Bryan Atkins ... "I recently acquired this plant but have no idea what it is. It was in a very poor state when i first noticed the flower spike and I think this has possibly retarded its growth somewhat. My best guess is Racinaea pugiformis. No flowers have been produced, well none that I could see despite regular inspections, and I'm not expecting to see any.
Any ideas please ?" Geoff Lawn ... "Hi Bryan, I see you listed as a BSI member, so you can access the Racinaea species on the BSI website under BSD heading (bromeliad species database).
Despite what the heading says, click on the resources/description box and up come a variety of photos, botanical description, other articles etc, even quoting links to outside resources.
You can repeat that exercise to any species you want and sometimes have to be your own detective--how do you think Uncle Derek learnt ?
There again, it does take years to become familiar with botanical terminology, but a good dictionary helps." Peter TristramHi Bryan, Geoff, all.
That Racinaea has been imported a few times under various names. Originally I obtained a specimen from Kent's as T. pendulispica and it wasn't long before we realised that was erroneous after a quick check of S&D. Harry thought it could be tenuispica though that seemed not quite right. Plants later came from KK, no idea what he called them, probably T. paleacea, and more research started leading to T. pugiformis, now Racinaea. We saw plenty of them in Nth Peru in the more coastal valleys at about 1500m, just like the ones already here. I'm sure some survived Quarantine and Michael Ferenczi might have had one. No idea who'd have it now though, with his collection dispersed. Rob Bower's pic in the BSD is typical of the species.
Geoff is so right referring to the BSD as the go-to source of species info on the Web. All of the known taxonomic info is there, including all of Derek's files. It pays to join the BSI too (easy) for access to everything. The glossary of botanical terms is on the BSI website https://www.bsi.org/new/taxonomy-introduction/
Scroll to bottom and click on the 'glossary' link. It's very handy! The info on the rest of the page is too." Barry Langridge ... "We have this plant, it is hardy, easy to grow and offsets readily here in Melbourne, what’s not to like about this species!
I checked the flowers on mine today and noticed a couple in flower, although you would need 20-20 vision or a microscope to see flowers this size!
I seem to remember the spike emerging at the start of the year or perhaps late last year, and it now looks like the primary bracts have dried and look like "straw". So don’t give up on seeing petals/flowers, it may take some time and excellent vision." Bryan Atkins ... "Thanks for all the information which has given my mystery plant a name. Thanks for the photo of the flower Barry, though I doubt my eyesight will spot any on my plant if it decides to flower." Rob Bower ... "Yep Barry – mine grow like weeds here in Qld." Racinaea pugiformis (L.B.Smith) M.A.Spencer & L.B.Smith, Phytologia 74: 156. 1993.
BASIONYM: Tillandsia pugiformis L.B.Smith, Contr. Gray Herb. 89:13,24. 1930.
Desc from S&D
360. Tillandsia pugiformis L. B. Smith, Contr. Gray Herb. 89: 13,24, pl. l,figs. 4-7. 1930. Fig 328 C-E. Plant short-caulescent, flowering to 12 dm high. Leaves about 20, rosulate, 4 dm long, densely punctulate-lepidote throughout, slightly spotted with purple; Sheaths large, brown; Blades narrowly triangular, 25 mm wide, green-cinereous. Scape erect, slender, twice as long as the leaves, glabrous; nodes tinged with violet; Scape-bracts narrowly elliptic, densely lepidote, the upper ones acute or apiculate, shorter than the internodes, the lower ones long-caudate, longer than the internodes. Inflorescence laxly tripinnate, distichous, 4 dm long; Axes scantly pale-lepidote; Primary bracts narrowly lanceolate, scarcely 2 cm long, densely pale-lepidote; Spikes very slender, 14 cm long, laxly 25¬flowered, distichous, often long-stipitate with sterile bracts at base. Floral bracts distinctly nerved, ovate, acute, boat-shaped, scarcely or not at all keeled, lepidote, 4-5 mm long, equaling the sepals; Flowers erect, appressed to the rhachis, 6 mm long, mostly equaling or shorter than the internodes. Sepals obovate, lepidote, rounded-apiculate; Petals yellow, barely longer than the sepals; Stamens and pistil included. Capsule cylindric, acute, 16-20 mm long. Type. Hitchcock 21586 (holotype GH, isotype US), Ona to Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador , 9-10 Sep 1923. DISTRIBUTION. Epiphytic and sometimes terrestrial, 1350-2700 m alt, southwestern Ecuador and northwestern Peru.
ECUADOR. AZUAY: Cuenca, 16 July 1939 Penland & Sum¬mers 1056 (GH); Vilcabamba to Cachiyacu, 6 Oct 1943, Steyermark 54388 (GH). Loja: km 100, Ona, Cuenca to Loja, 4 Dec 1948, Foster 2613 (US); Ona to Antonio de Cumbre, 20 Feb 1963,Gilmartin 843 (US); Rio Tanta, km 71 Loja to Cuenca, 12 Aug 1965, Gilmartin 1152 (US); Montana Cajanuma, Loja, Teuscher 2013-56 (US, cultivated, unusually large). PERU. PIURA, Ayabaca: Puente Tandopa (Rio Quiroz) to Ayabaca, 24 Sep 1964, Hutchison & Wright 6692 (UC). CAJAMARCA, Chota: Cumbil to Llama, 2 May 1965, Lopez & Sagastegui 5204 (TRP, US); San Juan: Fumagual, 12 Jun 1966, Sanchez 231 (US). LlBERTAD, Otuzco: Huaranchal, 6 Jun 1958, Lopez, Sagastegui & Suarez 2660 (TRP, US).