Thread like Opposite Oppositely Attached directly by the base, not stalked. Flower rests directly on the stem Bent or curved downward or backward Flower spikes so close together they appear to be like a head. Forming a rounded head Arranged around an axis; not opposite as in distichous Spreading like fingers in a hand and therefore there is no conspicuous main central spike. The main axis would be very short. Surfaced with small scurfy scales (trichomes) Smooth, glossy, i.e. without hairs or scales Closely and flatly pressed against Spindle shaped Frosty; covered with fine scales, hairs, dust, bloom, or the like, so as to give the appearance of frost. Sword-shaped Twisted to one side. Bent, as a knee. Terminating abruptly in a little point which is not particularly stiff.


Compiled by Derek Butcher



B1 STAMENS & STYLE Shorter than the petals (see Fig. 3) 10
    Longer than the petals (see Fig. 3) 2
B2 INFLORESCENCE Simple. (see Fig. 1) 3
    Compound (see Fig. 2) 4
B3 PLANT With long stems albida
    Stemless 3A
B3A FLOWER STEM Long.Flowers very lax, inflorescence elongate, rhachis geniculate, petals greenish-white fresnilloensis
    Long. Flowers dense, Inflorescence oval-shaped, Rhachis just visible. Petals appendaged, white 3B
    Missing ionantha (druid form)
B3B FLOWER STEM BRACT Recurved away from stem Vriesea poenulata
    Erect, hugging the stem Vriesea flammea
    Very short, masked by the leaves 5
B5 LEAF Green. Inflorescence densely ellipsoid moscosoi
    With coarse grey scales 5A
B5A INFLORESCENCE Upright, nestling in the leaves, densely egg shaped plagiotropica
    Pointing downwards. Floral bract rose, sparsely scaled matudae
Arranged densely on rhachis. Spike swordshaped polystachia
    Arranged laxly on rhachis 7
B7 RHACHIS Strongly angled in zigzag form. Floral bract maroon limbata
    Not angled in zigzag form. The internodes at the most lightly bent. 8
B8 LEAF With coarse grey scales, 15-20cm long. Plant freely offsetting. utriculata ssp. pringlei
    With minute pale appressed scales. To 100cm long. Plant rarely offsetting. utriculata ssp. utriculata
9 not used    
    Compound 11
B11 SEPAL Symetrical 26
(Racinaea and flowers generally very small)
B12 FLORAL BRACT Shorter than the sepals 19
    Equalling or longer than the sepals 13
B13 FLOWER Arranged laxly on the rhachis 15
    Arranged closely on the rhachis 14
B14 FLORAL BRACT Red. Bottom of the plant thickened bulblike. Leaf edge wavy Racinaea undulifolia
(was crispa)
    Green. Bottom of the plant not thickened, bulblike. Leaf edge smooth. Racinaea spiculosa
B15 FLOWER Twisted on one side 18
    Not twisted on one side 16
B16 FLOWER Spreading Racinaea insularis
    Upright 17
B17 ROSETTE LEAVES Tongue shaped Racinaea tenuispica
    Thin triangular Racinaea pugiformis
B18 FLOWER Twisted upwards Racinaea fraseri
    Twisted downwards Racinaea pectinata
B19 FLOWER Arranged laxly. Rhachis visible 21
    Arranged closely. Spike 15-20 flowered Racinaea multiflora
20 Not used    
B21 FLORAL BRACT Dense appressed scales Racinaea pallidoflavens
    Naked or sparsely scaled 22
B22 PLANT Thickening bulblike at base 22A
    Not thickening bulblike at base 23
B22A SCAPE BRACT Longer than the internodes Racinaea parviflora
var. expansa
    Shorter than the internodes Racinaea commixa
B23 LEAF TIPS Narrow not rounded 25
    Rounded with spiny tip 24
B24 FLOWER Erect adjacent to rhachis Racinaea tenuispica
    Spreading around the rhachis Racinaea insularis
B25 FLOWER Arranged distichously 25A
    Arranged in 3 lines
(Now Catopsis minimiflora)
B25A SEPALS and Floral bracts brown scaled to scattered brown scales Racinaea flexuosa
    and Floral bracts whitish scaled to glabrous Racinaea multiflora
B26 PLANT Stemless 29
    With a stem 27
B27 PLANT Long stem,spike erect 27A
    Short stem, Petals with toothed edges
Vriesea crenulipetala
    Short stem. Petals not tooth edged or appendaged 28
B27A LEAF 8mm wide, narrow triangular, blades recurving. Flower stem to 7 cm long reichenbachii
    2 cm wide, narrow lancelike. 27B
B27B INFLORESCENCE lax, leaves grey green. Plant not secund buchlohii
    Sub globose, leaves grey, plant secund. Petals white according to Leme(BSI J. 1987 p221) gardneri v. rupicola
B28 SEPAL To 1.4 cm long. Floral bract shiny red. Spike almost erect or spreading bent vernicosa
    To 1.8 cm long. Floral bract red or green. Spike widely spreading lorentziana
B29 FLOWER STEM Very short 39
    Long, visible 30
B30 PETAL Long, thin, oar shaped, laxly hanging, greenish white, stamens visible, but not longer than the petal. grandis
    Not hanging 31
B31 PLANT With thin grasslike leaves 31A
    Not with thin grasslike leaves 32
B31A INFLORESCENCE Long and narrow remota
    more or less globose globosa
B32 LEAF Dense grey to silver grey scaled 36
    Green 33
    Other colours 34
