Charles Plumier, a priest and botanist from France, made several visits to the West Indies between 1689 and 1697. Besides his notes he made drawings of the plants he saw and his watercolours are now at the Museum of Natural History in Paris. The Leiden botanist and physician Herman Boerhaave had copies made of these and Carolus Linnaeus studied them during his visit to Leiden in 1735. The notes that Linnaeus made were bought later by Johannes Burman, a student of Boerhaave. Burman supplemented the notes and had about half of the copied drawings engraved for his publication Plantarum Americanarum, in 10 fascicles from 1755-1760. In the third fascicle are illustrations of five bromeliads, two of them depicted below (Aechmea serrata and Aechmea nudicaulis). The black and white drawings are from the book, left of them the original watercolours made by Plumier and now in the collection of manuscripts of the library of the Muséum Nationale d'Histoire Naturelle.

Icones Plantarum Rariorum by Georg Voorhelm Schneevoogt was published in Haarlem from 1792-1795 in 4 installments on folio, with 48 copper engravings made after plants cultivated in the author's nursery. Illustrated here is the only bromeliad in it, Pitcairnia bromeliifolia (Figure 25), a terrestrial species from Jamaica.

The plate of Bromelia binotii (Figure 26) was published in Floralia, Geïllustreerd Weekblad voor Tuinbouw. This species had also been illustrated in 1866 in Gartenflora with a description by Regel (see chapter Germany). The drawing in Floralia was made from a plant belonging to O.J. Quintus, a bromeliad collector and hybridizer living near Groningen in the north of The Netherlands. Quintus corresponded with Wittmack and send him some of his hybrids; it may well be that the Bromelia binotii from Quintus was a lineal descendant of Regel's plant. But this is speculation as this species was also offered in Belgian nursery catalogues from 1874 to 1888 at least. In Floralia the plant is named Karatas binotii, but that name is invalid as it had already been used by Austrian botanist Franz Antoine for the species we now know as Neoregelia binotii.

Willem Hendrik de Vriese was professor of botany at the universities of Amsterdam and Leiden and his name lives on in the genus Vriesea. He has sometimes been confused with Hugo de Vries, also a professor of botany in Amsterdam, but half a century later and famous for his genetic research of plants and the resulting theory on mutations. Both men have worked at the Hortus Botanicus of Amsterdam, also known as the Plantage Hortus, a botanical garden still in existence today. De Vriese edited the 3 volumes of Tuinbouw-flora van Nederland en zijne overzeesche bezittingen (Agricultural flora of the Netherlands and its overseas territories) pubished in parts in Leiden from 1855-1857. It contained descriptions and illustrations of new and remarkable plants, flowers and fruit, with instructions for their culture. The 38 plates were made by 4 different artists, the plate of Billbergia rohaniana (Figure 27) is from A.J. Wendel. De Vriese writes that this species "has never been described but can be found under different names; I named it after the great advocate of culture Prince Camille de Rohan, who honored us with a visit to our herb garden last year". The description of this species by de Vriese was published in 1853. It turned out to be the same as Billbergia vitttata, described in 1848 in the French journal Portefeuille des Horticulteurs (see chapter France).

De Vriese was together with Philipp Franz von Siebold editor of Annales d'horticulture et de botanique, ou flore des jardins du royaume des Pays-Bas, in 3 volumes from 1857-1860 published in Leiden and written in French. From the 3 plates of bromeliads in this work I chose Bromelia commeliniana, a species named by de Vriese in 1844 after Caspar Commelin, a professor of botany in Amsterdam at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century. This species flowered in Amsterdam in 1844, but as the model for this illustration (Figure 28) stood a plant in the Leiden Hortus. That plant had a diameter of 1. 5 meter and attracted much attention and admiration when in full flower; in fact it can grow to sizes more than twice as large. However it too had already been described earlier, by Bertoloni in 1824 under the currently still valid name of Bromelia antiacantha. The species originates from southeastern Brazil and Uruguay. An illustration of flower and fruit had already been published in Descriptions et figures des plantes nouvelles et rares . . . by De Vriese, published in Leiden in 1847 (picture above).

Corneille Oudemans published from 1865-1867 the 3 volumes of Neerland's Plantentuin, illustrated with 54 colored plates. The only bromeliad is in volume 2, an Aechmea published as Lamprococcus weilbachii.


Between 1817 and 1821 Carl Peter Thunberg published in Uppsala his Plantarum Brasiliensium, describing plants from Brasil. In the last of 3 volumes is a plate of Billbergia amoena var. minor, named Billbergia speciosa by Thunberg at the time (1821). Another Swede, Carl Axus Magnum Lindman, made a study of some bromeliads of the subfamily Bromelioideae, most of the species newly described by him. Bromeliaceae Herbarii Regnelliani, I. Bromelieae was published in Stockholm in 1891 as a paper in in a scientific series called Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps Akademiens Handlingar 24(8) and there are 8 drawings in black and white of bromeliads in it. On plate 3 are drawings of Quesnelia arvensis and Quesnelia testudo, the latter a new species (Figure 29). Quesnelia is a genus from eastern Brazil where these plants grow mostly terrestrially in coastal areas.
Lindman made on a botanical journey to Brazil a number of watercolor paintings, some of bromeliads dated 1892 can be seen below. They are kept at the Swedish Museum of Natural History.


The botanical results of the travels of Thaddaeus Haenke in south and central America and the Philippines were described by Karel Presl in Reliquiae Haenkeanae, published in parts between 1825 and 1835 in Prague. The 2 volumes contain 72 monochrome drawings, in the part of vol.1 from 1827 are 2 bromeliads illustrated: Tillandsia azurea (currently named Tillandsia purpurea) and Pourretia inermis (currently named Pitcairnia inermis).

Figure 25. Pitcairnia bromeliifolia L'Héritier. Drawing and engraving H. Schwegman, Icones Plantarum Rariorum plate 11 (1792).
Figure 26. Bromelia binotii E. Morren ex Mez. Published as Karatas binotii auct. anon., nom. illeg. Floralia 1905 no.44 plate 125 (1905).
Figure 27. Billbergia vittata Brongniart ex Morel. Published as Billbergia rohaniana de Vriese. Drawing A.J. Wendel, lithography A. Riocreux, Tuinbouw-flora van Nederland vol.2 page 33 (1855).
Figure 28. Bromelia antiacantha Bertoloni. Published as Bromelia commeliniana de Vriese. Drawing J. Gaykema, lithography L. Stroobant, Annales d'horticulture et de botanique vol.2 page 177 (1859).
Figure 29. Quesnelia arvensis (Vellozo) Mez, published as Quesnelia rufa var. sororocabae Lindman (fig.1-8 on plate), Quesnelia testudo Lindman (fig.9-19n plate). Drawings Löfgren and Lindman, lithography Stab, Bromeliaceae Herbarii Regnelliani plate 3 (1891).