This started towards the end of 2005 when Ian Hook from Sydney alerted me to the fact that a plant called Nidularium burchellii x Neoregelia Fireball was in circulation. Not only did it take ages to write the label but this was grex formula which should only be used by hybridists while under their control. Theoretically, it should have been given a Cultivar name, and registered, when released to the ‘general’ public. Who was the hybridist? Contact with Olive Trevor of the ‘Olive Branch’ failed to get an answer but it seemed the plant had come from the World Bromeliad Conference in 2000.
As an aside, it is interesting that the BSI agreed to abide by the ICNCP rules in the late 1980’s and Don Beadle started on his monumental work which culminated in the Bromeliad Cultivar Register being published in 1998. Grex names disappeared and not a formula in sight. This did not stop the BSI Show Officials from continuing to include the use of grex by way of formula for show plants. This double standard continues.
We eventually decided on xNeostropsis B-Fire and this was registered in February 2006.
Everything went fine for a couple of years until hawk-eyed Ian Hook pointed out xNeostropsis Shadeball, a recently registered hybrid by Lisa Vinzant in Hawaii, looked awfully like B-Fire and had the same parentage! PANIC.
Geoff Lawn of WA lead the investigations which showed that Olive could well have got her plant indirectly from Lisa and the concensus is that they are the same plant. So if you have Nidularium burchellii x Neoregelia Fireball, or Canistropsis burchellii x Neoregelia Fireball, or xNeostropsis B-Fire, or xNiduregelia B-Fire, or xNeostropsis Shadeball on your label they refer to the same plant!
I will make notes to this effect in the on-line Cultivar Register http://bsi.org
To those who browse this data base it is not strange to find such references because the larger commercial concerns in the USA and Europe are oft to change a name because of market strategy!! While B-Fire has precedence date-wise, both names will no doubt be used with B-Fire in Australia and Shadeball in the USA.
For the purists who may be interested, some Brazilian taxonomists are treating Canistropsis burchellii as being really Nidularium burchellii so it is not just cultonomists who have naming problems!
Olive Trevor ... "Named by one of my workers, Jenny, as B Fire as an abbreviation to burchellii x Fireball."