One Hundred Million Years of Bromeliad Evolution in the American Tropics

‘Twas the middle of winter, and the snow-wracked Sconnies rose up and said, “Let there be Happiness!”

And lo, the Pineapple was made. And it was good.

Then the Sconnies said, “Let there be Great Happiness!”

And the Pina Colada was made. And wow, it was Very Good!

On February 5 Tom Givnish of the Department of Botany gives us a grip on “One Hundred Million Years of Bromeliad Evolution in the American Tropics.” Tom‘s talk helps us bridge several events:  Orchid Quest this past weekend and Darwin Days at UW-Madison coming up on February 6-8 as well as Wisconsin Public Television’s Garden Expo Feb 7-9 at the Alliant Energy Center.

While bromeliads are not orchids, like them the bromeliads are epiphytes, often tropical and colorful, and they have some intriguing evolutionary tales to tell.  The glorious pineapple is a bromeliad.  And what could be more enticing on yet another sub-zero Wednesday night than a Bromeliad-fueled Field Trip to the Tropics?  It’s as close to hot-n-humid as I can get, this side of a sauna.  Speaking of sauna, ‘bromeliad’ actually was a name created by Linnaeus in honor of the Swedish botanist Olaf Bromel.   And before ye of Suomic extraction whack me with a double-voweled baat:  yes, sauna is Finnish, not Swedish.  Daang.

Tom Zinnen
Biotechnology Center & Cooperative Extension