(Identification and classification)
Botany (Identification and classification)
|Publication:||Name: Journal of the Bromeliad Society Publisher: Bromeliad Society International Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Biological sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 Bromeliad Society International ISSN: 0090-8738|
|Issue:||Date: Jan-Feb, 2009 Source Volume: 59 Source Issue: 1|
|Topic:||Event Code: 310 Science & research|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States|
The search for the true Neoregelia punctatissima continues. Oh,
what a tangled web we weave when trying to identify current collections
with 'old' names! Neoregelia punctatissima is just one. This
is a long name and easily mis-spelt but continues to be used to breed
all sorts of small neoregelias
It all started in 1954 when Ruschi described this species originally as a Nidularium!
Problem one: In 1974 there was a Neoregelia punctatissima based on the photograph in the Journal of the Bromeliad Society 24(6):197. 1974 that had been taken by W. W. G. Moir of Hawaii. In 1979 in Flora Neotropica Lyman Smith says 'doubtfully in cultivation' In 1983 in J. Brom Soc 33(5)191-4, 223-4. 1983 Harry Luther said "All cultivated material is referred to N. ampullacea.
Prior to 1984 plants started coming from the USA to Australia as N. punctatissima and as Bill Morris pointed out in the Australian Journal--Bromeletter #2 p.8 (1984) there appeared to be no similarity between this plant and. the formal description in Lyman Smith's Monograph. This misidentification remains to this day as evidenced by photographs sent to http://fcbs.org for the Photo Index. All claims to having used this 'species' in hybrids has been covered in the Bromeliad Cultivar Registry by putting a ?punctatissima as the parent. You cannot even use the Cultivar convention by using single quotes and starting with the name with a capital letter such as 'Punctatissima' because of homonym problems. This is why it was recorded in the Register as 'Punctate' from 2006 and appeared in J. Brom Soc 58(1): 20-21. 2008. There was also a 'Punctatissima Black' from those days in the 1980's. Again it could be better linked to N. ampullacea and is in the records as 'Punctate Black'
Problem two: Everyone growing N. 'Hannibal Lector' assumes that N. punctatissima was used as one parent--wrong! The plant used by Chester Skotak had been received from Rafael Oliveira in Brazil and appears to be yet another form of N. ampullacea. This particular clone is now known as 'Rafa'
Problem three: Just before 2000 Elton Leme acquired a plant from near Santa Teresa (Espirito Santo, Brazil) which he believed to be N. punctatissima and this got to the USA via Karl Green, then in turn got to Wally Berg and thence to Marie Selby Gardens. It was recorded as Selby 2000-089A with the provisional name from Wally Berg of 'punctatissima black'. The problem was that the plant did not seem to be the long lost N. punctatissima and is being treated by Selby Gardens as Neoregelia sp. In 2004 Geoff Lawn, our new Cultivar Registrar, was in the US for the World Conference and on the lookout for authentic species plants he could bring back to Australia. He brought home a Selby 2000-089A which survived the rigors of treatment and quarantine AND I was able to acquire an offset from him.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
In December 2008 my plant flowered. I could see no link to the sparse information and drawing we had on N. punctatissima so I wrote to Harry Luther for advice. I got lots of 'probables' in his answer which did make sense because after all the only truly identified species is the herbarium specimen!! Collections made 50 years after the event have to be checked thoroughly. Harry sees similarities with N. tigrina as long as we keep an open mind as to what we grow as the white-petalled N. tigrina (originally N. albiflora of Hort!). But there still seemed something odd as though Harry was talking about a different plant. Comparison of photographs gave us a shock because our plant bore no relationship to the photo of Selby 2000-089A. We have since found out that when AQIS supervised the 'treatment' they decided that the labels did not need to be fumigated too. So they became separated and we cannot link OUR plant 'Selby 2000-089A' to any sort of provenance. It does need some identity and Geoff feels that 'Perdita' meaning lost, is an apt name.
[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]
So the name Selby 2000-089A survives (see fig. 1) and may eventually be given a proper species name. Our plant has no provenance and will be grown in Australia as Neoregelia 'Perdita'.
Derek Butcher and Geoff Lawn. Past and Present Cultivar Registrars.
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