BSI Journal - Online Archive

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

Vol. 36, No. 4July—August 1986

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

Cover Photographs. Front: Tresses of Spanish moss with Tillandsia bartramii. Photograph by the editor. Articles by B.C. Bennett and O.M. Schwartz begin on pages 149 and 154. Back: Dr. R.W. Read proposes that this particularly fine, clearly colored, compact clone be known as Neoregelia olens cv. 'Marie'. Text begins on page 167. Photograph by Dr. Read.
147Three Billbergia Species from Ecuador Harry E. Luther
149The Florida Bromeliads: Tillandsia usneoides Bradley C. Bennett
152Icones Bromeliacearum II: Curtis's Botanical Magazine Robert W. Read
154On the Vascular Anatomy of Tillandsia usneoides (Bromeliaceae) Owen M. Schwartz
161Observations on Guzmania scherzeriana Werner Rauh
165Tillandsia spiralipetala, a New, Small Species from Bolivia Eric J. Gouda
167An Editorial Comment
171First State Symposium of Growers of Bromeliads in Czechoslovakia Jaromir Chvastek
172Some Interesting Puyas in the Wroclaw Herbarium: Puya ferox Wilhelm Weber
174Video Review: A Garden of Grace
175Bromeliad Flower Arrangement, No. 8: Aechmea ramosa with Fruit May A. Moir
176Insignia of the Bromeliad Society, Inc.
178Does Your Potting Mix Breathe? Herb Plever
180Questions & Answers

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Three Billbergia Species from Ecuador
Harry E. Luther

ecent collections of Bromeliaceae for the flora of Ecuador have brought about the cultivation of several interesting and ornamental plants including the following Billbergia species which have flowered at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. It should be noted that until now the genus Billbergia has not been reported from Ecuador.

Billbergia decora Poeppig & Endlicher (fig. 1) is a fairly widespread species reported from Amazonian Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. Our collection by Libby Besse from the Rio Napo, Napo Prov., extends its known range to the northwest. This single clone of B. decora is a faithful winter bloomer but is stingy with offsets. It appears to be self-sterile.

Billbergia stenopetala Harms (fig. 2) is an interesting addition to the flora as it was previously known only from the 1923 collection of Tessmann from eastern Peru. The conspicuous and colorful floral bracts of the species are noteworthy. Billbergia stenopetala has required several years to attain flowering size. Our plant was obtained in 1982 by Dr. C. Lauer from Padre A. Andreeta who collected it in Napo Province.

Billbergia macrolepis L.B. Smith compares poorly as an ornamental with its showier relatives. It has been found from Costa Rica to Colombia and is sparingly grown by hobbyists who are, no doubt, disappointed by its inflorescence. The narrow, tan scape bracts wither even before the first dull greenish flowers open. Our collection by Dr. C. H. Dodson from Esmeraldas Prov. in extreme northwest Ecuador extends its range to the south.

A fourth Billbergia species, collected by Jeffrey Kent, has defied attempts at identification and will be discussed in a later paper.

Mulford B. Foster Bromeliad Identification Center
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Sarasota, Florida

Fig. 1
Billbergia decora Poeppig & Endlicher shown flowering at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, while common to Amazonian Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil, was collected in Ecuador.
Photographs by Bob Wands for Selby Gardens






Fig. 2
Billbergia stenopetala, also in the Selby collection, was previously known only from the 1923 collection of Tessmann from eastern Peru.

The Florida Bromeliads: Tillandsia usneoides
Bradley C. Bennett

illandsia usneoides has been called unjustly the most boring bromeliad. Indeed, familiarity may breed contempt as it is the most widespread and one of the most abundant members of the Bromeliaceae. Consider the great number of vernacular names by which it is known: Florida moss, long moss, black moss, New Orleans moss, southern moss, old man's beard, vegetable wool, crape moss, wool crape, and the most common, Spanish moss (Small 1933). Although not a moss and not from Spain, the name Spanish moss is appropriate for T. usneoides considering its moss-like habit and abundance in former Spanish colonies of the New World.

Wyndham Hayward (1947) reports an amusing legend regarding the origin of this bromeliad. He writes that Hernando De Soto, the great Spanish explorer, pursued an Indian maiden through the forest and up a live oak tree. During the chase his gray beard became entangled in the tree, giving the maiden an opportunity to escape. De Soto freed himself, but several wisps of his beard were left behind. These remnants became Spanish moss.

The name Tillandsia usneoides dates from the second edition of Linnaeus's Species Plantarum of 1762. Like Tillandsia recurvata, the common ball moss, T. usneoides is a member of the subgenus Diaphoranthema although Small (1933) placed it in the genus Dendropogon. The specific epithet usneoides means like Usnea, an epiphytic lichen. Many infraspecific taxa have been described but most are of doubtful use.

One pre-Linnaean name, Cuscuta americana super arboles se dissidens mistakenly places T. usneoides in the genus Cuscuta, a parasitic member of the morning-glory family. This misconception continues. Many people erroneously believe that Spanish moss parasitizes its hosts. Some evidence suggests that epiphytes may hasten the decline of an already injured host. Oak limbs heavily laden with "moss" frequently break during storms. Diseased orange trees often are covered with Spanish moss and ball moss, but these epiphytes do not obtain nutrition directly from the vascular system of their supports.

D.F. Austin
Fig. 3
The flower of the Tillandsia usneoides is shown in this detail with the scurfy layer of trichomes on the leaves.

Fig. 41
Tillandsia usneoides (Bot. Mag. pl. 6309)
A. habit   B. flower   C. petals, stamens, pistil

T. usneoides is an elongate, twining bromeliad up to 8 m long (Smith and Downs 1977; Gilmartin 1972). Padilla (1973) reports plants of up to 30 m long but Garth (1964) notes that less than 45 cm of a strand is usually alive at any one time. The apparent length results from the overlap of several shorter plants. Leaves are linear to filiform, 2-7 cm long and 1-2 mm wide. They are covered by a scurfy layer of trichomes which gives the silvery-gray appearance (cover photograph). Unlike most bromeliads the internodes of Spanish moss are conspicuous, ranging from 3-6 cm long (Smith and Downs 1977).

Flowers, like those of the typical bromeliad, are composed of 3 sepals, 3 petals, 6 stamens, and a 3-lobed stigma. Flowers are borne singularly in a highly reduced rosette of 2-3 leaves. Petals are 8-14 mm long with recurved tips (fig. 3). Sepals are 5-8 mm long. Stamens are shorter than the petals. The fruit is a 3-locular, 1-3-cm long capsule, each bearing several 3-4-mm long plumose seeds. The plumose appendage is 1-2 cm long.

Spanish moss is the most widespread of all bromeliads having an "essentially continuous latitudinal range of over five thousand miles," that is, from Chile to Virginia (Smith and Downs 1974). It is also found sporadically in coastal Maryland (M. Boyer, personal communication). The species occurs throughout the coastal plain of the United States as far west as Texas, and is found in every county in Florida.

An effective means of dispersal is characteristic of all successful epiphytes and Spanish moss is no exception of this rule. Its seeds are wind-dispersed and plant fragments are scattered by wind, birds, and animals. Penfound and Deiler (1947) and Garth (1964) discuss the importance of wind dispersal of plant fragments, especially during violent storms. T. usneoides has been found in the nests of many Florida birds including Parula, yellow-throat, and pine warblers, painted buntings, robins, and swallow-tail kites (Craighead 1963; Jensen 1982). Perhaps unique to this species is alligator dispersal. Female alligators in southern Florida occasionally use the plant to construct nests (Jacobsen, 1982).

Spanish moss is not confined to hammocks and cypress swamps, as suggested in some floristic treatments. It may occur in every forested habitat in Florida: scrub, mangrove, pine, mixed hardwood, broadleaf evergreen, and mixed swamps. Although found in many habitats, the distribution of T. usneoides is by no means continuous within its range. Some sites support large populations of this species; in others it is rare or nonexistent.

