Tillandsia prodigiosa

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Tillandsia prodigiosa (Lem.) Baker
Barry Langridge 12/22 "On location, Sierra Norte, Oaxaca"

Tillandsia prodigiosa (Lemaire) Baker, Handb. Bromel. 186. 1889.
Vriesea prodigiosa Lemaire, III. Hort. 16(Misc.): 92. 1869.
Tillandsia cossonii Baker, Jour. Bot. London 25: 279. 1887.
Type. 'Mexican Desert", Bilimek 440 (GH, K, US), Dec 1865.NOW TREATED AS A SPECIES IN ITS OWN RIGHT
Desc from S&D p1007-8
Plant stemless, flowering shoot over 12 dm long.
Leaves densely rosulate, 5 dm long;
Sheaths distinct, elliptic or ovate-oblong, ca 15 cm long, dark brown, very densely and minutely brown-Iepidote;
Blades narrowly triangular, 4-6 cm wide, covered with pale appressed scales.
Scape decurved, stout, about equaling the leaves;
Scape-bracts erect, foliaceous, very densely imbricate, the upper ones sometimes tinged with red.
Inflorescence bipinnate, sub cylindric, 3-6 dm long;
Primary bracts ovate, acuminate, exceeding the lower axillary spikes;
Spikes suberect to spreading, sessile or with a short naked stipe, strongly complanate, densely 10-12-flowered with a few sterile bracts at base, 5-9 cm long, 3-5 cm wide.
Floral bracts erect, densely imbricate and concealing the rhachis, ovate, acuminate, sharply carinate, 30-35 mm long, 24 mm wide, equaling or exceeding the sepals, coriaceous, faintly nerved, glabrous or lepidote;
Flowers short-pedicellate.
Sepals lanceolate, acuminate, 3 cm long, coriaceous, nerved, glabrous, the posterior ones carinate, short-connate;
Petals linear, erect, 5 cm long, .'violet" (?) or green; NOTE. The original description surmises that the petals are violet. However, all subsequent material, that agrees with the description in other respects, has green petals.
Stamens and pistil exserted.
Type. Ghiesbreght in Linden Hortus s n (BR? n v). Typified by the description in the absence of any known specimen.
DISTRIBUTION. Epiphytic in forest, 1100-2500 m alt, Mexico, falsely reported from Cuba.
MEXICO. SINALOA, San Ignacio: San Juan, Mar 1931, Ortega 6890 (F). DURANGO: Llano Grande to Las Rucias, 24 Jun 1950, Maysilles 7089-a (M1CH, US). JALISCO: Sierra de Cuale, Talpa de Allende, Nov 1952, McVaugh 14351 (MICH, US); Cerro Viejo, Zapotitan de Hidalgo, 28 Jun 1956, Gregory & Eiten 237 e p (GH). VERA CRUZ: Orizaba, May 1866, Bilimek 439 (P). PUEBLA: Azucar de Matamoros, 31 Mar 1957 Foster & Van Hyning 2916 (US). MORELOS: Serrania de Ajusco, 9 Feb 1899, Pringle 6990 (GH, MO, US); Cuernavaca, 5 jun 1904, Pringle 13217 (GH, US). MEXICO: Temascaltepec, 27 Feb 1935, Hinton 7437 (GH); 4 Apr 1947, Moore 2501 (GH); 26 Oct 1952, Matuda 27826 (MEXU, US); Valle de Bravo, 21 Nov 1952, Matuda 27754 (MEXU, US); Saltepec to Amatepec, 31 Dec 1953, Matuda 30080 (MEXU, US); Canada de Nanchititla, May 1954, Matuda 30795 (MEXU, US). MICHOACAN: Patzcuaro, 16 Jul 1892, Pringle 5265 (GH); Chilpancingo, 10 May 1899, Langlasse 1026 (GH, P); Morelia, Feb 1909, Arsene20 (F, GH); 26 Feb 1960, Van Hyning 6015 (US); Nov 1961, King & Soderstrom 5133 (US); Sierra Naranjillo, Coalcoman, 14 Jul 1939, Hinton 13937 (GH, US); Cuesta de Aratzipo, Quiroga to Zacapu, 21 jul 1948, Moore & Wood 4044 (BH, US); San Pedro Aguaro, Ciudad Hidalgo, 22 Mar 1949, McVaugh 9996 (M1CH, US); Cerro de Carboneras, Uruapan, Oct 1961, King & Soderstrom 4896 (US). OAXACA: Huehuetlan, 22 May 1921, Conzatti 4114 (US); Sierra Juarez, Mar 1950, MacDougal1 s n (US).

Detail from Macvaugh in Novo Galiciana 1989
Tillandsia, complex of T. prodigiosa (Lem.) Baker, sensu Smith (1977); species of group l, subgroup 3, of Gardner (1982, 1986b).
The above is the oldest name that has been applied in Nueva Galicia to any member of a group of large montane Tillandsias that are common in oak or oakpine forest between about 1000 and 2700 m. Specific limits within the group have not been worked out very satisfactorily, and for the purposes of this Flora it seems necessary to treat them all as members of one inclusive taxon, with notes on what appear to be significant trends in variation. A few of our specimens have indeed been identified by L. B. Smith and others with T. prodigiosa, but most of the material has been referred in the past to T. bourgaei, which see under Doubtful and Excluded Species.
