Thinking caps on please

splinter1804August 12, 2009

Hi all,

I have an unidentified brom belonging to an orchid grower friend of mine and I thought I'd turn into a "brain teaser" for the experts to try and find out its identity.

Unlike other puzzles I've posted previously, this time I do have some information. I have a flower to show as well as a little information from the name tag albiet not the name, as that has been eroded by the sun over the years.

The plant which is quite large, measuring about 28" across and 18" in height, is located on a property in south eastern N.S.W. Australia and approx about 10 km inland from the sea.

It has been growing in a shade house beneath 28% green shade cloth known as "Orchid Shade" and is situated on a two acre block which is very open and has no trees or buildings nearby, an aspect which allows it full access to available sunlight from sunup to sundown.

First I'll start with part of a leaf:

Let's hear from the experts or anyone else who wants to take part.

All the best, Nev.

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avane_gw

Nev, the size, or rather height bothers me a bit. That is the height of the plant without the inflorescence? Even then the plant I am thinking about is still a bit taller. But I'll take a chance : Aech Shelldancer.

Japie

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 6:11PM
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LisaCLV(HI)

Hmmm...... it does look like some kind of Aechmea, but I'm going to wait until I see the inflorescence. No point in guessing early if nobody knows the correct answer, is there? ;-)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 10:55PM
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vriesea

Think i will do that to Lisa ,but the leaf is very Aechmea like,

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 5:50AM
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brom_todd(Melbourne, Australia)

If a marker pen was used for the label you might be able to see the faded parts by viewing it under a uv light - your local bank or post office may be able to help if you don't have one.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 9:00AM
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splinter1804

Hi all,

Thanks for the suggestion about the UV Todd, but that didn't show anything either.

Pic 2

Back again tomorrow, all the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 3:29PM
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brom_todd(Melbourne, Australia)

bother - always looking for ways to reduce the amount of teasing my brain gets ;-)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 5:04PM
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LisaCLV(HI)

Still sticking with Aechmea, and still waiting for more.....

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 5:41PM
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devo_2006

Similar...?

This plant was purchased as Aechmea dichlamydea hybrid, it gets to about 60cm, & has a flower spike very like Aech. dichlamydea var. trinitensis.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 6:25PM
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vriesea

think you may be onto something Devo ,definitely an Aechmea from where i stand, but?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 10:14PM
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rickta66(Brisbane)

I don't know if my Aechmea is similar, it is labelled "Cahchrome" which I can't find anywhere.

I think Devo may have nailed some of my plants parentage.

Rick

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 1:14AM
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pinkbroms

Hi Guys
Rick, that's a simple spelling mistake on your label, it's a species Aechmea callichroma.

Get a copy of Bromeliaceae Names & Synonyms, from Derek, it's only $20.00 including post, that's what I use to ensure I get my spelling as right as possible, it also assists where there have been name changes over the years but somebody hasn't changed their label. This is also why we can't find plants in photo index's at times because we're looking for the wrong name, now I double check in the book.

Pinkbroms

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 2:52AM
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splinter1804

Hi all,

A bit of what you've been waiting for.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 5:21PM
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LisaCLV(HI)

Aha! Looks like everybody who mentioned Ae. dichlamydea v. trinitensis or a hybrid of it is on the right track.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 10:31PM
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blue_heeler

I vote for Dichlamydea var trinitensis also. Flower on mine for comparison.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 12:56AM
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rickta66(Brisbane)

Nev,

Thanks for putting the puzzle up.

Pinkbroms, Thanks for the ID, I got it off my cousin who labelled it and pronounced it carachrome. Your ID makes perfect sense - I had tried seaching for "chrome" under FCBS, I never would have tried chroma.

Cheers,

Rick

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 1:11AM
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splinter1804

Hi all,

I forget to say this plant has been in flower for some months when I took its pic' last week.

Now for the "Full Monty"

What's the verdict at this stage?

I'll tell you what is written on the back of the tag tomorrow so at least you'll have all the facts as I know them.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 4:03PM
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kerry_t_australia(9)

Hi all.
This has been a great thread, Nev!
Now that we see the whole kit and caboodle, I'm with Japie's initial suggestion, and think it is Ae. Shelldancer, with parents fendleri and dichlamydea. The spines would be closer together if it was dichlamydea var. trinitensis, and the sepals a darker blue - I think? - from my own growing experience.
The solitary photo of Shelldancer on FCBS looks to have a pinker-orangey tinge to the whole image. Different cameras and/or enhancing programs might give that effect. Blue tones are often hard to capture correctly.
Here is an old photo of one of my Shelldancers flowering - although it does seem to have a shade more blue to the sepals and petals than Nev's plant. Mine was growing in very bright light.

Like others, I'm keen to hear what's on your tag, Nev.

Cheers,
Kerry

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 5:44PM
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splinter1804

Hi Kerry,

I'd just like to correct one thing, and that is, it's not my plant, it belongs to a long standing friend of mine who is now very ill and he was curious as to its name.

Secondly, you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what was is written on the reverse side of the name tag.

