Tillandsia Sweet Isabel
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Tillandsia Sweet Isabel
tectorum x paleacea
plant caulescent, 15cm diam, purchased 2003 under formula and registered by Bill Timm.
Ian Hook 05/14
Steve Molnar 06/17
Cameron Kettle 09/18
Bob Hudson 02/21
Bob Hudson ... "T. Sweet Isobel (Paul Isley) nice pale pink petals. I bought this plant into Australia for Paul Isley for the Australian world conference."
Rob Bower 08/20. 1st plant 1,2,3.
Rob Bower 08/20. 2nd plant a,b,c.
Rob Bower ... "I have two 'Sweet Isabel's and the first flowered some time ago - see 1, 2 and 3 - and note the pure pale petal colours and the flower shape.
Next is A B and C which is very similar in form and the structure of the inflorescence. But the petals are quite different in colour and shape compared to the first plant.
Does anyone have ideas on this. Maybe one is a remake of the same cross - or does petal colour change sometimes according the conditions?"
Derek Butcher ... "Seeing Bill Timm's name raised interesting memories. Bill (the same as me) did not like formulas being given by hybridists and spent lots of time chasing up the hybridist to find out the facts. In this case he could not find hm/her. We assume it is a grex with most plants being an offset.
We do not know the hybridist's technique and assume that the grex came from the same seed pod.
Bill used the one plant he got in the registration. Were there others? Your experience seems to suggest this has happened. I would suggest you continue to use 'Sweet Isabel' for plants which look like the registration photo or with slight difference in petal colour. What you do with those that have different shapes I leave to you!
I don't think it is a remake because the variations can be explained depending on the hybridist's technique."
Rob Bower ... "OK Derek, thanks - I'll use 1, 2 and 3 as the chosen Real 'Sweet Isabel'. I don't know Bill Timm but I did wonder who sweet Isabel was."
Chris Larson ... "I think Grant got a few of these from Isley at the WBC in Cairns. I remember seeing PTI's table - and I did buy one there.
Peter Tristram & I got a few different clones from Isley in 2012?. They had differences in foliage/size. I wouldn't be surprised if the flowers were different as well - though I've never compared them."
Pam Butler ... "I also have x2 different forms. The first came from RFI in Cairns WBC and the second from Neville Ryan. They are also quite different in form."
... "Looks like Derek's grex comment was right?"

Rob Bower 07/23 ex. Grant Paterson
Rob Bower ... "I recently bought a Sweet Isabel from Grant Paterson - nothing like the version I already have - see pics above. Does anyone have any comments on whether the version in my pics is the real Sweet Isabel ?"
Geoff Lawn ... "Hi Rob, The BCR has record of T. Sweet Isabel, as named in Florida, breeder unknown. Maybe one of your "versions" matches that ?"
Rob Bower ... "Thanks Geoff. Sweet Isabel looks similar to mine. Maybe there are a few versions ?"
Geoff Lawn ... "Hi Rob, It's doubtful there are other "versions" around, at least none are officially recorded in the BCR. Even the BCR Advanced Search cannot locate more than one clone (Sweet Isabel) with the parentage T. tectorum x paleacea (or reverse).
The cultivar namer Bill Timm I think may not be around anymore to ask. He was in his 70s when I visited his Florida collection in 2004."
Bruce Dunstan 07/23
Bruce Dunstan ... "I grow 2 different clones of Sweet Isabel. The original clone which your appears to be and the other I grow is a Larger Form from RFI which I got from Peter Tristram.
Both grow incredibly fast but the large form is proportionally larger in all aspects, ie. leaf size, stem thickness. First image is the standard form."
Rob Bower ... "Perfect thanks Bruce. Those are my two clones exactly."
Geoff Lawn ... "Hi Rob & Bruce: No, it's not a perfect solution--obviously you got confused, as will future growers. Different clones in the same cross need different cultivar names.
I will email Paul Isley at Rainforest Flora Inc (RFI) for clarification."
Peter Tristram ... "I imported 2 forms/clones?? as Sweet Isabel from RFI, one much more robust than the other but same looking and blooming. Chris has also brought plants in through the nursery and I think they look just like my smaller form. I'd think that others might have imported Sweet Isabel too. If I get a chance tomorrow I'll take some pics of the two forms I have and post. Nice hybrid too and quality photos. There are endless forms of both species so it'd be tricky to recreate it without Divine knowledge."
Pam Butler ... "I also have 2 different plants. They are both the same size. I purchased one from RFI at the Cairns conference and the other from Neville Ryan and one grows faster than the other."
Peter Tristram 07/23 ex. RFI
Large - - Large&Small - - Small
Peter Tristram ... "Couldn't find archived pics of this baby so phone pics attached. Small form clumps like mad and blooms regularly; large form is more robust and white, has fewer pups and rarely blooms (for me). Some small form plants are spiking and I'll post soon."
Peter Tristram 07/23 Small form ex. RFI
Chris Larson ... "I am pretty sure I saw either Pam or Dennis attribute this hybrid to Mark Dimmitt - somewhere. But I can't find a reference for that at present, so maybe I'm wrong. Bill Timm just put names on hybrids without names. So Paul has very likely just put a name on a plant with the same supposed parentage that looks the same. (Naming greges & then an additional cultivar name would leave us with a much clearer picture!!!)
From memory Peter & I received these under grex name - so I labelled a few with different numbers. There are slight differences in there. I just assumed that Paul released the grex as is his normal course of action.
Other than the ones Peter & I imported, Paul had a stack at the WBC in Cairns - and Grant got the leftovers there. I seem to remember that he had quite a number left on his table - so Grant probably has other forms.
My view is my usual one - only give a separate cultivar name where there is enough difference to count - and possibly the large one could be given a different name.
We are getting to the stage of Neoregelia where - if we give separate names to every variant with a different spot here or there - it will just be a mess for tillandsia as well. Then we have the Facebook ID process where someone posts a photo - someone says a name - and we get a different name - even though it has been grown in different cultural conditions which were not taken into account when an opinion was offered.
Re the T. Isabel thing, Geoff - I reckon it is a case similar to T. ionantha 'Sumo' - who still uses the name T. ionantha 'Sumo Size White' as it is called in the BCR ?
The large one is probably the only one worth differentiating. Unless someone is wanting to make money on Facebook with a different name."
Grant Paterson ... "Chris: I have a few different forms.
And 2 distinct large forms one is very slow to grow and pup even under a good fertilising regime so I have not released any of them as yet.
When I got them they had the grex and Sweet Isobel on the label.
The slow large form is about to flower so hopefully I am around to get some photos but it is not worthy of a name given it is too slow to reproduce for any number to be available."

Updated 18/08/23