Chris Larson ... "The first 2 photos are different T. zacapanensis in flower, or nearly. The one that has flowers (centre) has flowered a little small & has been in a darker position. The other (left) is beginning to colour.
The comparative shots were a bit blurry. I’ll redo the photos later and post them then.
These are the larger carrilloi (left) and the smaller zacapanensis (right) shown flowering now.
Plant lithophytic, flowering up to 55 cm high, stemless.
Leaves 25-35 cm long;
sheaths 4-6.5 cm long, spotted, abaxially with a brown margin at the base;
blade above sheaths 2.5-4 cm wide, densely covered by grey scales, recurved, arching and pendent, narrowly triangular, acuminate.
Peduncle 14-20 cm long;
basal bracts triangular and acuminate, the middle ones inflated, the apical ones very narrow and inconspicuously inflated, elliptic, tube-like clasping the axis, densely covered by scales;
inflorescence (fertile part) dense, with side-branches of first order,
lateral branches ascending with an angle of 15°-17°;
primary bracts coriaceous, much shorter than the lateral branches, densely covered by scales, carinate, triangular;
spikes 10-14 cm long, ascending,7-14-flowered;
floral bracts 37-41 mm long, much shorter than the sepals, imbricate, appressed to the axis, carinate, coriaceous, lepidote.
sepals 35-40 mm long, succulent, glabrous to slightly covered with scales, slightly canaliculate, adaxial sepals carinate, connate for 12-20 mm, the free sepal ecarinate;
petals violet/mulberry-'coloured, 6-6.5 cm long, glabrous;
stamens exserted, 70-75 mm long, lilac; anthers 6 mm long, 1 mm wide;
ovary 7 mm high, glabrous, style 7 cm long, exserted, stigma with three lobes.
Fruit a three-loculicide capsule, 25-30 mm long, 5-8 mm in diam., each locule with 60-66 seeds.
Habitat: Tillandsia zacapanensis dwells on limestone rocks in dry spinescent forest in Guatemala. On the shallow clay soils it is found growing sympatric with Stenocereus pruinosus (Otto) Buxb., Nopalea guatemalensis Rose, Pilososcereus leucocephalus (Polgers) Byles & Rowley, Pereskia lychnidiflora DC., Guaiacum sanctum L., Ceiba aesculifolia (Kunth) Britton & Rose, and Mimosa zocapana Standley & Steyermark. Flowers appear from June until August.
Distribution: To date, it is known from the type locality in Zacapa only, 600-900 m elevation.
An unexpected discovery.
“I went, myself, along the mountains and aimed at finding all of them. Suddenly, I saw stone and rock, my heart begun to fly - maybe, up there the tillies thrive ..." an unfolding poem, openly after Heinz Erhard.
A Friday, in August 1999, 6.15 p.m., in Zacapa, Guatemala, in a hotel: Hector and I get up, have a shower and go for breakfast, as usual on our weekend enterprises. Eggs, scrambled or sunny side up, beans parado or volteado, tortilla, coffee or 'jugo de naranja', sometimes both. We planned to go from Zacapa, via the mountains, on the gravel road, to Santa Rosa and to the Puente Los Esclavos and enter all Tillandsias seen on our lists. That didn't come true, 'Gracias a deus'. After about 40 min driving, on the left hand side at about 800 m above sea level, we saw huge rock formations and it came to my mind what Rauh always said to me: ”Uwe, keep an eye on the rocks! All the others search in the trees."
After 30 minutes of climbing we indeed reached them: the NEW Tillandsias, some with young inflorescences and others already flowering. The whole area was rather steep and hot with thorny vegetation, all in all a considerable torture, but it was worth it. There were hundreds of plants on a total area of about two soccer fields. We were blown away. By the time we calmed down it was already 4 p.m. and too late to follow our original plan. We were thirsty, hungry and 'made dust'. Back in Zacapa, we had started without water and food, since, on our way, we were planning to pass through several places where we could obtain these without any problem.
After returning to Zacapa we returned to the same hotel. The owner was astonished when we reported about our journey to Santa Rosa. After showering, drinking and eating we could again focus on the day that had been. We were fulfilled with joy and pride. Not every trip is that successful. Tomorrow we would restart with the plan that was actually thought for today.
Following Flora Mesoamericana (Davidse et al.1994: 100-256), the new species is probably related to Tillandsia carlsoniae, although the latter has a very short peduncle compared to this new species. Like T. carlsoniae, the new species possesses a branched inflorescence that is covered in scales with lateral branches of 12-19 cm length and sepals of 3-4 cm length (Smith & Downs 1977, Standley & Steyermark 1958). The new species is named after the Departamento de Zacapa in Guatemala, where it was found.
T. zacapanensis Diagnosis by Lotte Hromadnik & Renate Ehlers see Die Brom 2: 80-81. 2011
|Habit||epiphytic in forests 1500–2400m||lithophytic on lime-rocks 600–900m|
|Flowering plant||25cm high||55cm high|
|Leaf-sheaths||70-120mm long||40-65mm long|
|Peduncle||very short, hidden by the leaf-sheaths||14-20cm long|
|Inflorescence||Capitate, with dense same length spikes, not exceeding the leaf-rosette||long-elliptical, with upright spikes, densely pressed to the axis, exceeding the leaf-rosette|
|Spikes||ca 8 flowered, 10-12 cm long, several sterile bracts at the base||7-14 flowered, 10-14 cm long|
|Floral bracts||To 50 mm long, exceeding the sepals, scaled, not keeled||37-41 mm long , as long as sepals, scaled, keeled|
|Sepals||40 mm long, densely scaled, the adaxial pair unkeeled||35-40 mm long, glabrous or hardly scaled, the adaxial pair keeled|
|Petals||6 cm long, dark purple L.B. Smith. Rauh: flowers blue: with Ehlers collections: upper part violet, lower half white||6-6,5 cm long, violet /mulberry coloured, bottom part white|
Derek Butcher ... Questions about the description for the Lector:
In prehistory: At 800 m we climbed for 30 minutes. The location as far as known is only as big as 2 soccer fields. Why does this become 600 - 900 m declared as height of the type locality?
Why hanging leaves? On the photo, the leaf-sheaths are rather erect, the spreading blades somewhat bent over. But hanging?
Peduncle bracts: tubular enclosing the axis? The whole peduncle bracts enclose the axis, as a tube? Or the sheaths enclose the axis?
Inflorescence scaled: does this mean the peduncle bracts and the floral bracts of the spikes?
Spikes in diagnosis 12-19 cm long. In description 10-14 cm.
Floral bracts shorter than the sepals: the dimensions is almost the same. On picture e, one clearly sees on page 127 that the abaxial sepal is equally long and the adaxial pair show by reason of the other part of the ovary is about equally as long as the floral bract.
What is mulberry colour? Lotte says, those are often white!
Chris Larson ... "Hi Derek. There has been multiple imports into Europe from Guatemala with variations one would expect from a species. They were imported both before the plant was described & after. The imports into Australia were from different sources in Europe over a period of time.
There has also been multiple imports into Australia from Guatemala.
References to "the same source as Peter", though being accurate, are a little meaningless.
I have 3 coming into flower now, all pretty similar. I had 2 flower last year at a premature stage and they were not dissimilar to the one in the photo. No seed yet. Maybe this time."