Neoregelia wilsoniana M. B. Foster, Bromel. Soc. Bull. 9: 83, figs. 1960.
We take great pleasure in naming this distinct new species of Neoregelia in honor of R. H. and Catherine Wilson of Miami, Florida. When I visited them in 1957 to see for the first time, the living bromeliad plants which they had collected in Brasil in 1955, one of the first things that attracted my eye was a fantastic plant, familiar to me. Racine and I found it growing on rocks and trees at Agua Preta in Bahia, Brasil on our first Brasilian plant hunting expedition in 1939. We were neophytes then, experiencing our first really primeval jungle forest. It was in this jungle where we first saw this new Neoregelia. We looked in vain for some sign of inflorescence or fruit, but, although we examined many huge clusters of these plants, with long whip-like leaves, we found no trace of the floral parts. However, we did make herbarium specimens and included them in our collection. Even though they were sterile plants we hoped that Lyman Smith could identify them anyway, but, of course, this was impossible unless the plant had been previously known.
For years I have felt that it was a Neoregelia species, but certainly could not prove it without floral parts. Unfortunately, the living plants which we tried to bring back, were killed by fumigation; we have always hoped to return to that area to collect the species again.
The Wilsons went to Bahia and found this Neoregelia not far from the area where we had collected it. Their plants, fortunately, lived and Mr. Wilson gave me one of them; I was elated to see this interesting and mysterious species again.
After some eighteen months our plant grew and matured, taking on character with offshoots coming out in all directions on short stolons. Then it finally flowered with pure white petal blades spreading out like stars in those deep, almost black, cups. Certainly, few persons would guess that this plant is a Neoregelia if they had compared the plants with the majority of Neoregelias known in horticulture. But a Neoregelia it is and a real gem for the bromeliad collector. The plant continues to flower for at least three weeks.
A Neo oligantha L.B. Smith cui verisimiliter affinis et ab omnibus speciebus adhuc
cognitis, foliorum laminis flagelliformibus differt.
Stemless, propagating by numerous slender scaly stolons from the axils of the much reduced lower leaves; leaves about 20 in a fasciculate rosette, the inner ones to 7 dm. long, sparsely lepidote beneath with fine appressed brownish scales; sheaths broadly ovate, 8-10. cm. long, green or purplish with a broad pale margin; blades flagelliform (whip-like), 2 cm. wide at base but becoming inrolled and appearing much, narrower, green, concolorous, sparsely serrulate toward base with upwardly curved flat brown spines 1 mm. long; inflorescence simple, 16-20-flowered, hidden in the center of the rosette; floral bracts broadly ovate, about half as long as the pedicels. thin, pale green, entire, sparsely lepidote; pedicels very slender, 22 mm long; sepals short-connate, 26 mm. long, slightly-asymmetric, lanceolate broadly acute, pale green, thin, glabrous; petals white, connate in a slender tube as long as the sepals, the blades spreading, lanceolate, acute, 20mm long; stamens included, almost completely adnate to the petals; ovary ellipsoid 7 mm long.
TYPE in thc U. S. National Herbarium, collected in Bahia, between Ilheus and Agua Preta, Brasil, by R. H. Wilson and Catherine Wilson (No. 20), July 25, 1955. Flowered by M. B. Foster in Orlando, Florida, August 1959. Sterile specimens collected in Agua Preta, Bahia, Brasil, June 3, 1939 by M. B. and R. Foster (Nos. 52, 53, 59).
Neoregelia alvimii Roeth, Bromelie 1992 (3): 75-6. 1992 (Made synonymous with N. wilsoniana in Binomials #5 1996)
Plant making an erect rosette, new vegetative growth elongated ca 7cm long, 4mm diam., upwards on an angle, internodes 5-7mm long, lower leaves longer than the internodes, triangular, tips long twisted, lower ones 12mm long, upper to 16mm long, forming a dense large rosette at the base and flowing over to the foliage leaves.
Leaves mostly 5 – 8, making a slender tube 7cm long, green, inner leaves at flowering yellowish-green.
Leaf sheath longish elliptic, 8.5-9cm long, 3.6-4cm wide, green, inside washed violet and green at the base, outside green, violet translucent with part spotted, brown appressed scales, edges entire, membranaceous, smooth.
Leaf blade very thin, triangular to awl-like, flows over from the sheath, outer leaves of rosette to 29cm long, 1.2cm wide, middle leaves 14cm long, 2.5cm wide, inner leaves 7cm long, 2.6cm wide, stiff grooves, shiny green, with or without remote small, appressed trichomes, the edge and base rippled, leaf spines to 1mm long, horizontal, upper part of leaf edges smooth.
Inflorescence nestling in the rosette, 10 flowered.
Scape bracts at the base, triangular to wide egg shaped, 9mm long, 8mm wide, whitish, both sides with dark brown trichomes, with tip 6mm long, fleshy and round. scape bracts in the middle, longish ovate lanceolate, 20mm long, 6mm wide, with gristly tip, membranaceous, whitish, outside with appressed brown, remote trichomes, upper bracts longish lanceolate, 26mm long, 5mm wide with gristly tip, membranaceous, whitish, at the tip on the outside with a few small appressed brown trichomes.
Floral bracts narrow ovate-longish, 24-26mm long, 8mm wide, clearly nerved.
Pedicel 24mm long, flattened, 3mm wide, 1.8mm thick, whitish green.
Sepals weakly spoon shaped, longish, asymmetric, 32mm long, to 8mm wide, tipped, joined for 8mm, keeled, edges broad membranaceous, green, bottom and top greenish.
Petals narrow longish-lanceolate, 45mm long, to 8mm wide, tipped, white, joined for 19mm.
Stamens in the upper part of the flower tube, Filament joined to petal for 18mm, 4mm wide, white, Anther 4mm long, cream yellow, Style 23mm long, lobes thick, white, 6mm long, twisted, cream coloured, Ovary elliptic, 4mm long.
Type Brazil, Bahia, near Utinga (South Serra do Tombador) Coll A Seidel no. 1064, 1987 Leg A Seidel & J Roeth 29/6/1988. Holotype HAL no.069714
Apparently belongs to or bears some relationship to N. paulistana but differs in many features.
Neoregelia alvimii Roeth var. donatoi Roeth, Bromelie 1992 (3): 75-6. 1992
Differs from Type species in
Leaf blade and sheath distinct
Smaller spines on leaves
More dense and reddish brown leaves
Type Brazil, Bahia, near Una, 250m alt., Coll. A Seidel 1987, no.1063, Leg. A Seidel & J Roeth 4/9/1987. Holotype HAL no. 069715