Aechmea Roehrs
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Aechmea Roehrs
Ae. coelestis var albo-marginata
From Derek Butcher. 'Catlan' & 'JG'

Aechmea ‘Roehrs’ by Butcher, March 2016
We first heard about this variegate in The Bromeliad Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 5, 1953, page 39 by Alfred S. Graf
“Another very elegant variegated bromeliad is an Aechmea, which came to us under the name of Aechmea Coelestis Albo Marginata, a slender type of plant growing to l ½ to 2 feet. The grey-green leaves are of hard and shiny texture, overlaid with silver scales. Along the edges runs a broad white margin which by its clear contrast gives a striking effect. We have not had this plant in flower, so do not yet know its true identity. It may quite possibly be a sport of Aechmea coelestis or of Aechmea caudata. It shows great promise because it is a very durable, leathery plant and should be ideal as a houseplant and in combination plantings.” Four years later Mulford Foster published the name as follows:
Aechmea coelestis var. albo-marginatus M. B. Foster var. nov. Bromel. Soc. Bull. 7: 91, fig. 1957.
A var. coelestis foliis albo marginatus longitudinaliter striatis differt. M. B. Foster No. 3016 (Type in the U. S. Nat'l Herb.)

“This lovely variegated form of Aechmea coelestis has a charm and reserve that few variegated plants have. The rather wide white stripe that edges the margins of the grey-green leaves of this plant make it a really conservative but elegant plant.
We have had this plant in cultivation for at least five years. It was received from Europe where it apparently originated, but we have never learned who first saw this variegated form. It has been grown by the Julius Roehrs Co. of Rutherford, N. J. In the Bromeliad Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 5, 1953, page 39, there was a photo of this plant shown in connection with an article by Mr. Alfred S. Graf who stated at that time that they had not seen the plant in flower so did not know its true identity.
This new variety has flowered on several occasions in the Bromelario at Orlando; therefore, it can now be ascertained that it is a variety of Aechmea coelestis.
While the inflorescence is not showy the plant is at all times a modestly showy one. The flowers are of a very light caerulean blue; the fruit when ripe becomes rather grey-magenta in color. The marginal bands are quite regular and consistent and are not variable as in so many other variegated plants. The average height of this plant when in flower is eighteen to twenty-four inches.”

Then in Smith & Downs Bromelioideae Monograph (1979)
Aechmea coelestis var albo-marginata M. B. Foster, Bromel. Soc. Bull. 7: 91, fig. 1957.
Leaves white-striped especially along the margins.
Type. M. B. Foster 3016 (holotype, US), cultivated of unknown origin. Distribution. Unknown.

Current interpretation is that it should be treated as a cultivar. This is confirmed in The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. As such this Culton will appear in the Bromeliad Cultivar Register as Aechmea ‘Roehrs’.

Updated 27/03/16