Schlesinger and Marks (1977) attribute the distribution of Spanish moss to nutrient availability of host trees. Although its abundance may vary, Spanish moss is not limited to particular host species. Penfound and Deiler (1947) found this bromeliad on every tree species they encountered in the New Orleans area. Wherry and Buchanan (1926) were among the first to note that it grows equally well on dead or living trees. In Florida, Tillandsia usneoides is most frequent on cypress and live oak, but it also grows on the three common exotic tree species in the state, melaleuca, Australian pine, and Brazilian pepper. It also occurs on telephone and power lines. In Peru this bromeliad is a common rock-dweller along stream channels.

The northern limit of Spanish moss in the United States occurs approximately where the mean annual humidity falls below 63 % (Garth 1964), but ball moss, a closely related species, extends into the deserts of Arizona, well beyond the range of Spanish moss. The northern limits of these two species cross in Texas and are most likely controlled by a combination of moisture and temperature (L. B . Smith, personal communication; Benzing 1980). Garth (1964) also showed a good correlation between the distribution of T. usneoides in the U.S. and the path of major storm tracks in the southeastern coastal plain.

Too much as well as too little moisture may limit the distribution of T. usneoides and even relatively small changes can have an effect. For example, it is generally absent in pond apple-pop ash swamps in southern Florida where other bromeliad species abound although it is often found in adjacent communities. An explanation is that the trichomes of T. usneoides are extremely hydrophilic and when damp, gas exchange is inhibited. In plainer terms, air circulation and periodic drying are needed for the plant to survive.

As with most bromeliads, little is known of the reproductive biology of this species. Craighead (1963) reports that flowering occurs between April and June in the Florida Everglades. Occasionally, flowers are found during the rest of the year as well. The fragrant flowers open at night and are probably moth pollinated, though there is no good evidence of this. Self-pollination also occurs. Garth (1964) found germinated pollen grains on the stigmas of unopened floral buds. Self-pollinated flowers, however, failed to produce seed.

A number of economic uses have been found for Spanish moss, including upholstery stuffing, mulch, and cattle fodder (Hayward 1947; Schoemaker 1958; Craighead 1963). In 1952 more than five million dollars worth of Spanish moss was produced in Louisiana (Benzing 1980). Florida was the second-leading producer during the peak years of production (Shoemaker 1958) but the last processing plant in the state closed in 1958 (Jensen 1982). In addition to fiber, high grade waxes have been extracted from this plant. Bennett (1954), constructed a pilot plant for the extraction process and suggested that T. usneoides "could be cultivated on barbed wire strung on high stumps, in swampy areas, which at present are practically worthless."

A fungal infection during the 1960's eliminated Spanish moss from many parts of central Florida (Smith and Woods 1975; Jensen 1982). The fungus does not seem to be a problem now and populations are recovering.

The beauty of a live oak or cypress tree covered with Spanish moss is a characteristic of the South, particularly Florida. Though considered worthless, I think, and hope most will agree, that such scenes are priceless.

1. Fig. 287 from L.B. Smith's Tillandsioideae, see references.

Literature Cited:

Bennett, R.B. Spanish moss and some aspects of its commercial possibilities. Engineering Progress 8:1-11; 1954.
Benzing, D.H. The biology of the bromeliads. Eureka, CA: Mad River Press; 1980.
Craighead, F.C. Orchids and other air plants of the Everglades National Park. Coral Gables, FL: Univ. of Miami Press; 1963.
Garth, R.E. The ecology of Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides); its growth and distribution. Ecol. 45:470-481; 1964.
Gilmartin, A.J. The Bromeliaceae of Ecuador. Monogr. Phaner. 4:1-255. Lehre, Germany: J. Cramer; 1972.
Hayward, W. Spanish moss as an economic plant. Plant Life 1:97-98; 1947.
Jacobsen. Paper presented at 46th annual meeting of the Florida Academy of Sciences, Stetson University, DeLand; 1982 April 23.
Jensen, A.S. Spanish moss: symbol of the southland. Palmetto 2:1-2: 1982.
Padilla V. Bromeliads; a descriptive listing of the various genera and the species most often found in cultivation. New York. NY: Crown Publishing, Inc.; 1973.
Penfound, W.T.; Deiler, F.G. On the ecology of Spanish moss. Ecol. 28:455-458; 1947.
Schlesinger, W. H.; Marks, P.L. Mineral cycling and the niche of Spanish moss, Tillandsia usneoides L. Amer. J. Bot. 64:1254-1262; 1977.
Shoemaker, J. Spanish moss in Florida. Tallahassee: State Dept. of Agriculture; 1958. Small, J.K. Manual of the southeastern flora. New York: the author; 1933. Smith, L.B. [Letter to the author; 1981].
Smith, L.B., Downs, R.J. Pitcairnioideae (Bromeliaceae). Flora Neotropica. Monogr. no. 14, pt. 1. New York, NY: Hafner Press; 1974.
Smith, L.B., Downs, R.J. Tillandsioideae (Bromeliaceae). Flora Neotropica. Monogr. no. 14, pt. 2. New York, NY: Hafner Press; 1977.
Smith, L.B.; Wood, C .E., Jr. The genera of the Bromeliaceae in the southeastern United States. J. Arnold Arbor. 56:375-397; 1970.
Wherry, E.T.; Buchanan, R. Composition of the ash of Spanish moss and ball moss. Ecol. 7:303-306; 1926.

University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill

Icones Bromeliacearum II: Curtis's Botanical Magazine
Robert W. Read

he Botanical Magazine was founded in 1787 by William Curtis and has continued publication almost without interruption up to the present. Throughout the first twenty-eight years the artists were William Kilburn and James Sowerby. They were soon joined by Sydenham Edwards, but most of the work was done by Edwards with Sansom as his engraver. It has been suggested that some of the earliest drawings were made by William Curtis himself.

Claudia Bonsack, volunteer assistant
Dept. of Botany, Smithsonian Institution
Fig. 5.
Billbergia olens as published by Hooker filius, in
Curtis's Botanical Magazine, Tab. 5502, in 1865.

When Edwards severed his connection with the magazine, John Curtis and William Herbert were among the various artists who provided drawings until William Jackson Hooker took over the direction and illustration in 1826. It should be noted that these distinguished botanists, Hooker and Herbert, and also John Lindley, were able artists. This fact suggests that they realized the advantage to be gained from the keenness of observation acquired by such work, especially where it required the drawing of floral dissections.

In 1834 Walter Fitch relieved Hooker of illustration duties and remained as the magazine's only draftsman until 1877. After 1845 he was also his own lithographer. The quality of his work improved by being directly reproduced and not merely transmitted through a line-engraver. From 1787 until 1948 all plates in the Botanical Magazine, except for a few chromolithographs in 1921, were hand-colored. A new series in 1948 introduced printing in four-color halftone on smooth glossy paper. The next volume, however, used a four-color gravure process with results closely approximating handcoloring.

One of the more interesting bromeliad species, at least at the moment, published for the first time in the Botanical Magazine was Neoregelia olens (fig. 5). It appeared in 1865 as "Billbergia olens," Tab. 5502, with the subtitle "putrid-smelling Billbergia."

It was obviously not a Billbergia so Nicholsen transferred the species to another catchall genus, "Karatas," in 1885, and Mez treated the species in the genus Aregelia in his monograph in 1934. However, Dr. Lyman B. Smith found that the name Aregelia of Mez (1896) could not be used for a "Neoregelia" since Kuntze first used the name for a Nidularium species. Dr. Smith, therefore, created the generic name Neoregelia (1934) and placed the species here in question in the combination Neoregelia olens (Hooker filius) L.B. Smith, in 1939.


