Alcantarea regina
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Alcantarea regina
The description of regina has just been updated. See "Identification Key".
(The plant included in "Pending" (Grubski's regina) is definitely NOT a regina.)
Note: Alcantarea edmundoi has now been included as Alcantarea regina.
Photo Bruce Dunstan.

Alcantarea regina

Alcantarea regina regina (Vellozo) Harms in Engler & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. ed. 2, 15a: 126. 1930.

Basionym: Tillandsia regina Vellozo, Fl. Flum. 136. 1829.
Vriesea regina (Vellozo) Beer, Bromel. 97.1857.
Etymology: regina, Latin for queen, in honor of D. Maria I of Portugal (1734-1816) who ruled the Portuguese Empire including Brazil from 1786-1816.

Still waiting for a description of this taxon which can only be obtained from field observations because of the mix-up in the past. See comment below by Leme in 1995.

The original concept of ‘geniculata’ was broadened by Smith & Downs (1977) to include a long list of synonyms. Consequently, there was a conceptual overlapping of taxa - as can be seen from the material cited by these authors - including A. regina which, according to these authors, is a sympatric species. Although A. regina is excluded from this analysis (this species is considered, here, to be restricted to the southern part of Rio de Janeiro state, and will be discussed in the next part of this series).

Vriesea regina.(Vellozo) Beer, Bromel. 97. 1857.
Tillandsia regina Vellozo, Fl. Flum. 136. 1825; Icon. 3: pl. 142, 1831.
Tillandsia blokii Hemsley, Bot. Mag. 134: pl. 8192.1908. Type. Brazil. Glasnevin Hortus s n (K).
Vriesea blokii hortus ex Hemsley, Bot. Mag. 134: pl. 8192. 1908; nomen.
Alcantarea regina (Vellozo) Harms in Engler & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. ed. 2. 15a: 126. 1930.
Vriesea blokii (Hemsley) Mez, Pflanzenreich IV. Fam. 32: 405. 1935.

Desc from S&D
Plant flowering about 2 m high; stem very stout, short.
Leaves very many in a densely funnelform rosette, to 1 m long;
sheaths relatively large; blades ligulate, acuminate, 15 cm wide, green with small purple spots, more or less recurved toward apex.
Scape erect, very stout;
scape-bracts imbricate, subfoliaceous, large, sometimes red, lustrous.
Inflorescence laxly bipinnate, 13-15 dm long;
primary bracts subfoliaceous, large but much shorter than the branches;
branches spreading to recurved, 2-3 dm long, many-flowered, nearly straight or slightly flexuous.
Floral bracts ovate, acute, about equaling the middle of the sepals, about twice as long as the internodes, 34 cm long, carinate, red;
flowers distichous, divergent; pedicels stout, ca 1 cm long.
Sepals lanceolate, acute, 4-5 cm long, coriaceous, red toward apex;
petals linear, acute, ca 10 cm long, exceeding the stamens, yellow, pendent at anthesis, bearing 2 large acute serrate scales at base.
Capsule acuminate, 5--6 cm long; seeds bearing coma at both ends.
TYPE. Vellozo s n, lost, if any specimen were ever made. Typification is on the basis of the description and plate, especially the latter. Sea-cliffs, Pharmacopolis (now Parati), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
DISTRIBUTION. Granite ledges from near sea level to 1300 m alt, vicinity of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. BRAZIL. RIO DE JANEIRO: Pedra do Conico, Nova Friburgo, Jan 1898, Ule 4654 (CORD, HBG). GUNABARA: by Praia de Sernambetiba, 4 Apr 1952, L. B. Smith & Mus R 6829 (R, US); Morro do Rangel by Sernambetiba, Dec 1961, .N. Santos s n. (R); 21 Jan 1968, McWilliams s n (MICH, US).