B34 FLORAL BRACT Other than wholely red or green 35
    Green, to 2 cm long, longer than the sepals elongata
B35 FLORAL BRACT Bottom and middle red, top white stenoura v. mauroi
    Reddish brown to tan venusta
B36 FLORAL BRACT Dense grey scales didisticha
    Naked 37
B37 LEAF SHEATH Almost disc shaped, dark brown scales bismarckii
    Not clearly developed, grey scaled vernicosa
B38 SPIKE 6 cm wide,velvet like, light red dyeriana
    1 cm wide,shiny red vernicosa
B39 INFLORESCENCE Thick, short, capitate schreiteri
    Not thick, short, capitate 40
B40 INFLORESCENCE Upright bismarckii
    Hanging or pointing downwards 41
B41 INFLORESCENCE With 3 - 7, short, dense, digitate, compound spikes. Spike 6 - 7 cm long, 1.5 cm wide, 2-4 flowering matudae
    ca. 9, long, thin,hanging laxly arranged, compound spike. Spike 25 - 30 cm long, 5mm wide, 20 - 30 flowering barthlottii
B42 INFLORESCENCE One or two flowered spike 42A
    Three or more flowered 43
B42A LEAF Arranged distichously andicola
    Arranged in a whorl tenuifolia
B43 FLOWER Arranged distichously on rhachis 50
    Arranged polystichously (see Fig. 4) at bottom but distichously at top guelzii or pucaraensis
See 'Uncle Derek Says'
    Arranged polystichously (see Fig. 4) 44
B44 PLANT With stem 47
    Stemless 45
B45 FLORAL BRACT Greenish brown pohliana
    Pink red 46
B46 FLOWER STEM Very short, masked by the leaves; Inflorescence dense, almost capitate, few flowered rosea
(now stricta)
    ca 10 cm long, hanging inflorescence, laxly flowered recurvifolia
B47 FLOWER STEM Long, widely exceeds the leaves 49
    Not exceeding the leaves or a few (2 - 3cm) 48
B48 SEPAL Joined at the back, 7 mm high. Plant with long stalk 48A
    Joined for a short way equally high. Plant with short stalk rosea
(Now stricta)
B48A PETAL Rippled, twisted, to 30mm long. Sepals to 18 mm. bergeri
    Smooth, to 20mm long. Sepals to 10mm long tenuifolia
B49 LEAF Short (2 - 4 cm long) erect and hugging the stem, floral bracts yellow-green burle-marxii
    Short (5-6 cm long) all robust, bent to growing on one side, floral bracts pink araujei
    Long (9-11 cm long ) nearly straight or very slightly growing to one side, floral bracts green nuptialis
B50 FLOWER Arranged densely on rhachis 59
    Arranged laxly on the rhachis 51
B51 SEPAL Not over 2 cm long 53
    Over 2 cm long 52
B52 SPIKE 6 cm wide. Floral bract orange-yellow to light cinnabar red dyeriana
    2 cm wide. Floral bract red acosta-solisii
B53 PLANT Stemless 55
    With stem 54
    Green. Plant short stemmed chiletensis
B54A PLANT Long stemmed. Floral bract pale cinnabar red toropiensis
    Short stemmed. Floral bract reddish brown. bagua-grandensis
B55 FLORAL BRACT Longer than the sepal. Flower opening wide. 55A
    Shorter or equal to the sepal 56
B55A FLOWER Spaced 7 mm apart triglochinoides
    Spaced 2 - 3 cm apart, white with yellow eye dodsonii
B56 FLORAL BRACT Not keeled cornuta
    Keeled to weakly keeled 57
B57 RHACHIS Hollowed on the side, therefore weakly winged monadelpha
    Angled 58
B58 FLORAL BRACT Twice as long as the internodes of the rhachis narthecioides
    Many times longer than the internodes. scaligera
B59 PLANT Thickened at the base, bulblike 70
    Not thickened at the base, bulblike 60
B60 PLANT With green leaves 68
    With grey or silver grey scaled leaves 61
B61 FLORAL BRACT Red or dark purple 61A
    Green, yellowish straw colour, pink or reddish brown 62
    Dark purple, 3 - 3.5 cm long. Sepals nerved. No flower stem. guasamayensis
(Now muhriae)
B62 PETAL 2 cm wide, Edges wavy and serrated xiphioides
    Less than 2 cm wide, Edges not wavy, barely or weakly serrated 63
B63 PLANT Long stem. 63A
    Scarcely a short stem 64
B63A FLOWER STEM Conspicuous. Leaf short, wide to bent backward diaguitensis
    Inconspicuous. Leaf short, wide to bent upward arequitae
B64 SPIKE To 1.5 cm wide, flower stem straight, spike flattend lorentziana
    To 2.5 cm wide, floral bracts glabrous, broadly-obtuse micans
    To 1.5 cm wide, flower stem bent, spike oval shaped in cross section, floral bracts lepidote and apiculate. boliviensis
B65 PLANT No stem, bottom almost bulb forming. Floral bract dark red, grey scaled hemkeri
    With stem 66
B66 PLANT Dense feathery scales balsasensis
    No feathery scales 67
B67 PLANT Long stemmed. 67A
    Short stemmed. Leaf 1.8 cm wide. Back sepals joined a short way bermejoensis
B67A LEAF Thin, 5-8 mm wide, 10-15 cm long Sepals pinkish caulescens
    Narrow, 15 mm wide, 9 cm long. Sepals light green. muhriae
(see also guasamayensis)
B68 PLANT Long stemmed caulescens
    Stemless 69
B69 FLORAL BRACT 5 cm long heterophylla
    1.7 cm long scaligera
B70 FLORAL BRACT Red. Sepal asymmetrical Racinaea crispa
    Dark red, grey scaled. Sepal symmetrical. hemkeri

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