Vriesea Elan
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Vriesea Elan
zamorensis X dubia, Corn.Bak.
Yellow green rosette w/upright multi-bladed inflorescence in red-orange shading to yellow at edges.
Allan Ladd 07/08
Vic Przetocki 05/19
Ian Hook 01/11

Vriesea ‘Elan’ by Derek Butcher 2006.
This article was prompted by Peter Huddy here in Adelaide checking through the Vriesea hybrid photographs on our Web site and asking a simple question. Why did the photograph of Vriesea ‘Elan’ look so similar to the one of Vriesea zamorensis x alborubrobracteata! First I could not find any reference to a Vriesea alborubrobracteata and can only assume it is a typographical error for Vriesea rubrobracteata.
I have since found that there was a Vriesea albo-rubrobracteata Rauh, Trop Subtrop Pflanz. 16: 19-22. 1976 that was treated as a synonym of V. dubia in Phytologia 38: 138-9. 1977
Reference to the Bromeliad Cultivar Registry 1998 showed confusion as to the parentage of Vriesea ‘Elan’. The comment by Samyn that V. ’Elan’ is the same as V. rubrobracteata is in error and should be deleted. This could well be true if linked to Vriesea alborubrobracteata !! Werner Rauh named and described Vriesea rubrobracteata in 1979 and an English translation appeared in the BSI Journal 1979 p214. The photographs shown in the Journal and the description indicate floral branches only 5cm long, so someone must have their wires crossed. The likely parents of Vriesea ‘Elan’ are V. dubia ( alias alborubrobracteata) and V. zamorensis but why someone should want to hybridise these is a mystery. Compare our photos of the three plants involved and you must agree that for showiness the hybrid comes third! The only possible reason could be hardiness because Belgian research has shown that surprisingly V. zamorensis shows a great cold tolerance. We cannot entirely rule out the possible parents of V. zamorensis and V. rubrobracteata as mentioned in the BCR 1998 but it seems unlikely now that we know what a true V. rubrobracteata looks like.
If you look closely at Werner Rauh’s photograph of V. rubrobracteata you will notice the floral bracts are in fact red and white. It bears no resemblance to the V. alborubrobracteata whereas V. ‘Elan’ does seem closely related to V. alborubrobracteata!
* Note added by Geoff Lawn 16th. September, 2011--email advice from Peter Bak that the parentage should be reversed with seed parent as Vriesea zamorensis and pollen parent as Vriesea dubia.

Updated 04/05/19