The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

Next regularly scheduled meeting Sunday, May 14th - 1:30p.m.

May, 2000

This Month’s Meeting:Tell us about

your favorite bromeliads!

President - Jay Thurrott - 904/761-4804

Vice President - Bud Martin - 407/321-0838

Secretary - Bob Roberts - 904/446-8626

Treasurer - Ted Nuse - 904/673-2648


A Report on the Daytona Beach Flower Show…

After what seemed like endless anticipation, it came and went very quickly. I’m talking about the Daytona Beach Flower Show 2000 of course. The show was a rousing success by anyone’s standards and FECBS was right in the thick of it. First of all, our display looked just great – the open treasure chest with sea shells spread around the base and "jewels" hanging from the edges was a real eye-catcher. Of course bromeliads played a prominent role in the display with an enormous Androlepsis skinneri (I think the phrase "monotypic genus" flew right over most people’s heads) in bloom behind the chest, some large red Neoregelias peeking out of the chest and a mix of more large Neos. in front with a huge clump of Vriesea ospinae var. gruberi off to the side. Bud Martin certainly has a way with these displays!

A very nice assortment of bromeliads was entered in the flower show. In fact, my sources tell me that there were 52 bromeliads entered for judging, 28 of which were by our club members. Lots of blue ribbons and George Aldrich took the top award for the bromeliad section with his Neoregelia ‘Ying’ (or was it ‘Yang’? I never can keep those straight).

This show just keeps getting better each year. Outside of the usual assortment of pots and pans salespeople with their cooking demonstrations there were actually quite a few vendors of garden related goods. I especially like the used book sales (picked up two out-of-print bromeliad books by V. Padilla) and for the first time at this show, there were our friends, the Tropiflora folks. They had a very nice display and we look forward to seeing them again next year.

Sales at our booth last year were good and this year they were even better. Special thanks to everyone who helped out: I may never be able to get that image out of my head of Linda Stagnol bringing in a box of very nice Cryptanthus ‘Glad’ for sale and narrowly avoiding being trampled by people anxious to buy! Frank Cowan’s tillandsias as usual, went like hotcakes.

Another visual image that I’ll keep for some time is that of Doris Crumbley holding a huge arrangement of multicolored lilies while a customer searched for the perfect plant. Thanks to Ted Nuse for so many contributions…and especially for those morning doughnuts. Peggy’s arrangement may not have taken the ‘People’s Choice’ award this year, but it sure looked nice to me! Joan and Bob Roberts – you only think that you didn’t contribute plants for sale! Darlene Hakojarvi served her time on security for the horticulture and then pitched in to help in the booth.

Mike Fink – as always, your help is invaluable during the "take-down" operation and we appreciate it. Mike also served his time in the booth. New member Alan Bennett from Blossom World – you went "above and beyond…" by being there for 3 consecutive days! And, of course, I need to acknowledge the help from Calandra T. She served her time in plant security and helped in sales by not only selling plants, but also arranging easy financing on the purchase of a huge clump of Aechmea zebrina! Thanks everyone, it really was a lot of

fun! Next year’s date – March 15 to 18, 2001. The theme will be "Floral Rhapsody"!


You know, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t get my billbergias to look like this one from a recent mail order catalogue. I wonder if they really meant this to be Queen’s Tears (which I always understood to be Billbergia nutans) or Billbergia zebrina? Either way, it looks more like the man-eating plant "Audrie" from Little Shop of Horrors! Now if I could just be assured that the plant would look exactly like the picture, I might be willing to invest $1.95 in this most unusual plant.

Topic for the May Meeting –

We’re going to do something a little different for the May program. You are going present the program … and here’s the topic: If you were forced to limit your collection to just 3 bromeliads, which ones would they be? What we want you to do is bring your 3 favorite plants and tell the club why they are your favorites. This should be fun! Don’t worry about whether they are in bloom or not or if they are blue ribbon contenders. We just want to know why they appeal to you. This is a good chance for some group participation and maybe a little lively discussion.

June’s meeting – June 11th Road trip!

We have been invited to tour Blossom World Bromeliads in Sanford by Bud Martin. This should be a great opportunity to tour a commercial growing operation. See how these plants are grown on a large scale. Plans are still being finalized, but there will be seminars in the morning, so come early. Ask lots of questions while you’re there – I’m sure we’ll all want to know about fertilzers, repotting, light levels …the list goes on… Directions on how to get there will be sent to all current members (a good reason to check to see that you are current with your dues – check with the treasurer!). Some of us may want to car-pool. Be sure to mark this date on your calendar!

What’s Blooming?

This has been a good year for Aechmea disticantha var. schlumbergeri. They closely followed on the heels of Quesnelia testudo, which bloomed last month. If you are looking for bromeliads for the landscape around this area – these are the ones. My Hohenbergia correia-araujeii decided to bloom this year. I purchased the pup in 1995 and it looks terrific next to a huge Aechmea ‘Spring Beauty’. This plant came from Anne Kaufman of South Fl. She was kind enough to open her garden to visitors during an Extravaganza in ’97 and gave me this pup. Aechmea luddemanniana is also in bloom in the yard – I’ve had this plant for so long, I don’t remember where it came from originally, but it forms large clumps everywhere and seems really hardy! And, of course, this is the time of year for the native Tillandsias to be in bloom. I really enjoy Tillandsia utriculata, probably because of its size and shape. I think it epitomizes the Florida "wild". Or maybe it’s because I realize it’s a Florida native-although an endangered one. In any event, I enjoy having many of these plants around. Did you realize that this is a plant that can only be grown from seed? Don’t expect to see offsets form at the base like you might expect. Fortunately, this is a plant that forms tons of seed! My plants that bloomed last year have just had their seed pods split open(the seed takes a year to mature) and I have been distributing this to other trees in my yard in hopes of establishing a large number of these plants. It’s a long process, but if you spread seed each year in this fashion, there will eventually be many, many plants in various stages of maturity.