Plants acaulescent, with many leaves in a dense water-holding rosette, and a stout scape up to 1 cm thick or more, the flowering stem often 50-100 cm high;
leaves up to 35-75 cm long, densely lepidote at least abaxially;
sheaths large, elliptic-ovate, distinct from the blades, often up to 15 cm long and 9-10 cm wide;
blades triangular, often 2.5-4 (-6) cm wide at base, the tips commonly involute;
inflorescence pinnately branched, sometimes bipinnate, 20-30 (-60) cm long, in outline cylindric, ellipsoid, or ovoid;
scape-bracts imbricated at least below, large, more or less foliaceous, mostly with long narrow blades up to 30 cm long, these sometimes pendent or reflexed, often exceeding the inflorescence;
primary bracts with conspicuous sheaths that cover the entire axillary spike or at least half of it, the lower bracts with longer, narrow and leaflike blades;
spikes strongly dorsiventrally compressed, erect and appressed to horizontally spreading, 3-6 (-8) cm long, ovate or lance-ovate, 1.5-2.5 (-3) times as long as wide, most of them, or only the lower ones, on short thick peduncles;
floral bracts closely imbricated and concealing the rachis (up to 5-7 times as long as the internodes), strongly ascending, acute, ovate when flattened, straight or incurved above the middle, in life conduplicate, keeled with flat sides, coriaceous, even or faintly nerved, mostly 2.5-3.5 cm long, about equalling or longer than the sepals;
flowers in a spike few, or up to 12-14, often fewer than the floral bracts, 1-3 of these usually sterile at the base of the spike;
sepals narrow, in ours 25-30 mm long, acute, subcoriaceous, nerved, the adaxial ("posterior") pair sharply keeled, short-connate;
petals linear, tubular-erect, 3.5-5 cm long, green or yellow-green as far as known, or "chartreuse" (G) or "citron" (G), concolorous with the filaments;
stamens exserted;
fruit fusiform, 3-4 cm long.
The so-called species that have been recognized in this group have been separated on the basis of such characters as the shape of the inflorescence, and the disposition of the branches; the distribution, density, and color of the trichomes (scales) that cover much of the plant; and the size of the floral bracts, the primary bracts, and the sepals.
The leaves are always minutely lepidote on the adaxial surface, and more prominently so on the abaxial; from the base of the blade upward, the scales on the abaxial surface gradually increase in size and crowding, their margins turn up, and the distal part of the blade becomes pale gray and scurfy. The contrast between the two leaf-surfaces is usually marked. The inflorescence varies from glabrous to coarsely lepidote and scurfy. The floral bracts may be wholly glabrous or partially covered with loose coarse scales, or marginally fringed with large laciniate scales. The sepals may be quite glabrous (independently of the condition of the floral bracts), or coarsely lepidote along the keel.
The inflorescence is always pinnately branched, but differs greatly from one plant to another in the length of the primary axis and consequently in the extent to which the spikes are crowded together. The leafy scape (peduncle) often does not emerge from the basal rosette, but longer scapes are often associated with longer looser panicles. The panicle-branches (spikes) are almost always ascending. Rarely (at least in our area) all the spikes diverge widely from the axis, some almost at right angles. I have not seen any spikes that I would call "erect," though they are sometimes so described.
Crowded panicles with short scapes are often enveloped at the base by leafy scape-bracts that are almost indistinguishable from the rosette-leaves, and that merge above with the lower primary bracts; these latter may have a sheath 5-6 cm long that covers most of the spike, and a leafy blade up to 30 cm long and 2.5 cm wide at base. At the other extreme, in plants with longer, loose panicles and longer scapes, the scape-bracts tend to be smaller and clearly different in form from the rosette-leaves, and the primary bracts, even the lowest, consist mainly of the large colored sheath, the blade having been reduced to a subulate appendage or sometimes as much as 1 cm wide and 10-15 cm long.
I cannot find that the above characters, or any others, can be combined satisfactorily to delimit species in this complex. Students of the Bromeliaceae do not entirely agree on species-limits. The identity of the oldest name, Tillandsia prodigiosa, has been inferred, in the absence of a type-specimen, from the original description. According to Smith (in Smith & Downs, 1977) T. prodigiosa is a plant with a long, loose open inflorescence, having at least the lower spikes "divergent to spreading." His illustration (fig. 320, F) shows the spikes separated by long internodes, and standing about at right angles to the axis. The aspect is that of McVaugh 14351, cited below. Gardner (1982, p. 173) adduces an additional character: the inflorescence is drooping, not erect. Apparently the plant is not especially common in Nueva Galicia:

Tillandsia prodigiosa (Lem.) Baker, Handb. Bromel. 186. 1889. Vriesea (?) prodigiosa Lem. Ill. Hortic. 16: misc. 92. 1869.
On oaks or pines, montane, (1400-) 1800-2800 m, collected in flower Nov, Mar, Jun, Jul.
