Alcantarea burle-marxii

Alcantarea burle-marxii (Leme) J R Grant Bromelia 2(3): 26. 1995.
Vriesea burle-marxii Leme Pabstia 4(3): 4. 1993.

Plant saxicolous, flowering ca 200cm high.
Leaves densely rosulate, sub-erect bending, forming a funnelshape utriculum at the base.
Sheath broad oblong-ovate, 15-17cm long, ca 12cm wide, both sides small dense brown lepidote, pale green but pale brown towards the base.
Blades long linear triangular, 50-60cm long, ca 6cm wide but gradually narrowing towards the tip, tip acuminate- caudate recurved, green but the edges reddish.
Scape erect, ca 100cm long, ca 1-2cm diam, green or red, glabrous, thick, much exceeding the leaves.
Scape bracts lower ones subfoliate exceeding the internodes, later distinctly shorter than the internodes, sheath wide oval not at all totally enclosing the scape, blade narrow triangular-acuminate, caudate, recurved, red.
Inflorescence laxly paniculate, bipinnate, ca 100cm long, erect.
Primary bracts wide ovate or orbicular, tip acuminate or obtuse apiculate, 2-3cm long, 3cm wide, shorter than the sterile ebracteate or single bract base of the branch.
Branches lateral, 23-40cm long, sub erect, subdense or densely flowered, 8-20 flowered (peduncle 8-15cm long, terete, ebracteate or an inconspicuous single bract), terminal spike ca 50cm long, erect or almost, densely flowered towards the tip.
Rhachis green, glabrous, geniculate, 3-5mm diam,
Floral bracts orbicular, rounded, ca 20mm long, ca20mm wide, greenish, ecarinate, inside inconspicuous brown lepidote, concave, wrinkle nerved towards the base, distinctly shorter than the height of the sepals.
Flowers with erect petals, ca 85mm long, diverging distichously.
Pedicels subobconic, thick, ca 8mm long, green.
Sepals elliptic-obovate, obtuse, ca 25mm long, 11mm wide, greenish, ecarinate, inside inconspicuous lepidote, outside glabrous.
Petals long linear, tip narrow obtuse, ca 70mm long, ca 7mm wide, yellowish, free, reflexed at anthesis, flaccid, with two subacute ligules ca 17mm above the base.
Stamens exserted, Anthers linear, ca 10mm long, base obtuse, tip apiculate, dorsifixed near the base,
Style exceeding the length of of the petal, stigma convolute, lobes free,
Ovules many, long caudate.
Type. Minas Gerais, in the locality of Pedra Azul. Leg Roberto Burle Marx s n without data. Flowered under cultivation in the garden of the collector in February 1992. Holotype HB

V. burle-marxii presents some morphologic likeness to V. vinicolor Pereira & Reitz.
Differences are as follows: leaves with acuminate caudate tip; inflorescence four times longer and with the double of the number of branches. and these are suberect and possess stems almost always without sterile bracts; flowers of smaller size. and sepals more narrow and also smaller.

Updated 12/12/06