Derek the Hybrid Detective
DD0309 Vriesea Snow-White.
by Derek Butcher 03/09
Apparently some years ago Cheryl Basic imported a Vriesea sp., we think from the USA but it remained unidentified. Recently when Mick Romanowski was marauding in Queensland he was rather taken by this dainty Vriesea in Cheryl’s collection that did not fit the description of V. corcovadensis or V. lubbersii. Needless to say Margaret took an interest in this plant in Mick’s collection on one of our trips to Melbourne and we scrounged an offset. Mick said it was reticent to flower!. In 2008, before the heat wave, it started to produce a flower scape which had us thinking of bragging rights over Mick. In 2009 it was still going and we cared for it so much we brought it indoors during the infamous heatwave.
It flowered so I took photos from all angles and even got permission from Margaret to remove ONE flower to scan. I was ready for a telephone brag to Mick but guess what he said. “But all mine are in flower too!”
An Email was sent to Harry Luther
You love challenges and have a good memory. This plant came to AU from the USA several years ago as 'sp.' but no-one queried it until now. I think it is a species rather than a hybrid. You will remember the saga of the corcovadensis versus lubbersii. The main problem is the white petals which lean me towards corcovadensis but the leaves lean me to lubbersii. I have given up on the distichousness of the flowers!
Have you seen this around Florida? Any thoughts?
And the answer:
As far as I can see, Vriesea lubbersii, not the old, broader leaf clone. Several Floridians collected it in the 90s or late 80s. There is also a V. aff lubbersii that I think is just a very large clone (more than 30 cm tall) that I’ve never seen flower. Vriesea corcovadensis seems always more delicate or thinner but I’ve not seen enough of either.
ps Why don’t you ask Elton Leme?
I know this has no direct links to Brazil but I have a little puzzle. This plant came to Australia from the USA several years ago as 'sp' but no-one queried it till now. As you know, I love queries! I think it is a species rather than a hybrid. The main problem is the white petals which lean me towards corcovadensis but the leaves lean me to lubbersii. I have given up on the distichousness of the flowers!
You cannot imagine how many different plants of this group I have collected, all of them with specific discrepancies, which make identification inaccurate. At this very moment, I have some of them flowering and I gave up trying to identify most of them. Apparently, few of them are new. Others look to be just variations of different populations.
I agree with you that your plant looks closer to Vriesea corcovadensis, and I would not be much concerned with the rosette conformation at this point of the available knowledge. There is a PhD student trying to understand this group right now, so we wait to see what conclusions she makes.
This information made me decide to bite the bullet because it is better to identify this clone with a cultivar name than just Vriesea sp.
Margaret came up wth ‘Snow-White’. Anyone who knows their Nursery stories will know that Snow-White had white skin and dressed in white (white Petals) had ruby lips (red floral bracts) and black hair (Colour of the leaf sheaths). Plant 20cm diam, x 15cm high, flowering to 30cm high. We will be linking this name to both V. corcovadensis and V. lubbersii in the Cultivar Register for possible amendment in the future.