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Guzmania bicolorL.B.Sm.vs. Guzmania gracilior (Andre) Mez.

In an earlier article (Gouda 2016) I mis-identified a background plant as Guzmania bicolor (Smith 1966). The plant in the background of figure 5 on page 203 of that article is actually G. gracilior (Andre) (Mez 1896). They are mainly distinguished by their leaf length and width, but there are some more differences. In the table below the two descriptions are compared with the important differences shown in bold.
Guzmania bicolor L. B. Smith,     Guzmania gracilior (Andre) Mez,
Phytologia 13: 457, pl. 1,        DC. Monogr. Phan. 9: 937. 1896.
fig. 10, 11. 1966.

spikes more or less secund,       spikes laxly 3-6-flowered,
sub-densely 3-4-flowered,           distinctly stipitate, 2-4 cm
to 27 mm long including the         long, yellow.
naked sterile base, yellow.
plant caulescent; stem at         plant caulescent, branching,
least 35 cm long; flowering         flowering 2-4 dm long
shoot 2.0 cm long
leaves erect, very densely        leaves densely imbricate along
imbricate, 20-25 cm long            the stem, 13-16 cm long
sheath ovate, 4 cm long,          sheath elliptic, 5-6 cm long,
dark castaneous and covered         densely pale-lepidote, dark
with fine closely appressed         castaneous at base, finely
scales beneath                      purple-striped above
blade linear, attenuate, flat,    blade narrowly triangular, 15
7 mm wide, pale and appressed       mm wide, densely cinereous
-lepidote above, dark and           -lepidote above, glabrous
glabrous beneath                    beneath
inflorecence laxly once           inflorescence once-branched,
-branched, 9 cm long,               lax, 9-30 cm long, subthyrsoid,
sparsely white-lepi-dote            sparsely lepidote except
                                    the axes and petals
peduncle erect, very slender      peduncle erect or ascending,
                                    slender, glabrous
peduncle-bracts erect,            peduncle-bracts imbricate, ovate,
densely imbricate,                  acuminate, glabrous beneath,
foliaceous but reduced              densely lepidote above, red
primary-bracts spreading,         primary-bracts like the upper
broadly ovate, red, shorter         peduncle-bracts, exceeding the
than die spikes but the             lowest branches
lowest with foliaceous
blades exceeding them
floral-bracts elliptic,           floral-bracts broadly elliptic,
9 mm long, thin, nerved,            obtuse, distinctly shorter
the lower carinate and              than die sepals
flowers subsessile, erect,        flowers subsessile
more than 2-ranked
sepals oblong, obtuse, 11         sepals elliptic, broadly rounded
mm long, much exserted,             and emarginate, 8 mm long,
equally connate for 4 mm,           about half connate
carinate toward base
petals 20 mm long                 petals to 16 mm long, blades
                                    elliptic, obtuse

Guzmania bicolor is known from Ecuador, with one specimen from Colombia (verified!), mainly from below the 1500 m (350-1450) elevation. G. gracilior seems to have a somewhat wider distribution from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and seems to be of higher elevations, starting at 1030 up to 3000 m (Gouda 2018)

Literature cited:

Gouda, E. (2016). "Pitcainiea biflora, a beautiful small species not yet well known and probably not in cultivation." J. Bromeliad Soc. 65(3): 198-203.

Gouda, E. (2018). Encyclopaedia of Bromeliads, Gouda, E. J., Butcher D & Gouda C.S. (content updated). Version 4. University Botanic Gardens, Utrecht (accessed: [24-09-2018]).

Mez, C. (1896). Bromeliacae. Monographiae Phanerogamarum. C. De Candolle. Paris, Masson & Cie. 9: 990.

Smith, L.B. (1966) Notes on Bromeliaceae XXIV Phytologia 13(7):454-465

Eric J. Gouda (1)

(1.) University Utrecht Botanic Garden, e-mail:

Caption: Figure 1. Guzmania bicolor in Ecuador. Photo by Alexander Hirtz.

Caption: Figure 2. Cuzmania gracilior shown pre-anthesis in the Alto Mayo area, on the main road to Moyobamba, Peru. Photo by Eric Couda.

Caption: Figure 3. Cuzmania gracilior post-anthesis in the Alto Mao area. Photo by Eric Couda

Caption: Figure 4. Guzmania bicolor in Ecuador. Photo by Alexander Hirtz.
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Title Annotation:SCIENCE
Author:Gouda, Eric J.
Publication:Journal of the Bromeliad Society
Geographic Code:3PERU
Date:Oct 1, 2018
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