Jal., Mich.; reported from Sin., Dgo., Mex, and southeastward to Ver. and Oax. The type was from a cultivated plant probably from southeastern Mexico (Ghiesbreght). Neither Smith (in Smith & Downs, 1977) nor Gardner (1982) could locate a type-specimen.
SW of Talpa de Allende, below the peak called Piedra Rajada (McVaugh 14351, cited by Smith); above Zapotitan de Hidalgo, Cerro Viejo, ca 2800 m, near summit (Gregory & Eiten 237, MICH; number cited from GH {"ex parte"}, by Smith); Coalcoman, Sierra Naranjillo (Hinton 13937, cited by Smith, not seen); an extra-limital specimen, also cited by Smith, is from the region of Ciudad Hidalgo, Mich. (McVaugh 9996).
Plants subglabrous (leaves lepidote distally but not conspicuously cinereous; primary bracts minutely lepidote; floral bracts glabrous or minutely lepidote near tips; sepals glabrous); peduncle and panicle probably at first erect, "drooping in age" (McVaugh 9996) or "over-arching and finally pendent" (McVaugh 14351); inflorescence and scape elongate; lower internodes of the primary flowering axis 35 cm long, the spikes at these nodes widely divergent, often 7-8 cm long, longer than the middle and upper spikes; scape-bracts modified, the middle and upper ones colored, very different from the rosette-leaves, not surrounding the base of the panicle; primary bracts commonly exposing the spikes.
A name placed by Smith (in Smith & Downs, 1977) in the synonymy of T. prodigiosa is believed by Gardner (1982) to represent an independent species, distinguished by its upright inflorescence in which the lower branches spread to an angle of about 45 degrees only, by the larger and more leaflike primary bracts, and by the border of large laciniate (unfortunately readily deciduous) trichomes on the floral bracts. Judging from her description and illustration, I take this to be the following, of which she studied type-material:

After spending four months in Chiapas for the sake of collecting some animals for our Stanley Park Zoo in Vancouver, B.C. (Canada), I had seen more of this part of southern Mexico than ever before. Outside of chasing Caymans, snakes, Kinkajous and the like, I kept on the lookout for the more amiable children of Mother Nature which neither bite, nor run, crawl, fly or swim away and which seem only to be waiting for someone who has still the eyes for sparing them a glimpse of admiration, namely, the gorgeous flowers of the tropics, particularly, orchids and bromeliads.
Of the latter kind one species in particular drew my attention, the truly magnificent Tillandsia prodigiosa! This relatively huge epiphyte is an outsider among its numerous cousins, in that it lowers its impressive, pink-purple flower spikes vertically downward to a length of up to and even exceeding three feet, in which pendent state they remain flowering for weeks.
Tillandsia prodigiosa is by far one of the most conspicuous and showiest epiphytes of Chiapas, rivalling even the best orchids of this state in beauty. For this reason it is, at times, transplanted by the natives who usually pay no respect at all to the parasitos, from its haunt in the wilds to a spot in their gardens. As a matter of fact, they even found it worthy to be given the name of Tecolumate rather than the, generalized term of parasito or vejuco, usually applied to epiphytes without closer classification. The nomification Tecolumate apparently roots in a Chamula dialect if we go by the tribal grouping of those Indians which inhabit the mountains of its native home.
This eye-catching plant jewel, - easily discovered in even the darkest forests because of its relatively phenomenal size (for a Tillandsia, anyhow), appears to be confined to the humid and cool cloud forests of the Sierra Madre Oriental where I found it distributed at an altitude of between 1000 and 1500 meters above sea level. This fact may be of importance to people in southern California which - if they succeed in establishing Cymbidium orchids outdoors - should also try to cultivate Tillandsia prodigiosa in their gardens. I came across my first specimen quite incidentally while joining a friend of mine, Mr. Lorenzo Allan, of the New World Archaeological Foundation, on a cave exploring trip to the region of Solistahuacan (Pueblo Nuevo ) in northern Chiapas.
The species seems to commence some 100 kilometers after leaving Tuxtla Gutierrez, capital town of Chiapas, in the near-vicinity of the primitive villages of Bochil and Jitotol de Saragosa, which zone is characterized by vast pine-oak forests that abound in both orchids and bromeliads. Unfortunately, lacking even the most basic means for the identification of bromeliads, I have to restrict myself to mentioning that there are several dozens of quite beautiful other species native to these forests too, the majority of which are Tillandsias.
While pines are usually avoided as host trees by orchids, of which we find interesting and partly rare species here, they are rather much frequented by bromeliads. Tillandsia prodigiosa, however, appears to share the orchids' dislike for the above pines and other conifers and almost exclusively thrives on dicotyledonous trees - oaks in particular.
The epiphytic companions of this species which never occurs in groups or masses, but always solitary and often widely separated from other specimens of its own kind, are Lycopodiums, Anthuriums, Peperomias, Spanish Moss several Begonias, fern genera, many orchids, and, of course, a varied range of other bromeliads.
