Bromeliad Forum

Bromelioideae - Photos & Discussions => Portea => Topic started by: Lisa on November 20, 2010, 07:44:38

Title: Anyone recognize this?
Post by: Lisa on November 20, 2010, 07:44:38
While setting up for a plant sale at Lyon Arboretum this weekend, I noticed this bloom.  I'm assuming it's a Portea (unless it's another form of our sneaky old friend Ae. macrochlamys), but it doesn't quite resemble anything I've seen.  Any ideas? 


Title: Re: Anyone recognize this?
Post by: Kerry T. on November 20, 2010, 11:10:31
Lisa - I think I recognise it as the unidentified Aechmea/Portea in my front garden (ha! great help, aren't I?) - and which I have also been pondering over. The difference seems to be in the tone of the petal colour - but that might depend on the lighting when photographed. I also suspect it is a Portea, as did Richard Bromnutter when he saw mine. Mine has been growing in a close clump as well, and is only flowering for the first time in about 5 years. Although damaged, it survived my black frost of 3 years ago. I bought it from a seller in northern Qld as Ae. melinonii, but I'm sure that's incorrect - not even close.

I don't think either the one at Lyon Arboretum, or mine, is our ol' sneaky friend, Ae. macrochlamys. It does not have those scurfy bits on the inflo spike like our friend, and the inflo is less-densely composed.

Here is mine, photographed a month ago. The leaf rosette of each plant is approx. 70cm (just over 2 ft) wide, and bears quite large black spines, especially at the base of leaves. The inflo has looked good for about 3 months now. Do you think they are a match? ...whatever it is.





Coincidentally, I photographed my mystery brom again this arvo - one month later than the above - and BEFORE you posted this thread, Lisa! I could go on with esoteric bull twaddle about "tuned-in sisterly vibes across the globe"  ::)...but we won't go there. Below photo taken today.


Anyone else have any ideas about either plant? Might they, or one of them, be the real Portea fosteriana?


Title: Re: Anyone recognize this?
Post by: aroideana on November 20, 2010, 12:17:11
Portea petropolitana var. petropolitana ?

I remember the Portea fosteriana Peter got from Olive as having big black spines and being darker green foliage .

Title: Re: Anyone recognize this?
Post by: graykiwi on November 20, 2010, 17:43:14
Hi Lisa & Kerry,

I'm with Aroideana....just looks like one of the Portea petropolitana varieties ?...well Kerry's one more so, going by the inflo pics and comparing with FCBS photos ? 

I also see the FCBS pics of P. fosteriana do NOT appear to be heavily spined ? I don't have it so can't be sure, but my P.p.v.e certainly has the big toothy leaves, and they look indentical to Kerry's first photo. It's not extensa though, as inflo is not long enough, so I'd go with just P.p.v.p as my best guess ?


Title: Re: Anyone recognize this?
Post by: aroideana on November 21, 2010, 02:52:39
We must remember that just because the picture is on FCBS , it does not mean it is correctly named . PIctures of P fosteriana on top look very much like Portea petropolitana var. petropolitana .
The postcard pic is more like it .
The next species P grandiflora is along the lines of what the form of the sp. ex. Olive Branch looked like  , some of these things can take forever to flower .

Portea petropolitana var. petropolitana  I think I got from Pine Grove nursery ages ago.

Title: Re: Anyone recognize this?
Post by: Lisa on November 21, 2010, 04:00:31
Well, I talked to a couple of arboretum staffers about it today.  It's funny, they were hoping I could ID it (and several others) for them!  It turns out they all came from the estate of the late Betty Ho, who has been the source of many of my question mark plants.  Most of her stuff was wild collected, but she never bothered with names.  

