Only the second species in the genus; Androlepis fragrans was described from material first collected in Veracruz, Mexico by Alfred Lau Jr in 1993. He recognized it as something different and forwarded a plant to Aechmea expert John Anderson in Corpus Christi, Texas who in turn sent it to the Bromeliad Identification Center at the Marie Selby Botanical Garden in Sarasota, Florida. The wheels of science do turn slowly and finely but eventually this plant was given full attention by Elton M.C. Leme and Harry E. Luther who described it as a new species and published it in the German Bromeliad Journal; Die Bromelie 2011 (3). Anytime a new species is discovered it is pretty exciting, but when a formerly monotypic genus adds a species it is real news.
An epiphyte in nature, this species is smaller than the typical form, with rosettes of stiff leaves to about 16 inches long and 3 inches wide. To the layman, the inflorescence is immediately noticeable as different from skinneri in that it is much more prominently branched, having a pyramidal shape as opposed to the almost simple or cylindrical shape of skinneri. The rachis is red and the branches white. In cultivation we have not seen the tendency to blush red in strong light or at anthesis, rather remaining a light green at all times. The flowers are monoecious and very fragrant, pedicellate, pale blue and spreading. Culture is like that of a typical large Aechmea or Hohenbergia, bright, warm and moderately moist.
*NO HOLDING - MUST SHIP IMMEDIATELY