Tillandsia prodigiosa usually occurs in the brighter sections of the forest, including spots which receive a great amount of direct sun. In fact, here it grows into the finest and sturdiest specimens! Our plant is by no means too frequent and is certainly a difficult customer to transport, especially, since its bulk prohibits carrying away great numbers of them, and what counts even more, because of the terrible shape of those roads which penetrate this remote wilderness of forests and ragged mountains. There are potholes filled with two feet of water every forty feet and a speed of five miles per hour in the only vehicle which will eventually make it, the four-wheel drive, double traction jeep or Landrover, can be considered a good average.
The temperature around Solistahuacan during the month of August 1956 never reads more than 65F., and the nights were definitely cold and chilly. The dry season lasts from November to April inclusive, after which period almost steady rains dominate the weather for the following six months.
Upon the event of another excursion, to the Guatemalan border, I discovered a few plants of Tillandsia prodigiosa in the possibly even colder forests which stretch uninterruptedly between San Cristobal de Las Casas and Comitan de las Flores along the Inter American Highway.
Due to the fact that the vegetation south of the Isthmo de Tehuiantepec is predominantly Central American, it seems almost certain that Tillandsia prodigiosa also occurs in similar mountain regions of adjacent Guatemala and, possibly, north-western Honduras, too.
May I finally add that such an ornamental plant merits the undivided attention of anyone addicted to bromeliads?

Tillandsia prodigiosa, Or is it? by CHET BLACKBURN in J. Brom. Soc. 32: 159-163. 1982
What looks like Tillandsia prodigiosa, acts like Tillandsia prodigiosa, and is widely sold as Tillandsia prodigiosa? If your answer to that question is Tillandsia prodigiosa, you're right ..... but only partly so, because Tillandsia eizii is equally correct. A significant number of plants in cultivation under the label of T. prodigiosa are actually the latter species.
The confusion between the two is as understandable as it is longstanding. Both are large, conspicuous epiphytes with long, spectacular, pendulous inflorescences. Both grow in the mountains of Southern Mexico and they do superficially resemble each other. Once the differences between them are noted, however, the blooming plants are readily distinguishable even from a distance.
The most conspicuous features of T. prodigiosa are the primary bracts which all but obscure the spikes. Conversely, in T. eizii the spikes themselves are the most prominent parts of the inflorescence.

A comparison of the major differences between the two are as follows:

T. prodigiosa
T. eizii
Primary Bracts
Brightly rose-colored. Longer than the spike and covering it to the point of almost hiding it from view.
Softer pink and usually extending over the spike for only about half its length, then flaring upward and curving sharply backwards.
Thin and elongated. Many times as long as wide. Almost hidden by the primary bracts.
Fat, egg-shaped, and very prominent
Usually green
Usually light purple
Overall rosy appearance. No cluster of "sterile" primary bracts towards the tip of the inflorescence.
Overall bi-colored appearance with a striking contrast of pink and greenish-white. Just above the last spike is a cluster of reduced primary bracts with no accompanying spikes visible, as if the spike aborted.

Out of bloom the two species are not easily separated, but it can be done with a practiced eye. Most specimens of T. prodigiosa have a grayish-green cast to the foliage while T. eizii has darker green leaves. The color of the leaf sheath can be either brown or purple in both species, but it seems more noticeable in T. eizii and more often purple. The rosettes of either species consists of both spreading and ascending leaves. Still, T. prodigiosa seems to have a flatter looking rosette while T. eizii, which has more leaves, forms a dense rosette.
T. prodigiosa has been recorded from the states of Sinaloa, Durango, Jalisco, Vera Cruz, Puebla, Mexico, Michoacan, and Oaxaca in Mexico; and T. eizii has been found in the state of Chiapas, Mexico and the adjacent Guatemalan department of Huehuetenango.
Both are mountain inhabiting species. As such, it is likely that T. prodigiosa has not managed to extend its range southward across the hot, flat, Tehuantepec Isthmus. It is equally probably that T. eizii does not grow north of that barrier. If this is the case, then it puts the Mexican State of Chiapas in the curious position of having named T. prodigiosa as its official state flower without it even growing there.
Chiapas is not alone in its confusion between the two. A glance through many of the articles and photos in former Bromeliad Society Bulletins will indicate that the plant under discussion as T. prodigiosa is actually T. eizii.
In the sites in which I have seen it, my overall impression of T. eizii is that it grows in damper and shadier situations than does T. prodigiosa. It seems to occur in predominantly coniferous forests and is found clinging to the main trunk and the bases of the larger limbs on its host tree. It does not occur in large concentrations where it is found but instead is scattered sporadically around the forest.
My experience with T. prodigiosa on the other hand is that it is found in brighter, drier, deciduous oak forests, and where it grows, it grows in abundance. Instead of being confined to the innermost portions of its host trees, T. prodigiosa grows on just about every branch old enough and strong enough to support it. These observations are my own and should not be takes as ecological gospel. They are based on the wild populations that I've seen and do not eliminate the possibility that other populations grow in different situations.
Both are highly ornamental plants and are much used by the local people as decoration in churches and private homes during the Christmas holidays. Of the two species, T. eizii is the larger and more spectacular on an individual basis, but en masse, few plants could compete with T. prodigiosa.
