Click here to see enlargement of front cover Nidularium - Bromeliads of the Atlantic Forest
Elton M.C. Leme
GMT Editores, Ltda.
ISBN 85-86796-43-3
Published 2000

A Review by Bob Reilly, Bromeliad Society of Queensland

This book is the third volume of the "Projeto Nidularium". The first volume was Canistrum - Bromeliads of the Atlantic Forest, which was published in 1997, while the second, published in 1998, was Canistropsis - Bromeliads of the Atlantic Forest. Collectively, these books constitute a major taxonomic revision of the genus Nidularium and related genera/species.

The book has 264 pages and over 200 colour photographs. Detailed botanical descriptions (including a botanical key), as well as commentary on their distribution and habitat, are presented for 27 nidularium species from the "blue complex" (species in this group have corollas in varying shades of blue), 7 species from the "red complex", and 11 species from the "white complex".

A photograph of a flowering plant is provided for each species and, in many cases, a habitat photograph as well. This book contains the first published botanical description for quite a few species.

Many of the species described in the book are very attractive, from a horticultural perspective. Some of them are rarely seen in Australia. They include: atalaiaense, rosulatum, fradense, amorimii, and altimontanum.

Chapters then follow on doubtful and excluded (from the genus Nidularium) taxa, hummingbird pollination of Nidularium and related genera, the use of molecular data to better define taxonomic relationships in the bromeliad family and, pollen fertility in the nidularioid complex.

There are also chapters on additions to the genus Canistrum (three new species are described), Wittrockia-two species, and Neoregelia- one species. Several topics of taxonomic interest, a comprehensive list of references, and an index, conclude the book.

While some readers may find parts of the book "heavy going", it is worth persevering, as you gain an insight into the issues associated with botanically-classifying bromeliads.

However, the book is well worth reading just for the descriptions, and photographs, of the bromeliads covered in it.

Year of Review: 2004