From Vriesea regina (Vellozo) Beer, Bromel. 97-8.1857.
Vries. regina Beer.
Tillandsia regina Arrab. - Flora Fluminensis, tab. 142

This plant is included here because of its inflorescence. Although the drawing is entirely incomprehensible, also there is no existing description, I am satisfied with it, and include it here.
Beer, Bromeliaceen

From Baker 1889
304. T. REGINA Vell. Fl. Plum. iii, t. 142. Vriesea regina Beer; Wawra Itin. Prin. Sax. Cob. 163, t. 36 a ; Gard. Chron. 1875, fig. 41; Antoine Brom. t. 9-10 (M.D.). V. gigantea Lemaire in Ill. Hort. t. 516. V. Glaziouviana Lemaire. V. geniculata Wawra Reise Kais. Max. 159, t. 25. V. imperialis and Hillegeeriana Hort.
Whole plant reaching a height of 8-10 feet.
Leaves 30-50, densely rosulate, lorate from an ovate base 6-9 in. broad, 3-4 ft. long, 3-4 in. broad at the middle, narrowed to the point, thin, flexible, subglabrous, pale green with a glaucous bloom.
Peduncle overtopping the leaves;
bract-leaves crowded, with ovate- lanceolate spreading tips.
Panicle deltoid, 4-5 ft. long;
branches many, lower 1-1.5 ft. long, spreading or ascending;
branch-bracts green, ovate-cuspidate,
flower 6-9 in. long;
flower-bracts green, ovate, 1-1.5 in. long.
Calyx 1.5 - 2 in. long ;
sepals oblong, obtuse.
Petal-blade lanceolate, white, reaching a length of 2-3 in.
Stamens as long as the petals.
Capsule oblong. 1.5 - 2 in. long.
Habitat. South Brazil; forests of Rio Janeiro and St. Paulo.
Collected by Burchell in 1826 and introduced into cultivation by Linden in 1868. This is the giant of the genus. It is the type of Morren's subgenus Alcantarea, named after the Emperor of Brazil, characterised by its long narrow petal-blade and long stamens. V. gigantea Lemaire, is a form with shorter deflexed branches than in the type and more crowded flowers. V. gigantea Gaudich. Atlas, Bonite t. 70, from Santa Catherina, seems to be a starved variety of the same species with calyx only an inch long. Another very large species, 9-12 ft. high, with a very ample laxly bipinnate panicle, gathered by Roezl in New Granada in the province of Cauca, is mentioned in Haage and Schmidt's catalogue in 1872, under the name of T. gigantea.

From Harms in Engler & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. ed. 2, 15a: 126. 1930.
17. Alcantarea (Morren) Harms, Vriesea subgenus Alcantarea Morren in the writings of Mez in Fl. brasil. III. 3. [1894] 516, in DC. Monogr, IX. [1896] 614; Vriesea sect. Reginae Wawra in Itin. Princip. S. Coburgi I. [1883] 158).
Flowers similar to Vriesea.
Petals ribbon like, later laxly hanging downwards and usually twisted spirally, with 1) two-part or strongly split petal appendages, or with 2) petal appendages.
Seeds spindle shaped, with very long, nicely crested divided top-mop of hair and relatively short basal mop of hair (Szidat in Bot. Archive I. [1922] 42);
Vriesea imperialis Morren. - Very magnificent stem forming herb, the largest of the family, from 2 to several metres high, growing on rocks; stem short or to 5 metres high, thick, crosswise-furrowed from leaf-scars; brood-base of young plants at the bottom of the stem;
leaf rosette very large,
leaves lineal, 0.5 to 1 metre long or longer.
Scape long, with large many flowered panicle made from a usually long rows of spike like racemes, ( pedicels short, thick),
bracts pink, red, greenish white or green;
Petals yellow, yellowish white, milky white (turning yellow later) or almost flesh-colored.

