Neoregelia 'Helga's Joy' a plant recently registered by Helga Tarver

Photo by Tom Tarver

April 2003 Newsletter

This month's meeting will feature a special panel, which will answer bromeliad-related questions. As it turns out our scheduled speaker is somewhere in South America. We will also have a repeat of the Show and Tell Contest that was a success a couple of months ago. It should be even better this time as I recall the last one followed a severe cold spell, which may have prevented some entries. See inside for more details.

This would be a good meeting for members to bring plants to sell.

Please do not forget that the meeting night has been moved to Tuesday, April 1st. That is the first Tuesday of the month, at the Hope Presbyterian Church, 1698 S. Belcher Rd., Clearwater. The doors will open at 7:00 and the meeting will start at 7:30, hope to see you there.

Last Months Meeting

Jason Melica from Sarasota shared his slide show on Guyana. He brought some very beautiful bromeliads with him and some outstanding mounted "sculptures with bromeliads". Jason expressed his enthusiasm for this area of South America, which he has visited numerous times. Originally Dennis Cathcart was scheduled, but was in New Zealand and we want to thank Jason for stepping in at the last minute.


The Refreshment committee wants to thank the Bob Albanese, Dan Rush, Helen Streck, Wilma Murphy, Linda Sheetz, and Bill Sneeden for bringing the refreshments to the meeting.

Jean Schnabel, Steve Littlefield, Bill Sneeden and Phyllis Steil will be bringing refreshments for the April 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. You will also find the sign-up sheet at this desk.

Helga Tarver submitted the following article. The cover photo is this plant. I want to thank her for this article.

Please welcome Neoregelia 'Helga's Joy'

Following the admonitions of BSI Registrar Derek Butcher and the example set by Jim Boynton, our newsletter editor, with his Neoregelia 'Sara's Sunset', I decided to register an old bromeliad hybrid which I have been growing for over 22 years. The plant is a cross by an unknown hybridizer between Neoregelia melanodonta and Neoregelia concentrica. I purchased it in October 1979 at the Sunset Nursery in Tampa. Rick Paul, a member of the Florida West Coast Bromeliad Society and our president from 1983 to 1984 worked at that nursery as the bromeliad expert.

I named the hybrid Neoregelia 'Helga's Joy' because it has given me nothing but joy and lots of pups in all those years.

The BSI Registrar advised me that 'Helga's Joy' would be listed in the February 2003 Registry Update and that a photo of the plant would be posted at the website of the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies http://www.fcbs.org soon.

If you have an unnamed hybrid, which you like very much, I strongly encourage you to name it and register it. The registration procedure is very easy and this probably your only chance to achieve immortality in the bromeliad world.

Editorial note: I have just been in contact with Derek Butcher and it looks like I will be registering two more plants in my collection. This is getting interesting and is really fun.


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.


Show and tell contest this month

This month there will be a show and tell contest. It will not be as strict as a judged show by any means. There will be two categories: most beautiful and most bizarre. The prizes will be awarded by popular vote. The plants should be clean and bug free, and it would be nice if they were properly named. So bring all of your beautiful and bizarre bromeliads for the special show and tell.

The May meeting will be our annual auction

This is always a special meeting where everyone brings their best extra bromeliads to donate to the auction. The funds go into the treasury and are shared with bromeliad related charities like Bromeliad Identification and the BSI color fund.

The plants must me healthy, clean and labeled. Please start getting some plants prepared for this very special event.

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.

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.


    1. Wear your name tags
    2. Pick up your special raffle tickets if you bring refreshments
    3. Bring plants for the raffle table
    4. Bring plants for the friendship table
    5. Check out the library
    6. Prepare plants for the auction
    7. Bring plants for show and tell contest this month


I found the following article on the FCBS website, under Dr Howard Frank's site on the evil weevil. It looks interesting, but I do not know if they are still looking for these bugs. It would probably be a good idea to contact them before you send them anything.


Twice in the last 7 or 8 years, I've been told about or have been shown yellow aphids attacking potted bromeliads. The aphid specialist I contacted said they were rice root aphids, not of great interest. But now there's an aphid specialist who wants to study them. If anyone has some now or in September, please mail them to me to hand over to the specialist -- maybe this will help us learn something new. --
Howard Frank
Entomology & Nematology Dept.
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-0630.



April 1 - FWCBS Meeting

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