The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

Next meeting Sunday, August 12th – 1:30p.m.

August, 2007

Guest Speaker – Dr. Terrie Bert!

President Bradley Rauch386/767-8937

Vice President – Nina Leggett - 386/673-0550

Secretary – Joan Campbell

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


‘Looks like we are into our normal Summer rainfall pattern now and my bromeliads are really looking better with all of this moisture in the air. Last night the local news person commented that we are now approaching "average rainfall" levels for the year. Isn’t this a bit of a meaningless term? Unless we receive exactly the same amount of water as that calculated average number, we are automatically in a rainfall deficit or surplus every time it rains or doesn’t rain on any given day. This means that it is a very rare occasion indeed when we receive "average rainfall". Two months ago the news media proclaimed that we were facing the serious threat of below-average-rainfall. Now we are looking at the presumably equally serious situation of above-average-rainfall. What a difference a few months can make!

This Month’s MeetingBromeliad Evolution: From Tepuis and Highlands to Lowlands, Seashores, Mountains, and Deserts.

Terrie Bert has educated and entertained us in past years with her always interesting programs relating to bromeliads and we always look forward to her return. She has been a member of the Sarasota Bromeliad Society since 1988 and of the Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society since 1997 and has held multiple offices in the Sarasota society as well as serving as secretary, vice-president, and president of the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies over a 9 year period. At the international level, Terrie has chaired the BSI Nominations Committee, is BSI show chariman, BSI librarian and is an internationally accredited judge. She has given over 50 presentations on bromeliads to numerous Florida bromeliad groups (I was recently in New Orleans and was invited to attend a meeting of the River Ridge bromeliad society…and there was Terrie presenting her program on growing unusual bromeliad Genera!). Dr. Bert’s own collection consists of over 1500 different type of bromeliads spanning 25 Genera, so I believe it’s safe to say that she knows what she is talking about! We are indeed fortunate to have Terrie with us this month as she talks to us about the development of bromeliad Genera from the earliest bromeliads to now and their spread throughout the Western Hemisphere’s warmer regions. You won’t want to miss this presentation – be sure to bring a friend. They’ll be hooked on bromeliads! And, by the way – Terrie will be bringing lots of interesting and unusual plants for sale, so don’t forget your checkbook.

Last Month’s Meeting – How many of you have sprouted those seeds from last month’s meeting? Mine are off to a good start except for those Aechmea allenii seeds. I’ve had zero germination rate for them. The Pitcairnia seeds were a little slow in getting started, but look pretty good at this point and the Dyckia seeds that Nina brought in sprouted in 48 hours! Let’s hear some progress reports from everyone who participated.

Out and About

I mentioned above that we recently had the opportunity to visit a New Orleans bromeliad society’s meeting while attending the BSI board meeting in that city. It’s always interesting to visit other clubs to see how they conduct their meetings and learn of their interests and concerns. Not surprisingly, I learned that this New Orleans club can cook up and serve some really terrific food - I guess they come by it naturally (why everyone doesn’t weigh at least 300 pounds in that city is beyond me!). You may have an opportunity and good reason to visit in this area in 2010 since it is quite likely that this is where the next World Conference will be held.

Culture Tip for the Month

Now that we are seeing almost daily afternoon rains, it’s a good time to examine the potting mix in your potted plants. If the surface of the mix is showing a white or colored growth spreading across it or if you’ve got small mushrooms sprouting, you might want to remove that plant from the pot, wash it off well with a strong stream of water and repot with some fresh mix – and this time try using one that drains a little more quickly. If you have been using a mix with any compost or other organic material in it, this is the time of year when that material really starts to decompose – and, in the process, it supplies nutrients for fungus and molds to grow. Generally, these things are harmless, but they can be opportunistic and further weaken or even kill a plant that was already struggling. Algae can also be a problem for some plants and may produce a thick, green, slimy film over the center leaves. I don’t know what causes this to start, but it probably has something to do with the combination of acidity levels (likely, a lack of acidity), warm temperatures, constant moisture, and excess available nutrients. A good rinsing of the center cup with fresh water seems to help with algae growths, but the jury is still out as to whether it is better to

empty the cup or to leave water in it. I have heard both schools of thought on this. Vigilance (in noticing these problems before they become extreme) and persistence (in treating the symptoms as soon as they appear) are the two key words for bringing all of these problems under control.

The Books Are in!

That’s right, they’re finally here. I’ve picked up our 20 reserved copies of the new Australian book on bromeliads that were purchased through the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies. I will see that they are available for sale at this month’s meeting. One copy is reserved for our club library, leaving the other 19 available for purchase at cost – a bargain if I ever saw one! First come, first served.