Mez, C. Bromeliaceae. Monographiae Phanerogamarum 9:4, 61; 1896.
_______. Bromeliaceae. Das Pflanzenreich 4(32): 42; 1934.
Nicholson, G. Dictionary of Gardening 2:216; 1885.
Smith, L.B. Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University 104:78; 1934, and 124:10; 1939.

Curator, Department of Botany
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D. C.

On the Vascular Anatomy of Tillandsia usneoides (Bromeliaceae)
Owen M. Schwartz


illandsia usneoides, often known as Spanish Moss, is a common epiphyte throughout the Southeastern United States. Its range extends from coastal North Carolina into South America. These plants are thought to represent the most extreme case of reduction found in the Bromeliaceae. At maturity the plants are rootless and have four or five leaves. The plants are connected to each other by a renewal shoot which grows out of the axil of one of the lower leaves. This shoot has a basal elongate internode and a few short internodes which form the next plant. After the photosynthetic tissue (cortex) of the internode dies, the plants are held together by fibrous tissue.

Although 19th century anatomists examined many monocotyledonous stems, few analyses of bromeliads were done. There are several reasons why the vasculature of this group was not examined. Most important, the stems of bromeliads are extremely small, and consist of a large number of compressed internodes. Next, a great many vascular bundles are present. Vascular bundles consist of a collateral arrangement of xylem cells (tracheids or vessels), and phloem elements (which conduct photosynthate). Often these bundles are associated with thick-walled fibrous cells known as sclerenchyma. In addition, there are adventitious roots which further complicate the situation.

Several studies of the stem vasculature were done by workers such as Birge (1911), Krauss (1948), Meyer (1940), and Thomas and Holmes (1930). They described a system consisting of cortical bundles (found in the cortex), main bundles (found in the central stele), leaf trace bundles, and a meristematic region which separates the cortex from the stele. This meristematic region is also thought to give rise to adventitious roots. Because these studies were done before the development of the cinemicrophotography system, it was not possible to describe the course of the vascular bundles through the stem. B.H. Krauss stated in 1948: "the vascular system of the Pineapple is extremely complex . . . it is impossible at this time to draw a diagram of the system . . . it is hoped that eventually such a diagram may be available." Furthermore, none of these workers described the connection of the leaf traces to the stem vasculature.

To allow for a more precise understanding of the cauline vascular system of Bromeliads, I have examined the stems of Tillandsia usneoides, a plant particularly well suited for this type of study because of the absence of roots, and the small number of leaves.

Materials and Methods

Tillandsia usneoides was collected in June of 1985, at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida. The samples were then fixed in FAA 1:1:18. The plants were later dehydrated in an ethanol tert-butanol series, and embedded in Paraplast 62 m.p. The samples were then sectioned at 10μ, and stained in safranin-fast green FCF (Johansen 1940). Sections were photographed with a Leitz Ortholux microscope at 100×. Vouchers were deposited in the Duke University herbarium (DUKE).

Anatomy of the Stem

Examining the internode between two of the plants, a distinct stellar region of the axis can be seen. This portion of the stem is surrounded by a great deal of sclerenchyma (extremely thick walled cells, thickened evenly throughout). This tissue contributes a great deal of mechanical strength to the stem. Within this sclerenchyma, five to six vascular bundles can be seen (fig. 6-1). Each of these bundles is composed of a few xylem elements, and some phloem (fig. 6-2). The phloem is located external to the xylem. In the center of the stem several parenchymatous pith cells can be seen.

Proximal to the point of attachment of the lowermost leaf of the plant, a change can be seen in the appearance of the stele (fig. 6-3). The sclerenchyma, which was previously uniformly distributed around the vascular bundles, becomes unevenly distributed. If sections are examined in a series from proximal to distal, the sclerenchyma appears to form bundles opposite the phloem elements.

The sclerenchyma then forms a sheath around the vascular bundles, which depart from the stele towards the periphery of the stem (fig. 6-4). These bundles then divide, and one portion becomes the leaf trace. Each of these traces has a convex cap composed of sclerenchyma fibers. These vascular bundles and their sheaths are continuous with the five veins of each leaf.

The fate of the other half of each vascular bundles is most interesting. In contrast to the leaf trace bundles, these vascular bundles have concave sclerenchyma caps on their interior. In progressively more distal sections the sclerenchyma is gradually lost (fig. 7-5, 6).

In cross sections distal to the point of attachment of the lowermost leaf, the stem appears to divide in two (fig. 7-6, 7). One of these stems is actually an axillary bud which has grown out. This will give rise to the next plant. The other stem is the axis of the parent plant.

At this point it is interesting to note that very little sclerenchyma is present in either of the stems. Fewer xylem elements are also present. The anatomy of the parent axis at this point is as one would expect. Immediately below the apical meristem the tissues are relatively undifferentiated (fig. 7-6). Only protoxylem, rather than metaxylem tracheids and vessels, and a little phloem, can be seen.

Fig. 6.
1—Cross section of stem below level of attachment of lowermost leaf. 2—Detail of stele, as seen in no. 1.
3—Departure of leaf traces from stele. 4—Above level of first leaf division of vascular bundles can be seen.
St = stele, Sc = sclerenchyma, p = phloem, x = xylem, Lt = leaf trace. Scale bar = 100μm.

Fig. 7.
5—Below level of attachment of second leaf. Note decreasing amount of sclerenchyma. 6—Axillary bud and parent axis. 7—More distal section showing large renewal shoot, and subapical region of parent axis.
8—Detail of renewal shoot.
L= leaf, SA = shoot axis, R = renewal shoot. Scale bars = 100μm.

Although one expects to find undifferentiated tissue adjacent to the apical meristem, this is not however, what one would expect to find in a mature elongated internode. (The lack of differentiated, mature tissue would leave a zone of weakness between plants.) This region is actually an intercalary meristem located at the proximal end of the renewal shoot. Cell divisions in this region contribute to the elongation of the renewal shoot, thereby separating the plants. Distal to the meristem, mature tissues can be found. The appearance is much the same as below the point of attachment of the lowermost leaf of the plant (fig. 7-8).

The vascular system found in Tillandsia usneoides is unlike that of any other bromeliad. Even Tillandsia recurvata, thought to be most closely related, has a very different vascular anatomy. This would be expected however, since T. recurvata has many more leaves, and roots at maturity. (The anatomy of T. recurvata will be examined in detail in a later paper.) The anatomy of the large tank-forming bromeliads is even more complex. This too would be expected because these plants have many large leaves, each containing numerous vascular bundles. Furthermore, these plants continue to form adventitious roots at maturity, and each of these roots has many vascular bundles. It is hoped that with an understanding of the vascular anatomy of T. usneoides we will be able to develop a model of the vascular systems of larger, more complex bromeliads.


The author wishes to thank the Bromeliad Society, Inc. for the 1984 Summer Research Fellowship which made this research possible, and the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens for providing laboratory space, and an excellent supply of specimens for examination.


Benzing, D.H. The Biology of the Bromeliads. Eureka, CA: Mad River Press; 1980.
Billings, F.H. 1904. A study of Tillandsia usneoides. Bot. Gaz. 38:99-121; 1904.
Birge, W.I. The anatomy and some biological aspects of the "Ball Moss" Tillandsia recurvata. Bulletin Univ. Texas, Science Series #20:194; 1911.
Krauss, B.H. Anatomy of the vegetative organs of the pineapple Ananas comosus. Bot. Gaz. 110(2):159-217; 1948.
Anatomy of the vegetative organs of the pineapple Ananas comosus. Bot. Gaz. 110(3):33-404; 1949.
Meyer, L. Zur Anatomie und Entwicklungsgeschichte der Bromeliaceenwurzeln. Planta 31:492-522; 1940.
Thomas, E. N . M . ; Holmes, L.E. The development and structure of the seedling and young plant of the pineapple (Ananas sativus). New Phytologist 29:199-226; 1930.

