Vriesea Retroflexa
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Vriesea Retroflexa
Man made hybrid ?, x retroflexa natural hybrid ?, species ?, a catch-all name for various species & hybrids ?
From BCR, listed as ‘Retroflexa’, by E.Morren, 1884. scalaris x 'Morreniana'
Ian Hook 09/15
as xretroflexa herbarium specimen
BCR as xretroflexa
Bromeliad Cultivar Registry (BCR) as xretroflexa
Ian Hook ... "Can anyone help i.d. this Vreiesea ?
Kerry Tate ... "It looks good for Vreiesea 'Retroflexa' to me. Mine are currently in bloom as well.
Derek Butcher ... "Things aren't that simple. Retroflexa is an old hybrid and I doubt it is still alive in cultivation. I would have a look at the 'Aprils'
Chris Larson ... "The original may not be around. But there are a stack of things that are very close going around under that name – and have been for the past 30 years that I have been growing broms. The April’s I have seen at Pine Grove looked different to those Retroflexas.
Derek Butcher ... "As I said, things are not that simple. That is why I showed Morren's painting of the manmade hybrid and even here the records are hazy as to parentage. Did someone do a remake and under the pre 1980's ICNCP rules would get the same name irrespective if it looked different. It is said to also be a natural hybrid but photos from Brazil are not consistent. My motto has always been 'never trust the name on the label'. Over the years lots of plants named retroflexa without provenance, have landed in our collection in my search for the right one but they did not link with Morren's painting so they went into the Bin.
If you are really keen, the enclosed herbarium specimen of this alleged natural hybrid found in the wild shows it was first identified as conferta ( now ensisformis) then mezii ( a n.n.) then retroflexa by Smith. I have a gut feeling that retroflexa found in the wild is not a natural hybrid and I base my feeling on the x morreniana which became flava.

From BCR, listed as ‘Retroflexa’, by E.Morren, 1884
Duval said, "Floral stem pendent, very long, carrying 12-15 widely spaced flowers - bracts red at the base and yellow at the top. A plant for hanging containers". Chevalier in his 1942 Catalog p83 gave the formula as Vriesea psittacina X Vriesea scalaris (?) - Luther List said this is also a natural hybrid from Sao Paulo area - Good picture in Golinski's Video 1998.
Country of origin: Belgium, Seed Parent: scalaris, Pollen Parent: 'Morreniana'

Ian Hook “similar”looking plant 09/12 from BSA raffle from Ron Farrugia(notoriously bad labeling) as ‘Rosella’ ex Marjory McNamara. Not registered. Ross Little suggests Vr. Retroflexa, Derek suspects Vr. rubyae. Werner Raff thinks Vr. agostiniana and gave me one 02/13

Vriesea x retroflexa E. Morren, Belg. Hortic. 34: 185, pl. 10. 1884.
Vriesea psittacina x simplex Mez in Martius, Fl. Bras. 3(3): 525. 1894.
Vriesea psittacina x scalaris E. Morren ex Mez, DC. Monogr. Phan. 9: 578. 1896.
Desc from S&D
Plant flowering 3 dm high with the inflorescence extended.
Leaves about 15 in a narrow rosette, 18 cm long, green;
sheaths distinct, broadly elliptic;
blades ligulate, rounded and apiculate, 20-25 mm wide.
Scape decurved, slender;
scape-bracts erect, imbricate, elliptic, acute, red with green apices.
Inflorescence simple, lax, few-flowered, 8 cm long; rhachis geniculate.
Floral bracts 4-5 times as long as the internodes but spreading with the flowers and exposing the rhachis, to 4 cm long, slightly shorter than the sepals, broadly ovate, acute, carinate and incurved toward apex, red.
Sepals elliptic, obtuse, ca 35 mm long, yellow;
petals linear, obtuse, ca 5 cm long, yellow with green apices;
stamens exserted.
TYPE. E. Morren in Liege Hortus s n (LG n v), an artificial hybrid of Brazilian species but occurring naturally as well. Well typified by the original colored plate.
DISTRIBUTION. Forest, eastern Brazil. BRAZIL. ESPIRITO SANTO: without locality, Foster 1177 (GH, US). SAO PAULO: Florestal, Sao Paulo, Foster 354-A (GH). Without exact locality: Saint Hilaire s n (P).

Updated 19/01/17