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. Bristle-like Overlap, like tiles on a roof. Shaped like a strap.


Compiled by Derek Butcher



F1 PLANT Large. Leaves forming large funnel rosette. Inflorescence compound. 4
    Small, dainty growth. 2
F2 LEAF Distichous, short awllike. 2A
    Polystichous (see Fig. 4). Plant like club moss. 3
F2A  FLORAL BRACT Almost round. Sepals stocky, strongly nerved. Petals lancelike capillaris
    Broad, triangular. Sepals slender, weakly nerved. Petals tongue shaped. virescens
F3 INFLORESCENCE  1 flowered, sessile. Seed pod, frosted with a stem. pedicellata
    1 or 2 flowered on 2 - 3 cm long stem. aizoides
F4 FLORAL BRACT Naked, thin, lilac-pink. Leaves ligulate wagneriana
    Naked. leathery, rose. Leaves triangular atroviolacea
    Wax frosted. 5
F5 FLORAL BRACT Carmine-red, 2 - 2.5 cm long. lymanii
    Grey green, 5 cm long. rauhii

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G1 PLANT With compound inflorescence. Flower yellow with brown blotches. humilis
    With simple inflorescence. 2
G2 LEAF Arranged spirally. 4
    Distichous. 3
G3 FLOWER Brownish black, dull, very small. Petal blade 2 x 2mm. caliginosa
    Brownish yellow. Wide & reflexed petal blade 3A
G3A  LEAF BLADE In cross section round. Leaf tip flattened spatulate. mollis
    In cross section round to triangular 3B
G3B FLORAL BRACT  Almost round. Sepals stocky, strongly nerved. Petals lancelike capillaris
    Broad, triangular. Sepals slender weakly nerved. Petals tongue shaped. virescens
G4 LEAF Over 10 cm long. humilis
    To 5 cm long. 5
G5 LEAF Of small rosette, almost erect, straight. spiralipetala
    Of small rosette, widening, bent 6
G6 LEAF To 2 cm long.Flower stem short or missing. Inflorescence mostly 1 flowering. Petal brown to yellow. rectangula
    To 4 cm long. Flower stem 4 cm long. Inflorescence mostly 1 to 2 flowering. Petals dirty brownish yellow. funebris

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H1 PETAL Erect, making a tube. Tip erect to more or less spreading. 8
    With wide petal blade. 2
H2 LEAF Stiff distichous. Petal blade wide, dark brown with dirty yellow mid stripe. caliginosa
    Arranged in a whorl. 3
H3 FLOWER Spirally on rhachis. Petal light blue with white mid stripe; mildly wavy, twisted. bergeri
    Distichous. 3A
H3A PETAL With blue petal blade and white eye 5
    Other colour. 4
H4 PETAL With white petal blade and blue or violet edges. Floral bract nearly straight. purpurea
    Cream with blue or violet tips. Edges of floral bracts bent. cacticola
H5 PLANT With stem,petal blade mainly pale blue with white eye. streptocarpa
    Stemless. Leaves forming a funnel rosette. 6
H6 PLANT With few hard, stiff, nearly plump leaves, making an almost upright rosette. esseriana
    With numerous, soft flexible leaves 7
H7 INFLORESCENCE One swordshaped spike. 7A
    More compound spike. hamaleana
H7A INFLORESCENCE To 20 cm long. 20 flowered. Floral bracts green to rose, prominantly nerved. From Peru. lindenii
    To 7 cm long, 4 - 6 flowered. Floral bracts green, prominantly nerved. From Ecuador. umbellata
    Simple. 9
H9 LEAF Feathery or frosty scaled. 9A
    Not feathery or frosty scaled. 10
H9A PETAL At the bottom white and the tip bluish-violet or red. balsasensis
    Dark violet with whitish tip mitlaensis
    Downward pointing. Leaf, tongue shaped, green with brown flecks. brenneri
H11 not used    
H12 FLOWER Polystichous (see Fig. 4). Stem very short. rectifolia
(now treated as a hybrid)
    Distichous. 13
H13 FLOWER TUBE Red, tip yellow. Plant flasklike at the base, green often with white crossbands, twisted. subulifera
    White to dark violet. 14
H14 FLOWER TUBE White with one deep dark violet circle at top. punctulata
    Dark violet, white tips.
(Renate Ehlers- Inflorescence can be simple or up to 9 spikes.)
H15 PLANT Stemless. 17
    With stem. 15A
H15A PETAL Yellow with some red. schiedeana
    Blue and white. 16
H16 LEAF BLADES linear to terete 16A
    narrow triangular 16B
H16A  INFLORESCENCE  On long stem. Flower tube pale blue with white tip. Leaf with dense white feathery scales tectorum
    On short stem, therefore almost sessile. Flower tube pale blue with white tip. Leaf with dense white scales but not feathery heteromorpha
H16B INFLORESCENCE On long stem. Flower tube pale violet-blue with white tip. Leaf to 50 cm long, 3 cm wide at base, narrow triangular with grey scales rhodocephala
    On short stem. Flower tube pale lilac with white succulent tip. Leaf 10 - 20 cm long, 3.5 cm wide at base huarazensis
H17 PLANT Bulb-like at base. 17A
    Rosette funnel shape. 18
H17A PLANT Slender spindle shape. Leaf green, often with white crossband, sometimes twisted. Flower red with yellow tip. subulifera
    At the base, bulb-like to 8 cm wide and 10 cm high. Inflorescence capitate, sessile. Blue violet petal with white bottom ehlersiana
H18 INFLORESCENCE Hanging, stem long, 2 spikes. Leaf green with reddish brown blotches. brenneri
    Upright or bent upwards. 19
H19 FLOWER On bent stem arranged on one side facing upwards. lucida
    Not arranged on one side. 20
H20 LEAF Dense feathery scales. tectorum
    No feathery scales. 21
H21 FLOWER STEM Long, erect or bent upwards. 22
    Very short or nearly missing. nidus
H22 INFLORESCENCE Laxly compound 23
    Densely compound, petals green with dark purple margins Vriesea cylindrica
    Densely compound, petals lavender with white tips Vriesea fragrans
    Densely compound, petals appear purple-rose really cream with dense violet-rose speckles Vriesea sagasteguii
H23 SPIKES 5 - 8 cm long 24
    9 - 20 cm long 25
    30 cm long, 15 mm wide, petals green with violet speckles Vriesea cereicola
H24 SPIKE 25 - 35 mm wide, petals white at base, dark violet above with fine white dots punctulata
    10 - 15 mm wide 24A
H24A FLORAL BRACT Pink, obscurely lepidote. Petals lilac with white tips Vriesea didistichoides
    green, shiny.petals white at base violet above cajamarcensis
H25 FLORAL BRACT Arranged imbricately on rhachis. 26
    Arranged laxly. 29
H26 STAMENS Longer than petals, petals purple, tipped white elizabethiae
    Shorter than petals 27
H27 LEAF BLADES Ligulate, green, Petals white at base, tipped violet-blue rubro-violacea
    Narrowly triangular, grey 28
H28 PETAL Violet-blue, thin white border. Stamens exceed flower Vriesea olmosana var. olmosana
    Greenish-yellow with violet edge, Stigma protruding from flower but not stamens Vriesea olmosana var. pachamamae
H29 FLORAL BRACT Red. Flower tube bottom white and dark blue above kirchhoffiana
    Green. Flower tube bottom white and violet above. makoyana

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