Derek the Hybrid Detective

DD0312c xQuesmea ‘Marj’ versus Aechmea fraseri
by Derek Butcher, February 2012

In 2001 Mick Romanowski of Victoria flowered a seedling obtained from Marj McNamara in NSW as Quesnelia liboniana. While the flower was reminiscent of this species the sepals had strong mucrons suggesting the involvement of an Aechmea. After discussions when I was Cultivar Registrar, it was registered as xQuesmea ‘Marj’.

Meanwhile, it seems that Marj either decided the original plant was Aechmea fraseri without telling Mick Romanowski or grew both Quesnelia liboniana and Aechmea fraseri and could not remember which plant had supplied the seed! In fact Aechmea fraseri was offered by Marj at a rare plant auction in Sydney at a BSA meeting and Ross Little was successful with the highest bid. Ruby Ryde was keen to get an offset and 18 months later she got her wish. Seed was sown by Ross Little and the resultant plants grew true to the parent, and most of which were snapped up by keen growers. The petals varied from very pale blue to blue.

The ‘bigeneric’ plant still lives and has self-set seed which Mick intends to grow on, but Mick has checked his plant and agrees with it being called Aechmea fraseri from now on. The only reason for this article is so that some reference can be made in the Bromeliad Cultivar Register. AND thanks to Ross ‘Hawkeye’ Little, this anomaly could have been with us forever.

We do not know how many plants Mick Romanowski has sold as xQuesmea 'Marj', but this seems a NSW/Vic problem that needs correcting.
Mick Romanowski 01/12.
Ross Little 01/12.

Updated 17/03/12