Pitcairnia I think....can someone ID?

bluebonsai101(6a PA)November 8, 2008

Hi All, I posted this plant to a few forums and it seems to be a Pitcairnia sp. which is a terrestrial member of the Bromeliad family and so I thought I would try to get an ID here. I must admit I have no Bromeliads and did not realize there were terrestrial ones until yesterday, but I must say it is quite pretty as are many others I've seen on-line. I think if there were decent pics of the leaves on-line anywhere I could get an ID fairly easy as it most resemble P. carinata, but there is a chance it could be P. grafii or P. nortefluminensis, but this last one seems to have a much smaller influorescence than carinata for example. The seed for this plant were originally collected in the mountains outside of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil so that should narrow down the species possibilities quite drastically. The oldest leaves are approx. 17" long and 1.25" wide. The individual flowers are 3" long and the influorescence is 19" from where it leaves the leaves to the top of the last flower. If anyone has a sure ID I'd love to hear it!! Thanks :o) Dan

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hotdiggetydam

I don't think Brazil will narrow it down since most are from that country. Nice bloom.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 11:39AM
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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

Bummer, after looking around at a site that listed all species known with pics they listed lots of Central and South American countries, but rarely Brasil....maybe they only listed the country where the specimen in question originated. Thanks for the info though.....now that I have a Bromeliad family member it is good to learn a little something....at least it is easy to grow in zone 6 with no greenhouse.....my kind of plant :o) Dan

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 11:56AM
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hotdiggetydam

List of Brazil collected

Here is a link that might be useful: Linky poo

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 1:28PM
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LisaCLV(HI)

Dan, there are a lot of Pit. species, but not many of us here are growing them. Have you already gone through the photo files on FCBS? If not, I have started a search for you below (ignore the Glomeropitcairnias, that's a whole different subfamily, but the search includes anything with that letter sequence).

If that doesn't help and you really want to know, you can always try emailing Harry Luther at the Bromeliad Identification Center (google it and you'll find a contact link). Send your photos and as much information about the locale as you can, and if you can get another photo showing a close-up of the floral parts that will help too.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: FCBS Pitcairnea search

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 1:47PM
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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

Thanks guys, I used the FCBS list above to narrow my possibilities down. After seeing a bunch of these pics and realizing how easy the one I have is to grow I might like to get some others. I have never really liked Bromeliads to be honest, but I guess I should give them another look....at least the ones that are good planted in dirt and do not fuss too much. I will send the pics to Harry Luther mentioned above to see what he has to say...at this point curiosity is killing the cat :o) Dan

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 5:11PM
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bromadams(10b)

I've grown 4 Pictairnia species from seed and only one of them, xanthocalyx, is in FCBS. They don't have them all.

There really isn't much interesting in Pits down here and I'm not really sure why I'm growing them.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 7:23PM
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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

It's funny, because I got these seed along with my Worsleya a few years ago....this plant grows right along side Worsleya and had no clue what it was....unnamed seed.....I thought what an ugly plant, but now that it has bloomed I find it to be pretty (and my wife likes it which is a huge plus for me and plants :o).....my feelings about Bromeliads are about the same as you say about the Pitcairnia.....they are all rather the same, the plants are not pretty (for my taste) and are everywhere so of less interest to me....and of course, I feel most all hybridizers should be shackled until they promise to quit ruining good genetics so the hybrids are a definite no-no!! I do hope to find a name and will let people no if I do. You guys have been incredibly helpful to a non-Bromeliad plant-a-holic and I appreciate it....THANKS :o) Dan

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 7:47PM
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hotdiggetydam

So Dan...you don't grow anything that is a hybrid?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 10:02AM
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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

That is correct....unless it is a garden plant in the border to just look good around the house it is not a hybrid in my collection. All of my plants that I grow in pots for excitement, including my Amorphopahllus, Arisaema, Boophane, Brunsvigia, Crinum, Hippeastrum, Worsleya, Daubenya, Massonia, Ledebouria, Haemanthus (except one) etc., etc., etc. are species. I'm just not into hybrids at all. I personally think that too many that look for all intents and purposes the same are out there in the market and I wish it was easier to find true species to grow in genera that interest me. I appreciate that most species are tougher to grow because they lack that hybrid vigor, but if the proper conditions can be established you can have success. Just my personal view and I appreciate the beautiful specimens that others grow, but this is just another example of why I love the plant community....everyone has completely different interests and I can learn from all of you :o) dan

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 10:50AM
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bromadams(10b)

In the bromeliad world, lots of species look exactly the same too.

