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Color by numbers

Posted by lisaclv HI (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 18, 08 at 5:11

Gonzer recently posted a picture of several Vriesea grexmates at John Arden's and commented on the amount of difference there can be between siblings. I thought I'd post my version with this batch of siblings. Some of them have been seen here before, but never all 9 selections together.


Since there were so many, I just gave them the numbers 1 through 9 in Hawaiian:

1) 'Ekahi 2) 'Elua 3) 'Ekolu
4) 'Eha 5) 'Elima 6) 'Eono
7) 'Ehiku 8) 'Ewalu 9) 'Eiwa

For the record, this is by far the largest number of named cultivars I've ever selected from any grex of any genus. Normally I try to avoid look-alikes, but I couldn't bear to throw any of these on the trash pile after they took so long to get to this point!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Color by numbers


I'll give you Umi out of Umi for those pictures (I hope that is right, I'm not smart enough to speak Hawaiian).

Very nice plants and photo as usual.


RE: Color by numbers

'Umi is ten, Rick, so you're doing better than me. I'm still trying to memorize these!

RE: Color by numbers

Fantastic variations Lisa, and all lovely - and all certainly worthy of naming/registration.

Tell us their parentage again??

K :)

RE: Color by numbers

Thanks Kerry! They are Elfi (Natascha) x fosteriana.

RE: Color by numbers


Simply beautiful!
They deserve better names but most importantly, when are they going to hit the market. Hehe.

RE: Color by numbers

Thanks for the added photos Lisa, mind boggling the variations that can result. BTW, what day is trash pick-up in your neighborhood? ;-)

RE: Color by numbers

I'll take ......them all!

RE: Color by numbers


In my view there are six gorgeous plants in your photo. I am curious about the parentage, though. If Vr. 'Natascha' is 'Poelmanii' x fenestralis, than where is the strong pink coming from in a couple of them? I have seedlings of my own crosses of fosteriana 'Chestnut' by various things (incl. a very nice boldly reticulate/filigreed fenestralis clone and fosteriana 'Vista') and I would hope to see some brick redsa few years hence, but these vivid pinks? Amazing complex hybrid...I assume that the 'Poelmanii' influence is expected to "fix" the infl. color and form?

If I had not read your response, I would have guessed that they had Vr. platynema variegata somewhere in their backgrounds...altho' the pale clones do look vaguely like some very nice line-bred fenestralis that I have seen from Colombian growers.


RE: Color by numbers

Very lovely plants. Especially like the top right one with the dark colors.

RE: Color by numbers

I'm not going to ask you which six, Jay!

I was surprised at the reds, pinks and purples too, I wasn't expecting that. During the winter they were all more green, but they've really colored up over the past few months. Looking over my notes I had written that 'Ehiku had yellowish foliage, but it sure looks pink now! That one has the best bloom too, a glossy deep red. They're all elongated single spikes, mostly kind of a dull red but a couple are pale yellow with spots.

Mama Elfi has a branched inflorescence from the Poelmannii side, which is a nice glossy red and oddly one-sided (the bracts form a solid "paddle" on one side, but are open on the back). The holy grail of Vriesea hybridizing, at least as I see it, is to get a cross that combines both colorful foliage markings and a showy inflorescence. Since Elfi/Natascha also has fenestralis in it, it doesn't dilute the fenestrations of species like fosteriana as much as a standard green-leafed Vriesea would, so it seemed like a good one to work with. I still haven't seen one that combines the best of both, however.

The pigments must come from the fosteriana side. I've crossed Elfi with platynema var. and also with altodaserrae, and the offspring are more or less what you might expect. No bright pinks there. On the other hand, a friend of mine who has done several generations of selfings of Pahoa Beauty tells me that each succeding generation comes out more brightly colored than the last. I have no idea why that is, but I've seen some stunning pinks as a result of that line of breeding. I'd really like to experiment with this, but frankly I've had it up to here with growing Vrieseas from seed, they're just too darn slow!

Lyndi, I'm just now to the point where I have enough of some of these to release a few, so they'll be gradually getting into the trade. Wait a few more years and then ask Michael about it. The names are here to stay, though.

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