This plant was imported in the early 1980s from Guatemala and came in mixed with Tillandsia caput-medusae. When this plant flowered it was obvious to us that it was a hybrid and we consulted with Harry Luther who agreed that it was likely a caput-medusae x brachycaulos natural hybrid. Until 2013 we had been growing this plant under that name.
I recently submitted a photo of it to Derek Butcher and Geoffrey Lawn of the Hybrid Registry and Derek wrote me back saying “You have the original T. brachycaulos var multiflora see attached. However the botanists decided it was a natural hybrid which I maintain should be in alpha order because you do not know mother thus brachycaulos x caput-medusae. So we are in a quandary.
Under ICBN rules your plant has a ‘name’. I am suggesting we stretch the rules and under the ICNCP rules call your plant ‘Zacapa‘ linking it to the Lyman Smith variety and thus the Field herb specimen.” And so we are. This plant has grown much larger under cultivated conditions and maintains a nice coloration. A choice plant.