Cryptanthus 'Arrogance' (cv. of 'Fine Feathers' X 'Zonatus Silver') from Michael's Bromeliads

Photo by Jim Boynton

March 2003 Newsletter

This month our speaker will be Jason Melica form Sarasota. He will have a slide show on Guyana and demonstrate how he creates sculptures with bromeliads. Jason has a degree in botany and horticulture from USF. He will be bringing some unusual plants to sell. Originally Dennis Cathcart was scheduled, but I understand that he will be out of the country doing his thing in the rainforest somewhere in South America.

Please do not forget that the meeting night has been moved to Tuesday, March 4th. That is the first Tuesday of the month, at the Hope Presbyterian Church, 1698 S. Belcher Rd., Clearwater. Because of the primary election our meeting will start 30 minutes later than usual. The doors to the hall open at 7:30 and the meeting will begin at 8:00, hope to see you there.


The Refreshment committee wants to thank the Andy and Sharon Philyaw and Phyllis Steil and everyone else who brought food to the meeting.

Bob Albanese, Dan Rush, Helen Streck, Wilma Murphy, Linda Sheetz, and Bill Sneeden will be bringing refreshments for the March meeting. Sara wants to thank them for signing up in advance. Remember to stop by the front desk when you bring food to pick up your extra raffle ticket.

Electronic edition of the newsletter

More of our members have opted to receive the newsletter via e-mail Getting the newsletter online saves the club postage and printing costs, which amount to 57 cents a month now or $6.84 a year. Besides saving money the newsletter would arrive quicker. We are not going to force anyone to get the newsletter online, but if you would be willing to give it a try, be ready to sign up at the meeting.

Dues are due

Hopefully everyone has renewed their dues by now. We are making an effort to get everything settled earlier this year and the club roster printed. Anyone who has not paid dues will stop receiving the newsletter soon

The dues for an individual are $15.00 and $20.00 for 2 people. If you cannot make it to the meeting you can mail the dues to Gary Lund at 904Oakwood Dr., Largo, FL 33770.

Last Months Meeting

Harry Luther, Director of the Bromeliad Identification Center at Selby Gardens in Sarasota, provided us with an excellent program. Harry's program was on the diversity of the bromeliad family. In his talk, he showed slides of how bromeliads have diversified and adapted to a wide variety of conditions. We saw slides of some very different looking plants. Some of them were huge and ugly and some were small and beautiful. Some of them grow underwater part of the year and others never see real water during their life and must obtain their water from the moisture in the air, while others have to store water for long periods of time.

Harry's program was very interesting and we always look forward to and appreciate his visits. Some of our newer members may not know that Harry is a past president of FWCBS. As I understand it Harry grew up in our area and got interested in bromeliads as a teenager. Also I think that Harry was the youngest president that the FWCBS ever had. I do not know his age at the time. Perhaps Helga can tell us.

Something is new on the net which goes with Harry's program. He mentioned that the bromeliads growing in the trees made special habitats for some interesting creatures. This site is available under the "NEW" button on the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies website - http://fcbs.org


Bromeliad Biota

Some of the animals and insects that visit our bromeliads

This page is intended to show you some of the animals and insects that visit and live with our bromeliads. Most of these visitors do no harm and actually help the bromeliad by leaving behind nutrients that the bromeliad can feed on. Some of these critters come by because they are attracted to the pollen on the flowers, water in the bromeliad, or other insects that are on or in the plant; others may be just passing by, and the bromeliad is on their route. Some of these creatures may not qualify as 'Bromeliad biota' in the strictest sense because they do not depend solely on the bromeliad for their existence. Example: yes, 'Lagarta na folha' is on a bromeliad leaf, but there are not chew marks on the leaf -- so was the caterpillar just walking around (yes, many will do that especially when they are fully grown and looking for a pupation site) or does it eat bromeliad leaves? If so, of which bromeliad(s)?

The quote below, from Dr. J. Howard Frank, gives one explanation of Bromeliad Biota. If you are more interested in the science, please visit Dr. Frank's site listed below. If you want to look at pictures, you have come to the right place. If you have photos of your own that you would like to share, you can email them to webmaster@fcbs.org.

"A few hundred species of animals and plants are known to science to depend to a greater or lesser extent on bromeliads as a place in which to live, or as food. These few hundred species probably are a small fraction of those that exist, because these animals and plants, together called the bromeliad biota (the word biota means all living organisms, regardless of whether they are animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, or viruses), are yet poorly studied by biologists and there is an enormous amount of research left to do. It would not be surprising if there are more species of these organisms than there are of bromeliads."

Dr. J. Howard Frank
About Bromeliad Biota
from his web site Bromeliad Biota

On the internet this is followed by photos of some cute and not so cute creatures that have been photographed on bromeliads. Anyone with a digital photo and connecton to the internet can add a photo by e-mailing it to Michael Andreas. If I can find my picture of the snake that I found on my bromeliad on the courtyard I will submit it, so that will give everyone something to look for in the future.

Don't forget that everything will be pushed back 1/2 hour

Since our meeting room is also used as a poling place and March 4 is an election day, we will have to move everything back 30 minutes this month. We will not be able to enter the building until 7:30 and the meeting will start at 8:00.

The library is spreading out.

The addition of another filing cabinet we have been able to spread out the library and make it easier to view the books. Please take a look and check out a book if you would like. Also there is a drawer of handout items that relate to bromeliads that members are welcome to take with them for their own use.

23rd Annual Sarasota Bromeliad Society Show & Sale

On April 11-13th, 2003 the 23rd Annual Sarasota Bromeliad Show and Sale, "Bromeliads On the Net" will be held at the world renowned Selby Botanic Gardens, 811 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, Florida.
It will feature exhibits, sales, food and a rare plant auction. The hours will be for the show will be 10:00-4:00. The Rare Plant Auction will be Saturday evening.

For more information call Inez Dolatowski at 941-955-7531 or e-mail at ldolatow@tampabay.rr.com. or Rob Branch show chairman 941-358-4953. The Plant sale will be only on April 11th. The show and sale will be on12 & 13th. There will be reduced admission to Selby Gardens on Saturday and Sunday.



March 4 - FWCBS meeting

March 15-17 Selby Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Fair 10-5

March 22-23 Leu Gardens Spring Plant Sale 9-5 Free admission 1920 N. Forest Ave., Orlando

March 29-30th Greenfest, Plant Park, Univ. of Tampa, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd.10-4

April 12-13 - USF Spring Plant Sale

April 11-13 23rd Annual Sarasota Bromeliad Show and Sale, Selby Botanic Gardens, Sarasota

April 12th & 13th Seminole Bromeliad Society Bromeliad Show and sale 9:00-5:00

May 6 - FWCBS Auction

May 9th & 11th Central Florida Bromeliad Society's 28th Annual Mother's Day Show and Sale at Florida Mall in Orlando, 10:00-9:00, May 9th & 10th and Noon - 6:00 on May 11th Free parking and admission.

October 11-12 - USF Fall Plant Sale

July 26 August 2, 2004 World Conference, Chicago, IL

James Boynton, newsletter editor

Florida West Coast Bromeliad Society

994 Willowood Lane

Dunedin, Fl 34698