Dept. of Botany, Duke University
Durham, North Carolina

Observations on Guzmania scherzeriana
Werner Rauh

uzmania scherzeriana is an attractive species with a very wide distribution. Its area extends from Costa Rica through Panama, up to Colombia and Ecuador. It is both terrestrial and epiphytic, growing from sea level up to 1700 m. The type, collected in Costa Rica, is lost.

According to the diagnosis of Carl Mez, G. scherzeriana is a stemless plant, up to 1 m high with a funnelform rosette up to 80 cm high and 1 m in diameter. The inflorescence is laxly bipinnate, 18-37 cm long, glabrous. The branches of the inflorescence are suberect to spreading, 5-15 cm long with a naked, sterile base; the floral bracts, much exceeded by the sepals, are yellow, as are those of the green-tipped petals. Unfortunately, he said nothing about the color of either the inflorescence rachis or the primary bracts.

In Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museum zu Berlin-Dahlem, volume 14, number 124, 1939, Harms describes Guzmania herthae as being from west Ecuador (San Carlos de los Colorados), collected by Hertha Schultze-Rhonhof, no. 1923 (Sept. 1935). She remarks that the inflorescence and the bracts are bright scarlet-red; the flowers pale yellow and green-tipped.1 In 1980 we collected a similar plant under the number Rauh 54 338 near Los Bancos in West Ecuador.

According to L.B. Smith2 Guzmania herthae is synonymous with G. scherzeriana Mez. Harms also writes that G. herthae seems to be closely related to G. scherzeriana. That means in G. scherzeriana the inflorescence axis, the primary bracts and the floral bracts are bright scarlet whilst the sepals and the green-tipped petals are yellow.

In Botanische Jahrbucher für Systematische Botanik und Pflanzengeographie, volume 72, pages 290-291, Karl Suessenguth (Munic) describes Guzmania superba (Type Carillo no. 1585, Costa Rica), which is also placed by L.B. Smith into synonymy with G. scherzeriana. The remarks of the color of the primary and floral bracts, sepals, and petals are, unfortunately, very poor. It is mentioned only that the floral bracts are rose (or partly yellow at the apex) and the high connated sepals are of a yellowish color.

Now, Erwin Patzelt of Oldenburg, Holstein, has collected in a mountainous forest near Rio Pindo in eastern Ecuador a striking variety of G. scherzeriana growing as an epiphyte (fig. 8). We are cultivating it in the Heidelberg Botanical Garden under the number B.G.H. 54 791. It differs from the known G. scherzeriana described by Mez (var. scherzeriana, see below) in the following characteristics:

Photographs by Author
Fig. 8.
Guzmania scherzeriana var. albiflora, a striking variety collected near Rio Pindo in eastern Ecuador.

Fig. 9.
The pure white character of the petals of G. scherzeriana var. albiflora
are emphasized in this illustration.

Fig. 10.
The rachis and primary bracts of this newly described variety are bright carmine.

Fig. 11.
After anthesis the red color disappears leaving the inflorescence, except for the rachis, white; the sepals and spike rachis becoming green.

Plant bigger than the type, flowering up to 1.2 m; rosette up to 80 cm high and ± 1 m in diameter. Scape erect, glabrous, pale red, red-violet striped. Scape bracts densely imbricate, the basal ones subfoliate with red violet sheaths; upper scape bracts carmine red. Inflorescence bipinnate, sometimes tripinnate, up to 35 cm long and 20 cm wide, with +12 nearly horizontally spreading branches; the rachis and the primary bracts are bright carmine red (fig. 10); the somewhat fleshy sepals, which are high connate and the petals are pure white (fig. 9). Stamens and style are included. After anthesis the red color disappears so that the whole inflorescence except for the rachis is pure white (fig. 11). This does not happen only in one specimen, but in all collected plants which we are cultivating. Therefore, we have to distinguish the following two varieties because of the color of the inflorescence and the flowers.

  1. Inflorescence rachis, primary and floral bracts bright cinnabar-red; sepals and petals pale lemon-yellow; petals green tipped—var. scherzeriana.3
  2. Inflorescence rachis, primary and floral bracts bright carmine-red; sepals and petals white—var. albiflora Rauh var. nov.
A typo differt colore lucenti-carmineo rhachidis inflorescentiae, bractearum primarium et floralium et colore sepalorum et petalorum alborum.

Holotypus: B.G.H. 54 791, in herb. inst. syst. bot. univ. heidelbergensis (HEID).

Habitat et distributio: Epiphytica Rio Pindo, apud 1000 m.s.m., Ecuador orientalis.

Some additional remarks concerning the variety albiflora: In cultivation the petals often do not develop, but degenerate within the calyx. With age the sepals, the floral bracts, and, in part also, the rachis of the spikes become bright green as a result of the formation of chloroplasts in the cells of the outer layers of the parenchyma cells of the sepals. We have never observed this phenomenon in other bromeliads. Indeed, the sepals can be green before anthesis, and they either keep this color or change it, but we never before have observed white sepals becoming green after anthesis.

As with many guzmanias, G. scherzeriana is also a night bloomer; the flowers begin to open in the late afternoon and are already closed by the next morning. Surely they are pollinated by night butterflies.


1. Cover photo, Journal of The Bromeliad Society 28(2); 1978.
2. Tillandsioideae (Bromelioideae). Flora Neotropica. Monograph no. 14, pt. 2, p. 1296.
3. It may be that the floral bracts are also yellow colored, according to Mez.

Institut für Systematische Botanik und
Botanischer Garten der Universität
Heidelberg, West Germany

Tillandsia spiralipetala, a New Small Species from Bolivia
Eric J. Gouda

his small Tillandsia species (subgenus Diaphoranthema), first described by Lyman B. Smith as a variety of Tillandsia tricholepis Baker, is a distinct species and distinguishes itself not only by its habit but also by the flower. The plant is relatively short-caulescent, with the leaves in few rows. The leaf blades are not massive as in T. tricholepis, but subulate-involute. The petals are longer than the sepals, and often dark brown. The plant in the picture was collected by C .S. Gouda, near Carhuaz, Anoash, Peru, it shows the twisting petal blades at anthesis with two inflorescences close together.

Tillandsia spiralipetala Eric Gouda sp. nov.

Tillandsia tricholepis Baker var. macrophylla L.B. Smith, Lilloa 14: 98, fig. 17; 1948. Type Buchtien 1270 (holotype US), Charopampa near Mapiri, 15° S, Larecaja, La Paz, Bolivia, Nov 1907.

Fig.12. Tillandsia spiralipetala

Fig. 13.
Tillandsia spiralipetala, collected near Carhuaz, Anoash, Peru, showing two inflorescences with scaly floral bracts and twisted dark-colored petals.

A Tillandsia tricholepidi differt caule pro rata breviore. Folia in seriebus paucis disposita ut in T. loliacea, sed flexibilia, arcuantia vel recurvata; lamina subulato-involuta, filiforma-attenuata, dense lepidoto-tomentosa. Inflorescentia simplex floribus c. 3. Petala ampla sepalis multo longiora, ochracea ad castanea.

