Orthophytum ‘Roberto Menescal’ by Derek Butcher Oct 2017.
It must have been over 30 years ago when my wife and I called on Keith Golinski at Palmwoods in Queensland and saw his display area for the first time. There was this large clump of plants cascading over a large rock. Keith informed us it was Orthophytum vagans BUT the leaves were variegated with whitish margins. We even brought a plant back to Adelaide but it never grew as luxuriantly as at Palmwoods. It did not take long to realise that the taxonomists only recognised the non-variegated plant which I did find easier to grow.
It was only in the last few years that I have realised that taxonomists are not interested in variegation leaving them to be named as cultivars. In my current search for whether it had been named in the past but not recorded I found that Constantino Gastaldi in his ‘Dyckia’ website had coined the name ‘Roberto Menescal’ for such a plant in April 2017 but not registered. I am proposing that we register this name in the BCR for such a striking plant despite the fact that it has been in Australia for such a long time. It would seem that the plant called Orthophytum vagans variegata growing in the collection of Roberto Menescal had been found in the wild by an unknown collector about 2000 so we are probably talking about a separate sporting/mutation. The source of the Australian grown plant remains unknown but if anyone can advise details this will be added to the records.
It is disappointing that some Brazilian Bromeliad growers do not see the significance of the BCR.