Approximately 7 species. From the Antilles (Haiti) comes apparently a not yet recollected A. panniculata (L.) Harms (based on Renealmia panniculata L.) in Plumier t. 237, which was impossibly treated by Mez under V. paniculata: in my opinion this is Tillandsia ringens Griseb. - a Vriesea of the subgenus Cylindrostachys. - Better known are the four Brazilian species often confused together from the mountains (on steep rockwalls) that are in the immediate vicinity to Rio de Janeiro, which one groups with Mez in the following manner,:
A. Floral bracts secund. A. imperialis (Morren) Harms, also in culture, Vriesea Glazioviana Carriere in Rev. Hortic. LIII. [1881] 50).
B. Floral bracts distichous, racemes two-edged. A. regina (Vell.) HARMS (V. regina Antoine, Phyto-Icon. [1884] 12 t. 9-10) with bracts with reddish overlay, jasmine fragrant flowers with whitish yellow (milky white) petals,(V. Glazioviana Lem. in Illustr. Hort. [1867] t. 516, to 4m high (J. Gerome in Rev. Hortic. LXXXI. [1909] 263, Fig. 112; Bot. Magaz. [1915] t. 8596; O. Krauss in Gartenwelt XIII. [1909] 445)
the almost same-named genus of the Compositae, Alcantara Glaziou (in Bull. Soc. bot. France LVI, Mem, 3d. [1909] 367, is without published description.

From Mez, in Engler Pflanzenr: IV 32: 405. 1935
109. V. regina (num Vell.?) Ant. Phyto-Iconogr. (1884) 12, t. 9-10; Gard. Chron. 1875, 235, fig. 41; Wittm. in Gartenfl. XL. (1891) 160, fig. 46; Gerome in Rev. Hortic. LXXXI. (1909) 283, fig. 112 (num quoque Beer, Bromel. [1857] 97?).
Tillandsia regina Vell. Fl. Flumin. III. (1825) t. 142 et in Arch. Mus. Nac Rio V. (1881) 129(?); Bak. Bromel. (1889) 227 e. p.
Vriesea Glazioviana Lem. in Ill. Hortic. XIV. (1867) t. 516, descript. exclus. et Misc. 43, fig. 2; Flor. et Pomol. 1882, 335 c. fig.
V. regina var. Glazioviana Wawra in Oesterr. bot. Zeitschr. XXX. (1880) 218.
V. gigantea Regel (non alior.) in Gartenfl. XVI. (1867) 385.
Glaziouia insignis Hort, ex Carr. in Rev. Hortic. XLVII. (1875) 330, nomen.

Plant more or less 2 metres.
Leaves long very acute, tip recurved or revolute, not at all coloured, up to 1.4 m long, 0.18 m wide, not at all pruinose.
Scape very thick, covered by the sheaths of the leaves.
Inflorescence very many flowered, a metre long,
branches hanging,
flowers exceedingly distichous not at all secund;
bracts elliptic ovate, tip rounded, at least when young incurved keeled, to 29 mm long, about twice as short as the sepals.
Flowers spreading or suberect, scarcely over 65 mm long;
sepals to 33 mm long, oblong, rounded.
Petals white when young, soon becoming a dirty yellow,
sepals scarcely over 25 mm long, one ligule in 2 parts, banded.
Seed coma upper brown, lower yellowish.
Brasil: State of Rio de Janeiro, near Theresopolis (Glaziou 11685), Tijuca (Wawra II. n. 242). – is a frequently grown species in cultivation.

