Vriesea ospinae Luther, JBS 33(1):23-4. 1983
A V. chrysostachys E. Morr. affinis, sed foliorum laminis acuminatis tesselatisque, spicis percomplanatis et bracteis florigeris carinatis differt.
Plant habit variable from nearly stemless to long caulescent;
Leaves 18-25 cm long;
Sheaths elliptic, 2-3 cm long, ferruginous-lepidote;
Blades acuminate, 2.5-3.5 cm wide, minutely punctate-lepidote, pale green or yellow-green tesselated dark green or reddish;
Scape erect, slender, mostly obscured by the leaves;
Scape bracts imbricate, ovate and acute;
Inflorescence digitate or pinnate with 1-5 lateral branches (rarely simple);
Primary bracts like the scape bracts;
Spikes linear-lanceolate, acute with 3-9 sterile bracts at the base, strongly complanate;
Floral bracts densely imbricate, broadly ovate with an acute, incurved apex, sharply carinate, slightly nerved, 26-28 mm long, nearly exceeding the flowers, bright yellow;
Flowers subsessile, 28-30 mm long;
Sepals lanceolate, free, posteriorly carinate, nerved, 14-15 mm long;
Petals linear, obtuse, cucculate, 26-28 mm long, yellow;
Capsules 9 mm long.
Etymology: The specific name honors Sra. Berta Hernandez de Ospina of Fusagasuga, Colombia who first grew this plant in her garden.
Type: COLOMBIA: Without specific locality, flowered in cultivation by Jeffrey Kent, 22 Sept. 1979, H.E. Luther s.n. (Holotype: SEL). Additional collections: COLOMBIA: Cundinamarca: Fusagasuga, cultivated by Sra. Berta Ospina, submitted by Dennis Cathcart, 8 July 1980, H.E. Luther 320 (SEL); Without specific locality, flowered in cultivation at the Institute of Ornamental Plant Growing, Melle, Belgium, 4 Aug. 1982, 0. Merkers s.n. (US); WITHOUT LOCALITY: Obtained in Europe, flowered in cultivation by Ervin Wurthmann, 4 May 1980, H.E. Luther s.n. (SEL).
Vriesea ospinae is very closely related to V. chrysostachys E. Morr. and particularly to its variety stenophylla L.B. Smith but can be distinguished by its tesselated foliage, strongly complanate spikes and carinate floral bracts.
Unfortunately it has not been possible to ascertain the exact nativity of Vriesea ospinae. All known collections are suspected to have been obtained originally from Sra. Ospina's collection but considering the close affinity with V. chrysostachys it is quite probable that V. ospinae is to be found at medium elevations in S.E. Colombia.
Vriesea ospinae has been grown under a variety of names including V. 'ampullacea', V. 'Espirito Santo' and V. 'ospina'.
Goudaea ospinae var. gruberi (H. Luther) W. Till & Barfuss, comb. nov. Phytotaxa 279(1): 001-097. 2016
Basionym:—Vriesea ospinae var. gruberi H. Luther, J. Bromeliad Soc. 42(3): 118, fig. 11 (1992),
Type:—Gruber s.n. (holo SEL!; iso HUA)
Vriesea ospinae Luther var. gruberi Luther, JBS 42(3):118-9. 1992
A var. ospinae Luther, cui similis, laminis foliorum latioribus et loratis vel lanceolatis (non triangulatis) et tessellatis castaneis (non atroviridibus) differt.
Type. Colombia: Casanare (Boyaca); San Luis de Gacano, 3-500 m. Flowered in cultivation, 10 Oct. 1990, Franz Georg Gruber s.n. (SEL, holotype; HUA, isotype ).
Plant short caulescent, flowering 35-65 cm tall.
Leaves densely rosulate, 25-35 cm long.
Leaf sheaths elliptic, 6-10 x 4-6 cm, densely ferruginous lepidote.
Leaf blades lingulate to lanceolate, 20-45 mm wide, broadly acute with a reflexed, abruptly acuminate apex, pale green or pale yellow-green with dark reddish brown or purple tessellations.
Inflorescence usually compound, yellow, similar to the type variety.
This new variety differs from the original in the following characters:
1) leaf blades lingulate to lanceolate vs. triangular.
2) leaf blades broader, 20-45 (mostly 35-40 mm wide vs. 18-35 (mostly 20-30) mm wide.
3) leaf apex broadly acute and abruptly acuminate vs. evenly tapering.
4) leaves tessellated dark reddish-brown or purple vs. dark green or reddish green.
Paratypes. Colombia: presumably from the type locality. Ex hort. Franz Georg Gruber via Dennis Cathcart, (sterile!), 1 Sept. 1990, H.E. Luther s.n. (SEL); ex hort. Franz Georg Gruber, flowered in cultivation SEL 90-728, 5 Jan. 1991, H.E. Luther s.n. (SEL).
This beautiful new vriesea is dedicated to Franz Georg Gruber who grows many native and exotic bromeliads in his nursery in Fusagasaga, Colombia. It is a spectacular ornamental sure to become popular in horticulture.