The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

Next regularly scheduled meeting - May 16, 1999

"Bromeliads on the World Wide Web"

MAY, 1999

Spring is sprung!

Time’s a wasting - let’s go to work on separating, repotting, and admiring the results of our work.

President - Jay Thurrott - 904/761-4804

Vice President - Bud Martin - 407/321-0838

Secretary - Bob Roberts - 904/446-8626

Treasurer - Ted Nuse - 904/673-2648


Well, a lot has happened since we had our last formal meeting of FECBS in February! Our sale at the Daytona Flower Show in March was a great success - we set a new record for total sales which not only replenished our treasury, but also educated many members of the public in the pleasures of growing bromeliads. Looks like public interest in bromeliads is on the rise!

Many Thanks to everyone who participated! In particular we need to recognize the efforts of Ted and Peggy Nuse(who put in some looonnngg work days during this event), Bud Martin (who not only provided the inspiration for our club’s display...he also assembled it and loaned us the plants), Frank Cowan (he did it all - provided sale plants, sold plants at our booth, served guard duty... and then ended up buying more plants to take home), Mike and CiCi (for their contribution in show plants, sale plants, and help in the "take down" on Sunday afternoon), Calandra Thurrott (what were those metal chickens doing under the table?), Bob and Mary Caslen (Bob was selling plants so fast, he was just a blur...either that or my glasses needed cleaning), Jim O’Shaugnessy (I think he knew everyone in the Ocean Center), Jane Culpepper and Marion Kitzmiller (two more blurs of motion when the largest crowds passed through), Joan and Bob Roberts (their plants were there even though their bodies were in China), and last, but not least - Linda Stagnol (Thanks for the help Linda. Now do you see why we say this is so much fun?). This was a group effort and it really turned out well. Thanks everyone - let’s do it again next year!

Washington Oaks Gardens invited us to participate in their Earth Day festivities again this year and despite a cold rainy day on Saturday, it was a lot of fun. We generated a lot of interest among the public and sold quite a few plants. Thanks Mike, CiCi, and Barbara for putting up with a miserable Saturday-the sales plants and help you provided were sincerely appreciated. And thank you Doris Crumbley for bringing plants for sale - they were selling almost before you could take them out of the box!

Road Trip

Sorry everyone couldn’t make the Sarasota trip - what a treat! We saw more beautiful bromeliads, orchids, and strange and exotic plants at Tropiflora than you could shake a stick at... and they were all for sale! The Cathcarts could not have been more accomodating and the weather could not have been nicer! Everyone loaded their cars up with new plants and then had another chance to drool over the bromeliads of Selby Gardens. Harry Luther, head of the Bromeliad Identification Center, met us at the entrance to the gardens on Sunday morning and took us on a personal tour of the greenhouses-an area off-limits to the general public. Here we all experienced sensory overload. There were not only several specimens of the rare plant Aechmea tayoensis (which sold for over $1,000 at the Orlando World Conference), we saw one in bloom! Maybe we should start planning now for another trip here next year. What do you think?

What have you got blooming in your collection? Let me know and it will go in the next newsletter! Right now I’m seeing the local Tillandsia utriculatas putting up their spikes - its good to see some around again. Seems like its taken this long for their recovery from the freezes of the ‘70s and 80's. And have you ever seen such a brilliant display by the Tillandsia bartramiis? Some trees along the Tomoka river and Spruce Creek are ablaze with blooms right now. Aechmea organensis is another bright spot in the yard right now-nice yard plant for this area.

Back to Basics - Part 7

I like the genus Vriesea (pronounced vree-see-uh - with the accent on the first syllable). Plants in this group embody everything that attracted me to bromeliads in the first place - most thrive on neglect (within reason), they demonstrate a surprising degree of cold tolerance, even those with plain green foliage look nice, the blooms are gorgeous and long lasting, and, as a spines on the leaves - my kind of plant! How can you not like these plants?

