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



D1 STAMENS & STYLE   Longer than the petals. (see Fig. 3) 17
    Shorter than the petals. (see Fig. 3) 2
D2 FLOWER With small asymetrical sepals. Flowers very small. 15
    With symetrical sepals 3
D3 PETAL Short & upright, not long straplike, not lax to hanging. 5
    Long, straplike, lax to hanging. 4
D4 INFLORESCENCE Simple. Floral bract longer than sepals viridiflora
    Compound. Floral bract shorter than sepals grandis
    Compound. 6
D6 LEAF SHEATH Spreading on the stem making a funnel shaped rosette. 6A
    Forming a bulbose rosette. 6B
D6A FLOWER STEM 1 - 2 cm long, inflorescence sunk in rosette mauryana
    Longer, inflorescence well above rosette. Petals appendaged Vriesea chontalensis
D6B LEAVES Almost filiform 7
    3 cm wide, inflorescence hanging Vriesea limonensis
D7 INFLORESCENCE On long stem, which is as long or longer than the leaf. Leaf with white feathery scales. plumosa
    Almost sessile. Stem much shorter than and masked by the leaves. atroviridipetala
    Short. Inflorescence almost sessile 9
D9 PLANT Long filiform growth, similar to Beard Moss usneoides
    Rosette growth. lepidosepala
D10 PETAL appendaged, Flower dense distichous. Spike sword-shaped Vriesea chontalensis
    Not appendaged 11
D11 FLOWER Arranged dense distichously on rhachis. Spike short swordshaped 13
    Arranged laxly on rhachis. Floral stem hanging ca 5 flowers polystichous (see Fig. 4). Floral bract pink. jucunda var. viridiflora
D12 not used    
D13 PLANT Base bulblike. ignesiae
    Base NOT bulblike. 14
D14 FLORAL BRACT 2.5 cm long, pink grey scales. Flower emerald green. tortilis
    3.5 cm long, smooth yellowish. Flower yellow green. lotteae
D15 FLORAL BRACT Longer than sepals. Racinaea tenuispica
    Shorter than sepals. 16
D16 SCAPE BRACT Longer than the internodes. Racinaea parviflora var. expansa
    Small, barely half as long as the internodes. commixa
    Simple 18
D18 FLOWER Arranged in spiral on rhachis. erubescens
    Arranged distichously. 18A
    Hanging 18B
D18B INFLORESCENCE 2 cm wide Vriesea incurva
    3 cm wide, bent upwards in middle Vriesea curvispica
D19 FLOWER Arranged laxly on rhachis. Plant to 22 cm high, flower stem to 12 cm long fresnilloensis
    Arranged closely on rhachis. Inflorescence sword shaped. 20
D20 LEAF Green, not strikingly scaled. cryptopoda
    Dense grey scaled. achyrostachys
D21 PLANT With hanging inflorescence. 21A
    With erect inflorescence. 22
D21A SPIKE Side spikes almost parallel 21C
    Side spikes at right angles 21B
D21B FLOWER STEM 20 cm long, inflorescence to 10 cm long alfredo-laui
    50 cm long, inflorescence 30 - 60 cm long prodigiosa
D21C SCAPE 3 - 6 cm long, inflorescence 18 - 25 cm long, spikes long, floral bracts not keeled Vriesea incurva
    17 - 21 cm long, inflorescence 24 - 30 cm long, spikes long, floral bracts keeled Vriesea castaneobulbosa
    To 20 cm long, Inflorescence to 14 cm long, spikes very short, to 3 cm long hidden by the primary bracts which have wavy edges Vriesea strobelii
D22 SPIKE Narrow to 15 mm wide, petals green with violet speckles Vriesea cereicola
    Narrow and zigzag angled, floral bracts maroon, flowers lax limbata
    Sword shaped. 22A
D22A RHACHIS visible, leaf rosette narrow funnel form parryi
    Not visible 23
D23 FLOWER STEM Short, not taller than the leaf rosette, one or two spikes, petals yellow-green cryptopoda
    short, about equalling rosette, 7 - 13 spikes, petals yellow-green mixtecorum
    Long, exceeds the leaf rosette. 23A
D23A PRIMARY BRACT Hides bottom spikes. Petal yellow green 23B
    Smaller than bottom spikes. 24
D23B INFLORESCENCE 30 to 45 cm long. Primary bracts pink cossonii
    To 17cm long. Primary bracts pale green beneath reddish above. carlos-hankii
D24 FLORAL BRACT Naked, shiny green to yellowish green. 24A
    Grey scaled. 24B
D24A INFLORESCENCE To 25 cm long with up to 8 spikes roland-gosselinii
    To 10cm long with mainly 4 but up to 6 spikes rothii (hybrid ?)
D24B PRIMARY BRACT Broadly oval shaped with the bottom ones having a long awllike tip. bourgaei
    With no long awllike tip. 24C
D24C  FLOWER STEM To 20 cm long. Floral bract green with scaled red top. schusteri
    To 55 cm long. Floral bract pink, grey scaled roseoscapa

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