Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Monday, June 17, 2013

Billbergia pallidiflora in a New State?

A massive Billbergia pallidiflora clump in Sinaloa.
Billbergia pallidiflora is very widespread throughout the country of Mexico. It is one of two species of Billbergia from Mexico, although the other species, Billbergia viridiflora, appears to be more closely aligned with the Mexican genus Ursulaea and the Podaechmea subgenus of Aechmea.  Regardless of the status of B. viridiflora, B. pallidiflora is still widespread and like any species covering a vast geographic range there is quite a bit of variability.

I was lucky enough to finally catch the B. pallidiflora plants blooming in Jalisco already, but the plants further south in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas seemed to be a bit bigger. The colors range from green to a muddy/ruddy color to a dark purple.  The light white banding is also variable between plants in all populations. But this clump in the state of Sinaloa is notable for two reasons: it is a massive clump and is in a state where there has been no recorded presence! Typically I have only seen this species in clumps of 3-5 plants at the largest. This one clearly have grown into a formidable clump!