Plant short-caulescent, 3-6 cm tall (including inflorescence about 12 cm), cinereous-green, forming clusters. Leaves about 25 in a small, open rosette, flexible, much exceeded by the scape; sheaths inconspicuous and small, papyraceous, deltoid, clasping the stem, about 4 mm long; blades arching or recurving, very narrowly triangular, subulate-involute, 2-4.5 cm long, and 2 mm in diameter, filiform-attenuate, densely tomentose-lepidote. Scape suberect, slender, 3-6.5 cm long, lepidote; scape-bracts erect, involute, barely if at all imbricate, sheath-like, lanceolate, the lower caudate, the upper apiculate, about equaling the internodes, densely lepidote. Inflorescence a simple distichous-flowered spike, oblong in outline, complanate, 8-15 mm long, about 4 mm wide, mostly 3-flower, entirely fertile; rachis hidden, bluntly angled, scarcely lepidote; floral bracts erect, densely imbricate, thin and flexible, even, (broadly) ovate, 6-8 mm long, about 3 times as long as the internodes, about equaling to much exceeded by the sepals in the apical flower, acutish or obscurely apiculate, ecarinate, densely appressed-lepidote, cinereous-green. Flowers subsessile; sepals subcoriaceous, even, oblong, about 8 mm long, obtuse, evenly ¼th connate, posterior ones with a thick midnerve but ecarinate, appressed-lepidote toward the apex; petals ligulate, about 12 mm long, the blades spreading and often twisting spiral-like, yellow-brown to dark castaneous; stamens deeply included, exceeding the pistil; filaments erect, flat; anthers basifixed, barely 1 mm long; ovary ellipsoid, thickened and hyaline at the apex, about 1.5 mm long; style about as long as the ovary, stout; stigma simple. Capsule slenderly cylindric, 3-4(?) cm long, short-beaked.

Type. Buchtien 1270 (holotype US), Charopampa hear Mapiri, 15° S, Larecaja, La Paz, Bolivia, Nov 1907.

Utrecht, The Netherlands

An Editorial Comment

ome time ago, Derek Butcher of Fulham, South Australia, asked us to try to resolve the relationship of Neoregelia olens, various plants named "696," "Vulcan," and "Vulkan." To add to the problem he wanted to know where Neoregelia 'Pepper' got its spots.

Mr. Butcher prefaced his letter with an excerpt from an article by Harry E. Luther, "Note on Neoregelias," which appeared on page 223, volume 33 of the Journal in 1983:

N. olens (Hook, f.) L.B. Smith, 1939. Botanically known from the original description and plate with at least 3 distinct clones in cultivation. Often grown as 'Vulcan' or '696'.

R.W. Read
Fig. 14.
Neoregelia olens (Hooker f.) L.B. Smith; plant belonging to Marie Picard of Metairie, LA.

Mr. Butcher explained that he had acquired a Neoregelia "696" in Los Angeles and that he had seen a "Neoregelia olens Vulcan" in Grace Goode's garden1 without recognizing a relationship between the two plants. He commented on the similarities and differences, suggesting that climate might have an effect. He specifically mentioned that Grace Goode's "Vulcan" leaves were lime-green and a very high proportion of dark pinkish-red splashes and spots, and then listed as contributing to his confusion the following references:

Matters such as this are not answered offhand and here we have the opportunity to clear up the mystery and to emphasize again the need for paying careful attention to nomenclature, and for registering both hybrids and cultivars. Two members of the Journal editorial advisory board, Dr. R.W. Read and Mr. Harry E. Luther have contributed suggestions. We shall begin with Dr. Read because he was the first to identify the plants in question as Neoregelia olens.

Dr. Read: We must understand that Walter Richter gave the name Vulkan (with a "k") to a hybrid that had no relationship to Neoregelia olens. Walter Richter's Vulkan was published in his Zimmerpflanzen von Heute und Morgen: Bromeliaceen, on page 279 (1962) where he listed "N. × Vulkan (Richter) =N. concentrica × N. johannis."2

Some time ago when I visited Marie Picard of New Orleans, I was shown a beautiful, compact cluster of plants of an unknown species of Neoregelia from Brazil (see fig. 14 and back cover). Marie, for want of a better name, called it 'Vulcan'. I suggested that since it was so distinctive and so interesting, it be published in the Journal as a cultivar, until I could identify it. Just before the 1977 New Orleans Bromeliad Conference I came upon Neoregelia (Billbergia) olens and determined that it was the correct name for Marie's plant. It was also at the conference, while visiting various private gardens, that I recognized how variable the species was, and that Marie's plant was a particularly good, miniature clone, suitable for cultivar recognition. Later, in Nat DeLeon's collection, I recognized Neoregelia olens again as his 696,3 a distinctly different clone of the same species, the botanical character of the sepals, petals, bracts, and total inflorescence being identical.

It is very true that the species is variable, but the variability has its limits within and between the different clones. That is, the kind or degree of effect the sun or climate has on a particular clone is peculiar to that clone (i.e. cultivar in this case).

Don Gray4
Fig. 15.
The Neoregelia known in cultivation as 696, described in the text
as a distinctly different clone of Neoregelia olens.

Since there has not been a valid publication of Neoregelia olens cultivar 'Vulcan' the name should perhaps not be used. Moreover, since there is confusion with Richter's Neoregelia hybrid Vulkan we should straighten this out once and for all time by publishing a proper cultivar name for Marie Picard's plant. I pro-pose that Marie's particularly fine, clearly-colored, compact clone henceforth be known as Neoregelia olens cv. 'Marie'. It should be understood that not all plants in cultivation now as Vulcan are identical with Marie's plant; only those identical with or propagated from Marie's plant may carry the cultivar name 'Marie'.

Regarding the hybrid "Pepper," one parent, Neoregelia ampullacea var. tigrina 'Midget' is established as a cultivar even though not always correctly cited.5 The other parent "N. vulcan" does not exist as a botanical binomial. Neoregelia olens, as we have already indicated, is a very variable species with varying degrees of red spotting of the leaves, but the spotting of 'Pepper' more than likely came from N. ampullacea var. tigrina cultivar 'Midget', possibly intensified genetically by the spotty background of N. olens.

Mr. Luther: In my opinion, spots don't mean much. Many taxa in all three subfamilies may or may not be spotted, striped, or have discolor phases. Collectors, especially more horticulturally sophisticated ones, will, if given a chance, select the most colorful individuals in a population. The present-day cultivated N. olens are just better clones as far as color goes.

I have examined 696 and one other unnamed clone of N. olens. The unnamed clone and 696 appear to be conspecific with Vulcan meaning that they differ in characters that are of no real biological significance. They vary in the same way that D. Butcher and I vary. Vulcan, 696, and the third clone are all, as far as I am concerned, Neoregelia olens.

Everyone knows that neos are very plastic. Some (N. cruenta) have been given sun and shade names. The shape, size, and color of the foliage may vary tremendously under different environments. With lots of experience one can guess how these vegetative characters will change under different regimes of light, water, and fertility. Different clones may vary in different ways. Usually, the flowers and associated organs remain more or less constant.

The inflorescences of Vulcan, 696, etc. are not a whole lot different from the one depicted and described in the Botanical Magazine for Billbergia olens (Hooker filius). They all belong to the same, apparently somewhat variable, species. Maybe Regel and Hooker didn't give the plant enough light. The dimensions of the foliage suggest this. More likely they just had the very rare, unspotted cultivar which seems to have vanished from horticulture. Maybe they thought the spots unattractive or abnormal and deleted this information from the text. Perhaps they thought it didn't matter as this plant was otherwise adequately distinct from all other "Billbergias" known at this time (1865).


  1. 36:3-5, 9, [48].
  2. A translation of Richter appeared in Journal volume 28, page 45 (1978), wherein the addition of single quotes appears to have been simply an extension of the continued doubtful use of "quotes," and single 'quotes' for hybrid names.
  3. Jeffrey Kent told the editor that 696 is a collector's number given by Alvim Seidel (but Seidel does not claim it).
  4. Drawing reprinted from the Bulletin of the Bromeliad Society/Houston 14(3).
  5. It should be pointed out here that the use of quotation marks has been applied erroneously to hybrids as well as to cultivars and it is difficult to determine whether hybrid or cultivar was intended. The use of double quotes herein indicates only a quotation of what was in print, not a category.

