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A Method for Conserving Florida's Native Airplants
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Florida's Native Bromeliads   

Catopsis berteroniana
Powdery Strap Airplant

Catobpsis bertieroniana Scientific name: Catopsis berteroniana  (J.A. and J.H. Shultes) Mez.

Common names: Powdery strap airplant, powdery catopsis, West Indies catopsis,  yellow catopsis, mealy wild pine.

Status in Florida: Endangered.

Threats to this plant in Florida: Illegal collecting, Mexican bromeliad weevil (Metamasius callizona), habitat destruction.

Distribution: Florida, Mexico, West Indies, Central and South America.
Distribution in Florida: Collier, Miami-Dade, and mainland Monroe Counties.

Occurrence in Florida: Rare.

Habitat: Rockland hammock, slough, marine tidal swamp; usually found in strong light, on high branches of host tree.

Description: Tank epiphyte; when flowering, grows to 40 – 130 cm (16-51 in.); leaves are yellowish-green, up to 45 cm (18 in.), with a white, chalky, powdery covering, especially at the base; 15-50 flowers with white petals (1.0 - 1.2 cm; 3/8 - 1/2 in.) develop on a stout scape, usually with 2-8 lateral branches; floral bracts (6-8 mm; 1/4 - 1/3 in.) and sepals (1.2 cm; 1/2 in.) yellow-green; seed capsule 1.5 cm (1/2 - 5/8 in.) long; seeds often germinate on the capsule.

Time of flowering: All year, especially fall – winter.

Unusual characteristics: One of 2 known carnivorous bromeliads, it is thought to trap insects in its tank with the slippery powder on its leaf bases.

Coile NC. 2000. Notes on Florida's Endangered and Threatened Plants. FDACS/DPI, Bureau of Entomology, Nematology and Plant Pathology, Botany Section. Contribution No. 38, 3rd ed., Gainesville, FL.

Florida Natural Areas Inventory. 1997.  Matrix of Habitats and Distribution by County of Rare/Endangered Species of Florida. Florida Natural Areas Inventory/The Nature Conservancy.

Long RW, Lakela O. 1976. A Flora of Tropical Florida. Banyan Books, Miami. 178 p.

Luther HE, Benzing DH. 2009.  Native Bromeliads of Florida. Sarasota, FL. Pineapple Press, Inc.

Ward DB (ed.). 1979. Plants, Vol. 5. In: Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida, P.C.H. Pritchard (ed.). University Presses of Florida, Gainesville, 175 p.

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Florida's Native Bromeliads

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Last update: 17 February 2016