Aechmea Aussie Ruby
Click thumbnails for full size, scaled to a new window.

Aechmea Aussie Ruby
Possible links with seideliana.
Note: The first two pictures, with pink petals, may actually be Ae. 'Mary Brett'.
Ian Hook, 10/02 (? recurvata hybrid ?)
BSA Show entry, photographed Ian Hook 09/04.

Aechmea ‘Aussie Ruby’ by Derek Butcher in Bromeletter 33(4):13. 1995
Now to the second part which also revolves around Ruby Ryde. Those of you who have Baensch's 'Blooming Bromeliads' would have immediately noticed the mistake on page 69 where an alleged Aechmea seideliana is pictured. Those who read 'Bromeletter' will know that the 'true' plant is in Australia, albeit with bluish red petals compared to white in the original description. The illustrated plant is a vigorous form of A. warasii. Oh, by the way, I sent Baench copies of Weber's original description, original drawing and a coloured photo of OUR plant just for their information. It would appear that some do not read 'Bromeletter'!

Back to Ruby who had a plant also raised from seed allegedly from Seidel which was more robust than the Aechmea seideliana and had a large inflorescence. This plant raised the temperature in Adelaide with yours truly saying it was a hybrid and Len Colgan maintaining it was a species. Eventually Len could stand it no longer and six months ago sent pieces to Elton Leme in Brazil. Both of us were on edge until a letter arrived just before I started dissecting the aforementioned Wittrockia, which is another reason why it is in this article! Elton had never seen such a plant and could only assume it was a hybrid. However, seed raising from this plant has produced fairly consistent progeny. In the meantime , I believe it should be given a Cultivar name because it is distinct, it is an attractive plant, and what better name than Aechmea 'Ruby' .(Now called ‘Aussie Ruby’ because there is already a ‘Ruby’ in existence in the USA) This will identify the plant and also indicate its source for future reference.

I am enclosing a line drawing of A. seideliana which seems related to A. pimenti-velosoi to remind you of the plant that should have been in Baensch' s book. It will also give you an idea of the form of Aechmea 'Ruby' which is a large form. The leaves are longer and wider. The inflorescence is 10cm long and 5cm diameter compared to 6cm and 2cm. It is 60 flowered compared to up to 20. The ovary and base of the sepal yellow compared to whitish pink. The top portion of the sepal still carmine red and petals bluish red.

A. seideliana drawing.
Derek Butcher.
Peter Franklin.

From Geoff Lawn. "Derek, can you confirm that the attached photos from Eileen Killingley are Aechmea 'Aussie Ruby' as per the BCR photos ? Eileen pointed out that the BSA photos so-named look more like Ae. 'Mary Brett' and I agree."
From Derek Butcher. "Geoff, can't confirm anything. But the name 'Aussie Ruby' started off in Adelaide. Peter Franklin did link one of his plants to it but that is the only link I know with NSW. Ian's photo on the BSA under this name does not look right but he may have been advised by Ruby Ryde where all the trouble started. Eileen did say she was checking with Ian. There are many Aechmea recurvata looking hybrids around and I am never certain if my guess at a name is close to being correct."
From Ian Hook. "When I got this email and checked all the pics it set off alarm bells. But the more I looked the more confused, so no conclusion !
Mine certainly have very prominent spikey points sticking out from flowers. My leaves are long tapering triangular - but some are recurved and a bit like BSI Aussie Ruby after a few generations in very strong sun (my pictured ones didn't get this). I've never noticed any leaf discolour along spines or on under-side. My flower head seems more packed and narrower, I don't recall any near-white visible at base of flowers. Petal colour of some on BSI Cult Reg are heading towards mine, but this might be due to copies of old film. So if the experts come up with any bright ideas .........
From Derek Butcher. "This is interesting and challenging. Can I suggest you first post the Bromeletter article plus these photos. THEN can we find out a bit about your 2002 and 2004 photos. Did you get your plant with that name on the label? (Yes). Was it identified later? (No). Does it have links with Ruby Ryde? (Probably). We know Aussie Ruby is from a seedling batch and understandingly the Adelaide specimens would look similar! Peter Franklin from Newcastle has a similar plant.
Updated 22/08/19