Vriesea kentii
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Vriesea kentii
Species, Peru.
Peter Tristram 09/13
Peter Tristram 09/16
Peter Tristram 09/13 .... "A few years ago Vr. kentii was described and was presented in the March/April 2010 issue of the BSI Journal. Being a TV (pending Tillandsia subgebus Pseudovriesea) freak I took a lot of notice, keeping an eye out. I can assure you all. Some plants were sold at the San Diego world brom conference I gather but that year I went to Brazil. It is a largish plant, about 50 cm across and down. The flower and bract colour make a quite unique colour combination. How wonderful that amazing new species continue to be found all over Latin America! Imagine finding this growing in trees on a trip to Peru. Thankfully Jeffrey (Kent) grew a batch from seed he collected and some of that batch are now Down Under and thriving. I expect it will pup in a similar manner to other TVs like the pendant red tequendamae. I am selfing in hope too."
Dale Dixon 10/20 ... "We had our first meeting of the Sunshibe Coast Bromeliad Society today since COVID locked us out of group meeting.
One of our members bought a flowering Vriesea kentii, albeit it as Tillandsia kentii. I have certainly purchased one of these beauties as Tillandsia kentii but when looking it up quickly discovered that it was never transferred to Tillandsia officially. My question is - Did it get overlooked and will one day be published with a new combination under Tillandsia. Or is it truly a Vriesea and it’s only wishful thinking that it be a Tillandsia?
I note that Eric still lists it as Vriesea and it is on BinA as Vriesea. Thoughts?"
Peter Tristram ... "I obtained this stunning species from Jeffery Kent in 2012. Most of mine got fried over the last month when I lost a tunnel cover so it’s even rarer now! To me the closest related species is T. engleriana, which Jeff also had. Sergio, from Nirvana in Colombia, has posted nice pics of engleriana on Facebook. As to why engleriana was moved and kentii not I can only guess. Maybe it’s because the latter hasn’t been examined morphologically and genetically in Europe."
Andrew Flower ... "This is one of those that was originally placed in Vriesea because of its petal scales, transfer to Tillandsia is currently under review (not yet published)."

Vriesea kentii H. Luther & K. Norton, J Brom Soc 60(2): 53-55. 2010.
Type: Peru, Amazonas, Leimebamba-Chanchapoyas roadside, 1800 m, dry cloud forest, 1999, J. Kent legit; flowered in cultivation, 29 March 2009, J. Kent s.n. (Holotype: USM; Isotype: SEL).

A Vriesea pereziana (Andre) L.B. Smith cui affinis sed bracteis florigeris quasiglabra, petalis violaceus differt.

Plant an epiphyte, 60-80 cm in diameter, 80–100 cm long with the inflorescence extended.
Leaves laxly spreading in a dense rosette, 50 to 80 in number:
Leaf sheaths ovate to broadly elliptic, 8-10 x 6-9 cm, castaneous especially adaxially, densely brown punctate-lepidote especially adaxially;
Leaf blades narrow triangular, attenuate, 25-40 x 2-3 cm, moderately coriaceous, densely punctate-lepidote especially abaxially, grey to grey-green.
Scape 12-20 cm x 3-6 mm, semi-erect to arcuate, glabrous, dull green tinged reddish;
scape bracts broadly elliptic with a long, narrowly triangular blade, laxly imbricate, exposing much of the scape, densely lepidote, grey-green to pink.
Inflorescence pendulous, 40-70 x 10-15 cm with 12 to 30 branches;
Primary bracts like the upper scape bracts but without the long blade, mostly apiculate, mostly shorter than the peduncles, grey-green to pink;
branches spreading at ca 30° from the axis with an ebracteate 3-7 cm x 2-4 mm flattened peduncle that exceeds nearly all of the primary bracts; the fertile portion 4-8 x 1- 2cm, 4 to 10 flowered;
Floral bracts elliptic, acute, 20-26 x 8-10 mm nerved, variably carinate, tightly imbricate in life, spreading when dried, glabrous except for a few pale fimbriate trichomes at the very apex, bright magenta pink, somewhat glaucous.
Flowers distichously arranged, 2-4 mm pedicellate, opening during the day;
sepals narrowly elliptic, acute, free, 17-19 mm long, carinate, nerved, glabrous, pale green;
corolla semi-tubular, spreading at the apex, blue-violet to blue, paler proximally; petals ligulate, acute, 38-42 mm long with a pair of basal appendages;
stamens & style exserted.

Paratypes: Peru. Ex hort J. Kent, from seed, 7 August 2007, D. Cathcart s.n. (SEL);
Amazonas, Leimbamba-Chanchapoyas roadside, 1800m. 1999, J. Kent legit; flowered in cultivation SEL 2008-163 10 March 2008; H.E. Luther s.n. (SEL).

This species can be distinguished from Vriesea pereziana and its variety canescens (Andre) Gilmartin in having a much larger and more richly branched inflorescences, nearly glabrous floral bracts and blue to blue-violet (not green) petals. I suspect that the only Peruvian collection of V. pereziana var. canescens (Sagastegui 6001) at the University of Trujillo is actually a depauperate example of V. kentii; unfortunately I have not been able to examine this specimen beyond a poor photocopy. Otherwise, all collections of V. pereziana are from southern Colombia, and all collections of V. kentii are from northern Peru. This spectacular ornamental is named for its collector, Mr. Jeffrey Kent, La Vista, California, who grew a population of plants from field collected seed.

Updated 05/11/20