Aechmea Nat and Eileen
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Aechmea Nat and Eileen BCR ... "Mature, stocky, funnel-form rosette to 40cm. diameter x 50cm. high in spike. .Broad, dark maroon/green leaves heavily cross-banded silver with some jagged, banding edges. Erect, compactly-branched inflorescence with vermillion red floral bracts, burnished yellow/red ovaries and creamy white flowers. Named after the well-known bromeliad growers Nat & Eileen DeLeon in Florida.
Chantinii Group. Registered 4/2022 by Alan Herndon. Country of origin: Florida USA, 2015 chantinii (selected seedlling) x chantinii, (selected seedling)"
Chester George Skotak 05/23
Chester George Skotak ... "The Aechmea chantinii pictured is now known as Aechmea 'Nat and Eileen' (Nat's wife). The margins of the leaves of this Aechmea chantinii are nearly spineless. Years ago, I visited Nat DeLeon often in Homestead, Florida. I made it a point to see him on my trips to Florida as he always had many new bromeliad hybrids he was making. Nat was most proud of his selected Aechmea chantinii which were pratically spineless.
At the time I also was trying to develop a spineless Aechmea by crossing (Aechmea tessmannii X Aechmea fasciata spineless) and then crossing the (X Aechmea tessmannii) once again it nearly worked but missed, it was a race! But Nat had a much better idea and succeeded. I was sure he was wrong in his approach but no, Nat was very right.
Nat had bred over many years his spineless Aechmeas by selection, a green leaved chantinii and a dark leaved one around 2003. He was selecting out of seed batches the plants which were less spiney.
Nat DeLeon was a hybridizer extraordinaire, always coming up with creative and original new bromeliad hybrids. He passed away in 2015 and I lost track of his hybrid work. Aechmea 'Nat and Eileen' was registered in 2022 and recently released by Alan Herndon of Miami. Although Alan Herndon registered this new variety of chantinii, the original inventor, Nat DeLeon, was somehow omitted in the description. Strangely enough, the BCR description also fails to mention that this Aechmea is spineless. This is a great Aechmea hybrid which is easy to grow and won't make you lose any blood handling it. Just a great plant! A real tribute to Nat DeLeon."