Named for the Dutch botanist W. de Vriese, these plants are closely related to Tillandsias. So closely related, in fact, that in some instances they can be distinguished only after close examination with a hand lens or other magnifying glass. A good example of this can be seen in Vriesea espinosae - which looks to be (from all outward appearances) a nice little silvery Tillandsia. Then of course there is Tillandsia leiboldiana - which looks like a nice little soft -leaved Vriesea. Drives you crazy, doesn’t it? The truth is, both of these plants are exceptions to the more typical forms that you can expect to see. IN GENERAL...Vrieseas have soft, smooth edged leaves that are frequently green, but sometimes decorated with intricate patterns and splotches or spots of color. Plant size may range from several inches across to well over three feet in diameter (you know that pretty little Vriesea ‘Nova’? Make sure you’ve got a lot of room for it as it matures-think of it as Great Dane puppy!). The inflorescences are typically very long-lasting and highly decorative in color and form - from the "flaming sword" shape of Vriesea splendens to the multiple ‘feathers’ of some of the hybrids. Occasionally you may notice hard sausage-shaped capsules developing on the inflorescence after the flowers have faded away. These are seed capsules and they may take anywhere from a month or two up to six months to mature. Eventually they will split open and release seeds resembling those of the common weed we all know as the dandeline - to be carried away by the wind.

Most Vrieseas are true epiphytes and, as such, have very little in the way of root system. Roots tend to serve mostly for gripping and resemble gnarled bird’s feet in older plants. In fact, some Vrieseas that are notorious for being difficult to grow well thrive when grown in an empty pot. This also suggests that it is very easy to overwater these plants, so be forwarned!

Vrieseas tend to share their light level preference with the Guzmanias. This is somewhat lower than members of the Aechmea or Neoregelia groups, so you may find these to be good choices for plants to place in a pool enclosure or in the filtered light of overhanging tree branches. Many times bleached spots or "sunburn" damage will appear on leaves of Vrieseas that are set in too strong a light. You need to look out for this problem when the days get longer, the sun’s rays get stronger, and the angle of the sun becomes more direct as we head into those dog-days of summer.

A final point to note is that despite their delicate appearance, Vrieseas tend to be very cold-hardy plants - quite a contrast to some of those big, tough-looking Aechmeas that fall over dead at the mere suggestion of cold weather! If you haven’t already, make a little room in your collection for a few Vrieseas. I think you’ll be glad you did!

The following are some examples of Vrieseas to consider adding to your collection:

Vriesea caranata - This is a small plant that has been used in hybridizing so much that it’s difficult to find a "pure" species example. Often labeled as ‘Vriesea caranata hybrid’ this is still a nice little green leaved plant that demands very little attention and rewards your patience with a very nice red stalked feather that resembles a lobster claw.

Vriesea "Carlsbad" - A medium to large sized Hummel hybrid with beautiful leaf coloration-an excellent foliage plant that makes the bright red sword-type inflorescence just an added bonus!. Splashes of red, yellow and black adorn this plant. Cold and heat resistance make this a good landscape choice in many areas.

Vriesea "Mariae" - Named by Edward Andre in remembrance of Mrs. Truffaut in 1889 the bloom on this hybrid plant is just as beautiful today as it was 110 years ago. This also sets the standard for long-lasting blooms - typically looking nice for the better part of one year! One of the few bromeliads with a nickname, look for the "painted feather" bromeliad.

Vriesea splendens - Very nice foliage arranged in an attractive rosette make this a nice foliage plant. Leaves are a gray green w/dark brown bands. Another plant with a nickname, this is frequently seen as the "flaming sword" - a reference to the bright red, sword shaped inflorescence. This is another prime example of a bloom that may last for upwards of a year!

Vriesea ospinae Here’s a bit of a mystery wrapped, not in an enigma, but in an outstanding foliage plant. Named for Sra. Berta Hernandez de Ospina of Columbia, who first grew this plant in her garden. Nobody knows where it came from! Medium sized plant w/gray-green leaves and light reticulations(little wavy lines). The stem may grow to become quite tall, resembling a shrub rather than a bromeliad. Infl. one or more bright yellow/orange "feathers". And, as if this weren’t pretty enough, look for the variety "Gruberi" which is a larger form with leaves that are almost blue-gray with similar reticulated patterns, but more pronounced - a real eye-catcher and a strong argument that species plants can be just as beautiful as the most highly acclaimed hybrids!