First State Symposium of Growers of Bromeliads in Czechoslovakia
Jaromir Chvastek

romeliads, and tillandsias in particular, are very attractive to Europeans. The increasing interest in growing these plants resulted in the creation of a special section of the cactus organization in Ostrava in 1984. That section gathered together all growers of tillandsias.

Later on, with interest increasing in the whole country, this section organized the first state symposium with the gardening enterprise "Kvetena" in Opava. The subject was the growing of the genus Tillandsia Linnaeus, and nearly 100 growers took part. The guest of the symposium and the first speaker was Professor Jaroslav Kristek of the College of Agriculture in Brno—the pioneer and founder of the first specialized collections in Czechoslovakia. The programme included many contributions by specialists attending the meeting. Participants heard lectures on the bases of morphology by J. Prasek; physiology by Dr. Gloser; lectures on observed plant life in various locations in Cuba, Mexico, and Peru by R. Subik and P. Stary; and lectures on experience in growing under European conditions by J. Chvastek, J. Danek, J. Matouskova, and K. Willinger.

An exhibition of plants and examples of foreign literature, including the Journal, were also part of the symposium which represented a further step towards making more people aware of bromeliads. We hope that this symposium has created the foundation for organized activity by bromeliad enthusiasts in this country.

Frydek Mistek, Czechoslovakia

Some Interesting Puyas in the Wroclaw Herbarium: Puya ferox
Wilhelm Weber

uyas are very interesting and decorative terrestrials for cool greenhouses, patios, or gardens. Because of their habitat at high elevations in the Andes surely some of them tolerate modest frost, and I believe that some species would be frost-hardy and winter-resistant also in temperate regions just as some of the opuntias are. It is most difficult to get enough plants to test this theory because travelers seldom collect living puyas with their terrible spines on the leaf margins. A better way is to collect fresh seeds which will germinate and grow very well.

Fig. 16. Puya ferox Mez

Many of the Puya species, unfortunately, are not well known and illustrated. We can see, for instance, in the Flora Neotropica monograph number 14, part 1 many cases of drawings of a single flower, sepals, or part of a branch. Some species are known only from the type collection or from a few further collections, and because of their size the holdings in herbaria are very fragmentary.

During the examination of the Bromeliaceae of the Wroclaw Herbarium (WRSL) I was fortunate to find among the specimens some sheets with isotypes of puyas collected by A. Weberbauer in Peru and first described by Carl Mez. From these isotypes I have prepared drawings as detailed as possible to illustrate the following partially emended English descriptions. [More to follow].

Puya ferox Mez, Bull. Herb. Boiss. II. 4:632. 1904.

Plant known only from fragments. Leaves over 1 m long, blades pungent, 35-40 mm wide, margins serrate with spines to 13 mm long, glabrous and lustrous above, beneath pale appressed lepidote between the nerves. Scape unknown. Inflorescence amply bipinnate, axis subterete, woody and stout, glabrous. Primary bracts lanciovate, acute, 35 — 60 mm long, about as long as to be nearly double the ca. 35-mm length of the sterile base of the branches, coriaceous, subglabrous, strongly nerved, entire. Branches suberect to spreading, to 15 cm long, strobilate. Rachis angulate and strongly nerved, densely tomentose lepidote. Floral bracts broadly lanciovate, acute and apiculate, subcoriaceous, entire, rugulose nerved, to 40 mm long, 25 mm wide, outer face only on the base tomentose-lepidote but mostly glabrous and lustrous, the inner face densely tomentose, nearly equal in length to the sepals. Flowers to 45 mm long with a stout, ca. 10 mm-long, flattened, and bialate pedicel. Sepals long ovate, obtuse and minutely mucronulate, to 30 mm long, 10 mm wide, coriaceous, nerved, the posterior alate-carinate, somewhat lanate. Petals obtuse-acute, to 50 mm long (in the WRSL isotype only 30 mm long and very few exceeding the sepals!), blue-green, eligulate. Stamens shorter than the style, ca. 22 mm long, anthers obtuse-linear, 11-12 mm long, dorsifixed. Ovary coniform, 8 mm high, style 22 mm long, stigma small and contorted.

Type: A. Weberbauer no. 1344 (holotype, B; photo, F; isotype WRSL). Peru: on open shrubby and rocky places between Tambo-Yuncacoya and Ramospata on the Sandia-Chunchusmayo road, 2200-2400 m alt. Known from the type collection only!

Waldsteinburg, East Germany


A Garden of Grace. Videorecording by Ray Skalski, Video Grams, Palm Beach, Queensland, 1985. Tape cassette; 30 min.; sound; color; ½-in. VHS NTSC format. Approximately $40.00 each. Write for details including quantity prices to BSI Publications Committee Chairman Annie Navetta, 3236 S.E. Clinton, Portland, OR 97202.

"People complained because they could not see me in my last video, so here am I." The quiet voice is that of Grace Goode, known both for her marvelous garden and for her splendid results as a bromeliad hybridizer. The joke is that after that modest introduction we still never get to see more than a glimpse of profile under a giant-size straw hat, her "donkey's breakfast." During the showing she lets us see the garden, individual bromeliad plants, her hands (encased in brilliant pink rubber gloves) doing their work in close-up snipping the anthers, saving the pollen in glass vials, pollinating a billbergia, preparing potting mixes.

The exploration of Grace Goode's beautifully landscaped garden at Alexandra Headlands, Queensland, is well planned and photographed. Of special interest are the many close-ups of brilliantly colored bromeliads, especially neoregelias. Her demonstration of how to pollinate and how to prepare the seed bed is as good as a personal tutorial.

A society or group of societies could use this program for public demonstrations, as a training aid for workshop use, and as an addition to their libraries for loan to members. An advantage of the video recording is that a four-head video cassette recorder will allow still viewing of full-screen portraits of specimens. This could be a fine investment for any bromeliad organization.

The producer has converted the tape from PAL to NTSC, the system commonly used in the United States. It was recorded in VHS format. We found it easy to prepare for showing: insert cassette, move to a close-up, pause for still viewing, adjust the color, rewind, begin the show.


BSI Publications Committee is trying to arrange for bulk shipments from Australia to reduce handling costs. You may, of course, write directly to Video Grams, 218 Nineteenth Avenue, Palm Beach, Queensland 4221, Australia.

Bromeliad Flower Arrangement, No. 8: Aechmea ramosa with Fruit
May A. Moir

Robert Chinn of Honolulu Academy of Arts
Fig. 17.
One of a pair of arrangements by Mrs. Moir consisting of sprays of Aechmea ramosa, breadfruit, limes, calamondin, tangerines, and a few bright yellow straw flowers.

n a large, footed ceramic container I arranged a mass of fruit which included breadfruit, limes, calamondin and tangerines. To add sparkle, five sprays of Aechmea ramosa and a few bright yellow straw flowers were added. Two of these arrangements were placed on tall black stands in the entrance to the Honolulu Academy of Arts where they received enthusiastic comments. The Aechmea ramosa used in this manner without water dries and looses its color by the end of a week.

Honolulu, Hawaii


The insignia of the Bromeliad Society as designed by Mulford B. Foster, first president of the Society. Victoria Padilla, a member of the original board of directors, the first secretary of the Society, and editor of the Bulletin and Journal from November 1960 through 1981, described the insignia in Bulletin volume 1, no. 1 as follows:

This design is made up of significant parts of bromeliads. The outside circle with jagged edge represents the spiny margins found on the leaves of most of the genera of the two subfamilies called Pitcairnioideae and Bromelioideae, such as the genera Billbergia, Ananas, Dyckia, Puya, etc. The plain inner circle represents the smooth-edged leaves found in the subfamily Tillandsioideae such as the genera Vriesea, Tillandsia, Guzmania, etc. Two heavily inked spots on either side of the words "organized 1950" represent the microscopic peltate scales formed on the leaves of all bromeliads. In the center the epiphytic vriesea growing on a tree limb represents one of the most recurring types of inflorescence formation throughout the two largest genera of the family, Vriesea and Tillandsia.

