It is odd how some names persist for years even though the grower believes them to be incorrect. One example is Aechmea fulgens var, discolor ‘Variegata’. I shudder at the use of the Latin term variegata instead of variegated but that is another story.
It is 11 years ago that Harry Luther pointed out in this journal (JBS 42(1) page 8) that true Aechmea fulgens and A. miniata are rare in cultivation but their hybrids abound.
In 2003, Helga Tarver, one of my keen investigative colleagues on the Cultivar front, pointed out that A. fulgens var. discolor ‘Variegata’ was clearly of hybrid origin because it had an inflorescence which was branched to the top. It needed a cultivar name!
Reference to the Bromeliad Cultivar Register revealed a plant that could well be linked to our problem. I contacted Reginald DeRoose who confirmed that ‘his’ plant could well be the plant in question. He sent me a photograph of Aechmea ‘Reginald’ which will become part of the on-line Bromeliad Cultivar Register. This agrees with the plant that Helga grows and the plant that is being grown in Australia as A. fulgens var. discolor ‘Variegata’ .
If you have information that refutes this, please advise, otherwise I suggest you change the name on your label to Aechmea ‘Reginald’.