The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

Next meeting Sunday, March 9th – 1:30 p.m.

March 2008

2008 Everybody’s Flower Show

President Nina Leggett - 386/673-0550

Vice President – Joan Campbell – 672-7382

Secretary – Calandra Thurrott – 761-4804

Treasurer – Evelyn Santus615-1138

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Everybody’s Flower Show

The location is the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach. The dates are March 13th through the 16th, but the day to bring in plants for the show is Wednesday, the 12th - any time from 9a.m. to 5p.m. The construction activity around the Ocean Center makes parking a bit iffy, so you may want to plan your route before going there. Take down of exhibits and removel of entries will be after 5p.m. on Sunday, the16th.

This is a great opportunity for us to introduce the public to bromeliads(or vice-versa), so please, plan on entering at least one of your plants in the show. There is an award that goes to the club whos members have the most entries in the show and if each of us enters a few plants we should have a pretty good chance at this award. Also, many of us are ashamed to admit it, but we also grow plants other than bromeliads – bring some of your favorites among these for entry as well! If you think that it will be interesting to the public,by all means enter that plant.

For those of you who have entered in the past – you already know about the entry forms that must be completed for each plant entered. These must be filled out in pencil and it can take a while to complete a fist full of these cards, so allow yourself some time to complete the entry forms. Need help getting your plants to the show or filling out your entry cards? Let us know and we will make arrangements.

The Halifax Council of Garden Clubs

February meeting was hosted by FECBS and our thanks go out to Charlotte Mueller for pulling together the refreshments and the table display for the meeting. Charlotte made a display of Tillandsias set in a naturlal sponge that generated a lot of questions and admiring comments at the meeting. Thank you Charlotte!

This Month’s meeting

It’s not enough to just pluck a plant out of the ground and enter it in the show if you expect to bring home any blue ribbons. Each plant needs to be properly cleaned up (no oak leaves in the leaf axils), the dead or damaged leaves removed (we’ll show you how to do this), and the plant properly set into a clean pot. Done right, it takes some time to prepare a plant for entry into a show. We will have a workshop on proper grooming of your plants for the show plus, we’ll spend some time cleaning up the bromeliad garden outside the garden center - so you may want to wear some old clothes and bring your gloves.

Dues for the New Year – Last call!

We don’t want to, but after this month if you are not current with your dues you will be dropped from the roster and will no longer receive the newsletter. Don’t let this happen to you, so if you have not already renewed see Evelyn at this meeting or mail a check to any of the officers and they will see that it gets to the right place. It’s $10 for an individual, $12.50 for a family.

Back to Basics – "C" is for…

You probably expected this to be an article on the Genus Cryptanthus, but there is another "C" out there that deserves a second look and that is the Catopsis group. From the Greek for "view", Padilla suggests in her book "Bromeliads" (out of print, but still my favorite) that the name is possibly a reference to their growth on trees where they look down on the surroundings (ooookkkk…like other epiphytes don’t look down?), members of this group may resemble Vrieseas or soft-leafed Tillandsias and, in fact are usually found in the same places that you will find Vrieseas and Tillandsias. They are easily distinguished by their soft leaves that are heavily dusted with white scales on the undersides giving them a waxy appearance and feel. The leaves have smooth edges like the other members of the Tillandsioideae sub family(this group includes the Vrieseas, Wehrauias, Alcantareas, Tillandsias, Guzmanias, Catopsis) so if you ever find yourself with Catopsis spines stuck in your finger you had better check your tags - they must be mislabeled. Inflorescences are generally tall and branched with small white or yellow flowers. Not necessarily beautiful, but very interesting and not without a certain charm, with the star performer of this Genus being Catopsis subulata. This plant is one of the few Catopsis species that adapts well to pot culture and at maturity produces a very pretty branched orange inflorescence.

Florida has several native species of Catopsis with C. berteroniana being by far the largest. An interesting plant in its own right, C. berteroniana has been referred to as a protocarnivorous plant – meaning that it appears to attract insects which drown in water filled tank, with the plant then benefiting from the nutrients released from them as they decompose.

Note the waxy coating on C. subulata

The plant, however lacks the digestive enzymes found in pitcher plants, venus fly traps and others, and therefore, can’t be included with.these more readily recognized truly carnivorous plants.

Catopsis nutans is another native and is quite small with a "nodding" or pendant inflorescence with yellow petals.

Catopsis morreniana mounted on driftwood

I for one, have never seen a Catopsis in the "wild" and one reason for this is that their Florida range is limited to the extreme southern portions of the state – areas that don’t often see frost or freezing temperatures and even there this is not a common plant.

Looking for something a little out of the ordinary to add to your collection? Consider adding a Catopsis or two. They’re easy to care for (just don’t let them get too cold) and quickly reproduce to form an interesting cluster of plants – give them a try!

Upcoming Events:

March 8th and 9th

Azalea Days at Ravine Gardens State Park, 1600 Twigg St., Palatka. Plants, arts and crafts, history, food and music. (I know…this isn’t about bromeliads, but this is a really neat place and if you happen to be looking for something to do this weekend, take a drive to Palatka and check it out!)

March 13th -16th

Everybody’s Flower Show in Daytona Beach, Ocean Center. Our group has volunteered to move properties for the show from the Garden Center to the Ocean Center on Tuesday, so please give us a hand on the 12th and again for their return on Sunday the 16th

March 29th and 30th

Annual Leu Gardens Plant Sale at Leu Gardens in Orlando. 1920 N. Forest Ave. Free Admission 9am to 5pm

March 29th and 30th

Kanapaha Gardens Spring Garden Festival

9am to 6pm Sat., 10 -5 on Sunday. Gainesville

March 29th

Herb Faire – Seaside Herb Society Free admission 10am to 3 pm at the Riverbridge Meeting House and Gardens at Granada and North Beach St….can there possibly be anything else going on this weekend?

April 5th

Volusia Master Gardener’s Spring Plant Sale, Volusia County Fair Grounds at 3100 E. New York Ave. in Deland. Morning only – this is a half day sale only. This will be the

5th consecutive year that we have participated in this event and it just keeps getting better!

April 19th and 20th, 2008

Two great shows and sales this weekend. Some day I’m going to try to catch both of them, but I’ll probably have to settle for either one or the other this year. If you are in the Miami area you won’t want to miss the annual Bromeliad Society of South Florida show and sale at Fairchild Tropical Gardens. Great show, great setting, great sale! If you are on the west coast of the state this same weekend, you must go to Selby Gardens for the Sarasota Society’s show and sale. Selby is the home of the Bromeliad Identification Center and the BSI world headquarters, so it’s no surprise that this is always one of the premier events in the bromeliad world. Which one should you pick? They’re both outstanding events – you decide.

June 24 - 29, 2008
18th World Bromeliad Conference
WBC 18 - "Bromeliads Down Under"

Cairns, Australia