Billbergia porteana Brongniart ex Beer, Bromel. 115. 1856.
Billbergia nobilis Bull, List New Plants 358: 1(1901). Neotype: icon. in Bull, Cat Plants 377: 5.(1904) note treated as a synonym by Philcox in Taxon 34: 294. 1985
Desc from S&D
Plant propagating by very short basal rhizomes.
Leaves few in a tubular rosette, to 15 dm long, broadly white-banded beneath and sometimes yellow-spotted;
Sheaths subelliptic, very large, covered with minute appressed brown scales;
Blades ligulate, acute or broadly rounded by the decay of the apex, to 85 mm wide, laxly serrate with dark nearly straight or antrorsely curved spines 4-5 mm long, sub densely white-lepidote.
Scape decurved, densely white-farinose;
Scape-bracts large, lanceolate, acute, entire, papyraceous, bright rose, massed beneath the inflorescence.
Inflorescence pendulous, simple, lax, to 4 dm long, white-farinose except the petals. Floral bracts minute, usually covered by the indument;
Flowers sessile, to 8 cm long.
Sepals broadly ovate, broadly acute and apiculate, equal, 5- 7 mm long;
Petals spirally recurved at anthesis, linear, wholly green or yellow-green, bearing 2 large fimbriate scales at base;
Stamens and style purple;
Ovary ellipsoid, 10-15 mm long, not verrucose, bearing dark glabrous longitudinal lines, the epigynous tube half as long as the ovary and nearly as wide, the placentae central.
Type. Morel in Paris Hortus s n (holotype, P ? n v), Brazil.
Distribution. Epiphytic and saxicolous, 800-1300 m alt, Brazil, Paraguay.
BRAZIL. Saint-Hilaire B’-939 (P); Sellow bromel 39 (P); central Brazil, Weddell 2518 (P); Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo, Weir (K). Piaui: Upper Rio Gurgueia, southern Piaui, Luetzelburg s n (! Mez). Ceara: Serra do Araripe, southern Ceara, Luetzelburg s n (! Mez). Pernambuco: Inaja, Ibimirim to Petrolandia, 16 Jul 1955, Lima 55-2097 (IPA); Floresta, Serra Negra, 11 Jan 1958, Lima 58-2864 (IPA). Bahia: Santo Amaro, eastern Bahia, Luetzelburg s n (! Mez); Jequie, 1 Dec 1912, Zehntner 638 (RB); Jacobina, 14 Jun 1939, Foster 85 (GH, R); Highway BR-4, 220 km south of Salvador, 28 Jan 1965, Belem & Mendes 322 (UB, US); Seabra, Serra da Agua de Rega, 26 Feb 1971, Irwin, Harley & Smith 31119 (NY, UB, US); Morro do Chapeu, Serra do Tombador, 19 Feb 1971, Irwin, Harley & Smith 32575 (NY, UB, US); Maracas, Bokermann s n (NY); E. Pereira 9707 & Pabst 8596 (HB). Espirito Santo: Santa Teresa, 27 Ju11939, Foster 285 (GH). Minas Gerais: Claussen 150 (P); Contendas, Saint-Hilaire A ‘-143 in part (P); Ouro Preto, Glaziou 16426 (P); Serra do Cipo, 1925, Chase 9101-1/2 (US); Caxambu, Mar 1929, Sampaio 6042 (R); Fazenda do Diamante, Corinto, 7 Apr 1931, Mexia 5563 (GH, US); Belo Horizonte, 16 Feb 1919, A. Gehrt s n (SP); 10 Feb 1933, Melo Barreto 4126 (R); Mar 1934, Sampaio 7245 (R); 10 Ju11940, Foster 550 (GH); Papagaios to Pompeo, 24 Jun 1943, Williams & Coadman 8103 (GH); Paraopeba, 5 Aug 1959, Heringer 9504 (UB, US); Rio Paraopeba, Lagoa Preta, Heringer 6462 (HB); Serra do Curral, Jan 1958, Magalhues s n (HB). Distrito Federal: Brasilia, 16 Sep 1965, Irwin et al 8364 (NY); Sobradinho, 7 Jul 1966, Irwin et al 18044 (NY, UB, US). Sao Paulo: Rio Moji-Guassu, 3 Feb 1955, M. Kuhlmann s n (SP, US). PARAGUAY. Caacupe, 1914, Chodat 130 (G).
Billbergia nobilis in Taxon 34: 294. 1985
Coincidentally with the preparation of the Bull paper above, a new name in the Bromeliaceae was uncovered during some literature research at Kew and Oxford by Dave Philcox. His note follows:
“Billbergia nobilis was validly described by William Bull in his List of New plants in 1901, a horticultural catalogue. No holotype of this name exists but I consider a drawing published three years later by Bull in his catalogue of Plants to be an acceptable neotype. Both from his description and illustration I consider this plant to be synonymous with B. porteana Brong.
Billbergia nobilis Bull, List New plants 358: 1 (1901).
Neotype: Icon. in Bull, Cat. Plants 377: 5 (1904).”