The insignia has been redrawn by Barbara Culbertson, a botanical illustrator who is frequently employed by Harry Luther, director of the M.B. Foster Bromeliad Identification Center and by the staff of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Anyone interested may make photostatic or xerographic copies for their publications. The drawing may be reduced to the desired size most easily and without loss of clarity as a photostat and then may be copied. We hope that everybody who uses the insignia will reproduce this drawing and retire the old, tired, and indistinct copies.


WE REGRET TO ANNOUNCE THAT DR. EDMUNDO PEREIRA of the Herbarium Bradeanum, Rio de Janeiro, died on 16 May 1986. He was Brazil's most important taxonomist on the Bromeliaceae and a major contributor to knowledge about that plant family. During the past 10 years he described more than 100 new bromeliads. A great many of his studies were published in Bradea under the title "Species Novae in Brasilia Bromeliacearum." In recent years, the Journal published his "Notes from Herbarium Bradeanum" written in collaboration with Elton M.C. Leme, and a report about Hohenbergia correia-araujoi jointly prepared with José Luiz Moutinho Neto. A more complete report of his life is being prepared.


Does Your Potting Mix breathe?
Herb Plever

t is no new secret that epiphytes such as bromeliads need an aerated, friable, quick-draining mix. We've been preaching this sermon for over 20 years. The problem has been to find the right proportions of acidic ingredients that will remain aerated and quick-draining over the life of the plant for two to three years.

When we first started growing bromeliads indoors, we used a mix of ½ German peat moss and the balance of approximately equal parts of fir or redwood bark chips and/or perlite and/or shredded tree fern. German peat is very fibrous and does not break down in the pot even after two to three years. This mix worked well, but after some years German peat became unavailable and we had to switch to Canadian peat moss (Michigan peat is too powdery).

However, Canadian peat is really not very fibrous and after one to two years it would break down and pack down. What may have started as a porous, well-draining mix with 50 percent Canadian peat became a densely packed, ever-soggy mix which did not breathe and which choked the oxygen-loving roots. The water would stay on top for one-half minute or more before draining down, and lower leaves were constantly browning off.

It is not the wetness but the lack of aeration which is critical. We know from our own experiments and from the current articles in the Journal on hydroponics that you can grow bromeliads in water. But bromels develop a different type of root when grown in water than they do in a pot. The pot roots need aeration. If they are choked by a dense, wet medium they tend to rot, especially if it is cold. Under such conditions fungus can readily take hold and invade the roots and lower leaves.

I therefore reduced the proportion of peat moss in my mix to 40 percent, but even then the mix did not drain fast enough. I now have the peat reduced to 35 percent.

You may well ask: "If peat moss presents such a problem, why use it at all? Why not use a typical orchid mix of mostly redwood chips and some shredded tree fern?"

And, in fact, some of our members do use an orchid mix to pot their bromels, but they are mostly greenhouse growers. In the greenhouse a high amount of humidity and water is constantly available so a bromel in a predominantly bark mix will still not dry out, and the mix will still be damp enough to promote root growth.

For indoor growers, however, the typical orchid mix will not promote good root growth unless you mist every plant once or twice a day or water more frequently than our usual once a week. To enhance quick root development of pups you can wrap a small wad of sphagnum moss around the base of the offset. The sphagnum won't dry out as fast as the mix.

I have recently added cork bits and cork nuggets to my mix with very favorable results thus far. These materials will have to be evaluated over two or three years of use, but they hold great promise as a natural, clean, potting material. The cork bits are like coarse sawdust and can replace part of the peat moss. The cork nuggets are ¼" pellets and can replace part or all of the shredded tree fern (it is expensive and hard to find) and/or the perlite (which I don't like to use). The cork can be purchased from Maryland Cork Co. (see the ad in the Bromeliad Society Journal.

The last batch of mix I prepared had the following ingredients: 35% Canadian peat moss; 10% cork bits; 15% cork nuggets; 15% redwood chips; 15% perlite; 10% shredded tree fern.

Even with this really quick draining mix you still have to be on guard. I make a big batch of mix on my terrace and store it there in a 4-cubic foot, heavy plastic sack. I fill up a small plastic garbage container with the mix which I keep inside the apartment. I have noticed that as I use the mix, the finer parts of the peat moss filter through the friable material down to the bottom of the container. The mix near the bottom must, therefore, be coarsened with more drainage material or you will run into problems in a year or two.

I have a few plants which have been in their pots with my older mix for about 3 years and still have not flowered. These plants all demonstrated a choked root condition and were slowly browning off their lower leaves. I broke them out of their pots, trimmed the soggy roots which I sprayed with Physan 20 as a fungicide, and repotted them in my new more porous mix. Once the plants could breathe, the improvement was almost spontaneous.

So if any of your plants are exhibiting signs of gasping for air, break them out of their pots, discard the heavy medium and repot them in a quick-draining medium that breathes.

Reprinted from Bromeliana, the New York Bromeliad Society, 23(5); 1986.

Questions & Answers

All readers are invited to send their questions about growing bromeliads as a hobby to the editor. You will receive your answers directly and some questions will be published. Another reliable source of information is Bromeliads; a Cultural Handbook. Third edition. The handbook is available from Annie Navetta, BSI Publications, 3236 SE Clinton, Portland, Oregon 97202. The price is $3. 60, including postage.

Q. What are root mealy bugs? How do I know if my plants are infected? How can they be prevented and eradicated?

A. Root mealybugs are white, fuzzy, sucking insects that attach themselves to the roots and subsist on the plant juices. If a plant does not look healthy or seems to lack vigor, unpot it and look at the roots. The bugs are macroscopic and are easily detected. If your mix contains bark, you may see a white, spider web-appearing growth. This is probably not harmful as it is a beneficial fungus that is trying to compost the bark. Treatment with a systemic insecticide is usually successful. Prevention is based on cleanliness. New plants should be removed from their pots, the roots examined and washed before repotting in your own mix. Always use a new mix and do not attempt to salvage used material. Sterilize used pots in Clorox water (1 part bleach to 9 parts water and wear rubber gloves) prior to reusing and do not set plants directly on the ground. Plants used in landscaping or dug into beds should be checked before being moved inside for the winter. Unless your growing area is contaminated, there should be no real problem. The only cases I have seen were on purchased plants.

Q. How do you grow Puyas? In what issues of the Journal do articles about Puyas appear?

A. Puyas seem to respond well to the same treatment that hechtias and dyckias receive. That is, a terrestrial mix such as peat, compost, soil, sharp sand, vermiculite, and lava rock or haydite in equal parts by volume. They enjoy much more water than we think of their receiving in nature. Do not allow these plants to become bone dry. Four times a year apply 14-14-14 timed release, three-month fertilizer (Osmocote). Reduce the amount of watering in winter. Four to six hours of sun per day are desirable. As there are over seventy different entries regarding puyas in back issues of the Journal, although none seems to be concerned with growing in cultivation, you might wish to obtain a copy of Cumulative Index to The Bulletin and Journal of The Bromeliad Society; Volumes I - XXX (1951-1980), by Dr. Clyde F. Reed, 101 Harford Rd., Baltimore, MD 21234. Price is $4.00 plus $1.08 for 3rd class ostage. Try your local bromeliad society library. If you have access to a complete set of back issues of the Journal, you are indeed fortunate. Such a collection represents a great deal of information that would require much research to duplicate.

