Click here to see enlargement of front cover Bromeliads in the Brazilian Wilderness
Elton M.C. Leme/text
Luiz Claudio Marigo/photographs
Published by Marigo Comunicacao Visual Ltda.
ISBN 85-85352-04-3

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel the wilderness of Brazil effortlessly with an expert in bromeliads as your guide? Well this book is that and more. Mr. Leme takes the reader on a wonderful trek through Brazil, going from treetops to desert floors, all the while pointing out bromeliads to be found along the way. This is enhanced by the exquisite photographs of Mr. Marigo. This coffee table size book is still in print.

The book starts with an overview of the Bromeliaceae family. There is much information here that is covered in other books but what sets this section apart is that it pertains only to those bromeliads that are found in Brazil. This section is concise and short.

The next chapters are broken into the different eco-zones that are found in Brazil. They are, the Atlantic rainforest, the high altitude grasslands, the sandy coastal plain vegetation, the grasslands on rocky soils, the caatinga, and amazonia. These are followed by a chapter on fauna and a chapter on man. Each chapter is packed with information about the zone under discussion including rainfall, soil conditions, temperatures, and a sprinkling of other plants that can be found there. There is a bit of a rambling style to Mr. Leme's authoritative text, but I found it to enhance the reading. I would expect to hear the same type of discussion if I were walking along side Mr. Leme in the wilderness. The photographs go along with the text very nicely. The plants referenced in the text are on the same page, so there is very little flipping back and forth as you read. Mr. Leme also takes the reader from the canopy to the forest floor, listing what can be found at each layer, how and why they got there and whether they are endemic or an invader. There is history and local lore in the text as well. If you have wondered what type of habitat that special bromeliad you have comes from, there is a good chance you can find out in this book.

The chapter on fauna is very interesting. Mr. Leme recognizes the biodiversity that can be found in and around bromeliad tanks. He also points out the vital role that bromeliads play in sustaining that diversity in times of stress, e.g. drought. He paints a very good picture of the symbiotic relationships between bromeliads and their environment.

The chapter on man is basically about the history of the association of man with bromeliads, going from the indigenous uses, the discovery by western man, to the present day. Mr. Leme doesn't shy away from telling it like it is, but he does end the chapter on a positive note stating that there is a growing awareness of conservation and legal mechanisms that may curtail the current wholesale extraction of bromeliads from the wild.

Click here to see enlargement of back cover He ends the book with an excellent listing of Bromeliaceae and their authors followed by a glossary and references.

This is a beautiful book full of surprising information and the perfect book for the armchair explorer who loves bromeliads. Mr. Leme and Mr. Marigo have done a very fine job in this well laid out, informative publication.


Rusty Luthe
Telescope System Specialist, James Clerk Maxwell Telescope
Mauna Kea Hawaii
"If it's not one thing it's another......"

If you are interested in obtaining this book you may be able to get it from
Rainbow Gardens Bookshop