Tillandsia Nez Misso
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Tillandsia Nez Misso
? cv. of bergeri(?) X aeranthos, Oeser? Misso, N*? - See notes below.
Ken Woods 08/04.

Eric Gouda 11/14 as "aeranthos v. griseus from Derek Butcher".

Eric Gouda 16/11/14 .... “I got this plant from you in 2002 and in did not want to flower at any time. The plant is a nice looking large form of T. aeranthos.
Now I forced it into flower and it is quite ugly I must say. The bracts are losing color before anthesis and the inflorescence is quite small for the size of the plant.
As a side effect of flower induction, it interestingly produces some lateral rudimentary inflorescences.
Did the plant ever flower for you? I do not have any information on it except that I got it from you.

Derek Butcher 16/11/14 .... “Eric: T aeranthos var grisea is only a nurseryman's name for a plant being grown in Europe. Leo even has the plant under this name. Mine came from Renate Ehlers. We call it Nez Misso over here, There are a selection of photos in the BCR. The following is all I could find out about this saga.” Tillandsia ‘Nez Misso’ or the T. aeranthos type with grey petals!
By Butcher 2004
For some time now this plant has caused raised eyebrows as to whether it was a hybrid made by Nez Misso and if so what were the parents?
At the Tillandsia ‘Conference’ at Albury, Australia, Easter 2004 we were all agreed that 'Nez Misso' was the non-caulescent, sturdy leaved, grey petalled plant and was what Ken Woods was calling 'Grisea'. THE caulescent one with finer leaves and more bluish petals was known as 'Nez Misso' by Ken Woods but known as ‘Bergeranthus’ by Chris Larson! Clearly some action had to be taken!
Maurice Kellett said he can remember as far back as his 'Nez Misso' days in the 1960’s when the plant was known as seed from Oeser to Nez Misso. So the plant did not originate as a hybrid made by Nez Misso. Is it a hybrid? Why the link to ‘grisea’?
There was a Tillandsia dianthoidea var grisea described by Guillaumin in 1947.

Bulletin du Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle 2 e serie, 19:352-353. 1947
118.Tillandsia dianthoidea Rossi var. grisea Guillaum. var. nova.
The scape bracts and the floral bracts are noticeably the colour of those of the type, the petals, instead of being an intense purplish blue (cfr. LOISELEUR - DESLONGCHAMPS: Herbier general de l’amateur, V, t. 304, Botanical Register, XVI, t. 1338, Revue horticole, LXXVII, p. 463), they are a dull slate grey, which if viewed in minute detail, shows many, and minuscule purple dots on a white base very lightly tinted with blue. Marnier ( f. 15, 1947) had it at the Villa Thuret in Antibes for 7 or 8 years

This variety was treated in Smith & Downs as a synonym of T. bergeri. BUT T.dianthoidea var. dianthoidea was treated as a synonym of T. aeranthos! I cannot understand the reasoning for this because the difference between T. aeranthos and T. bergeri is not just the petal colour but also the wavyness of T. bergeri petals. This is not strange when you read the following;

Tillandsia bergeri, a Many Splendored Species
by Robert W. Read in J. Brom. Soc. 38(4):147-9. 1988
“…… T. bergeri keys out next to T. aeranthos (Loiseleur) L.B. Smith on page 689 of Smith and Downs (1977) where it is distinguished solely on the color of the floral bracts ("pale rose" in the former, "dark red" in the latter) and the petals ("dull blue to white" in the former, "dark blue" in the latter). However, in the text description, T. bergeri (p. 837) is said to have stamen "filaments faintly plicate," while T. aeranthos with its nine synonyms of species and varieties has stamen "filaments plicate." In the three specimens illustrated here I found no indication of plications immediately after full anthesis, with only a suggestion of plications in a couple of buds. In his new book on tillandsias, Paul Isley (1987) also makes a point of stressing how indistinguishable these two species are in the vegetative or non-blooming state.
…..Michael Rothenberg, who supplied the plants for this study, suggested that a comparison of the wavy versus rigid character of the petals of the two species might provide some useful information.”
The only difference that Guillaumin reported in 1947 from the type species T. dianthoidea was petals a dull slate grey instead of an intense violet blue. No mention was made of wavy petals. I maintain this plant is still being grown in Europe as 'grisea' despite Lyman Smith's attempts to get it treated as a T. bergeri. In 1996 I obtained a 'Grisea' from Renate Ehlers in Germany purely because she thought it was a hybrid of some sort and she is not really interested in hybrids! This plant looked awfully like my 'Nez Misso' which caused me great concern because I thought I was looking at a hybrid that had originated in both Germany AND Australia! I am now of the opinion that Oeser grew the 'grisea' in Germany (and if it is a true variety would breed true from seed) and sent the seed or plant to 'Nez Misso'. Because the name 'grisea' has disappeared according to the academic taxonomists the name 'Nez Misso' should remain at a Cultivar level. Let us now look at the ‘Nez Misso’ of Ken Woods which has also been around Australia for over 30 years and could well have been in the Nez Misso collection too. It is caulescent with fine green leaves and bluish petals. In the Melbourne area, with the late Clarrie Borch as a link, this was known as ‘bergeranthus’, a rather odd made-up name. Ken Woods has suggested that this cultivar be called ‘Confusion’. If you are aware of any other historical information on these two cultivars please let us know. Photos will eventually be on http://botu07.bio.uu.nl/bcg/bcr/index.php