The following is a proposed revision to our bylaws. Please take a few moments to review this and let us know your comments at the next meeting:







The name of the organization is the FLORIDA EAST COAST BROMELIAD SOCIETY referred to herein as the-Society. The Society is a non-profit organization affiliated with the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies, Inc.


Section 1. To educate the members regarding the culture, identification, and hybridization of the plant family Bromeliaceae (Bromeliads) by the exchange of information at regular meetings.

Section 2. To promote public interest in Bromeliads by participation in public horticultural events and presentations.

Section 3. To preserve Bromeliads by the cultivation of rare and endangered plants, and, to support habitat conservation and the eradication of non-native pests.




Membership is open to persons who support the objectives of the Society upon payment of the established dues. Members sixteen years of age and under are exempt from the payment of dues.


Section 1. Dues shall be proposed by the Executive Board at the November membership meeting and will be subject to a majority of the votes cast, a quorum being present.

Section 2. Dues are payable by the end of January for the year January I through December 31, which is the fiscal year of the Society.

a. Dues shall not be pro-rated.

b. Membership requires the payment of dues (except as indicated in Article III above) by the end of January each year.




Section 1. Officers

a. The Officers are President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer, who are elected annually.

b. The Executive Board consists of the Officers and one Director who is elected annually.

Section 2. Elections

a. The President shall appoint a Chairman and two members from the membership at the October membership meeting as the Nominating Committee. Members of the Executive Board are not eligible to serve on the Nominating Committee.

b. The Committee shall select candidates for each office and the Chairman will present the slate at the November membership meeting. The President will also solicit nominations from the floor at the November membership Meeting.

c. The Nominating Committee will be dismissed with thanks.

d. The final slate of candidates will be elected by ballot or voice vote at the November membership meeting and the newly elected officers and director will begin service on January 1 next, serving until the end of that fiscal year.

Section 3. Duties

a. The President shall preside over all Executive Board and membership meetings, appoint members to all standing and special committees, serve as a representative to the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies, Inc., appoint an Auditor at the November membership meeting, and perform other duties as described in Robert's Rules of Order Revised.

b. The Vice-President will chair the Program/Education Committee and assume the duties of the President or any other officer during their absence.

c. The Secretary shall keep the minutes of the Executive Board and regular and special meetings of the Society. He/she is the custodian of the Society's records and correspondence, with the exception of the financial records. The Secretary shall act as the Parliamentarian.

d. The Treasurer shall receive all moneys, issue all moneys in payment of the Society's obligations, notify delinquent members of that status in February, keep an appropriate ledger and accounts of all moneys received and disbursed. He/she shall report on the financial condition of the Society at regular membership meetings. An annual report shall be prepared at the end of the fiscal year for presentation at the January membership meeting.

e. The Director shall serve as a representative to the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies, Inc., and perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Board.

f. The Executive Board shall appoint a member to fill any vacancy on the Board.



Section 1. A Quorum of the Executive Board is three.

Section 2. A Quorum membership meetings is ten.


Section 1. The Executive Board meetings are subject to call by the President.

Section 2. Membership meetings shall be on the second Sunday of the month

a. The time and place for the meeting shall be selected by the President.

b. Cancellation or deviation from Section 2a., above, is permissible with notice to the

members at the previous membership meeting.


Robert's Rules of Order Revised by General Henry M. Robert shall govern the proceedings

of the Society.


The By-Laws of the Society may be amended by two-thirds of the votes cast at any regular or special membership meeting, a quorum being present, provided notice of the proposed Amendment(s) was given at the previous regular membership meeting.


Section 1. The Society may merge with another horticultural society upon a two-thirds vote of the membership. The vote may be a mailed ballot or voice vote at a regular membership meeting provided notice was given at the previous regular membership meeting.

Section 2. The Society may be dissolved by a two-thirds vote of the membership.

a. A ballot will be mailed to each member with a stamped return envelope thirty days prior to the

next regular membership meeting of the Society, at which time the ballots will be counted.

b. Upon a vote to dissolve the Society, the physical assets will be sold after which the financial

assets will be donated to the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies, Inc.



Revision: R. L. Roberts March 5, 1999