We then had Harry Luther point out that the plant we were growing as A. gracilis was really a small form of A. organensis.( see ‘Bromeliaceae ‘#3. 1999). The true A. gracilis is not in Australia because nobody has imported it yet. It was in limited supply at Tropiflora and is apparently self sterile because I have been unable to acquire seed! What has happened to the name tag on the many plants that are around? I’ll bet they still say A. gracilis because A. organensis ‘Small form’ takes too long to write.
Recently the name Aechmea ‘Coral Beauty’ has been coined by Olive Trevor and had been happily growing as a medium sized Aechmea organensis for the past 10 years. Peter Franklin has it under PAF1739.
We should now bite the bullet and call the small form ‘Graceful’ which is a minimal change from ‘gracilis’.
ALL of these are linked under the species name A. organensis because as far as we can gather they are not hybrids – per se – but forms of a very variable species.
This is not just an Australian problem because we know the wrongly identified Aechmea gracilis plants were at least sold by Pineapple Place in Florida and these should be corrected to ‘Graceful’.