The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

Next regular meeting Sunday, August 13, 2006

1:30p.m.

August, 2006

Back to School!

President Bradley Rauch386/767-8937

Vice President – Jay Thurrott – 386/761-4804

Secretary – Nina Leggett - 386/673-0550

Treasurer – Jim O’Shaughnessy - 386/253-0335

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Can you believe it?! It’s almost time for the kids to go back to school again. Most of the stores are running "back to school" specials and the state is promoting its tax-free shopping period for parents buying school supplies. I’m not exactly sure what this token break, granted by the state for a select group of taxpayers is supposed to accomplish, but maybe the same logic could be used to support tax-free gasoline for those downtrodden motorists… or how about a week of tax-free agricultural purchases for those of us who just can’t kick this addiction of purchasing an ever increasing number of plants?

This month’s meeting:

There are some really terrific tropical gardens to be visited throughout the state and my favorite is Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Miami. For those of you planning on attending this year’s Extravaganza in South Florida – take an extra day and visit Fairchild while you’re in the neighborhood. You won’t regret it. For those of you who haven’t visited the gardens and won’t be able to attent the Extravaganza – at this month’s meeting you will have an opportunity to see some of the highlights of Fairchild…and you will be able to see them in air-conditioned comfort at the Garden Center. We’ll have a slide show of a recent visit to this attraction and, as an added bonus, you’ll be able to see pictures from the recent Bromeliad Society of South Florida judged bromeliad show. Bring a friend, bring a relative, a neighbor – the more the merrier!

Last month’s meeting was a lot of fun. It’s always great to have Terrie as a speaker! This was a very interesting program on some of the more unusual Genera and she brought loads of very interesting plants for sale.

You may recall that there was a "show and tell" plant at that meeting that was called Neoregelia uleana. After the meeting Terrie confided in me that she didn’t really think that plant was Neo. uleana. She had one with her and, sure enough it didn’t look much like the "show and tell" plant. Later, I looked at the Florida Council website (a great place to visit to help with identification of plants) and looked at the picture of Neo. uleana and, sure enough, it didn’t look like the "show and tell" plant either. Thorougly puzzled by now, I contacted Derek Butcher, the Cultivar Regstrar, to see if he had any insight into this mystery - only to learn that Neo. uleana was indeed a bit of an "enigma". This plant apparantly hasn’t been reported in the wild and may even be the result of a misspelling of Neo. olens hybrid. It may well be that neither plant is Neo. uleana and what was shown at last month’s meeting is an unregistered hybrid!

Richard Temple has been extremely ill and we missed him at our last meeting. If you would like to contact him and wish him well, he is at home and can receive phone calls after 9a.m. at 386/441-6203.

Spring Freeze – revisited

This past Spring we were surprised by a couple of days of weather when the temperatures retreated to below the freezing point. To make a long story short -everything in my yard that was covered in frost blanket material survived very nicely and most bromeliads that were not covered either suffered severe damage or were killed by the cold. One of my bromeliads that appeared to have been killed was Aechmea chantinii ‘Grey Ghost’. This was quite surprising to me as I had always taken this plant to be the most cold hardy of the chantinii group – and that’s why I left it uncovered. I had never lost ‘Grey Ghost’ to cold weather before, but then we hadn’t seen a freeze so late in the season before either and this cold weather caught many tropical plants in their "wake up, it’s Springtime" mode. For some reason, I had put my pot of ‘Grey Ghost’ aside rather than emptying it out into the compost pile. Last week I decided that it was time to finally dispose of the body, but when I picked up the pot noticed two apparantly healthy pups poking up through the ‘bone-dry’ mix! If there is a moral to this story, it is not to be in too much of a hurry when it comes to disposing of bromeliads damaged by cold weather – they just might surprise you 5 months later with new growth!

Looking ahead:

August 19-20, 2006
Seminole Bromeliad and Tropical Plant Society -
Fall Tropical Plant Sale
Garden Club of Sanford on 17-92
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
For details call Sudi Hipsley at 352- 728-5002 or Bud Martin at 321-363-7351
The public is invited. Admission is free.

September 30, 2006 - Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies' Extravaganza Presented by the Bromeliad Society of South Florida
at the Miccosukee Resort and Convention Center, Miami -
500 SW 177 Avenue, Miami
Phone 305-251-5289 for information
Email: bromsmiami@aol.com

November 18 & 19, 2006 - Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society Annual Sale at

Terry Park, 3410 Palm Beach Blvd., Fort Myers, Fl

For more information contact Larry Giroux, email:DrLarry@comcast.net
or Betty Ann Prevatt, email: bprevattpcc@aol.com