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Author Topic: scurfy red Alcantarea - ID will be appreciated  (Read 1209 times)
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sunny
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« on: September 20, 2011, 21:22:18 »

Hi everyone,

I bought these two plants a fortnight ago.  They were good examples of a batch of plants simply labelled Bromeliad Rubra.  What do you think they are?  I honestly didn't like them much and have their photos labelled "Ugly Sisters", but I love them more and more each day.  Your help will be appreciated.  Happy growing.
John


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graykiwi
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 04:27:55 »

That's what they look like John - Alcantarea imperialis Rubra. There are many different forms (green, red or "rubra") plus others, as there are different clones and they can vary slightly when their seed is grown. Looks like you've got some with a nice red under-leaf colour. Give them some some slow release fert and heaps of water in Spring summer and watch them get MASSIVE !

Cheers, Graeme
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sunny
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 23:41:00 »

Hi Graeme,

Thanks for your response to my query.  I am hoping that the NZ spring has you and your broms thriving.

I think that you have pretty much nailed it – Alc. imperialis ‘rubra’ and the potential for variability.
 
When the plants pictured in my post above, first came to market about three months ago, in the section labelled “full sun broms” but with no individual plant labels, there was a pair of plants in a batch of ten that stood out because they were glossy on both leaf surfaces.  I thought that they were unusual and beautiful, so I bought them and similar specimens as they came to market.

Over time I learned that the professional grower had raised around a thousand plants, similar to those in my first post, from seed labelled Silver Plum.

Now, as a result of the variability of broms, I have a little collection of glossy reds and purples and a possibly smaller growing, scurfy orange-pink, the last being typical of the specimens now coming to market.

I am already following your cultural tips for “watch them get MASSIVE!” and looking forward to flowering them to see what, if any, variability appears in the spike and flowers. Gratefully, I have pups on both glossy forms.

Cheers,
John


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Rickta66
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2011, 03:32:51 »

John,

Some of your plants look as good as the named cultivars floating around.

I thought that Alc imperialus generally has a scurfy look, Alc 'Visconde de Maua' doesn't but most other forms I've seen tend to - I wonder if you could have some Alc vinicolour in the mix on some of those, it tends to take the scurf away and produce a glossy leaf.

Cheers,

Rick
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sunny
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2011, 09:59:50 »

Very generous words Rick.  Thank you.  They change colour according to light intensity - you will have noted that some of the images are in high light, others are in low light, and because I have not been able to turn off the flash on my inexpensive Canon camera, I feel the colour intensity is washed or "flashed" out of many images.  I think they are a whole lot prettier than the way they photograph.

Camera flash only affecting the pot and not the plant.

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Plant on the right unaffected by flash.

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Plant on the right in the above image now affected by flash.

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As you know, I am relatively new to Alcs, but I felt that I knew enough to buy up these plants with some confidence (and more than a little hope) that they were special.  I mean, when just a few, apparently superior plants (apologies to scurfy leaf lovers - I like scurfy leaves too) appear in a crop of otherwise identical plants, one is tempted to think you have found something special.  At the time that I bought the first two plants, I didn't feel that they were the typical vinicolor red colour.  And those two remain, to my eyes, a non-vinicolor red, however, in many lights, the other reds do look similar to vinicolor red, while others are developing a purplish hue.

I guess the occurrence of a few glossy, highly-coloured leafed plants in an otherwise scurfy crop could be the result of seed from another pod being mixed, as some people have suggested, but then we could expect other plants like these to be appearing in other marketplaces, if the pod wasn't discarded. 

Cheers,
John








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