Good News from the Weevil Project

If you haven’t already heard, the University of Florida has made the first several releases of the fly Lixamontia franki in hope of controlling the Mexican weevil that has been dining on Florida’s native bromeliads. The Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies has been the main source of funding for the long term project undertaken by U of F to identify a natural means of control for the weevil. Dr. Howard Frank (for whom the fly was named) along with Dr. Ron Cave have been working for years to find a biological control for the weevil. They succeeded in discovering a parasitic fly that preys on the weevil and then developed methods for rearing both the fly and weevil. Next, they confirmed that flies reared in captivity would attack weevils (also reared in captivity) and no other Florida insects. Following this, applications were made and responses anxiously awaited to secure approval for a release of the fly in select areas of Florida to confirm its expected effect on weevil populations. Fortunately, Howard didn’t hold his breath waiting. He’s still here and approval was finally granted. Currently, efforts

are being directed toward monitoring the effects of these first releases. If successful, this project will eventually bring the Mexican weevil under control and allow the reintroduction of native bromeliads (grown from seed and nurtured as another part of this project) in areas where they have been killed by the weevil. This also will be quite a task to accomplish, but I think everyone involved is up to the challenge.

Looking Ahead:

August 18 & 19, 2007
Seminole Bromeliad and Tropical Plant Society - Display and Sale.
Sanford Garden Club Building, 200 Fairmont Drive, Sanford, FL
9 AM - 4 PM both days
There will be plant sales and plant displays

September 7, 8 & 9, 2007
33rd Annual Southwest Bromeliad Guild Show and 10th International Cryptanthus Show
MCM Elegante Hotel
2355 IH 10 S, Beaumont, Texas
Contact: Steve Hoppin at or 239-997-2237

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Reservation deadline: September 14th 2007

Special presentation by Chester Skotak, renowned nurseryman

and hybridizer coming from Costa Rica.

WHERE: Hilton Fort Lauderdale Airport Hotel

1870 Griffin Rd.

Dania Beach, FL 33004

954-920-3300; 954-920 3348 (fax)

Special rate: Single or Double: $89.00

Rates in effect until September 14th.

For Banquet Reservations please make check or money order for US$ 35.00 per person payable to BSBC and mail to: Sara S. Donayre, 1240 Jefferson St. Hollywood, FL 33019

Reservations must be received by September 14th, 2007

You can make your own registration form – just be sure to include the following:

Name/s: ________________________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________

City, State, Zip: __________________________________________________________

Select your Entrée: Veal Scaloppini ____ Poached Atlantic Salmon ____

Grilled Portobella Mushroom ___

Number of Dinners: ________ Amount enclosed: ___________

Room rates: Single or double $89.00 but you must mention the Bromeliad Extravaganza to take advantage of this rate. Rates in effect until September 14, 2007. Come early, stay late – make a mini-vacation out of this!


Sale, Banquet, Raffle and Rare Plant Auction will take place at the same location.

Raffles will be held all day on Saturday. Sunday morning there will be opportunities to tour local nurseries.

Less than two months from now, so don’t put it off any longer - make your reservations now!!

Some Highlights:

Thousand of bromeliads from the best vendors in the state! Free seminars on several topics of interest to the beginner and advanced collector.

Dozens of Rare plants at auction provided by members of Florida Societies to benefit the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies.

Free plants to banquet attendees!

20 Free copies of Elton Leme’s "Canistropsis – Bromeliads of the Atlantic Forest" will be given to early hotel and banquet attendees coming from the farthest points!

There will be seminars and a special banquet presentation by Chester Skotak renowned nurseryman and hybridizer from Costa

Rica as well as an a/v presentation on the upcoming 2008 World Bromeliad Conference June 24-29, 2008 Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Watch for the mail-out that will be sent to all club members. This will be going out soon and will have details on hotel registration as well as banquet information and all sorts of other goodies that will be part of this event!

November 30, Dec. 1-2, 2007

Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society Show and Sale - Terry Park, 3410 Palm Beach Blvd. (SR80) Ft. Myers. Contact Steve Hoppin at or 239/997-2237

June 24 - 29, 2008
18th World Bromeliad Conference
WBC 18 - "Bromeliads Down Under"
Cairns, Australia
Cairns International Hotel
Hosted by Cairns Bromeliad Society Inc.
P. O. Box 28 Cairns, Qld. 4870
and the Bromeliad Society International
More Information can be found at the "Bromeliads Downunder" web site.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to both visit Australia and see a World Conference!

More information on the World conference and on tours in the Cairns area will be available on a table at the Extravaganza in Ft. Lauderdale.