Neoregelia Cockabell / Calypso
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Neoregelia Cockabell / Calypso
Unknown parentage, by Hummel.
Calypso - Tropiflora said, "A widely spreading rosette to nearly 3' (90cm) across with apple green leaves mottled in red and reddish at the base with red leaf tips - adapts to full sun". See also'N. Caribbean Sunset'. Country of origin: Florida USA. Sun King x Catherine Wilson.
Cockabell - From BCR ... "cv. of unknown parentage - Zaghini photo is a probable error showing a large broad-leafed cruenta (johannis?) in form and color - called (Fairchild) 'Cockabell'? - Most resembles johannis 'Fairchild'? - Tropiflora said, "Mid-sized plant of light plum color - blushes brilliantly when blooming" - Also seen as upright carolinae type in rich rose purple throughout."
Ian Hook as 'Cockabell' but probably Calypso 09/09
Ian Hook as 'Cockabell' but probably Calypso 12/19

FROM fcbs : "Uncle Derek Says"
Neoregelia 'Calypso' / 'Cockabell'

"Neoregelia 'Cockabell' is a hybrid accredited to Hummel and as is usual with this hybridist not only do we not know its parentage we also don't know for certain what it looks like! The first formal description appeared in the Bromeliad Cultivar Registry based on information in a Tropiflora Cargo Report and conflicting evidence based on an Australian connection, namely Shane Zaghini's Neoregelia Book.

I got interested in this problem in early 1999 when Peter Franklin sent me a photograph of the Aussie 'Cockabell' pointing out the plant had red berries. The plant was large and suggested that Neoregelia cruenta was in the parentage somewhere. As far as I am aware the colour of ripe Neoregelia berries has always been white, so red is rather startling! So I started asking around. No comments were forthcoming.

In October 1999 I was removing offsets and a Neoregelia 'Calypso' obtained from Keith Golinski was next in line. Hey, this had red berries too! See fcbs photograph which shows the Neoregelia cruenta shape to the plant but not the Summer colours you can get in the leaves. What are the chances of two separate hybrids having red berries? Zero, as far as I am concerned AND was I looking at the Aussie 'Cockabell'? Because of the doubt of the identity of the Aussie 'Cockabell' I am now shifting my attention to the 'Caribbean Sunset' grex which is Neoregelia cruenta 'Sun King' x 'Catherine Wilson'. Cultivars of the grex are 'Caribbean Sunset', 'Calypso', 'Coral Reef', 'Curacao', 'Montego Bay', 'Planters Punch', 'Port o' Call', and 'Sandy Cay'. If you have any of these plants please check when flowering has finished to see if berries turn red at maturity.

In the meantime I would suggest you change the label on your Aussie 'Cockabell' to 'Calypso'. And if you have Shane Zaghini's Neoregelia Book please make a note on page 18.
Hummel's Neoregelia 'Cockabell' seems to be a carolinae type!

Updated 29/03/20