Guzmania 'Orangeade'

Photo by Jim Boynton

June 2003 Newsletter

Our guest for the June meeting will be George Aldrich from Ocala. We have enjoyed George's programs in the past, and this time he will present a slide show on a recent bromeliad-collecting trip to Peru. This is an unusual part of the world with extremes in climate which makes for some unusual bromeliads.

George will have some unusual and beautiful plants for sale from his bromeliad nursery in Ocala.

Please do not forget that the meeting night has been moved to Tuesday, June 3rd. 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

The May meeting was our annual auction for 2003, and it was a big success. There were plenty of donated plants on hand. Almost $1,100 was raised. The board has voted to donate $500 of that money to the Bromeliad Identification Center headed by Harry Luther, and make a donation to the BSI color fund.

We want to thank everyone who helped to make this event a success. Especially Wilma Murphy and Helen Streck who handled the bid recording and collecting the funds. Also the auctioneers and of course everyone who brought plants, and let's not forget those who bought plants.


The Refreshment committee wants to thank Adelle Blackman, Fay O'Rourke, the Boyntons, and others for bringing the refreshments to last month's meeting.

No one signed up to bringing refreshments for the June meeting. So we will have to rely on the items that individuals have been bringing to share. Sara would prefer to have individuals signing up in advance, so that she knows that something will be there. It makes her more comfortable, but plenty of goodies have been showing up on their own. 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.

Trip to Michael's Bromeliads was on for May 4th

FWCBS had a special trip to Michael's Bromeliads in Venice. Michael and Donna have a beautiful place with a pond and lots of nice plants. There are 5 or 6 excellent greenhouses full of plants.

We want to thank the Kiehl's for their hospitality.

Some sad news to report

It is with great sadness that I report the death of Audrey McCrory who owned Boggy Creek Bromeliads with her husband Bill in Kissimmee, Florida. Audrey also was a Life Member of the Bromeliad Society of Central Florida and a long time member of the BSI.

Audrey and Bill have come to the FWCBS several times in the past to present programs on mounting bromeliads.

Boggy Creek was known as a collector's bromeliad nursery. The McCrory's were recently forced to sell off all of the plants and close the nursery recently due to Audrey and Bill's declining health.

Plans for the July Meeting

In the spirit of the 4th of July we plan to have a giant show and tell program and a picnic (inside of course). So start preparing your favorite, problem, mystery or unique plants for the program.

Everyone will be asked to bring something to share for the picnic. As with any picnic we want people to invite family and friends to attend and help us celebrate the fourth of July on the first of July.


I came across an interesting article from a website in New Zealand

This is from a commercial site http://www.bromeliads.co.nz/ offering bromeliads for sale, but I doubt if anyone would want to order at those prices and add shipping, but it is always nice to see what is out there.


Let The Buyer Beware!!

With the increasing popularity of Bromeliads there seems to be a mad scramble from growers to put plants on the market. Some of these plants are exceptional hybrids from top breeders. Others are tried and true varieties that have been around for years.

There are many pitfalls for the unwary though. These arise from buying plants that: Are not suited to outdoor conditions. Unfortunately most garden center staff are still somewhat green when it comes to the subject of Bromeliads. This is no discredit to them, as it is a huge family of very diverse plants that are still relatively new. A classic example is the large numbers of very cold sensitive varieties that are being sold at present, such as Aechmea chantinii, Guzmania hybrids and Vriesea 'Splenriet'. Great varieties, but as soon as night temperatures drop below 10 degrees C, they will start to suffer and die. These should only be purchased as indoor or hothouse plants.

How do you avoid these pitfalls? First of all, shop around. Look on the internet and in books for information on varieties and their requirements. Many sites have photos, which can be used to compare for size and quality to those plants you want to buy. Buy off people that know what they are talking about and can guide you. Check prices against online catalogues and mail order lists. Above all, please don't get disenchanted if you have fallen into the pitfalls above. Bromeliads are too good to leave behind due to one bad experience.

Editorial Note:

I do not think that too many of our members are having these problems as we usually buy our bromeliads at the meetings or at recognized nurseries. I doubt if very many of our members are buying plants over the internet, and if they do they are buying pups, so that probably avoids a couple of the problems that are listed in this article. This article is just intended to be food for thought and a word to the wise.



June 3 - FWCBS Meeting

July 1 - FWCBS Meeting

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