Pitcairnia feliciana

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Pitcairnia feliciana
Scientific classification
P. feliciana
Binomial name
Pitcairnia feliciana

Willrussellia feliciana A.Chev.

Pitcairnia feliciana is a plant endemic to central Guinea in West Africa and is the only species of bromeliad not native to the Western Hemisphere.[1] It can be found growing on sandstone outcrops (inselbergs) of the Fouta Djallon highlands in Middle Guinea.[2]

Its specific epithet feliciana commemorates Henri Jacques-Félix [es] (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.[3][4]

The speciation occurred around 10 million years ago, therefore its distribution cannot be due to continental drift,[5] the Americas having separated from Africa much earlier. The species probably originates from seeds dispersed by migrating birds.[6]

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.[5]


  1. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Techniques agricoles et productions tropicales (in French). 4. G.-P. Maisonneuve & Larose [fr]. 1965. p. 21.
  4. ^ Jacques-Félix, Henri. "The Discovery of a Bromeliad in Africa". Selbyana. 21 (1/2): 118–124.
  5. ^ a b 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" (PDF). Aliso: A Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany. 23 (1): 3–26. doi:10.5642/aliso.20072301.04. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-28.
  6. ^ Porembski, Stefan; Barthlott, Wilhelm (1999). "Pitcairnia feliciana, the only indigenous African bromeliad". Harvard Papers in Botany. 5: 175–184.

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