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update on N. pernambucana versus N. carcharodon debate...

Posted by kerry_t_australia 9 (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 24, 08 at 8:05

I thought I'd start a separate thread on this subject.
It started with Florida Mike showing us that magnificent specimen of Neoregelia silvomontana on his thread entitled "Bromeliad Society of South Florida 2008". Discussion ensued on that plant versus Neoregelia carcharodon. Here is an update on what I have found out since then.

Firstly, the publication already referred to:

Title of book - "Fragments of the Atlantic Forest of Northeast Brazil - Biodiversity, Conservation and the Bromeliads"

Authors - (Thanks for the Portuguese lesson, Lisa! LOL) Junior's full name is Jose Alves Siquiera Filho,
and Elton M.C.Leme.

Published by Andrea Jakobsson Estudio, April 2007 (English edition).
This book cost me AUD$170, ordered through Gil Teague of Florilegium Books, Sydney, Australia. It is an excellent book, very thick, great photos, and lots of official introductory descriptions of new species of many genera - as well as in-depth justifications in scientific jargon of reclassification of some taxa eg Hoh. disjuncta now Aechmea disjuncta, Portea leptantha now Aechmea leptantha. Not recommended for the faint hearted, and my eyes start to gloss over with 'nil comprehendo' at the nitty-gritty disection stuff..... but still very interesting and worth either wading through, or looking at the pretty pictures and summarised text.

Lisa remarked that the 2 photos of N. pernambucana on the fcbs photo index, not only looked different to each other, but the first photo, of a clump, more closely resembled what has been known in the U.S. as N. carcharodon rubra and Olive's plant (shown again) below.

gigas?

and Bruce's photo from fcbs site.
bruce's pernambucana 1

The second photo on the fcbs photo index of N. pernambucana looks more like the N. silvermontana shown by Mike, and like Olive's imported N. pernambucana. I agree with your observations, Lisa. For reference, see photo below of Olive's look alike.

pernambucana 3

and Bruce's 2nd photo of N. pernambucana on fcbs site.
Photobucket

SO....... I rang Bruce Dunstan, the photographer of both images on the fcbs site, and picked his brains. Bruce is extremely brom-wise, has traveled extensively, and is always generous with his knowledge.

Here goes - (deep breath, flexing muscles).....

The first photograph was taken at Selby Gardens. At the time (unsure when), Harry Luther identified it as N. pernambucana. Since then, Harry has left further investigation to Elton Leme. That plant, probably the same as the commonly known N. carcharodon rubra, is now suspected to be N. gigas (pronounced 'jee-gus'), of the N. pernambucana complex described by Siquiera and Leme.

The second photograph was taken in Brazil, at the nursery of Oscar Ribeiro - Bromeliario Imperialis. At the time of photo taken, this was believed to be N. pernambucana. Now, it is considered to be N. silvomontana, also of the N. pernambucana complex.

Bruce says that the first known person to collect these neoregelias in the wild was Pedro Nahoum of Brazil, possibly in the mid to late 1980s. They were fairly wide spread in the wild, and included the variants that are known as N. carcharodon Tiger, Rainbow, Silver, Giant, rubra etc., but N. Macho was probably collected in the wild independently by R.L.Frasier. It is likely that the differences occurred as natural hybrids within the complex.

Then along came Chester Skotak and Dennis Cathcart, who visited Pedro Nahoum in Brazil, and purchased all the varieties Pedro had collected, and took them back to Tropiflora nursery as N. carcharodon varieties. From there, Chester started hybridising with some of them - creating the shark series of large, broad-leaved, variegated hybrids with large "teeth", and subsequent hybrids.

I found out that Olive most likely imported her (supposed) N. pernambucana from Michael Kiel. At the time Olive imported it (about 2 or 3 years ago?), that was its name on Michael's list. It is now considered to be N. silvomontana, just like the one named that, and on show recently, in South Florida and photographed by Mike.

Phew!..... I think that is how the story goes anyway. Apologies to anyone concerned if I've stuffed up.

Here in Oz, a trio of dedicated brom folk - Bruce Dunstan, Peter Tristram, and Mark Paul - have brought back from their travels all of these varieties, and are growing them side by side, always comparing notes and observations. Peter is pulling the flower parts apart, trying to ascertain difinitive identification according to Leme's detailed descriptions. There appears to be an issue with the leaf width of the N. pernambucana complex which they are trying to nut out.
That trio is doing the same thing with alcantarea species and their variants, having collected seed and imported live plants and now closely monitoring possible discrepancies. Good on them, I say!

Lisa - I found your input very interesting and informative. Thanks! I didn't realise there was initial confusion between N. carcharodon and N. pascoaliana. I think that may have been sorted out before N. pascoaliana got to Australia. You're close observations of all those photos were pretty spot on - well done.

