The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

Next meeting Sunday, January 8, 2006

January, 2006

First Meeting of 2006!

President Linda Stagnol386/760-6842

Vice President – Jay Thurrott – 386/761-4804

Secretary – Calandra Thurrott - 386/761-4804

Treasurer - Ted Nuse - 386/673-2648


Happy New Year 2006!

2005 was a good year for FECBS! We’ve had some interesting programs and field trips, we’ve got some new members and we weren’t devastated by hurricanes! Let’s hope for an equally good 2006 – there are certainly some exciting bromeliad activities on the horizon. I know that I’m looking forward to helping put together a display for the Daytona Flower Show in March, then there’s the Master Gardener’s sale at the Volusia County Fairgrounds on April 1st, the Bromeliad Society of South Fl. show on April 23rd, the Central Florida Society’s Mothers Day Show in May, the World Bromeliad Conference in June in San Diego, the 2006 Extravaganza at the Miccusukee Resort and Convention Center Sept. 30th…Whew! It’s sure to be a busy year!

As usual, our Christmas party was a very enjoyable affair! We had excellent attendance this year, good food, good friends and a great bunch of plants for the plant exchange. Congratulations to Jane for having the best wrapping job on her gift. The voting was unanimous on her rendering of an outhouse! Mike, that seafood platter was outstanding! Thank you everyone for making this another success (and Rich, we’re sorry we tricked you into making that white chocolate key lime cheesecake, but we’re sure glad you brought it!)

Dues for the New Year –

That’s right, it’s time to pay the piper once again. Dues are just $10.00 per individual or $12.50 for a family. Please make out your checks to FECBS and forward them to the Treasurer (don’t make us come after you – we know where you live!).

This month’s meeting: The Story Behind the Plant

Everyone has at least one bromeliad that is somehow special, separate from the rest, that you are either especially fond of or that you especially dislike. You know what I mean – that plant that brings back a particularly fond memory each time you see it…or maybe the one that sticks you in the leg and draws blood every time you brush by it. For example, I have an unusual form of Vriesea scalaris that was given to me many years ago that draws a smile each time I pass it in the shadehouse. There’s a story behind it and I think of it every time I see this plant. There’s also an Aechmea species in my yard that I’ve always disliked - no reason in particular…I just don’t like it!

Love it or hate it, there is probably at least one bromeliad in your collection that is special to you. Bring it to this month’s meeting and let’s hear about it. What is it that especially appeals to you or causes you to wrinkle up your face indisgust? Don’t worry about how the plant looks – we want to hear the story behind the plant.


There were a number of requests for the recipe for Sudi’s pineapple dish that she brought to the party, but I can’t remember who all made them. Sudi was kind enough to email me the recipe, so here it is for everyone’s enjoyment:


2 Eggs

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple

½ c sugar

soft bread crumbs (2-3 slices)

2 tbsp. (heaping) flour

¼ lb. butter or margarine, melted

Beat eggs with sugar and flour until light and fluffy. Add pineapple, stir well. Pour into greased casserole dish. Cover with breadcrumbs and drizzle with margarine. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees or until golden brown.


1.Serves four.

2.Delicious with baked ham.

3.This easily doubles or triples.

4.For ‘soft breadcrumbs’, cube any fresh bread.

Nomenclature or, "a rose is a rose…"

I know, there are few things more boring than reading lists of words and their definitions. Unfortunately, it’s very dificult to participate in a discussion on bromeliads unless everyone involved understands the words that are being used and so, I thought it might be a worthwhile exercise to go through a few of the more common terms we use at each meeting.

Years ago when you didn’t know the meaning of a word you went to the nearest dictionary or encyclopedia and looked it up. If you had one in your home this probably took less that 5 minutes of your time (4 minutes to find the dictionary, 1 minute to look up the word in it). Today we are encouraged to use our computers and the internet for this purpose, so, having a computer in front of me (what… you think this was typed on a typewriter?), I dutifully typed in the word "epiphyte" and hit the ‘search’ button (2 minutes to start up, 2 minutes to attempt to connect to the Internet, 1 minute to read the message that "connection could not be established"). On my third attempt (15 minutes elapsed time) I was rewarded with a report from Google that there are 465,000 entries for the definition of ‘epiphyte’ and which one would I like? After reading the first 10 entries I began to realize that perhaps not all definitions are created equally. Some clearly left me more confused that when I started. So, where does this leave us? In this series we’ll try to provide some easily understood definitions by gleaning material from multiple resources, mixed with past experiences from the newsletter editor and with a sprinkling of personal communication with other bromeliad enthusiasts.

