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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 10/31/2012)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 10/31/2012)
Contributor LYMAN B. SMITH
Description Herbs in all the Panamanian species, mostly epiphytic or saxicolous. Leaves spirally arranged, usually basal, simple, entire or spinose-serrate, at least in youth bearing peltate scales serving to collect and hold moisture. Inflorescence simple or compound, usually bearing brightly colored bracts. Flowers perfect or functionally dioecious. Perianth heterochlamydeous with 3 sepals and 3 petals, the segments of each series free or variously joined. Stamens 6, the filaments free or joined to the petals or to each other. Ovary superior to inferior, 3-celled. Fruit capsular or baccate. Seeds naked, winged or plumose. Embryo small, at the base of the mealy endosperm.
Habit Herbs
Distribution About 50 genera and 1,500 species, indigenous to tropical and subtropical America except for a single African species.
Key a. Ovary wholly or partly superior; fruit capsular; seeds appendaged. b. Seeds with entire appendages; leaves of the Panamanian species spinose-serrate; ovary only in part superior; plants usually terres- trial ----- - 1. PITCAIRNIA bb. Seeds plumose; leaves always entire; ovary nearly or quite superior; plants chiefly epiphytic. c. Appendage of the seed basal, straight at maturity (for key to fruiting specimens of genera 2-5 see p. 79). d. Petals nearly or quite free. e. Petals naked; inflorescence of one or more distichous-flowered spikes or rarely simple and polystichous - -- 2. TILLANDSIA ee. Petals each bearing 2 scales on the inner surface. f. Inflorescence of one or more distichous-flowered spikes; floral bracts usually forming the conspicuous element of the inflorescence; branches usually elongate when present-_ 3. VRIESJA ff. Inflorescence of several polystichous-flowered spikes, though the flowers sometimes turning secund or the spikes reduced to single flowers (but the two series of bracts indicating a compound inflorescence); primary bracts the conspicuous element of the inflorescence; branches usually short - 4. THECOPHYLLUM dd. Petals joined or closely agglutinated for most of their length; inflorescence always of polystichous-flowered spikes - - 5. GUZMANIA cc. Appendage of the seed apical, folded over at maturity; sepals distinctly asymmetric in all Panamanian species; flowers poly- stichous - ------------------------- - 6. GATOPSIS aa. Ovary inferior; fruit baccate; seeds naked; leaves mostly serrate. b. Ovaries remaining distinct; inflorescence without a large foliaceous coma. c. Petals joined to the filament-tube but with free margins, fleshy, 3-4 cm. long; sepals with soft points; flowers pedicellate; in- florescence compound _ - - _---- 7. BROMELIA cc. Petals free, not fleshy; filaments not forming a tube. d. Petals up to 43 mm. long, spirally recurved at anthesis, linear; sepals unarmed, symmetric; inflorescence simple, pendulous-- 8. BILLBERGIA dd. Petals erect or divergent at anthesis; sepals mostly pungent or mucronate, usually asymmetric; petals usually small - 9. AECHMEA bb. Ovaries fusing into a syncarp; inflorescence bearing a large foliaceous coma _ - _ - _---- 10. ANANAS
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