In April, 1981, Hal Wiedman, Dan Cook, and I came across such a mass display of T. prodigiosa in Oaxaca, and it was simply overwhelming. I doubt that any of us will ever think of T. prodigiosa again without the memory of that spectacle popping immediately to mind. The sight of literally hundreds upon hundreds of large, rosy inflorescences dangling in dappled sunlight in the midst of the bright green, newly emerging, oak leaves is one not easily forgotten.
My notes record T. prodigiosa at several locations between 6800 and 7600 ft. It was found growing in association with T. bourgaei, T. dugesii, and T. plumosa. The notes record T. eizii at ranges from 5600 to 8500 ft. In the rich, wet forests near the lakes of Montebello, it was found with T. multicaulis, T. seleriana, T. standleyi, T. guatemalense, T. punctulata, T. butzii, several Catopsis species, and Vriesea werckleana. Farther north in Chiapas, it was found at 6000 ft. growing along with Tillandsia butzii, T. magnusiana, T. seleriana, the ubiquitous T. schiediana and T. rodrigueziana. We also found it at 8500 ft. along with T. ponderosa, T. politii, and T. guatemalense.
Both plants are in cultivation but when found there they are inevitably both labeled as T. prodigiosa. Since most of the plants on the market in recent years have been shipped in by Guatemalan firms, most are probably T. eizii. Two plants I purchased from a Southern California wholesaler some time ago are in bloom at the moment and both are T. eizii, and both had their origin from Guatemalan suppliers.
Neither species is particularly difficult to grow but both are susceptible to scale insects. Unfortunately, neither species offsets after flowering. The inflorescence of a cultivated plant is impressive, but rarely reaches the length and the intensity of color that it does in the wild. Even in wild plants, however, inflorescence length varies greatly. Furthermore, there also seem to be "vintage" years for T. prodigiosa when abnormally large numbers of plants are all in bloom at the same time. Does the variation in inflorescence length occur because these vintage years are caused by a set of conditions that trigger flowering of plants of different ages; or are the vintage years a reflection of a particularly favorable season for seedling survival a number of years previously, so that all blooming plants would be the same age and with inflorescence length determined primarily by heredity? For that matter, at what age do they flower? I could find no information on blooming age but it must take at least ten years from seedling to flower. Nine T. prodigiosa plants collected in January 1975 and maintained in my greenhouse since then have produced only 3 flowering plants so far, 1 in 1981 and 2 in 1982. I have no way of knowing how old the small plants were that were collected, but they were not seedling size. One also has to wonder what effect greenhouse cultivation has had on them.
Since neither T. prodigiosa nor T. eizii produces offsets and they are slow growing from seed, their future in cultivation seems limited in spite of their outstanding floral display. As Mexico and Guatemala continue to increase their restrictions on exporting native plants, the supply of them on the market will eventually all but disappear.

Paratypes from Lopez-Ferrari & Espejo-Serna in Bol. Soc. Bot. Mex. 80: 63-71. 2007
Tillandsia prodigiosa Baker.
Colima: Municipio de Comala, 3 km despues del crucero camino a San Antonio, M. Huerta, S. Guerrero, A. Ruiz et al. 236 (IBUG, IEB, XAL). Guerrero: municipio de Atoyac de Alvarez, Vic. of Nueva Dehli, K. Ehlers y R. Ehlers EM901001 (SEL); en El Ranchito, 13 km al NE de El Paraiso, J.C Soto N. y S. Aureoles C. 7867 (MEXU); Municipio de Chilpancingo de los Bravo, Rincon de la Via, H. Kruse s. n. sub E. Matuda 38632 (LL, MEXU); Sierra de Tezcaltitemi, Mazatlan, H. Kruse 3103 (MEXU); Sierra Madre, E. Langlasse 1026 {GH, P(2)}; Sierra de Tezcaltitemi, Mazatlan, E. Matuda 3103 {MO (3)}; 1 mile west Omiltemi, T.W. McCorcle y C.M. Rowell, Jr 3451 (MICH); Municipio de General Heliodoro Castillo, Tres Caminos, 13.5 km al SO rumbo