Kerry, your plant seems close, but the inflo is not as dense as this one, and neither is P. petropolitana v. petropolitana from what I can see.  That's what is throwing me.  I seem to recall a P. noetigii in the trade several years ago that had a dense, compact inflorescence something like this.  I'm not sure if that is what is now being called P. petropolitana v. noetigii, but it sure didn't look like the FCBS photo of same.  As aroideana points out, however, that is not exactly conclusive evidence.  What FCBS shows as P. p. v. n. looks suspiciously close to P. silvierae to me, so I'm not convinced that is right.  I tried googling P. noetigii to see if I could find a pic that looked like what I remembered, but the only things to come up were my own damn comments and photos on the GW!  I think I've stepped into M. C. Escher world.....   ::)

Title: Re: Anyone recognize this?
Post by: pinkbroms on November 21, 2010, 09:39:23
Hi Guys

Lisa, I'm pretty sure your plant is Portea alatisepala.

Portea petropolitania var. noettigii, plant larger & spike similar to extensa only noettigii being much denser, more flowers.


Title: Re: Anyone recognize this?
Post by: 378 on November 21, 2010, 14:26:44
It could be Aechmea rubrollacina. There is a picture of one on wikipedia and an Uncle Derek comment on it too.

Title: Re: Anyone recognize this?
Post by: Lisa on November 21, 2010, 18:44:40
I put these into Photobucket (much as I hate all the ads on that site) so they'll be easier to look at.

Ross, Betty also had P. alatisepala, in fact that's where I got mine, and I've had it IDed by Harry.  It's very distinct from this.  I know there are variants, but there are so many differences it seems like a big stretch to me.  I didn't photograph it at Lyon but this is what it looks like:

Now A. rubrolilacina opens up a new can of worms.  That wikipedia photo looks a lot like your plant, doesn't it, Kerry?  Uncle Derek's photo on FCBS looks the closest to the Lyon plant of anything I've seen, although his flowers appear to be dark purple, whereas the ones on the specimen in question are pale blue.  That could be just natural variation, but to confuse things, Derek seems to be suggesting that there is little distinction between rubrolilacina and P. alatisepala.  

This quote in particular interested me:   "The name did not register but the flowers had pedicels which suggested the genus Portea. On my return to Adelaide I contacted Harry Luther and now have the original description. It shows that Elton Leme named this plant in 1993 as an Aechmea purely because he does not like Portea considering that there is no real botanical distinction between it and Aechmea. I maintain that if there is an accepted genus then it should be used. If not, then a thesis should be written detailing the disagreement and transferring all the other species into the new arrangement."  

I have to agree with him on that.  Either officially sink Portea into Aechmea or use it as it stands.  Being an Aechmea splitter myself, I vote for Portea to remain a separate genus, even though they tend to interbreed with Aechmeas (particularly those in the Gravisia alliance) fairly easily.  There are certain visual traits, like the long tubular petal arrangement with a big fat protruding stigma (like my botanical terminology?) that are instantly identifiable in this group.  While we're at it, let's throw A. macrochlamys in there and be done with it.  

Title: Re: Anyone recognize this?
Post by: paul_t23 on November 21, 2010, 21:06:25
Lisa, I reckon that "big fat protruding stigma" should go straight into the technical dictionary.  If we're talking about clear communication, that does it for me!

Title: Re: Anyone recognize this?
Post by: pinkbroms on November 22, 2010, 01:39:00
Hi Lisa

I still think your first few photo's are Portea alatisepala, but that last one, the leaf tips are very rounded & don't quite add up to any of the Portea's I have looked at, maybe it's a garden hybrid ??

Also look at Portea grandiflora, however this plant has very large black spines, which are not evident on your plant last photo, being much smaller.

A very mixed up group & then as you say throw Ae. macrochlamys in there, another overlap/mix-up.


Title: Re: Anyone recognize this?
Post by: 378 on November 22, 2010, 04:04:22
From Sass Specht - Phylogenetic estimation of the core Bromelioids with an emphasis on the genus
Aechmea (Bromeliaceae):

"For example, in eastern Brazil, Portea (originally distinguished by having pedicellate flowers with connate
sepals) together with A. marauensis, A. aquilegia and Canistrum aurantiacum all have multiporate pollen (Fig. 4A): thus Portea could
be redefined to include these species."

I'd rather lump than split. But, if you are a splitter, maybe you could still do a Portea genus.