There is no magic to a species. Somebody just decides that a plant is a species and as long as there is no big argument, then it is a species. With the vast amount of habitat destruction going on, a lot of times there is just one clone of a variety and no decent chain of custody, so somebody just makes the call.

I was discussing the loss of species with my daughter and she said how terrible it was, and I, controversially, said we can just make more. I really don't think she believed me, but, of course we can. There is no magic indicator on a plant that says, "Hey! I'm a species!" So if you want more species, then just start declaring more plants to be species. Or, you can start coalescing the existing species and make fewer species. We make the call not the plants.

But I don't think it is the loss of species that is the issue, it's the loss of habitat that is the real issue. But as long as the human population increases, I don't see how we can avoid habitat destruction, although, we could probably slow the rate of habitat destruction if we tried real hard.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 11:23AM
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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

Well, I totally agree that botanical nomenclature is a total mess from what I read and hear. For example, I imported a plant from Namibia called Pseudogaltonia clavata which is a monotypic genus. On the IBS or PBS (I forget which one) the thought from the experts is that this should be lumped into Ornithogalum. The person I got it from, Charles Craib, who does taxonomy then told me it had been reclassified into Lindneria.....who knows....pretty plant though!!

While I tend to like species, and I agree that many species look quite similar, and not hybrids in my collection please take the shackling thing with a wink......I think that individuals who cross and grow hybrids from seed are amazingly patient, but what drives me crazy is when ever single hybrid gets a name and makes it to market....most not being warranted in my opinion.

I should say that I was thinking about this and I do actually have a few more hybrids that I just got....they are intergeneric though and are crossed between Amaryllis and Brunsvigia that have been around for over a century and I do own the first ever cross made between Hippeastrum and Sprekelia which is a treasure because I was given it by the man who made it originally in India as a gift.....you can buy them easily enough, but to get a gift like that is what makes growing plants so special.....plant people are so giving and all of your help on trying to ID this plant is just another example of that :o) Dan

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 12:00PM
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hotdiggetydam

I agree not all hybrids should be named...many need to be buried in a compost pile. I for one will never register a loook alike or an average plant...which means I may never name one of my seedlings...but I went a nice journey trying :)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 2:54PM
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LisaCLV(HI)

So that's the thanks I get for trying to help, huh? Never mind, you'd probably be doing me a favor by shackling me. ;-)

I do understand the purist's point of view, I just don't subscribe to it. I firmly believe that combining diverse elements can improve all facets of life. To me they're just flip sides of the same coin anyway. Having to keep your peas and carrots separated on the plate is just as obsessive as wanting to mash everything together into a brown paste. Somewhere in between lies sanity. Or so I've heard, I've never actually been there.......

As far as "making new species" is concerned, while it's true that natural hybrids self-pollinated over many generations can stabilize and become indistinguishable from species, there is no way to recreate a species that has been lost. Genetic diversity is precious, so let's preserve the gene pool while we can!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 7:31PM
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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

Well, I do not think of myself as OCD, but when it comes to plants my wife might disagree when the next box from South Africa arrives and she asks where in the world they are going!!

I would likely try to generate a hybrid if I had the patience required, but I just admire the work of nature and that is enough breadth for me to tackle without worrying about hybrids.....way too little space anyway :o) Dan

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 9:20PM
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LisaCLV(HI)

Oh, I'm a big fan of Mother Nature too, which is why I dropped out of art school and decided to try collaborating with her instead. Sometimes, though, she's awfully hard to top.

Before you decide that all bromeliads look alike and "the plants are not pretty", take a look at this old thread:

Here is a link that might be useful: Species that can hold their own...

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 10:15PM
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bromadams(10b)

Lisa, I didn't mean we could make new species by hybridizing, I meant we could make new species with the stroke of a pen! Take Neoregelia cruenta rubra; somebody could easily say that is a new species and not a variety and, poof!, we would have a new species. I think Leeme said that one of the Nids should be broken up into several species but he didn't want to deal with it (I forget why). So, there are probably plenty of opportunities to create new species if we want to. We could even just slightly change the generally accepted critera for what makes a species and, poof!, more species.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 11:24PM
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LisaCLV(HI)

Sure, taxonomists can split taxa until they're blue in the face, but the actual number of distinct species on the books is not the issue when you're talking about the destruction of habitat. It's the loss of genetic diversity, and you can't fix that with the stroke of a pen.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 3:50AM
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bluebonsai101(6a PA)

I heard from Bruce Holst at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and this is in fact P. flammea so everyone that guessed that was dead on!!! Thanks again :o) Dan

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 5:21PM
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