a Elilguero, J. Calonico S. 8432 (FCME); 5.03 km al N de Verde Rico, J. Calonico S. 12522 (FCME); 5.59 km al N de Verde Rico, J. Calonico S. 12601 (FCME); 8 km al 50 de Puerto El Jilguero, camino a Puerto del Gallo, F. Lorea 3938 (FCME); Yerba Buena, sierra costal de Guerrero, E. Matuda 38654 (MEXU); Municipio de Ixcateopan de Cuauhtemoc, San Miguel, 2.5 km al N, camino Zumpango - Taxco, R. Cruz Durart 2167 (FCME); Municipio de Leonardo Bravo, 9 km de Tres Caminos rumbo a Yextla, J. Calonico S. 3549 (FCME); aproximadamente a 2.5 km adelante de Carrizal de Bravos, rumbo a Atoyac, A.R. Lopez-Ferrari, A. Espejo-Serna y T. Chehaibar 362 {UAMIZ (6)}; 5 km al SE de El Carrizal de los Bravos, camino Filo de Caballo - Chichihualco, E. Martinez S., T.P. Ramamoorthy y J. Miller 3319 (ENCB, MEXU); 9 km al SO de Filo de Caballo, carretera a Puerto del Gallo, J.C. Soto N. y F. Solorzano G. 12689 {MEXU (2), UAMIZ}; Municipio de Taxco de Alarcon, 6 km al NO de Taxco de Alarcon, J. Calonico S. 3698 (FCME); 10 km al ONO de Taxco, sobre el camino a Teneria, J. Rzedowski 25242 a {ENCB (3)}; sin municipio indicado, along the road from Milpillas to Nueva Dehli, H. y L. Hromadnik 14068 {UAMIZ, WU(2)}; Vientos Frios - Yerba Buena, 1,800 m, R. Ehlers y K. Ehlers EM900906 {WU (7)}. Jalisco: Municipio de Autlan de Navarro, Brecha Ahuacapan - Las }oyas de Manantlan, entre Corralitos y Cuatro Caminos, R. Ramirez D., R. Gonzalez Tamayo y F.J. Santana M. 1247 {IBUG (2)}; Municipio de Cuautitlan de Garcia Barragan, La Ventana, Sierra de Manantlan, L.M.V. de Puga 13772 (IBUG); Municipio de Talpa de Allende, Sierra de Cuale, southwest of Talpa de Allende, southwest of the prominent peak called Piedra Rajada, R. McVaugh 14351 {MICH (2)}; Municipio de Tlajomulco de Zuniga, Cerro Viejo, cara norte, barranca Las Crucecitas, al suroeste de San Miguel Cuyutlan, J.A. Machuca N. y M. Chazaro B. 6626 (IEB, MEXU, TEX, XAL); Municipio de Zapotlan el Grande, 2-3 km despues de la carretera, por la brecha que va hacia Las Viboras (microondas), desde el Puerto del Floripondio, M. Huerta M., M. Chazaro B., E. Lomeli y R. Patino 42 {IEB (2), XAL}. Michoacan: Municipio de Erongaricuaro, al E de Charahuen, H. Diaz Barriga 5272a {IBUG (2), IEB (2)}; Opongio, J.M. Escobedo 674 {ENCB (2), IEB (3), MEXU}; Municipio de Hidalgo, 8-10 miles north of west de Ciudad Hidalgo and a few miles north of village of San Pedro} acuaro "Aguaro", R. McVaugh 9996 (MEXU, US); Municipio de Morelia, Aguazarca, C. Medina G. 928 {IEB (2)}; 2 km al sur de San Jose de las Torres, J. Rzedowski 42880 (IEB); ladera noreste del Cerro del Aguila, S. Zamudio R. 6035 {IEB (2), MEXU (2)}; Municipio de Patzcuaro, ca. 2 km al N de Ajuno, cerro La Taza, M.E. Molina 339 {IEB (2), UAMIZ}; Municipio de Quiroga, Cerro del Tzirate, J.M. Escobedo 1296 {IEB (2)}; 24 km al E de Zacapu, por la carretera a Quiroga, S.D. Koch y M. Gonzalez L. 8687 (CIIDIR, ENCB); Cuesta de Aratzipo, km 372 on highway between Quiroga and Zacapu, H.E. Moore Jr. y CL Wood Jr. 4044 (AA); Municipio de Salvador Escalante, camino al cerro San Miguel, cerca de Zirahuen, H. Diaz Barriga 1760 {IEB (3)}; 1 km de Copandaro, E. Perez Calix 303 {IEB (2)}; Agua Verde, en el extremo SO del lago Zirahuen, S. Zamudio R. y D. Tejero D. 11863 (IEB); Municipio de Senguio, Pena Blanca, ejido San Francisco de los Reyes, I. Garcia R. y H. de Garcia 3601 {IEB (2), UAMIZ (2)}; Municipio de Tuxpan, La Joya Verde, al oeste de Las Caleras, 12 km al oeste de Tuxpan, M. Torres y M. Ramirez 2265 (IEB); El Aguacate, 8.5 km al SO de Malacote, camino a Agostitlan, R. Torres y M. Ramirez 13491 {IEB (2)}; Municipio de Uruapan, west facing slopes of cerro Carboneras above the rio Cupatitzio, ca. 22 km south of Uruapan, R.M. King y TR. Soderstrom 4896 (US); Municipio de Zinapecuaro, cerro El Mozo, al SO de Ucareo, E. Carranza G. 4092 {IEB, MEXU, UAMIZ (2)}; 500 m al oeste del balneario Las Adjuntas, M.J. Jasso 843 {ENCB (2), IEB (2), MEXU (2), XAL}; Cerro de la Cruz, 2 km al norte de Ucareo, S. Zamudio R. 3829 (CIIDIR, ENCB, IBUG, IEB, MEXU); Municipio de Zitacuaro, 5 km al NE de San Felipe de los