Lots of my plants have been setting seed recently and, I know I’ve mentioned this before, but if you have bromeliad seed that you don’t intend to use please send it to the BSI seed fund for distribution to those less fortunate than you (people who don’t have that particular plant and wish to grow it). Harvey would especially like to have a good supply of seed on hand for the World Conference in California this summer. Don’t have the address? Here it is:

Harvey C. Beltz, Seed Fund Chairman

6327 South Inwood Rd.

Shreveport, LA 71119-7260

I’m sure your contributions will be gratefully received


Upcoming Events


May 6th and 7th – 20th Annual Sarasota Bromleiad Society show and sale at Selby Gardens. Same comments concerning Fairchild Gardens apply to Selby Gardens. One of the real treasures of Florida. If you can make it, you won’t be disappointed.

May 12th – 14th will be the Central Florida Society’s annual Mother’s Day show and sale at the Florida Mall in Orlando (8001 S. Orange Blossom Trail). Can you believe it-this is their 25th Annual… and a great show! I always make it a point to head over to Orlando for this one.

Looking even farther ahead…the Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society will be hosting the annual Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies’ Extravaganza at Terry Park in Fort Myers on Saturday, November 11th. More details will be provided as this date nears, but mark your calendar now.

Every now and then I think it is a good idea to review some of the terms used in describing plants or referring to some of their features. These are often words that you don’t see in other context (when was the last time you used the word ‘dioecious’ in a conversation?) and you may have difficulty finding their definitions in a standard dictionary. The following is the first of a two page glossary that can be found in that wonderful Victoria Padilla book "Bromeliads" (it’s in our library – you may want to borrow it some time!). Page 2 will be in the next issue of the newsletter.


ANTHER - the pollen-bearing part of a flower

APEX - tip

APPRESSED SCALES - scales that are pressed

closely against the leaf

ASYMMETRIC - irregular in shape or outline

AXIL - juncture of leaf and stem

BANDED - marked with crossbars or horizontal

lines of color

BICOLORED - two-colored

BIGENERIC - a cross between species of different


BIPINNATE - twice pinnate

BRACT - a modified leaf associated with the

flowering part of a plant involving size and

often color

CALYX - the outermost case of a flower

CAMBIUM - growing tissue under the bark

CAUDEX - the stem or trunk of a plant

CAULESCENT - having a stem

CERULEAN - deep blue, sky blue

CLONE - plants derived vegetatively from one

specimen (offset or ‘pup’ –JCT)

COMPOUND - inflorescence; a branching inflorescence

CONCOLOR - one color

COROLLA - the inner row of floral parts; composed of petals

CRATERIFORM - cup-shaped; deep saucer-shaped

CUSP - a pointed end

CYATHIFORM - cup-shaped

DECIDUOUS - losing its leaves at certain periods

DIGITATE - fingered or hand-like; compound, with the members arising from one point

DI LATED - expanded or widened

DIOECIOUS - male and female flowers on separate plants

DISCOLOR - of two, or of different colors

DISTICHOUS - disposed in two vertical ranks.

The flower spikes in many vrieseas are an example.

EPIPHYTE – an air plant; a plant that grows on

other plants but is not parasitic

EXSERTED - sticking out; projecting beyond, as,

for example, stamens project from a perianth

FARINOSE - covered with a mealy powder

FASCICULATE - growing in clusters (as in

Tillandsia fasciculata-JCT)

FURFURACEOUS - scaly, scurfy

GENUS - a group of related species

GLABROUS - smooth; glossy; without hairs or scales

GLAUCOUS - sea green; covered with a powder

that rubs off

GLOBOSE - globe-shaped

GLOMERATE - collected closely together into a head

HABITAT - particular place in which a plant grows

HYBRID – a cross; a plant obtained by putting the pollen

of one species on the stigma of another

IMBRICATE - overlapping

INFLORESCENCE - the part of the plant that holds or

contains the flower or flower cluster

LANCEOLATE - like a lance; a narrow leaf, with

curved sides, tapering to a pointed end

LATERAL - from the side. For example, a lateral

inflorescence comes from the side of the plant instead of the center.

LAX -loosely cohering; open, or not compact

LEPIDOTE - surfaced with small scales

LITTORAL - the seashore

MESQUITE - hot, dry desert-like area covered with low shrubs

MONOTYPIC GENUS - a genus with only one species (like Androlepsis


MULTIFARIOUS - having many different parts

OFFSET - an offshoot; a plant arising close to the base of the mother plant

OVARY - the part of the pistil that contains the ovules or seeds

OVATE - egg-shaped

PANICLE - a loose, branching flower cluster

PANICULATE - arranged in panicles

PEDICEL - the support or stem of a single flower