Let’s start this month with a word we are all familiar with…or are we?

Epiphyte -

The Garden Web Glossary of Botanical Terms says this is "a plant growing attached to another plant, but not parasitic, an air plant." I kind of like this definition, although chances are if you don’t know the meaning of "epiphyte" you won’t know the meaning of "parasitic" either. I’m also not too crazy about the term "air plant" – probably because it’s usually used in conjunction with "bromelaid"… as in " See that, that’s one of them bromelaids – you know, they’re air plants." Then there is the problem of plants that become detached from the host, fall to the ground and become rooted to the ground. Are these no longer considered epiphytic? With all of these concerns in mind, let’s define epiphyte as follows…" a plant usally dependent on a host for support, but which draws no nourishment from that host – as in Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usnioides) which is typically found supported by tree branches." We can define a parasitic plant as "a plant dependent on a host for nourishment, often to the detriment of the host – as in the plant Mistletoe which is found supported by and attached to tree branches and can not survive when detached from the host tree." In contrast to the epiphyte, we will define a terrestrial plant as a plant that grows in the ground (terra). This does not necessarily mean that the plant grows in soil, as is commonly included in the definition, so we don’t have to worry about a definition for soil. It simply grows in the ground. Another term you should know is saxicole - a plant typically found growing on rocks. I prefer this definition to the one more commonly seen which suggests that saxicoles are simply epiphytes that live on rocks – it’s not quite that simple.

What’s blooming?

One of the features of our meetings that has always been fun has been "Show and Tell". This often provides an opportunity for many of us to see the blooms of bromeliads that we don’t have in our collection…or in some cases, that we have in our collection, but that never seem to bloom. Sometimes, however, the blooming period of a bromeliad is so brief that we don’t get a chance to share the experience with other members. I am talking, of course, about the Genus Billbergia – and winter seems to be prime time for many representatives of this group of plants to come into bloom. In my yard I currently have Billbergia "Pink Champagne", "Stellar Attraction"(although this one shouldn’t count, since it seems to bloom in just about any month of the year once it reaches maturity), "Ken Allen"(don’t know where this name came from – it’s not registered), an unknown distachia/vittata? hybrid, and "Foster’s Striate"(the old B. pyramidallis var. striata) all in bloom at the same time.

A typical Billbergia inflorescence from an early print of Billbergia vittata – courtesy of Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies



Looking ahead:

Jan. 7th , 2006 Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies quarterly meeting hosted by the Bromeliad Society of Broward County

Jan. 8th, Monthly FECBS meeting – Council of Garden Clubs building.

Jan. 9th, Halifax Council of Garden Clubs monthly meeting – hosted by FECBS

(this means we have to supply the coffee and treats)

Feb. 11, 2006 Garage sale – proceeds to benefit

Halifax Council of Garden Clubs

Feg. 25-26, 2006 Tampa African Violet Society annual show and sale – "Violets on Broadway"

The Farm Bureau – 100 South Mulrennan Road

Valrico, Fl. Call Tricia at 813/3367-6382 for more details

March 16 – 19, 2006 Everybody’s Flower

Show -

March 25-26, 2006 Leu Gardens Spring Sale – Orlando

April 22-23, 2006 Bromeliad Society of South Fl. annual show and sale – Fairchild Gardens in Miami

June 6-11, 2006 Bromeliad Society International World Conference. (17th), San Diego, California. Details can be found at the BSI website:

Sept. 30, 2006 Extravaganza (Fl. Council of Bromeliad Societies) hosted by the Bromeliad Society of South Florida. To be held at the Miccosukee Resort and Convention Center, Miami.