From Harms in Engler & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. ed. 2, 15a: 126. 1930.
Amended by Leonardo Versieux & Maria Wanderley in Flora of Sao Paulo 60-1. 2007

Material selecionado: Bertioga, IV2001, MA. Campacci s.n. (SP 396342). Biritiba-Mirim, 1.2003, F. Pinheiro & M. Peixoto 189 (SP).
Material adicional examinado: MINAS GERAIS, Lima Duarte, 1.2007, L M. Versieux et al. 352 (SP). RIO DE JANEIRO, Angra dos Reis, II.1982, I A. Penna 216 (HB, holotipo de Vriesea edmundoi). Mangaritiba, I 2006, L M. Versieux & A M. Calvente 265 (SP). Parati, VII.1987, A. Costa et al. 88 (RB).
Translated :
Plant rupicolous, 1,7-2,8m. Rosette infundibuliform.
Leaves 0,7-1,4m, polystichous to suberect;
Sheaths chalky, becoming wine red on the abaxial face, 16-23 x 10-13cm, oval, densely lepidote;
Blades green, concolorous, coriaceous, distinctly nerved with some prominent ribs, 67-135 x 7-9(10)cm, linear-lanceolate, acute apex, long acuminate, usually recurved or slightly twisted, abaxial face densely lepidote, adaxial face glabrescent.
Scape green, erect, 0,5-1m, 4-5cm the base, 3-4cm diam. at the top, slightly sulcate, glabrescent;
Scape bracts green, coriaceous, with green sheath, 7,5-9 x 6,5-8cm, oval, blades 26-28 x 4-6cm, acute apex long acuminate, polystichous.
Inflorescence compound, paniculate, lax, generally covered with a fine layer of greasy and darkening substance, 1,3-1,7 x 0,8-l,l m, ellipsoid to pyramidal, main axis with internodes of 2-7cm, green;
Branches 32-40, arched, with (5)10-15 flowers, internodes 0,7-3(5)cm, terminal floral buds generally aborting;
Stem elliptic in cross section, (10 - )18-30 x 0,4-0,9cm, green, glabrescent, with 2-3(6) sterile bracts;
Rhachis slightly geniculate, can be shown wavy in herbarium material, 18-35 x 0,2-0,5cm, green, glabrescent;
Primary bracts green, with brown scales on the abaxial face, (3,5 - )18-32(37) x 2,5-4cm, the lower ones exceeding the peduncle and the upper ones shorter, base oval, apex caudate
Floral bracts green, frequently secund with the flowers, rarely wine- red maculate towards the apex, papyraceous, (1,9)2,7-3,1 x (1,4)2cm, equaling or slightly exceeding half the length of the sepals, involute but not enclosing the flower completely, apex acute and generally slightly split, base suborbicular, carinate in the upper part.
Flowers secund; pedicels 0,8-1(1,3) x 0,5cm;
Sepals green, papyraceous, symmetrical or almost, (2,7)3,5-4,2(4,7) x (0,8)1-1,5cm, free, elliptic to lanceolate, sparsely lepidote, brown scales on both faces;
Petals egg-yellow passing to whitish, reflexed, spiraled, (8,5)9,2-11 x (0,7)0,9-l cm, ligulate, appendages at base of the petals, slightly asymmetrical, 2,3-2,7 x 0,3-0,4cm, free in the upper 7-9mm, ligulate;
Stamens free, polystichous, filaments white, ca. lmm diam., slightly flat in the lower part and cylindrical in the upper, anthers 12 x 1 mm, sagittate, dorsifixed near the base;
Ovary white, ca. 2 x 0,4cm, style white, 9-10 x 0,2cm, cylindrical, stigma with white lobes, ca. 3mm.
Fruit brown, 3,5-5 x 0,8-1,2cm, ovoid, acuminate, nerved, slightly twisted towards the apex;
Seeds brown, ca. 6 x lmm, slightly wavy and sulcate, basal coma beige-edged ca. 7mm, apical coma brown, l,6-1.9cm.

Species found in the south of Rio de Janeiro, in the north coast of Sao Paulo and recorded here for the first time from the southeast of Minas Gerais. E7, E8: rocky areas in the Atlantic forest. Collected in flower between November and February and with fruit between February and April.