Well I think that's it from me - for the moment...LOL!
I realise most of this "magnum opus" will be boring as hell to many - sorry..

bedah bedah bedah....that's all folks!

Cheers,
Kerry


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: update on N. pernambucana versus N. carcharodon debate...

Thanks for writing this up Kerry! I have to admit I did have to read it over a second time to make sure I got it down. Too bad these things didn't grow with barcodes on them huh?

For good measure here is the one from the BSSF show (shown by Karl Green):


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RE: update on N. pernambucana versus N. carcharodon debate...

Wow, thanks Kerry! Elton Leme has written so many books, and while the ones I've seen are excellent, they tend to be fairly narrow in their focus, so I've avoided the temptation to buy most of them. This one sounds like it would be worth laying out the money, however. My eyes tend to glaze over too when it gets into the minutiae of sepal lengths, etc. I'm more of an eyeball/gut-feeling kind of gal, but you have to be able to back that up with something, whether it's floral morphology or DNA.

Thanks also for taking the time to call Bruce and get the inside story. He is active in the Heliconia society, but I didn't realize he was into broms too. So if "carcharodon Rubra" is really N. gigas, that brings us back to the question of what is the real carcharodon? That species was described long before Tiger and these other Johnny-come-latelys appeared on the scene.

As to N. pernambucana, the second FCBS photo doesn't have the big spines and hot pink tips of Olive's plant or Mike's silvomontana photo. Of course this is a minor detail, as they could easily be different clones within the same species. If they are all silvomontana though, then what is the real pernambucana and why are those 2 non-pernambucanas still on FCBS as such?


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RE: update on N. pernambucana versus N. carcharodon debate...

You're welcome, Mike and Lisa :)

Mike - thanks for re-posting that photo of what has to be one of the most glorious neoregelias I have seen. I wouldn't be surprised if Michael now gets inundated with requests for N. silvomontana.
Yep - an ingrown bar-code system would be so much easier. :)

Lisa - good point about questioning why those 2 incorrect photos are still on the fcbs photo index. I might send this thread to Derek, and see what he says. That leaf width issue may be holding up the resolving of matters?

I could be breaching copyright here, but I have photographed some text and images from the book.....

Regards the supposed real carcharodon, the only reference to it in Siquiera and Leme's whole book is below.

notes on carcharodon

Leme intimates that carcharodon was wrongly described and it is really silvomontana (NOT gigas - aargh!!) The thot plickens....

Here are images taken from the book of the elusive N. pernambucana.
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

And images of N. gigas.
gigas 1

Photobucket

gigas fruit

Comparisons of flowers and fruit on N. pernambucana (left) and N.silvomontana (right).
Photobucket

And an image of N. silvomontana.
Photobucket

And just to liven up this thread, here is a final image copied from the book of a cohabitant of the N. pernambucana complex in Brazil - representing one of our most common sins??

3-toed sloth

Cheers,
Kerry


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RE: update on N. pernambucana versus N. carcharodon debate...

I think you need one of those residents in your garden, Kerry! I wonder how they get along with pythons....

That is odd that there is no more mention of carcharodon than that, but I'm not sure that means that carch Rubra is really silvomontana, only that silvomontana was wrongly identified as a carcharodon. That's how I read it anyway, but of course I'm not getting the whole context. I need to get that book. The Rubra I have doesn't quite look like that picture of gigas either, but minor foliage characteristics do not define a species. All of those pictured above are so similar looking that I'd be hard pressed to say what the defining characteristics are for each one, but I'm sure the text goes into that. The difference in fruit color is interesting. I don't think I've ever seen a Neo with gold berries.

So they don't consider carcharodon or pascoaliana to be part of the same complex? They all have fairly enormous floral structure compared to most Neos.


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RE: update on N. pernambucana versus N. carcharodon debate...

If a resident of MY garden, that three-toed sloth would scare the living daylights out of me! Give me the pythons, brown snakes, spiders, ticks, leeches (well maybe not the leeches) and goannas any day!

You're probably right, Lisa, about the silvomontana being wrongly identified as a carcharodon at some time or other. But I don't know where carcharodon and pascoaliana fit into the scheme of things.
Hopefully, those dedicated few who are comparing notes and characteristics on all the carch. varieties and pernambucana complex, and possibly pascoaliana as well? - will reveal all before too long.

Or anybody else who might find out?

Cheers,
Kerry


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RE: update on N. pernambucana versus N. carcharodon debate...

I hear that orphaned sloths make for interesting pets. Apparently if a baby sloth falls out of tree the mother won't usually go and get it due to the danger of being on the ground. Sometimes these babies are "rescued" and taken in as pets since they can't be returned to the wild.


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RE: update on N. pernambucana versus N. carcharodon debate...

Interesting pets, maybe, but they'd be hell on the furniture!


