Tillandsia Dawn
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Tillandsia Dawn
schiedeana 'Large' x ionantha, M.Paterson, Queensland 1990.
Geoff Lawn ... T. 'Dawn' is now separated into 2 registered grex siblings, depending on flower colour.
For T. 'First Light of Dawn', see: BCR#8051
For T. 'Dark Dawn', see: BCR#15852

Tillandsia First Light of Dawn
Mature rosette to 15cm. diameter x 20cm. high. Curved, narrow, semi-channeled, grey-green leaves, bronze in strong light, tapering to a point. Erect, simple spike of red-bracted, exserted, tubular creamy white flowers.
See also Detective Derek 09/12: T. schiedeana discussion.
Dale Dixon 12/19 as exserta x ionantha see notes below

Tillandsia Dark Dawn
Mature, grey-green rosette, flushed bronze in strong light, to 15cm. diameter x 20cm. high. Curved, narrow, semi-channeled, scurfed leaves, tapering to a point. Simple red-stemmed spike with exserted, tubular, magenta flowers.
Renamed to distinguish from other renamed grex sibling. (Note: Paterson Book 2 (2012) pp.19, 69, in error as 'Dawn').
Paterson Book 2 (2012) pp.19, 69, as 'Dawn'. Photo: Bill Paterson
Justin Lee 01/21
Dale Dixon ... "I purchased this one as exserta x ionantha. Looks similar to x rectifolia, however the leaves are much grayer (lepidote). Whatever it is it’s a nice little plant."
Derek Butcher ... "Dale: Formulas can be misleading. An advanced search on the BCR shows your plant should look like 'Boreen' or even 'Martin's Joy' but as you point out the bicoloured petal suggests that T. schiedeana seems involved somewhere. Using a formula is a great way for a hybridist to identify his seed batch but as this shows it is not the only way a plant can get a formula on the label. Buyers beware."
Dale Dixon ... "Thanks Derek, I did do a search but concluded that my plant wasn’t either of these as it didn’t match the flower colour of Boreen and it didn’t match flower colour and habit of Martin’s Joy.
Doing a bit of detective work and changing the seed parent to schiedeana on an advanced search returned a match. I think this hybrid is Tillandsia ‘Dawn’. Anyone else have ‘Dawn’?"
Geoff Lawn ... "Maybe yours is not Dawn either, nor Derek's photos in the BCR. How come ? .....
Because the BCR photos of T. 'Dawn' do not match the dark pink flowers as pictured in Paterson's Book 2 (page 19). The quoted parentage in the book (schiedeana x ionantha) matches though.
I will check with Margaret Paterson on that point of petal colour."
Dale Dixon ... "Well the mystery continues. I wonder where the BCR images came from? And are there any other hybrids with schiedeana as a parent that have purple flowers? I will await your answer."
Chris Larson ... "I doubt if these things really have a bottom. All of my hybrids kept under formula have the initials of the hybridiser where I can - though this isn't always possible.
I have often thought of Derek's comments of slapping an existing cv name that's close enough on a plant 'coz it sort of looks like the photo. Especially as you don't know if the same traits are going to be the same or different under differing climatic/cultural conditions.
Unless I am pretty certain that the plants are the same, I use a system that Derek uses on his tags. That is I'd put " T. Dawn? as T. exserta X ionantha ex FB" (FB for Fred Bloggs that I bought it from) until I grow it next to something that was supposed to be T. Dawn, or was otherwise convinced I was pretty much right.
Currently, so many plants are being named as existing cv's on the basis of photos that the definition of those cvs is becoming almost meaningless. Once tags come adrift from hybrids, and where the person that did the hybrid is not known, I often find it very hard to make a decision which holds water."
Dale Dixon ... "I put my mystery ‘Dawn’ plant on Facebook and tagged Grant Paterson. Grant has indicated that Dawn is a grex name with both white and purple flowers. Still a mystery about how this can happen with the cited parentage. His response is shown below.
Geoff: Should another image be added to the BCR or should the purple Dawn and white Dawn be named separately like we did with Mystic Trumpet and Mystic Trumpet Enigma.
My opinion is that the real ‘Dawn’ is the one published in Margaret’s book and the white Dawn should have a separate name to stop further confusion. 'Ivory Dawn' is my favourite."
Grant Paterson ... "Dawn is a grex name and can have either cream or purple flowers depending on the clone. I also have wild collected x rectifolia with blue/purple flowers. Just something else for you taxinomists to sort out....."
Derek Butcher ... "Dale: You have opened a can of worms! The quoted parents for 'Dawn' suggests a primary cross ((F1) where the seed batch is supposed to be consistent with hybrid vigour. It is only when you get the next generation (hybrid x species)(=F2) do you expect variation in the seed batch. So I suspect that one of the quoted parents is actually a hybrid or we have foreign pollen. I find x rectifolia interesting and how similar it is to the manmade 'Jack Staub' or a remake of it. I can understand how x rectifolia can backcross in the wild but the protologue does show bicoloured petals. In the past I also came across plants in OZ called T. schiedeana with bicoloured petals and the descriptons say yellow!"
Grant Paterson ... "I have made several T. schiedeana hybrids with variable flowers so I guess that the plants forget to read the instructions.
Of exceptional interest are some T. andreana x schiedeana hybrids where I have flowered 5 plants only so far and every one has a different flower colour/pattern. I will likely name and release these plants in a few years but still waiting to get a second flowering to see how they go.
I also have plants from several origins, some Australian and some US, of T. bayleyi x schideana which have flowers with different colours. There appears to be a pattern emerging here. I am interested to hear others opinions?"
Geoff Lawn ... "Grant & Margaret: The 2 forms with different coloured flowers are grex siblings deserving of a separate name each but including the word "Dawn" to show they are linked.
It's really up to the breeder to indicate how she currently separates them naming-wise, so both can be properly registered.
I will use the image on 'Bromeliads in Australia' of the white-flowered T. Dawn, and the purpleish/pink T. Dawn from Paterson's 2014 DVD, to create entries for the BCR."
Grant Paterson ... "After consultation with Mum, we have decided on 'First Light of Dawn' for the cream flowered form and 'Dark Dawn' for the blue / purple flowered form."
Ed. ... "A 'pattern emerging' indeed. It would appear that T. schiedeana - as we know it - is not a pure species but a hybrid grex. This would explain why there are several "different" T. schiedeana in different people's collections AND why crosses with produce several different coloured progeny."

Justin Lee ... "I have this plant labeled T. 'Dawn' which it clearly isn't. Does anyone have any idea of what it might be? My thinking is it could be 'Boowoogum'."
Grant Paterson ... "I think it is 'Dark Dawn' and it looks to me to be grown in fairly low light. Not sure if that is the reason for the shorter than usual spike but the old plant certainly looks like 'Dark Dawn' with those flowers and the spike on the old plant."

Updated 15/01/21