Q. What is a good fungicide to use on bromeliads?

A. After checking with several other growers and the local county agricultural agent, the consensus seems to be Benomyl or Captan. Follow the package directions carefully. Neither of these products contains harmful metals salts to which bromeliads are so sensitive. If the pots are not over-watered and good circulation is provided, there should be little need for remedial treatment.

Q. Should I mist bromeliads growing in the house? How much humidity is best for a variety of genera?

A. In my opinion, misting to produce humidity is a waste of time because the effect is so transitory that the measurable results are minute. It may help in supplying water for leaf absorption, reducing dehydration. If you have reasonable circulation across your plants, even the much-touted water-filled tray of pebbles seems suspect as to any real effectiveness. When possible, humidity can range as high as 80% and is best maintained to at least 55%. Many growers find this to be impossible and seem to be able to grow beautiful plants, yet some stress must result from this dryness. Even tillandsias and hechtias seem to thrive on high humidity, provided there is plenty of air circulation. If you err in the amount of humidity provided, it would be safer to be on the high side than the low with, of course, rare exceptions.

Q. When someone says to remove an offset when it is one-half to one-third as big as the mother, does that mean in height, number of leaves, or age?

A. About one-third the height will probably be acceptable in most cases. Another good guideline would be five to seven true leaves, exclusive of the stolon leaves. When you can see them, the appearance of roots is helpful in knowing the pup is mature enough to remove. To be successful in establishing itself, the new plant must have enough stored energy, vitality, and nutrients to make roots and continue to function on its own.

Q. I seem to have trouble keeping roots alive, particularly if I transplant older plants. Do you have a suggestion?

A. Even though some damage may occur when you transplant, there should be no real problem. In the first place, bromeliads do not need a large root system to do well. Before you transplant, wet your mix well and work quickly so that the roots do not dry out. If there has to be a delay, stick the plant in water and do not allow the sun to hit the roots. With the plant in place, fill the new pot two-thirds full, add one tablespoon of 0-18-0 superphosphate or one teaspoon of triple strength superphosphate to a six-inch pot, then finish filling the pot and water well. Withhold all nitrogen for several weeks. If you are having trouble with roots in general, then the chances are you are over-watering, or your mix does not drain well enough for your conditions.

Q. Often my offsets do not root well. How can I correct this problem?

A. There may be several factors involved. Pups removed too early can produce problems as they do not have sufficient stored energy to make the transition (see above). If there are no roots showing, try potting in either sphagnum or straight perlite. Dissolve one tablespoon of 0-18-0 superphosphate in one gallon of water (this process may take several days), and thoroughly wet the medium after adjusting the pH to 6.5. Pot the offset and drench the plant and pot with the same solution, withholding all nitrogen. Wait six to eight weeks, while continuing to apply the solution every other watering, gently remove the plant from the medium to check for root development. If insufficient, return to this procedure for another six to eight weeks. Should an offset have some roots when it is removed from the parent, simply pot it in your regular mix and water it with the same superphosphate, withholding all nitrogen for six to eight weeks. Adjusting the pH is very important if the plant is to absorb the phosphate and stimulate root growth. After eight to ten weeks the plant should be ready for a slight stimulant. This can be provided by an African Violet food (5-19-8) mixed according to package directions, once again adjusting the pH to 6.5 after mixing. This will give the new plant added strength and vigor.

Q. Some of my plants have small bumps on the leaves, especially close to the leaf bases. I am told this is scale. Is this bad? What should I do?

A. Your description does sound like scale, as this small parasite is commonly known. There are several kinds, but fortunately, they all respond to the same treatment. Scale is a small, sucking insect that feeds off the plant juices so, yes, it is bad. The cure is relatively simple; first isolate all plants on which you can find these bumps, then treat with a systemic insecticide such as Cygon 2E or Dexol granules. Cygon is rapidly absorbed by the plant and, if this is your choice, mix enough solution, according to package directions, in which you can completely submerge the plant. Dip, remove immediately to allow it to drain, let stand in the shade for thirty minutes, then rinse the foliage and flush the cup with clear water. Treat the pot with the Cygon solution and keep isolated for several weeks. The Dexol granules are easier to use but do not act as fast. Simply work them into the top half-inch of the mix, in the amount indicated in the package directions. You must always take precautions when handling insecticides to protect your skin, eyes and lungs from contamination. Before using, read the label so you will be familiar with the proper steps to take in case of accidental exposure.

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.

President – Edgar L. Smith, 4415 Vandelia St., Dallas, TX 75219.
Vice President – Harold W. Wiedman, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Calif., State University-Sacramento, Sacramento, CA 95819.
Corresponding Secretary – Danita Rafalovich-Smith, 3956 Minerva Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90066.
Editor – Thomas U. Lineham, Jr., 1508 Lake Shore Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.
Membership Secretary – Linda Harbert, 2488 E. 49th, Tulsa, OK 74105.
Recording Secretary – Jack B. Grubb, 10008 Hyde Place, River Ridge, LA 70123.
Treasurer – David Gardner, 33 Camden Pl. , Corpus Christi, TX 78412.

1984-1986: George Anderson, At-large, Chet Blackburn, California, Jack Grubb, Louisiana, Paul T. Isley III, California, Carol M. Johnson, Florida, Tom J. Montgomery, Jr., Texas, Hedi Guelz Roesler, Outer, H. W. Wiedman, At-large.
1985-1987: Bobbie H. Beard, Southern, Nat De Leon, At-large, Linda Harbert, Central, Stan Oleson, California, Peter Paroz, Australia, Herbert Plever, Northeastern, Gerald A. Raack, At-large, Robert E. Soppe, Western, Ervin J. Wurthmann, Florida.
1986-1988: B. Dean Fairchild, At-large, William E. Frazel, At-large, Wayne B. Guthrie, Texas, Ronald Schoenau, Florida.

Luis Ariza Julia, Dominican Republic; Olwen Ferris, Australia; Marcel Lecoufle, France; Harold Martin, New Zealand; Werner Rauh, Germany; Raulino Reitz, Brazil; Walter Richter, Germany; Lyman B. Smith, U.S.; Robert G. Wilson, Costa Rica; Robert W. Read, U.S.; Roberto Burle Marx, Brazil; Victoria Padilla, U.S.; Wilhelm Weber, Germany Racine Foster, U.S.; Elmer J. Lorenz, U.S.; Roberto Kautsky, Brazil..

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: Gerald A. Raack, 472 Greenhollow Dr., Pataskala, OH 43062.
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, 9300 Old Cutler Rd., Miami, FL 33156.
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: George H. Anderson, 4409 Apollo Drive, Metairie, LA 70003.
Publications: Annie Navetta, 3236 S.E. Clinton, Portland, OR 97202.
Research grant: David H. Benzing, Dept. of Biology, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH 44074.
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.

R.W. Read
Neoregelia olens (Hooker f.) L.B. Smith; now proposed by Dr. R.W. Read to be known as cultivar 'Marie'. Text begins on page 167.

Calendar of Shows

July 5-6Bromeliad Society of Greater Chicago 2nd Annual Show and Sale. Chicago Botanic Garden, Lake-Cook Road and Edens Expressway, Glencoe, IL. Kevin O'Grady (312) 835-5440, ext. 35.
Sept. 20-21San Diego Bromeliad Society 16th Annual Show and Plant Sale, "Bromeliad Harvest." Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission free. Casa Del Prado, Balboa Park, Room 101. Thelma O'Reilly (619) 463-6788.
Sept. 27-28Southwest Bromeliad Guild 15th Annual Show and Plant Sale. Hosted by Tarrant County Bromeliad Society to be held at Ft. Worth Botanic Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Drive North, Ft. Worth, TX. Saturday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Flo Adams (817) 467-7500.
Oct. 4-5Sarasota Bromeliad Society 8th Annual Show & Sale. Selby Botanical Gardens Conservatory. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bob Smith (813) 388-1921.

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