Aechmea biflora
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Aechmea biflora
Was Streptocalyx biflorus.
Species, Ecuador, named by L.B.Smith.
Re-classified and renamed Smith & Spencer, Phytologia 72: 96-8. 1985
Ian Hook, Sydney, 02/08.

Ian Hook, Sydney, 02/08.

Aechmea biflora (L B Smith) Smith & Spencer, Phytologia 72: 96-8. 1992
Streptocalyx biflorus L. B. Smith, Phytologia 24: 448, pI. 5, figs. 15, 16. 1972.
A. S. longifolio (Rudge) Baker, cui affinis, foliorum laminis latioribus, floribus 2 fasciculatis, bracteis florigeris apice tomentoso-lepidotis differt.
Desc from S&D but updated see below. Plant known only from fragments.
Leaves over 50 cm long, laxly and obscurely appressed-lepidote;
Sheaths elliptic;
Blades linear, attenuate to a slender cusp, 30 mm wide, flat, sublaxly serrulate with broad spreading spines 2 mm long, deep red (! Dodson & Thien).
Scape little known, probably short.
Inflorescence subcapitate, densely bipinnate, 9 cm long;
Primary bracts ovate, acute, 7 cm long, glabrous, yellow (! Dodson & Thien), densely dark-serrulate;
Spikes 2-flowered fascicles.
Floral bracts obovate, conduplicate, much exceeding the ovary, serrulate near apex but this concealed by dense linear ferruginous scales.
Sepals slightly asymmetric, spatulate, mucronate, 15 mm long, the apex very finely serrulate;
Petals 35 mm long, naked, pink (! Dodson & Thien);
Stamens included; ovary obconic; placentae subapical; ovules obtuse
Type. Dodson & Thien 2070 (holotype WIS, photo US), tropical rainforest, Topo, along Rio Topo, 1300 m alt, Pastaza, Ecuador, 11 Jan 1962.
Distribution. Known from the type collection only.

Streptocalyx biflorus by Werner Rauh in J Brom. Soc. 35(2) 70-1. 1985
Although most streptocalyx species have very attractive inflorescences they are not found frequently in collections because the leaves form big, very spiny rosettes. The most colorful species is the Ecuadorian S. biflorus with its bright red inner rosette leaves providing a beautiful color contrast with the orange-yellow primary bracts and the pale blue flowers. Since L. B. Smith writes on page 1517 of his work, Bromelioideae, that S. biflorus is "known only from fragments," it seems to me necessary to present color photos (see both front and back covers) of this beautiful plant with the following description:

Plant stemless, propagating by short stolons.
Leaves numerous, forming a spreading rosette of a diameter of 1-1.2 m (in cultivation);
Sheaths conspicuous and merging with the blades, up to 5 cm wide and 10 cm high, dark castaneous-brown in the basal half, green in the upper half with even margins.
Blades 50-60 cm long, subligulate, above the sheath 2 cm wide, attenuate to a pungent tip, slightly canaliculate, sublaxly serrulate with greenish-brown, spreading spines 2 mm long, when young laxly lepidote, later glabrous and then lustrous.
Inner rosette leaves erect at anthesis bright red, postfloral turning to green.
Scape short, postfloral ± 8 cm long, 1.5 cm thick, green glabrous.
Scape bracts subfoliate, erect, longer than the inflorescence, with a short, broad, ovate sheath; this is 3 cm wide and 2 cm high, greenish, blades bright carmine-red, gradually transforming into the primary bracts.
Inflorescence much shorter than the rosette leaves and the basal scape bracts, subcapitate, bipinnate, up to 7 cm long and 8 cm in diameter.
Primary bracts densely spirostichous, the basal (outer) ones broad-triangular with an excavate sheath; this is 4 cm wide and 2 cm high, pale lemon-yellow; the blade 5-6 cm long, in the basal half orange-yellow, in the upper one bright carmine-red, densely lepidote and denticulate at the margin. Upper (inner) primary bracts smaller than the outer ones, uniform orange-yellow, minutely dentate and cucullate at the tip; all primary bracts much exceeding the 2-flowered subsessile spikes.
Floral bracts membranous, thin, extremely carinate, apiculate, dentate at the keel, 1/3 longer than the ovary, but much shorter than the sepals. These are slightly asymmetric, mucronate, l2-15 mm long, the apex very finely obconic;
Petals up to 35 mm long, naked, pale blue-violet (not pink as observed by Dodson and Thien).
Stamens and style included;
Ovary angled, 1 cm thick, 0.7 cm high; ovules subapical, obtuse.
The plant is known only from the type-locality. It was first (1962) collected by Dodson and Thien, No.2070, along the Rio Tope in a tropical rain forest near Topo, Pastaza, East Ecuador, at an altitude of 1300 m. We collected our plant near Lago Agrio, Dptm. Napa, in a wet forest, growing terrestrially at an altitude of 600 m, collecting no. B.G.H. 65480, 1984.

Updated 15/05/21