Alzati, J.C. Soto N., A. Roman de Soto y F. Soto R. 6501 (MEXU, MO); Coatepec de Morelos, 4 km a) suroeste de Zitacuaro, J.C. Soto N. y S. Aureoles C. 7337 (IEB). Morelos: Municipio de Cuernavaca, 2 km adelante de Tlatempa, rumbo a Buenavista del Monte, J. Ceja, A. Espejo-Serna, A.R. Lopez-Ferrari y A. Mendoza R. 807 {CICY (2), IEB (3), UAMIZ (2)}; Municipio de Tepoztlan, pedregal del derrame del Chichinautzin, km 65 de la carretera de cuota Mexico - Cuernavaca, A. Espejo-Serna, A.R. Lopez-Ferrari, J. Ceja y A. Mendoza R. 6029 {CICY (3), IEB (4), UAMIZ (3)}; Sierra de Tepoztlan, cerros al E de San Juan Tlacotenco, A.R. Lopez-Ferrari, A. Espejo-Serna, J. GarciaCruz y R. Jimenez M. 2371 {IEB (2), UAMIZ (5)}; derrame del Chichinautzin, S. Zamudio R. s. n. (FCME); Municipio de Tetela del Volcan, barranca de Amatzinac, A.R. Lopez-Ferrari, A. Espejo-Serna, J. Garcia-Cruz y R. Jimenez M. 2432 {UAMIZ (2)}; ca. 5 km sobre la desviacion a la cascada El Salto, a partir del camino Tetela del Volcan - Hueyapan, J. Santana C., L. Pacheco, Y. Sandoval, E. Callejas G. y A. Valdes R. 384b {UAMIZ (4)}. Estado de Mexico: Municipio de Almoloya de Alquisiras, aproximadamente 3 km al O de Plan de Vigas, aproximadamente 2 km al E de El Potrero, A. Espejo-Serna, M. Flores C., G. Barroso Ch. y G. Calzada 3833A {UAMIZ (8)}; El Puerto, aproximadamente 7 km al SE de Almoloya de Alquisiras, M. Flores C. y F. Riveros 790 {UAMIZ (4)}; Las Iglesias, SE de Almoloya de Alquisiras, M. Flores C 920 {UAMIZ (3)}; Municipio de Amatepec, 0.5 km despues de la desviacion a La Goleta, sobre la carretera Amatepec - Sultepec, M. Flores C., R. Grether, A. Martinez B. y S. Camargo R. 705 {UAMIZ (6)}; Municipio de Coatepec Harinas, 3 km al noreste de Coatepec Harinas, sobre el camino a Agua Amarga, J. Rzedowski 30345 {ENCB (2), IEB (2)}; Municipio de Ocuilan, Ahuacatitlan, 10 km despues de Ahuatencd, carretera Cuernavaca - Ocuilan, M. Flores C. y F. Riveros 978 {UAMIZ (4)}; Santa Monica Ocuilan, M.E. Huidobro S. 164 (MEXU); Municipio de Otzoloapan, Cerro de Pinal, Otzoloapan, E. Matuda y colaboradores 31763 {MEXU (2), US}; Municipio de Sultepec, entre Sultepec y Amatepec, E. Matuda y colaboradores 30080 (MEXU, US); 5 km al SO de Sultepec, sobre el camino a Amatepec, J. Rzedowski 36050 {ENCB (2), IEB (2)}; Municipio de Tejupilco, district Temascaltepec. Pantoja, G.B. Hinton et al. 7437 {GH (2)}; Municipio de Temascaltepec, Temascaltepec, H. Brailovsky s. n. (MEXU); 2 km despues de La Comunidad, carretera Toluca - Temascaltepec, M. Flores C. y F. Riveros 676 {UAMIZ (2)}; 5 km despues de La Comunidad y 500 m antes de Cieneguillas, carretera Toluca - Temascaltepec, M. Flores C. y F. Riveros 683 (UAMIZ); Temascaltepec, E. Matuda y colaboradores 27826 {MEXU (2)}, E. Matuda y colaboradores 27910 (MEXU), E. Matuda s. n. {MEXU (2)}; Municipio de Valle de Bravo, Valle de Bravo, E. Matuda y colaboradores 27754 {MEXU (2)}; Municipio de Villa de Allende, 12 km despues de Villa Victoria, carretera El Oro - Valle de Bravo, M. Flores C. y F. Riveros 957 (UAMIZ); Municipio de Villa Guerrero, Carrptera Tenancingo - Ixtapan de la Sal, 5 km al O de Villa Guerrero (Cerca del puente Santa Maria), J. Arellano, K. Baker, S. Montes y C. Mapes 419 (ENCB, XAL); km 50 de la Carretera Tenancingo - Ixtapan de la Sal, puente de Santa Maria, 5 km al O de Villa Guerrero, K Baker, J. Arellano, G Mapes y S. Montes 19 DEB (2) MEXU, MICH}; Municipio de Zacualpan, Cerro Tres Coronas, A. Espejo-Serna, A.R. Lopez-Ferrari y M. Flores C 4723 {UAMIZ (2)}; sin Mpio. indicado, district Temascaltepec. above Mina Rincon, H.E. Moore Jr. 2501 (GH). Oaxaca: distrito de Ixtlan, Municipio de Capulalpam de Mendez, vicinity of Hwy 175 from Valle Nacional to Oaxaca, vicinity of Ixtlan de Juarez, along road between Ixtlan de Juarez and Calpulalpan, ca. 1 mile northwest of Calpulalpan near bridge, vicinity km 8, TB. Croat y D.P. Hannon 65656 (MO); Capulalpam, noroeste del rio Molinos, tierra caliente, S. Figueroa B. y Y. Guzman R. 198 (CHAP); Municipio de Ixtlan de Juarez, near Loma Grande, ca. 26 km north of Oaxaca on hwy 175, D.H. Nprris y D.J. Taranto 16661 (MEXU); Municipio de Santa Catarina Ixtepeji, 30 km al S de Ixtlan de Juarez, R. Cedillo T. y p.H. Lorence 637 (MEXU, MO); vicinity of the pueblo Latuvi near Santa Catarina Lachatao, ca. 30 km NE of Oaxaca (10 km E of S. C. Ixtepeji, 15 km S of Ixtlan), H.H. Iltis 27148 (MEXU); carretera Oaxaca Tuxtepec, 2 km al N de El Punto, S.D. Kach y M. Gonzalez L. 86113 (ENCB); alrededores de El Punto, A.R. Lopez-Ferrari, A. Espejo-Serna, J. Ceja, A. Mendoza R. y G. Carnevali 3069 {UAMIZ (6)}; carretera Oaxaca a Ixtlan, cerca El Punto, F. Miranda 8389 {MEXU (2)}; distrito de Miahuatlan, Municipio de Miahuatlan de Porfirio Diaz, km 100 de la carretera Oaxaca - Puerto Angel, Solano S.C. y Vara M.A. 243 (MEXU); distrito Mixe, Municipio de Totontepec Villa de Morelos, 37 km despues de Santa Maria Yacochi y ca. 14 despues de Tamazulapan del Espiritu Santo, rumbo a Mitla, A. Espejo-Serna, A.R. Lopez-Ferrari, J. Ceja y A. Mendoza R. 6676 {UAMIZ (4)}; distrito Teposcolula, Municipio de San Juan Teposcolula, cerro Yucudaa, torre de microondas, A. Garcia-Mendoza y J. Reyes 4962 (MEXU); Municipio de San Vicente Nunu, alrededores de Anama, 3 km al S de San Vicente Nuriu, A. Garcia-Mendoza y J. Reyes 5211 (MEXU); distrito de Tlacolula, Munieipio de San Pablo Villa de Mitla, eastern slope between Mitla and Cuesta, W.R. Ernst 2466 {MEXU (3), MICH, US (2)}; Municipio de Teotitlan del Valle, brecha de Teotitlan del Valle a Benito )uarez, M. Chazaro B., M. Kimnach, R. Dorsch y M. Negrete 6831 (MEXU, XAL); sin distrito ni municipio indicados, sin localidad indicada, fl. in cult., P. Kolde s. n. (F) (from Sierra }uarez), T. MacDougall s. n. (MO). Puebla: Municipio de Coxcatlan, above Coxcatlan between Oala and the top of cerro Chichiltepec, C.E. Smith Jr., F.A. Peterson y N. Tejeda 3883 (US); Municipio de Coyomeapan, approximadamente 30 km al NE de Coxcatlan, rumbo a Coyomeapa, a partir del Camino Tehuacan - Teotitlan del Camino, J. Santana C., A. Martinez B. y S. Camargo R. 454 {UAMIZ (2)}; Municipio de Puebla, Malinche, pres Puebla, Bro. Nicolas s. n. {P (2)}.

Subject: Re: T. prodigiosa
Feb 2002
Dear Renate
Thanks for photos. An astounding difference and as you say 'minima'! I have one worry. Is this very small form frequently found and is not depauperate. I know that if we were able to grow a proper T. prodigiosa in Adelaide we could end up with a flower like your minima! BUT I assume you have thought of this!

Dear Derek and Len,
It was terrible and very frustrating, the scanner did not work, it could not copy slides, only photos. 3 whole days, but now it seems to work, but still I have to learn a lot. As to the T. prodigiosa var. minima:
Of course I know that there are small and depauperate plants of any specimen. I found T. mexicana with a single spike and as well T. callichroma which normally have many spikes. The latter could be described and it would be difficult to prove it is not a species.
But the T. prodigiosa is different. I have been to many places in different regions where the T. prodigiosa grows. They are all similar, but of course differing in size and also the spikes can have a different shape.
But the variety is growing only as far as I know between Teotitlan de Camino and Huautla. For the first time Lydia Koehres found the plant and I got a specimen in 1992. The next year I went to the place with Klaus and collected the plant EM930302. As it was so different I thought it is a new spec. not a T. prodigiosa. It was not growing with T. prodigiosa. I thought it might be a hybrid or a new spec. I wrote to Harry Luther and Till in 1993 asking far a comment. - No answer!
Last trip in 2001 we went again to the place and found the plant with the "real" T. chaetophylla and T. prodigiosa. I investigated a number of T. prodigiosa also because the T. tuitensis is close to T. prodigiosa and a plant from Temascaltepec as well.
I now think it is so close to T. prodigiosa that a variety must be the correct status.
I am going to send a herbarium spec. of the last trip to Till and do hope this time he will give a comment.
I am going to send you the description from 1993.

Updated 24/02/23