Peter Tristram 11/14 as aeranthos V. grisea Franz Gruber
Peter Tristram 11/14 as aeranthos V. grisea U.S.

Peter Tristram 17/11/14 .... “Your plant looks like what I have as aeranthos grisea/griseus, obtained from the US about 1980 (swapped Grace Goode hybrids for Tills!). Is it from me or is it the similar ‘Nez Misso’ that is everywhere?
It grows on very long stems with a larger, firmer rosette than typical aeranthos and very rarely blooms here – different to ‘Nez Misso’. We also obtained a few plants from Franz Gruber in Colombia recently and one was in bloom a month back when I was away. They are very similar in rosette and bloom.
(I just saw Derek’s comments - but I still think the above is relevant. Them there mountain in Brazil and Argentina are jam-packed with plants from the stricta/aeranthos/araujei/tenuifolia/etc/ect complexes – even more confusing than capillaris!


Andrew Flower ... "Some years ago there came to me from an abandoned tillandsia collection one T. neslii, and I just noticed it flowering. Suspecting it to be misnamed, I checked the DVD and sure enough it is indeed Tillandsia Nezley.
Two tillandsias were named for Mr Nez Misso: Tillandsia Nez Misso and Tillandsia Nezley.
But is it Nezley?? There was much confusion in the OZ ranks once upon a time, and some were sure his name was Nes. Could it really be Nesley, incorrectly named Nezley? Or indeed, was he really Mr Misso? or was the poor old Mr Mizzo's name unfortunately miss-remembered? Weighty issues."
Maurice Kellett ... "Derek Butcher and Andrew Flower, I have completed a little bit of detective work.
In my manual, '50 years of the BSI Journal', Nez gets 3 mentions. The main one is in Jan/Feb 1975.
“Mr Leonard P. Butt has written of the death of one of Australia’s most enthusiastic bromeliad growers ,Mr Nez Misso.
He was probably the most advanced grower of tillandsias in Queensland and his advanced methods of growing these plants on coir rope windings from seed to maturity were indeed remarkable . One of his last developments was his cross of T. usnioides by T .recurvata.”
I was lucky to be invited to his place to see his collection while he was still alive and this probably happened when I stayed with my close friend Len Butt.
The name Nes may have been a shortening of a fuller name but I have no record of this."
Derek Butcher ... "Maurice: You have put the cat amongst the pigeons. I have always doubted that 'Nezley' is usneoides x mallemontii but are we growing this? Perhaps Geoff can make some note in the BCR. In the meantime it is up to Andrew or someone else who has this plant, to grow on self set seed so we get a bit closer to parentage. Remember the name 'Nezley' was given by person/s unknown without input from Nezley himself."
Bob Reilly ... "When I was an undergraduate student at the University of Queensland in 1973, Nez Misso took me to my first bromeliad society meeting. He also sold me a (then very rare) Tillandsia cyanea for $5—a highly concessional price. I have not forgotten his act of generosity, and his very courteous nature. He also invited me to lunch on a couple of occasions, with himself and his wife—very gratefully received by a student hungry for some home cooking!"

Updated 17/03/17