Was Tillandsia Pink Plume
Now Wallisia Pink Plume
(See DD02/17: for all new (DNA resolved) species & Cultivars.)

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Wallisia Pink Plume
cv. lindenii ? Isley? <1980
Scott Deaeden 05/16 as T. lindenii
Scott Dearden ... "From the beautiful Capricorn coast T. lindenii."
Derek Butcher ... "WHOA. Are the petals white? I ask because this colour is not mentioned in any of the literature on T. lindenii. If you ordered T. lindenii from BirdRock, Rainforest Tropiflora etc you would expect blue petals. T. lindenii hit the European market 150 years ago and has been hybridised with the short peduncled T. cyanea many times. Therefore I feel sure your plant is a hybrid from cultivation. Can you tell the difference between a blue petalled form and a white petalled form when not in flower. Who else has this form? I am thinking that it needs a cultivar name and what better than to start now . How about 'Raspberry Ice'?"
Wendy Peske ... "We have lindenii pink and lindenii blue, the pink has the pink paddle and pink/purple bracts. The blue has a blue/pink paddle and white bracts. At least that's what we have this year. We got these plants when I bought out the tillandsia collection of Ray Nicholson from Brisbane when he became too unwell to care for his plants. Eventually he asked if I wanted to buy the tillandsias, most of what we got was lindenii.
To answer your question Derek we can't tell the difference when small pups but as full grown plants the blue is a much larger plant. Of course when that paddle comes up it is obvious which is which."
Scott Dearden ... "The petals are a very soft pink and have a divine fragrance. I have no provenance as I was gifted the plant. The label says T. lindenii ‘pink flowers’ rare. We have had the plant about 12 months."
Derek Butcher ... "Good news. At least 2 other Till collectors have a paddle plant with very pale pink petals and pink/purple floral bracts. I have my doubts that this is a true T. lindenii but a lindenii/cyanea and a Sport. The keen ones may like to check their plant with the documents below. However, these days we must consider hybrids are more likely than species. I think the time has come to change an NN to one with a registered name. We can use Scott's photos to start but welcome others. The name I would like to use is Tillandsia 'Pink Ice'."
(Ed. subsequently 'Pink Plume' was used.)

Wallisia ‘Pink Plume’ by Derek Butcher May 2016
This name has been in circulation for many years and according to the BCR was a name used by RainForest Flora since at least 1980. We know little about this plant or even why it was linked to T. lindenii and not T. cyanea or a hybrid between the two. History shows us that in the 1870’s there was great discussion as to which was which from detail given by Lyman Smith (1951). The main difference appears to be that T. lindenii has a long peduncle (was called scape) and T. cyanea has a short peduncle. From the horticultural point of view both species were very popular with much hybridising having been done if we read Dutrie (1947). Therefore a very high proportion of plants in cultivation these days would have strong links with horticulture rather than collections in the wild. Also the crossing between these 2 species would surely give a medium sized peduncle!

Investigation in Australia in recent months show that sporting to pink petals (be it almost white to ‘standard’ pink) seems to occur fairly regularly whether you have a ‘new’ cultivar or an ‘old’ cultivar. 20 years ago I would have been disputing these claims of colour changes in photos because the beta cyanin in the blue petals created havoc with colour film irrespective of brand and produced reddish tones. We argued this point for many years in Adelaide and never came up with an answer. I had thought that digital cameras might have solved the problem but the early versions seemed to depend on the make of camera. Luckily this problem seems to have disappeared. We know that botanists are shy when it comes to colours (seen a herbarium specimen lately!) but they do refer to bluish tones in these two species without any reference to reddish tones. To me it suggests that man-made inbreeding has caused instability.

Many of these cultivars originate in Europe because of their popularity in the European trade. The European trade is different to that in Australia because there they are competing with the cut flower trade. Therefore at the point of sale, sellers cull ruthlessly so that plants sold are true to name. In Australia many plants are grown on by hobbyists for secondary flowering and culling does not occur.

Should these pink flowered sports be given separate names or will one name be sufficient for the lot? After all, a cultivar is ...
"cultivar: Produced in cultivation as opposed to one growing in habitat; – an assemblage of plants that has been selected for a particular attribute or combination of attributes and that is clearly distinct, uniform, and stable in these characteristics and that when propagated by appropriate means retains those characteristics."
In this case if you get a T. lindenii/cyanea looking plant that has sported to having pink petals then all can have the name ‘Pink Plume’.

Why this action? Well, there is a plant called ‘Pinkie’ circulating in Australia and nobody knows where it came from or who named it. If you look up the BCR you will find a ‘Pinkie’ but it is a form of T. ionantha and the name linked to a T. lindenii/cyanea is illegitimate.

