. Musleh, Rt. 2, Box 2452, Melrose, FL 32666.
World Conference: Gerald A. Raack, 472 Greenhollow Dr., Pataskala, OH 43062.

Photo by John P. Tuck, Leu Botanical Gardens, Orlando, FL

John Barbie is back with his best-yet poster for the 7th World Bromeliad Conference,
New Orleans, May 21-25, 1986. Text begins on page 60

Calendar of Shows

March 21-23Bromeliad Society of Central Florida Plant Sale. Winter Park Mall, Winter Park, FL. Member plant sale held at the Central Florida Orchid Society Show and Sale. Ann Mann (305) 876-2625.
April 5-6Bromeliad Society of Broward County 2nd Annual Show and Sale. Flamingo Gardens, Davie, FL. Entries only 9-5, Friday 4 April. Bill Frazel and Donn Pearce (305) 474-1349.
April 5-6Bromeliad Society of San Francisco Spring Show and Sale. The Hall of Flowers, 9th Ave. and Lincoln, San Francisco, CA. 9:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M. Phil Cappetta (415) 232-0699.
April 5-6Greater Dallas-Fort Worth Bromeliad Society 15th Annual Show and Sale. Dallas Civic Garden Center, Fair Park, Dallas, TX. Ellen Hough (817) 457-2590.
April 12-13Shreveport Regional Bromeliad Society 6th Annual Show. R.S. Barnwell Garden and Art Center, 501 Clyde Fant Parkway, Shreveport, LA. 1:00-5:00 P.M. daily. Harvey C. Beltz (318) 635-4980.
April 18-20Florida State Bromeliad Show. Sponsored by the Bromeliad Guild of Tampa Bay. University Square Mall, 2200 Fowler Ave., Tampa. Judged show, commercial and member plant sales. Roland and Jean Schnabel (813) 988-7046.
April 26-27Morris Henry Hobbs and River Ridge Bromeliad Societies' combined show. Cleary Playground gym, 3700 Civic St., Metairie, LA. Lorraine Sheehy, P.O. Box 2661, New Orleans, LA 70186.
April 26-27Southeastern Michigan Bromeliad Society show. Livonia Mall, 7 mile and Middlebelt Rd., Livonia, MI. Thelma J. Mean, 30221 Mason, Livonia, MI 48154.
May 2-3Bromeliad Society of Greater Mobile 9th Annual Judged Show & Sale. Penny's Fountain, Mobile, AL. Fri. 1:00-9:00 P.M., Sat., 10:00 A.M.-8:00 P.M. Simeon Coxe (205) 344-1488.
May 21-25 1986World Bromeliad Conference, New Orleans, LA. Shirley Grubb (504) 737-8420.
May 17-18Bromeliad Society of South Florida 9th Annual Show & Sale. Fairchild Tropical Gardens. Old Cutler Rd., Miami, FL. 9:30-4:30 daily. Trisha Frank (305) 655-4369.
June 6-8Atlanta Bromeliad Society 8th Annual Show & Sale. Northlake Mall (Exit I-285 at La Vista Rd.), Atlanta, GA. Charles Hilbers (404) 429-8993.
June 7-8Bromeliad Society of Houston 18th Annual Show & Sale. Houston Garden Center, Hermann Park, 15 Hermann Ave. Sat. 2:00-6:00 P.M., Sun. 11:00 A.M.-4:00 P.M. Deanne Erdman, 6930 Middlefield, Pasadena, TX 77505.

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