Len Colgan 29/10/13 ... "I have had T. xiphioides var lutea for many years, also from Lotte. However, it did suffer in the horrendously hot day a few years ago when hundreds of my tillandsias died, and consequently is yet to flower for me. Yes, I did travel through the state of Chuquisaca which, from memory, is directly north of the southernmost state of Tarija, and covers a lot of the Andean mountains. Hence, even at an altitude of just 1300m, I would expect to find T. xiphiodes.
The lowest altitude I ever descended to was about 1000m in Tarija, from where I collected at least three different forms of T. xiphiodes. Unfortunately, we did not go near the type location of var lutea, which is why I had to get it from Lotte herself.
I think Derek flowered it, with pale cream flowers. Is that the case, Derek?"
Derek Butcher 30/10/13 ... "Yes, I have flowered it but it must be bleaching by the Adelaide sun because I can't get the yellow that the Germans get. This got me thinking as to whether it was worthy of varietal status."
Peter Tristram 30/10/13 ... "Hi UD, I can assure you the flowers are pale yellow NOT white, just a tad more though, than in my photos. I should take a comparative pic. If I had tweaked the white balance I might have nailed the colour. Then, maybe you scored a dud colour-wise! I have at least 1 other clone budding so let’s see how yellow it is.
Len, thanks for the habitat info. 1300 m would be quite warm I imagine. Love to go there one day!"
Steve Haines 2/11/13 ... "As Peter mentioned it is xiphioides flowering time, I have a few different kinds flowering at the moment, here are some pics.
1st photo; T. xiphioides var tafiensis, large and somewhat translucent,white flower that is shortlived.
2nd; a small compact form from Maurice that come from Germany, small but brilliant white flowers.
3rd & 4th; T. xiphioides var lutea, a larger spike with definite pale yellow flowers. (I hope the photo's show the colour). As the new flowers push out they are almost a canary yellow colour that seems to fade a little as the flowers fully open.
All these plants have a beautiful fragrances, each slightly different, with xiphioides var lutea being the most pungent according to the boss,(that being Leanne)."
Peter Tristram 03/11/13 ... " (comparison photo) The photos are fine and the colour is obvious. I agree that the lutea form is the most fragrant too. Here is a comparison shot as well. Too damned hot today to take better photos!"
Len Colgan 3/11/13 ... "Thanks for sharing those pictures of forms of T. xiphioides.
I do not know whether or not it is strictly correct to label the first of them as T. xiphioides var tafiensis. The description of this variety stipulates large purple flowers, and I personally only use this name if that is the case. However, in the USA, they do not have the purple flowered form, and use the var tafiensis tag for any very scurfy forms, undoubtedly with white flowers, whether or not they come from anywhere near Tafi in Argentina.
The second form from Germany most probably originated from me. Maurice can confirm if that is the case. It is a smaller form with gun-barrel grey leaves, and was collected by the River Mizque in Bolivia.
What is really interesting about collecting T. xiphioides in Bolivia, rather than in Argentina, is that widely separated habitats yield quite different forms, making it possible to have a varied mini-collection of T. xiphioides types."
Chris Larson 3/11/13 ... "One of the things that Marj Mc & I noted on our trip – my first to Argentina – was that Isley’s tafiensis is very very similar to the form that grows right beside the road just over the ridge out of the Tafi valley – only about 1 or 2 km from the pass (& the only ones we could find at the correct altitude near the Tafi valley) – but still within the state of Tafi. I agree that this is not var tafiensis by the description. The site of the blue flowered var. tafiensis to be found near there (according to Smith & Downs) is some 10 or 15 miles away. Which I never found due to lack of detail on maps at that time – Google maps make life easier for collectors now – but AQIS makes it harder."
Derek Butcher 3/11/13 ... "I can only back Len on this one. As the DVD says -
Tillandsia xiphioides Ker-Gawler var. tafiensis L. B. Smith, Phytologia 20: 173. 1970.
Tillandsia friesii sensu Castellanos, An. Mus. Nac. Hist. Nat. Buenos Aires 37: 501, pl. 1. 1933; in part, non Mez, 1906.
Differs from Type in -
Leaf-scales with narrow lobes, making the leaves tomentose-lepidote.
Floral bracts 5-6 cm long. Sepals 30 mm long; Petals violet.
Type. Schreiter 7176 (holotype US, isotypes GH, NY, LIL), Managua (Colalao del Valle), Tafi, Tucuman, Argentina, Dec 1931.
Distribution. Epiphytic, 2000-3000 m alt, northwestern Argentina. Tucuman, Tafi: Quebrada de Amaicha, El Molle, Nov 1932, Schreiter 8835 (GH, LIL).
We have the true blue in Australia and we should not settle for second best. It took me several years to convince Rainforest Flora that they had the wrong name on their plants and there is a possibility this could be the source of wrongly identified stock. Many years ago now in trying to keep up with the latest I did import from Germany only to get white flowers. Luckily the supplier listened to my plea and on the second attempt I got the blue!
So if your 'tafiensis' flowers white please change the label to straight xiphioides. Remember here that 'lutea' only applies if the petals are a yellowish hue."
Peter Tristram 14/11/13 ... "Hi all, another white "tafiensis" from Deutschland, from a Botanic Garden as well! At least the luteas are flava."
Len Colgan 15/11/13 ... "I know that this could originate from anywhere in Argentina or Bolivia, but it does look like the Rio Mizque form from Bolivia recently shown by Grant. What is your opinion Grant?"
Peter Tristram 15/11/13 ... " I’ll ask Uwe – he has access to the Goettingen database."