Saturday, January 03, 2009

Tillandsia kegeliana

This is my first 2009 posting.  I have been pondering what to feature although i have many plant photos saved in my harddisk.  2 plants were purchased from Denis of Tropiflora during the inaugural Singapore Garden Festival Show in 2006. Tropiflora cargo report Vol 13 No 3. 2003 had this description "T. kegeliana. This is the rare deep-red clone from the hinterlands of the Darien in Pananma. A rather small plant, growing to about 6" across in a somewhat bulbous, greenish-grey red tinted open rosette. The inflorescence is a short, inflated, arrowhead-shaped scape of deep red with red flowers. Mature plants, US$7.50 (S$12.9). #480".  Each plant was priced at S$12 (US$7.8) similar to 2003, but nominally cheaper on a inflation adjusted basis. In Lyman Smith's Monograph on Tillansioideae in Flora Neotropica, Panama, Darien was recorded as a locality ofT. kegeliana in 1914. The distribution of this species stretches from Panama to northeastern Brazil. The type Kegel 881 is from Suriname and so i guess it is named after Kegel. 

Somehow, i find the name Kegel familiar and yes.. There's a Dr Arnold H. Kegel (1894 - 1981) who was a gynecologist that invented Kegel Perineometer (used from measuring vaginal air pressure) and Kegel exercises (squeezing of the muscles of the pelvic floor). I wonder if the same Dr. Kegel collect specimen 881! 

While i had 2 plants, one rotted and collapsed within days of owning it. I suspected it travelled with water in the rosette.  Wet Tillandsias travel very very poorly. The other plant grows exceptionally well and pupped into 2 here.

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