Thanks to everyone who has posted so far, all the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 6:13PM
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vriesea

I am inclined to agree Kerry,it looks like my shelldancer did and your plant is coloured like mine ,and as you say 'blue' is difficult to capture ,mine gets a lot of abuse in the backyard but flowers very well, Jack

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 6:34PM
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LisaCLV(HI)

Well, that's interesting. I don't have Shelldancer, but I have hundreds of seed-grown plants from the same two parents, and even though there's some of variation, the inflorescences are all more elongated than that. Here's a sample:

No, the picture's not sideways, the flowers tend to lean heavily.

I agree, though, that Nev's plant looks like a good match with Kerry's and with the FCBS pic of SD (despite the off colors of Golinski's photo), so well done, Japie!

I guess Howard Yamamoto must have used a different clone of fendleri than what made all of mine. It's kind of funny because those two species love to cross with each other, and the first time I saw the cross was at Lyon Arboretum, where the tag simply said "Howard's Blue". I was just getting into broms at that point and assumed that was its name, and that it was one of Yamamoto's, so when I grew mine I also called them Howard's Blue, thinking that all hybrids with the same parents had to have the same name (that used to be the system with grex names). Well, imagine my surprise when Howard paid us a visit and asked what that plant was. I told him "It's Howard's Blue!" and he just looked at me like I was crazy. He'd never heard of it. I guess that was just a description on the tag I'd seen, and looking at Shelldancer now, I can see why he didn't recognize it as the same cross.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 8:52PM
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aroideana(Tropical Australia)

I grew a large batch of seedlings from an Ae. dichlamydea var. trinitensis at Peter Sargents , Whyanbeel Arboretum . Once the seedlings got a few cms tall , it was obvious that some foreign pollen had been introduced . Nearby was a pink foliage Ae. fendleri , no doubt the father . Many have flowered , and look very much like the plant in question .
I have a spike emerging on one now .

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 8:42AM
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splinter1804

Hi everyone,

Well from what's been said I guess the plant is Ae. Shelldancer and I'm feeling especially pleased with myself as that's what I also thought it was but I didn't want to say so and spoil the puzzle. I think it was Lisa's final post that confirmed it for me.

I know I've said it before, but what a fantastic resource this GW Bromeliad Forum really is, with growers continually willing to share their views and help others (Maybe if they were also running the world it would be a better place).

I was a bit dissapointed when Japie went for Shelldancer on the first follow-up post as I thought the discussion would end there, however it didn't and I'm pleased to say "Japie gets the cigar".

Thanks to everyone who participated, what a great lot of detectives you all are.

Oh, by the way, I did originall say I had a little information from the name tag albiet not the name.

Well it wasn't until I started checking that wonderful resource the "FCBS Photo Index" for possibilities and hybridizers that the light in my brain suddenly came on and I could associate the info. on the tag with the possible name of the plant.

On the back of the tag were just three words, "Howard Yamamoto hybrid", so that combined with Lisa's last post really confirmed it for me.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 4:50PM
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avane_gw

Thanks for the cigar, Nev!!

I have to be honest, though. When you posted the picture of the inflorescense, I wanted to retract my guess! My plant is also in flower now, and the scape is bright red - like that of my Ae fendleri, which is also in flower now - where in your picture, the stem of the inflorescence is more green. So without trying to rain on your parade, could it be that your friend's plant could be a grex mate of Shelldancer? Or do the other guru's want to chime in and tell us if different growing conditions cause that?

Here is a picture of my Shelldancer:

Japie

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 5:43PM
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splinter1804

Hi Japie,

Well if you're gonna be like that, you better give back the cigar!

Seriously though, the pic's I posted were of a plant that had been in flower for quite some months beneath 28% shade cloth in a very high light area.

Is it possible for the colour of the inflorescence stem to fade somewhat under these conditions,what do you think?

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 7:17PM
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LisaCLV(HI)

Japie, I see what you mean, but I don't think it's necessarily a dealbreaker. I've seen that much variation in stem color between specimens of the same clone before, just as you see variation in foliage color, etc. Sun exposure and age of the inflorescence can play a role in it too. I see you have stripped away all of the dry brown scape bracts on your plant, which most likely has encouraged it to get a nice suntan.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 7:22PM
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avane_gw

Nev, here is a picture of Shelldancer shortly after the inflorescence started emerging in April, and the previous picture I posted, was taken yesterday. So, also, quite a couple of months. And it is still busy flowering! Very nice to have something so nice giving such a long display! And looking at the pictures of fendleri, the scape is turning more colourful as it ages, and take some time shedding those dry scape bracts. And your's are still on so maybe in a little while they will start to fall off and then the scape will also turn nice and red!

Now, may I have the cigar back, please?!

And Lisa, I did not strip those scape bracts, the plant shed it itself! Which is the same with my Ae fendleri. And seeing that "Yamamoto must have used a different clone of fendleri than what made all of mine", here are some pictures of mine at different stages of flowering. On one of the pictures you can actually see a dry scape bract that had just been shed and still lying on top of a leaf. Good thing I did not spot it before taking the picture otherwise I would have removed it!

Ae fendleri in February:

and 3 months later:

and today:

Japie

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 3:57AM
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splinter1804

Hi Japie,

You can have the cigar back if you send me a pup off your Ae fendleri, how's that?

Nice plant, nice pic's.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 3:01PM
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