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Notes from Chester

I got this from Chester and thought it was interesting:

And about some carcharodons...notes by Chester Skotak, Costa Rica

Neoregelia 'Tiger' was found in Rio de Janeiro state, Estrada Marica, Itaborai on the road to Rio Bonito at the 10 km marker. The true location was first discovered by Rafael Oliveira de Faria and Chester Skotak in 2004. These plants grow on rocks or as epiphytes. When I first saw this plant growing in a very tall tree I remember thanking God that goats cant fly but in the end it didnt really matter. That road has now been paved and the forest severely cut, as last I heard.

Neoregelia 'Macho' was grown and collected by Luiz (Luis) Correia de Araujo. He had them growing in giant clay pots around the restaurant he owned at the time. Several people brought back pups in the 90s, including me. The plant was found in Vargem Grande, Rio de Janeiro state.

Neoregelia 'Silver' was being grown at Pedro Nahoums nursery. I spoke with him recently about this Neo and he told me he acquired the plant from Roberto Menescal. It was collected in Vargem Grande also.

Neoregelia 'Rainbow' was found near Santa Maria de Madalena around 1995, Rio de Janeiro state. It was growing on rocks at the garbage dump. I was traveling with Rafael Oliveira, Pedro Nahoum, Jorge Gastin and Giorgio Croce. On this same road 2 kilometers further along we found Vriesea croceana, named in honor of Giorgio Croce.

These four Neoregelia species (16 plants total) were sent to the U.S.A. by me in the 90s to: Michael Kiehl, Dennis Cathcart, Wally Berg and Harry Luther. They each received four plants, one plant of each new species. Since they were all being called carcharodon at the time, I wanted to distribute these neoregelias in hopes of getting a valid species name on them and also get them into collections. Maybe one day this group will be sorted out. It should also be noted that these species are usually not found in colonies but as individuals or only a few plants and seem to be quite rare where they are found, leaving one to wonder how they even manage to propagate in the wild.


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RE: update on N. pernambucana versus N. carcharodon debate...

Kerry,Ripped off!I cant see your pictures.Has anyone else had the same problem?


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Thought it was a follow up

Just realized this is an old post.Silly me.


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RE: update on N. pernambucana versus N. carcharodon debate...

Hi Kerry, Sharon and all

I missed the images, Kerry, but assume they were from Leme's book and fcbs or Bruce, maybe me too originally. There will be more published on this group and nothing is simple, like so many Brazilian complexes. They are evolution on the move! I have dissected blooms on most of them and confirmed gigas (some 'cultivars' in the Great White registered group that used to be named carcharodon Rubra, etc), silvomontana (incorrectly named as pernambucana which still doesn't seem to be in commercial cultivation)and carcharodon (Silver is very close to the original description and looks just like the old painting). Macho, Tiger, Rainbow, etc and all the in-betweens are also close taxonomically. Pascoaliana originates from way north in Bahia, kind of like a lost carcharodon).

Sharon cleared up many misconceptions, direct from Chester, as he had a big hand in the introduction of these great Neos into cultivation.

The species are brilliant and the hybrids are getting better and better. Just watch the names around though as misnamings abound, for instance, all of the variegates I've seen are carolinae hybrids, mine included! There are no variegated carcharodons only hybrids.

I'll post some carch Tiger hybrids soon that will confuse the notion of stripes, like an image negative!

Cheers, Pedro


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RE: update on N. pernambucana versus N. carcharodon debate...

Hi Kerry, Sharon and all

I missed the images, Kerry, but assume they were from Leme's book and fcbs or Bruce, maybe me too originally. There will be more published on this group and nothing is simple, like so many Brazilian complexes. They are evolution on the move! I have dissected blooms on most of them and confirmed gigas (some 'cultivars' in the Great White registered group that used to be named carcharodon Rubra, etc), silvomontana (incorrectly named as pernambucana which still doesn't seem to be in commercial cultivation)and carcharodon (Silver is very close to the original description and looks just like the old painting). Macho, Tiger, Rainbow, etc and all the in-betweens are also close taxonomically. Pascoaliana originates from way north in Bahia, kind of like a lost carcharodon).

Sharon cleared up many misconceptions, direct from Chester, as he had a big hand in the introduction of these great Neos into cultivation.

The species are brilliant and the hybrids are getting better and better. Just watch the names around though as misnamings abound, for instance, all of the variegates I've seen are carolinae hybrids, mine included! There are no variegated carcharodons only hybrids.

I'll post some carch Tiger hybrids soon that will confuse the notion of stripes, like an image negative!

Cheers, Pedro


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RE: update on N. pernambucana versus N. carcharodon debate...

Hi all,
No technical input here just to say good on you guys for putting in this huge effort to get this grand group of neo's named correctly. They are certainly worth the effort!!!


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