This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, for hidden flower). Brome-liacex. Brazilian epiphytal bromeliads, differing from AEchmea and Billbergia (which see for culture) in the tubular calyx and the dense heads of flowers nearly sessile amongst the leaves.
Leaves crowded in a rosette, recurved-spreading, spinulose-serrate: flowers in a terminal head, nearly buried beneath the bracts; petals oblong, joined at the base; stamens attached to corolla-tube. - Monogr. by Mez (who recognizes 8 species) in DC. Monogr. Phaner. 9 (1896); by some; all are considered to be forms of one species.
a. Leaves not narrowed or petiolate above the sheath.
Beer (Tillandsia acaulis, Lindl. C. unduld-tus, Otto & Dietr.). A few inches high, suckering freely: leaves sea-green, long-pointed and spreading, weak-spiny: flowers white, nestling deep in the foliage. B.R. 1157. - A very variable plant, of which Mez recognizes the following leading types:
Variety genuinus, Mez. Stemless or very nearly so: leaves sub-elliptic-lanceolate, strongly undulate, gray-scurfy beneath, scurfy above.
Variety discolor, Mez (C. discolor, Otto & Dietr.). Stem-less or nearly so: leaves elongated, scarcely undulate, silvery-scurfy below, glabrous or nearly so above.
Variety ruber, Mez (C ruber, Beer). Produces a branching stem or trunk: leaves short, strongly undulate, reddish.
Variety bromelioides, Mez (C. bromelioides, Otto & Dietr.). stem tall: leaves much elongated, scarcely undulate, remotely spinulose.
Variety diversifolius, Mez (C. diversifolius, Beer). stem - bearing: leaves elongate-lingulate, deep green above, silvery-scurfy beneath.
Beer. Fig. 1120. Leaves oblong-lanceolate, the margin undulate and densely serrate-spinulose, marked with transverse bands of white: flowers white.
Fig. 1120. Cryptanthus zonatus.
Regel (Billbergia bivittata, Hook. B. vittata, Hort.). Nearly or quite stemless: leaves long-oblong, curving, long-pointed, somewhat undulate, spiny, dull brown beneath, green above and with 2 narrow buff or reddish bars extending the length of the If.: flowers white. B.M. 5270.
aa. Leaves narrowed or petiolate above the sheath.
Beuckeri, Morr. Leaves 10-20, oblong, pointed, canaliculate at base, very finely spiny, brownish green or rosy and spotted or striped with light green: flowers white.
C. nitidus, Bull. A recent importation from Brazil, described as a stemless species with sessile dark olive-green leaves, marked with a band of cream-color each side of the midrib.
L. H. B
George V. Nash.†