The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

Next regular meeting Sunday, September 10, 2006


September, 2006

Hurricane Season is Upon Us!

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


If you’ve had any doubts about what time of year this is, just turn on your televison and you will be flooded (no pun intended) with updates on tropical disturbances, waves, storms, and yes, even hurricanes. Will we make it through this season without a thrashing? Your guess is as good as the weather man’s … and probably just as accurate. Until this year’s hurricane season is over it’s very important to (1) monitor the approach of any severe storms and (2) err on the side of safety when it comes to making hurricane preparations. It’s far better to move your hanging plants to a safe area and then move them back again when the danger passes than it is to scour the neighborhood for missing plants or, even worse, to find your outdoor plants indoors because they became flying missiles when the wind began to howl.

New Tillandsia Group Formed

For those of you out there using the Internet, a new bromeliad group is forming devoted to discussion relating to the Genus Tillandsia. You can join the group through the following URL:

and for those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to visit the Florida Council of

Bromeliad Societies’ website, that address is


Richard Temple 10/22/50 – 8/14/06

We were very sorry to learn of the passing of one of our most active members, Richard Temple on August 14th. Rich had been ill for a long time, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying attending our meetings and adding to his large collection of bromeliads and other tropical plants. He was a wealth of information on bromeliad culture and always extremely generous in sharing those plants with others in the club. A man with a sweet tooth, our Christmas party won’t seem the same without Rich’s key lime pies and white chocolate cheesecakes. Our deepest condolences to the family. Richard was an extraordinary individual and will be missed by all of us.

Nomenclature part 4…"

In the last installment of this series we looked at a bromeliad inflorescence and discussed a few of the many different forms this structure may take (simple, pendant, reflexed, semi-pendant, etc.). This month we’ll look at some of the floral parts that can be examined to distinguish one species from another.

I’m not much of an artist, so when I was leafing through some old files recently, I was very pleased to find an article on bromeliad nomenclature by Eloise Beach that included a drawing of a bromeliad inflorescence…and here it is:

First of all, notice that the scape is clearly labeled as the "stem" of the inflorescence. This is the bare stalk (although it may be brightly colored) that rises from the rosette of leaves that make up the bromeliad. In fact, Manzanares in Jewels of the Jungle Bromeliaceae of Ecuador defines scape as "a leafless peduncle arising from ground level (like a daffodil and tulip)" he further defines peduncle as "the stalk of an inflorescence". I like this definition because it’s easy to visualize a daffodil or tulip bloom and then make the connection to scape. Part way up the scape at nodes where we might expect to see new leaves formed (if the plant were not in bloom) we now find scape bracts. Bracts are simply modified leaves and these specialized structures also may be brightly colored in some, but not all bromeliads. Many of the Billbergias for example have large bright pink or red scape bracts that catch your eye when the plant is in bloom. Continueing up the scape we next come to a second group of bracts known as the floral bracts. These are the structures at the base of each flower. Sometimes these floral bracts have a crease or ‘keel’ in the the middle which causes the inflorescence to be flattened in appearance. In some bromeliads the floral bracts may be so small as to be very inconspicuous while in other types they can be quite pronounced.

Looking now at the flower, the sepals are found between the floral bracts and the flower. There are three of these – one for each petal (remember that bromeliad flowers have three petals). Individually they are sepals. Taken together, they are called the calyx. Before we leave the petals - on the inside of each petal if you see a small overlapping piece of tissue, you are looking at a petal scale and that is the feature that distinguishes all members of the Genus Vriesea from any Tillandsia. Some Vriesas may look exactly like Tillandsias except for these petal scales, so you may need to look very closely to determine which Genus a plant should be included with.

What’s blooming in the garden…

Now with the return of the Summer rains, it seems like a lot of my bromeliads have responded by either sending up bloom spikes or producing lots of pups. One plant in particular that I’ve been watching with interest is Werahuia sanguinolenta. I probably would never had acquired this plant if Calandra and I hadn’t attended the Chicago World Conference two years ago. During the banquet we were the winners of a table prize that had been given away previously. Our host apologized profusely and said that in place of the missing prize we should pick any of the floor plants being used for decoration in the room. We looked around and picked a large, unlabelled plant with such deep, dark wine-colored leaves that it almost appeared black. After returning home (and cleaning up after Hurricane Charley that came through while we were gone) I placed this plant at a prominent place in the front and now, two years later, the plant is much larger and is putting up an enormous bloom spike!

Another interesting plant currently in bloom is Vriesea erythrodactylon x V. sucreii that came from the Pineapple Place 10 years ago. This is one of those plants that is reliable in that it blooms each year, but never blooms at the same time. One year it may bloom in June, the next year a pup may bloom in September, another year it’s April…and so on. This is one of those crosses that really combines the best features of each parent plant. Vriesea erythrodactylon has a very pretty bloom, but the plant has plain, soft green leaves and Vriesea sucreii has very nice looking, dark purple (almost black) leaves, but they are so stiff and brittle that I can never keep the plant looking nice. This cross has the nice looking leaves of V. sucreii, but they are wider and softer (so they don’t become damaged so easily and always look good) and it has a bloom that looks very much like V. erythrodactylon’s but with the coloring of V. sucreii’s dark pink to red bloom – all in all a great looking plant and one that the late Carol Johnson called one of her favorite small Vrieseas.

Still another interesting plant in my yard, although it’s not exactly in bloom, is Ananas lucidus. I received this plant as a Christmas present from my older daughter 2 years agoand have admired its very upright rosette of thin, bright red leaves ever since. Recently it put up a bloom spike and then developed a very pretty dark pink pineapple as well as lots of pups - see me at the next meeting if you would like one.

World Conference 2008

This falls under the "late breaking news" category: Word is out now that there has been a special rate established that registrants for the 2008 World Conference will be able to take advantage of if they are members of a society affiliated with the BSI. Our group is an affiiated society, so any of our members will be to register at this reduced rate…now if we could just find out what that rate is… We’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available

Many, Many Thanks…

to Nina Leggett for helping pick up many of Rich Temple’s plants, which were so kindly donated by Rich’s sister Donna from New Smyrna Beach. Nina hosted a fund raiser with this plants and the proceeds will be donated in his memory.

Thanks also must go to Phil and Betty Dollar, Mike and Barbara Fink and Linda Stagnol who, with Calandra and I collected a second, even larger group of Rich’s plants that were donated to the club. Mike, we are especially indebted to you for volunteering to temporarily house these plants on your newly cleared property – your place is starting to look like a botanical garden!

Looking ahead:

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

October 7, 2006 –

Fall meeting of the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies, hosted by the Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

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,
or Betty Ann Prevatt, email:

March 15-18, 2007 Everybody’s FlowerShow at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach. Standard judged flower show, horticultural displays. Many vendors selling garden related items.

April 21-22, 2007 Bromeliad Society of South Florida annual show and plant sale – Miami

May 5-6, 2007 Broward County Bromeliad Society annual show and plant sale