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Author Topic: Unknown seedlings  (Read 2122 times)
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sdandy
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« on: January 05, 2011, 07:50:10 »

So around the Puerto Vallarta (Jalisco, MX) area we came across these seedlings and had a healthy debate (clearly unresolved) about what species these belong to.  The possible suspects include Aechmea bracteata, Ae. mexicana, Bromelia sp., or Ursulaea tuitensis.  There were also a couple individual seedlings on the oak trees that were even smaller than these.

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Here are some photos of the area showing the two Aechmeas and Bromelias (we didn't see any Ursulaea tuitensis plants, but it was the habitat and they are lithophytes).

Ae. mexicana with pink skirts
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Ae. bracteata
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Ae. bracteata and on the the same rock as the seedlings...
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And the Bromelia in the area (including an oddity in a small crevice of a rock)
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I lean toward one of the Aechmeas.  My friend says U. tuitensis.  The bracteata were more common in the immediate vicinity, but the slight color makes me think it might be mexicana.  Anyone else care to take a guess?
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2011, 10:56:26 »

Andy you are so blessed that you can go out and check out these broms, I am a bit, maybe a lot envious of you.  Embarrassed
Are these areas protected or  can people go in and take what they like?Huh

Thank you for sharing the photos they are fantastic.

Alfina Cheesy
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2011, 17:25:05 »

Hi Alfina, these aren't that close.  They are from a vacation last January (still going through the pictures).  Closer than Australia, but still quite a ways away.  I have no idea of the legal or functional regulations in Mexico.  I am pretty sure this area was an Ejido (a community-owned area...hard to explain).  We asked the farmers/ranchers if we could walk around and just followed the ranching/logging road and meandered on some cattle trails.  As far as I can tell, most people pay no attention to bromeliads.  Most people think Tillandsias are parasites on the trees.  It was painful to see how many Tillandsias fall and die on the ground  Cry...but good to know that most of these species seemed no where close to being threatened with regards to their population.
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Lisa
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2011, 19:14:02 »

Do you remember how thick the leaves were, Andy?  That largest one by your fingers does have a strong U. tuitensis look.  I thought that even before I read your list of possibilities, but if there weren't any mature plants in the immediate vicinity, I can see how that would cast a bit of doubt on it.

I wouldn't rule out Ae. bracteata either.  If it was that, it would start developing an urn shape soon, but in the early stages they would still be open like that.  A determining factor between those two could be the relative thickness of the leaves.  Both are tough as rhino hide, but tuitensis is more fleshy and succulent. 

They don't look like Ae. mexicana to me, and I don't have any experience with Bromelias from seed, so I can't comment on that. 
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 20:09:38 »

If I may give my humble opinion, I would say they are Ae bracreatas.  I did grow some from seed and to me they are a very close match.  Especially that one by your thumb.  Ok, I must add that the seeds I grew, came from a red plant.  But if grown hard in plenty of light, don't all bracteata's get a bit of a red tinge?  And Lisa, the urn shape, comes much later in my experience.

I'll see if I can find some pictures of my seedlings

Japie
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2011, 22:53:47 »

Thanks Lisa and Japie.  I was hoping that I would get some good input from people with experience.  The leaves didn't really have much 'succulence', but the shape and color do look a lot like tuitensis.  It was really close to El Tuito, the plants namesake, so I wouldn't say because I couldn't see any right around it that it wasn't tuitensis.  But for the bracteata that I saw in that region were all the green form regardless of how much sun they were getting.  I did see a couple 'ruddy-brown' ones in Hidalgo (different from the 'rubra' that I have seen in collections).  Here is one that I got decent pictures of.  In person it really matched the tone of the bursura bark much more than it shows in the picture.

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Here are some that are in really, really bright light that seem to stay green in Jalisco.
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(could you imagine how heavy these were on this branch!?!)
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2011, 22:58:48 »

Hi Andy,

Again, it is just so interesting to see those plants doing their thing in the wild.  They'd all have their own story to tell and those massed bracteatas are amazing, but the shot of those seedlings starting to colonise a new bit of rock along with the moss is just an absolute ripper.  Thanks a lot for the pics.

Cheers, Paul
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2011, 23:07:01 »

Well, if you enjoyed that little story Paul, how about this one:
Unfortunately I think the odds are against this seedling...but if it does make it, I'm not so sure that the orchid is going to be happy!  Which makes me chuckle because when I have done presentations to groups (even bromeliad people) the orchids always get gasps and 'ohhhs and ahhhhs'.

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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2011, 23:18:03 »

Andy,

I think you're right about that one.  The poor little fella is looking a bit crisp and I suppose the orchids need a bit of a break occasionally.  But then again, if it gets some damp weather fairly soon, who knows ....

Thanks for another beaut pic.  Cheers, Paul
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2011, 05:04:51 »

Andy,

I would rule out Ae. bracteata seedlings based on the look of my bracteata seedlings but maybe grown differently they may take on a varied form.

Rick

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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2011, 07:49:20 »

Andy,
Like everybody else I really enjoy viewing your situ photos and appreciate the time you must spend taking/sorting/posting them on here.
Great stuff!!!!
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2011, 14:06:06 »

Andy, again great habitat photos. Especially the ones with bunches of Ae. bracteata

I am with you Rick on the bracteata seedlings. Mine look just like yours and have come from 2 different plants. Though they have spines from an early age they are not as well developed as in the photo at the start. They look very similar to some sot of Ursulae. My Ursulae macvaughii seedling looked very similar.

The only other thing which you touched on Rick is growing conditions. Maybe these seedlings are quite old because of harsh conditions and the leaves are smaller but the spines are more developed because the plant is older. I guess because bracteata is nearby may indicate it is bracteata. How's that for a 180 degree turn.
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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2011, 17:03:02 »

Okay, have an update.  Here are the seedlings a year later.  Surprisingly all still look really healthy.  Even the single seedling under the orchid is still moving along.  The leaves were very thin and papery (but it is right in the middle of the very dry season, so...).  I'm definitely leaning toward Ae. bracteata.

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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2011, 19:58:06 »

Oh yeah, bracteata for sure now.   

I can't believe you found the same patch of seedlings!  Or were they somewhere easy to find? 
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2011, 20:08:36 »

I'm a homing pigeon Lisa.  Didn't even need a GPS to locate it.  The fun part was finding new things on the same hike this year.  Saw lots more Billbergias and at least 2 different Pitcairnias.
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