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Natural hybrid of balbisiana x fasciculata var. densispica
From Derek Butchers Talk at Cairns 2008....
"T. xsmalliana is another Florida natural hybrid that worries me a bit but it could all be explained by Harry Lutherís interpretation of what is a natural hybrid. It started off its career in the 1930ís as T. polystachia sensu Small but there seemed to be much doubt by several taxonomists as to this being correct, but nobody took any action. In 1985 Harry Luther took the plunge and considered it to be a natural hybrid between T. balbisiana and T. fasciculata var. densispica. There does seem to be some backcrossing with T. balbisiana as this photo 13 shows. BUT I believe that the predominant form of T. xsmalliana acts like a species. The following photos are of a plant raised from seed by Margaret Paterson 14, 15 from T. xsmalliana, which if it were a hybrid should show differences. BUT it doesnít !
Just to show the problems of identification, many of you would not have noticed that when Harry wrote about the differences between T. xsmalliana in the Journal of The Bromeliad Society in 1989, there was a bit of a problem. Somehow the drawing of Fosterís 1140, a die hard T. polystachia, was used as an example of T. xsmalliana!!"
See DD1008. Natural Hybrid Talk for more details.