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Neoregelia 'Takemura Grande'--a cold case or is it?

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This name came on the scene in the early 1960's when seed of a hybrid was sent to Mr Takemura in Japan from Walter Richter in Germany. Takemura in turn shared seed or seedlings with Ralph Davis in Florida.

Ever since 1978 when James Elmore wrote on the 'Fabled Takemuras' in Grande Vol. 1 #1, I have wondered what a 'true' Takemura Grande' should look like. It is pity that after all that investigation, James Elmore did not bite the bullet so to speak. For example pages 18 and 20 show photographs without captions. What does the nicely laid out photo on page 18 represent? So, already there are questions.

In any cold case investigation you always return to the scene of the crime. Therefore all references outside Florida are considered to be anecdotal only.

While the searching for similar names is easy, the problem is in plants with wrong labels. Thus 'Takemura Grande' can be shortened to either 'Takemura' or 'Grande' or added to such as 'Takemura Grande Silverado' AND have been!

This whole exercise is just another example of the problems caused by changing names. How many times have you heard the cry " Why are the taxonomists changing names again?" AND yet here we have a system of registration of cultivars where it is unnecessary to change names but growers and sellers do so when they make on-the-spot judgements on identity without referring to the official record!

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One big problem that will never be solved is where old nurseries are purchased and mistakes made in the past are inherited and passed on as gospel. For example at the Florida West Coast Show in October 2004, Penny Bullard from Orlando bought a plant just called 'Grande' whose photo is shown. My plea is that registration of hybrids should be at front of the mind of any hybridist, and especially those who are commercial.

This is just an abbreviated version of the whole story but if you are really keen you can read the full version under 'Uncle Derek Says' on fcbs.org with LOTS of pictures.

What is going to happen to the other 'Takemura' references in the register? Well, nothing! Remember that reported parentage is not expected to be completely accurate and as with humans, it does not matter what your parents are, you are what is on your birth certificate. Without photos it is hard to make decisions but I'll be using Takemura Grande Group in the register to link similar looking plants. This is the topmost box for those who do refer to the on-line Cultivar Register in Cultivar corner in http://BSI.org.

At the moment these are 'Takemura Grande', 'Takemura Princeps', 'Deep Purple', 'Ninja', 'Silverado', 'Silver Heel' and 'Southern Pride'. If you have plants you cannot identify at cultivar level you can call them Takemura Grande Group.

Derek Butcher, BSI Cultivar Registrar
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Title Annotation:Cultivation
Author:Butcher, Derek
Publication:Journal of the Bromeliad Society
Date:Sep 1, 2007
Words:482
Previous Article:Improving taxa and character sampling to support generic and infrageneric status of Alcantarea.
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