Tillandsias with Paddle-shaped inflorescences by D Butcher 2000
(anceps, cyanea, lindenii, pretiosa, umbellata)
There has been some interesting photographs submitted to the Internet about this group and it shows that there is some confusion as to names. First we have to ignore the use of colour purely because the beta cyanin in the blue petals creates havoc with colour film irrespective of brand and produces reddish tones. We have argued this point for many years in Adelaide and have never come up with an answer. I had thought that digital cameras might have solved the problem but it seems that the make of camera also effects the result. So the finer points of colour are out.
I thought I would solve this naming problem for good and all and draw up a chart. This follows:

. Name. Scape. Spike. Axis visible anthesis. Petal. White centre. Floral bracts nerved
. anceps. short. 10-15cm x 5.5cm. no. 5.5cm long narrow and spreading. no. no
. cyanea. short. 16 x 7cm. no. 8cm long wide and spreading. no except v. tricolor. no
. lindenii. long. 20 x 5cm. no. 7cm long wide and spreading. yes. yes
. pretiosa. long. 20 x 11cm. yes. 8cm long wide and spreading. yes. very strong
. umbellata. long and thin. 6 x 3cm. yes. 7cm long wide and spreading. yes. yes
The combinations should make it easy to pick out the species but do they? With such a colourful inflorescence, hybridists have been at them since the end of the 1800's and if the botanists couldn't identify the species, how could the hybridists know what they were pollinating with! So there are lots of problems out there!
From the botanist's point of view let me quote from Lyman Smith's Studies in the Bromeliaceae XVI (1951)

The name, "Tillandsia lindeni", sets a new high for confusion in the Bromeliaceae. As used here it applies to the "long-scaped” species first noted by Regel, and not to the "short-scaped" species that E. Morren described as new under the same name. Regel, after publishing his species twice as "lindeni," for no explained reason changed to "lindeniana" for his third and best-known description, and a year later proposed "morreniana" as a new name for Morren's species to avoid duplication of the "lindeni" he now disowned. Morren, not to be outdone in weird reasoning, proceeded to make Regel's earlier species a variety "regeliana" of his, the later, "lindeni."
Regel and Morren argued back and forth in print over the names and status of their two finds and were later further confused by Andre. Meanwhile, the horticultural writers, struck by the great beauty of the plants, published a profusion of notes and illustrations without stopping to verify names and identities. In several instances they managed to illustrate "lindeni" of Regel while labeling it "lindeni" of Morren.
Regel contented himself in arguing the priority of his name and the specific distinction of the two entities involved. Morren considered them varieties of the same species and went on to add further varieties, still under the wrong "lindeni," with the paradoxical result that three of them must now be transferred from "lindeni" of Morren to "lindeni" of Regel, since the two species were founded independently, and on different types.
Again we meet confusion in the battle of Tillandsia lindeni. Both species were collected by Wallis and, as reported by Regel, one came from Zozoranga in Ecuador and the other from Huancabamba in Peru. Morren claimed that they were but a single collection, but later collections would refute this and also indicate that Regel had reversed species and localities. Actually, all collections since the types indicate that the species with the long scape is Peruvian and that with the short is Ecuadorian.
The earliest specimen of Tillandsia lindeni to be illustrated was few-flowered and rather resembled T. umbellata, but later more vigorous plants had larger inflorescences that contrast sharply with that species.

After all this investigation you would have thought that Lyman Smith would have known all there was to know about this group but we find that his T. cyanea var. elatior is now treated as a T. pretiosa.
Let us also look at THE chart to see the differences between T. lindenii and T. pretiosa. The T. pretiosa spike is twice as long as it is wide, in fact quite a fat fellow, and in the photograph by Werner Rauh in BSIJ #6 1984 we clearly see the axis at the time of actual flowering. The photograph from Jose Manzanares is not as clear cut but it does show the non-flowered bracts at the top of the spike much closer together. If we look at the photograph on page 209 in Baensch's Blooming Bromeliads (1994) we will see no changes in the positions of the floral bracts and a somewhat skinny spike suggesting this is T. lindenii or a hybrid of it.
If you have anything that can add to our knowledge of this group please let us know.

Key from Mez 1935
b) Inflorescentia densa, optime flabellata.
l. Bracteae sepalis permulto longiores; petalorum laminae ellipticae.
- § Bracteae ad 0,125 m longae ==> 332. monstrum
- §§ Bracteae ad 40 mm longae ==> 333. anceps
2. Bracteae sepalis paullo longiores vel ea subaequantes; petalorum laminae maximae, suborbiculares.
- § Inflorescentia multiflora; flores sibi superpositi.
- - + Sepala rotundata
- - - ° Scapus elongatus; petala ad faucem albo-maculata ==> 334. Lindeniana
- - - °° Scapus abbreviatus; petala aequaliter cyanea ==> 335. Morreniana
- - ++ Sepala acutissima ==> 336. pretiosa
- §§ Inflorescentiae pauciflorae flores juxtapositi adspectu subumbellati ==> 337. umbellata

Updated 24/05/17