Discussion : (Translation by D Butcher) Alcantarea regina was treated for a long time as a doubtful species or of variable circumscription, not any preserved type specimen was seen to exist, nor were additional specimens collected in the area of the type locality, and because of the work and original illustration (Vellozo 1825, 1827) they are a little necessary. In the literature, there are many descriptions that include data of another species, A. glaziouana (Lem.) Leme, with a more northerly distribution in the state of Rio de Janeiro; these were adopted by several authors (e.g., Mez 1894, Smith & Downs 1977) and impeded the correct identification of A. regina for a long time.
In spite of the illustration of Vellozo (1827) being crude and incomplete, it was treated as the lecto-type for the genus Alcantarea (Grant, & Zijlstra 1998) and shows some characteristics of the species, with the apex of the leaf ensiform-acuminate to bent down, the different colouration of the sheath to the leaves and the proportion in the length of the floral bracts in relation to the sepals. As well as that, the suitable dimension in the original work (culmus supra orgyalis i.e., raised higher than a fathom), the type locality (Pharmacopolis i.e., Parati, RJ), the habitat (cautibus maritimus i.e., sea cliffs), the format of the appendages and the anthers, the flowering period and analysis of materials recently collected in the same habitat in the area of the type locality, indicate the need to propose a new synonymy, that includes Vriesea edmundoi Leme (= A. edmundoi).

Alcantarea edmundoi

Alcantarea edmundoi (Leme) J R Grant Bromelia 2(3):26.1995.
Basionym Vriesea edmundoi Leme, Pabstia 4 (3): 5.1993

Desc from Pabstia
Plant rupicolous, flowering 180cm high,
Leaves densely rosulate, suberect but tip recurved forming a funnel shaped utriculum at the base.
Sheath ovate, ca 17cm long, ca 12cm wide.
Blade long linear-subtriangular, ca 85cm long, ca 7.5cm wide, green, glabrescent, tip acuminate caudate.
Scape erect, ca 95 cm long, ca 3cm diam, green.
Scape bracts exceeding the internodes, lower ones leaflike, then narrow triangular, green, tip long acuminate recurved,
Inflorescence laxly paniculate, bipinnate, sub pyramidal, 130cm long, erect,
Primary bracts similar to the lower scape bracts, upper ones wide sub ovate, acuminate, recurved, green, nevertheless totally shorter than the sterile base of the branches.
Branches 30-50cm long, lax or sub dense flowered, 12-15 flowered, curving downwards.
Peduncle 12-25cm long, 2-3 sterile slightly keeled bracts,
Rhachis nearly erect, green, 5mm diam when living.
Floral bracts furthermore secund with the flowers, ovate, 3.5cm long, ca 3cm wide, carinate towards the tip, yellow, acute, equalling the middle of the sepals.
Flowers ca 12cm long, distichous but strongly secund upwards,
Pedicels ca 1.5cm long, thick, green,
Sepals linear lanceolate, acute, 4.5cm long, ca 1.6cm wide, green, by no means keeled,
Petals linear, 10cm long, maximum width 1cm, a little narrowing towards the tip, obtuse, pale yellow, flaccid, reflexed at anthesis, 2 entire subacute ligules at the base, inserted 1.5cm above the base.
Style longer than the petals.
Type: Rio de Janeiro, near Angra dos Reis. Growing on granite rocks bordering the sea. leg. Ivo de Azevedo Penna 21, in February 1982. HOLOTYPUS: HB.

Edmundo Pereira had begun the study of this species, which he had considered new. However, the accidental misplacement of exsiccatae stopped him making a decision and publishing his work.

Recently, we located the respective material deposited in Herbarium Bradeanum, in half the exsiccatae belonging to other species of the vegetable family. With that, it was possible to conclude the initial research for this nostalgic specialist and, as he could not finish it, to honor him with such an imposing new species.

V. edmundoi resembles V. imperialis Carriere, but differs in the smaller size, inflorescence predominantly green, primary bracts exceeds the sterile bases of the branches, and these show a smaller amount of sterile bra

Updated 22/10/21