(A.Chev.) Harms & Mildbr.
Willrussellia feliciana A.Chev.
Pitcairnia feliciana is an endemic plant to central Guinea in West Africa and is the only species of bromeliad not native to the Western Hemisphere. It can be found growing on sandstone outcrops (inselbergs) of the Fouta Djallon highlands in Middle Guinea.
Its specific epithet feliciana commemorates Henri Jacques-Félix (1907–2008), the French botanist who first collected it. In 1937, he discovered the plants growing on the steep rocks of Mount Gangan, near Kindia in the former French Guinea.
The speciation occurred around 10 million years ago, therefore its distribution cannot be due to continental drift, the Americas having separated from Africa much earlier. The species probably originates from seeds dispersed by migrating birds.
It has bright orange-red, scentless flowers with abundant nectar that are typical of other bromeliads having birds as pollinators, although no actual sighting of birds pollinating the species has been recorded yet.
- Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
- Porembski, Stefan; Barthlott, Wilhelm (2000). Inselbergs: Biotic Diversity of Isolated Rock Outcrops in Tropical and Temperate Regions. Springer. p. 205. ISBN 978-3-540-67269-2.
- Techniques agricoles et productions tropicales (in French) 4. G.-P. Maisonneuve & Larose. 1965. p. 21.
- Jacques-Félix, Henri. "The Discovery of a Bromeliad in Africa". Selbyana 21 (1/2): 118–124.
- Givnish, Thomas J.; Millam, Kendra C.; Berry, Paul E.; Sytsma, Kenneth J. (2007). "Phylogeny, Adaptive Radiation, and Historical Biogeography of Bromeliaceae Inferred from ndhF Sequence Data". Aliso: A Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany 23 (1): 3–26. doi:10.5642/aliso.20072301.04.
- Porembski, Stefan; Barthlott, Wilhelm (1999). "Pitcairnia feliciana, the only indigenous African bromeliad". Harvard Papers in Botany 5: 175–184.
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