Aechmea ' apocalypse now' by Derek Butcher in Bromeletter 29(1): 10. 1991

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AECHMEA ' APOCALYPSE NOW' by Derek Bromeletter 29(1): 10. 1991

Eight years ago I was the proud owner of an Aechmea muricata and I was sure it had the right name because it came from the United States. I am now the proud owner of a flowering plant which gave me the opportunity of getting out the scalpel and jewellers. loop!

Surprise, Surprise! I proved it was NOT Aechmea muricata and I kept keying back to the Ortgiesia group of Aechmea. In fact it looked very much like Aechmea apocalyptica BUT it had yellow petals. When you compared leaf shape, bracts, flower, etc. , the only discernable difference was the yellow petals.

I think it is wrong to continue with the name of Aechmea muricata on this particular clone and I intend to call it Aechmea ' Apocalypse Now' . If it is a hybrid I have been trying to work out the other parent if we consider that A. apocalyptica is one of them. Perhaps, A. blumenavii, A. kertesziae.. A. caudata, etc., but then I would be expecting other differences. Is there a yellow flowering form of A. apocalyptica ?

Time will tell !

In the meantime would anyone who has been given an A. muricata from me (Don't forget the Adelaide Convention in 1987) please do two things. . . . .

( 1) Change the label to A. ' Apocalypse Now'

(2) If your plant has already flowered and you got self set seed please grow it on or send some to me. The answer will prove hybrid possibilities and we may then be able to twist Harry Luther ' s arm .

I realise that my action will cause problems for:­

( 1) Those who don' t change the name .

(2) Those who receive plants from the U.S. in the future under the wrong name of A. muricata and which flower similar to mine.

(3) Those who receive or who already have the true A. muricata. (Please contact me if you think you have) .

Finally, I would like to make a wish for authenticated coloured photos of all members of

the Ortgiesia group because their names are in a mess and there have been lots of

"illegal" hybridising. Despite this, I do like these plants because they will survive under the hardest of cold wet winters that Adelaide can supply.

The quest continues....

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