The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

Next meeting Sunday, Sept.14, 2003


September, 2003

Make plans now for the Miami


President Mike Fink – 386/673-5450

Vice President – Linda Stagnol – 386/760-6842

Secretary – Calandra Thurrott - 386/761-4804

Treasurer - Ted Nuse - 386/673-2648


Extravaganza ’03:

This year’s extravaganza is shaping up to be an outstanding event and one that you won’t want to miss. The Bromeliad Society of South Florida will be in touch soon (you’ll be receiving an individual invitation from the Fl. Council of Bromeliad Societies) with all of the details, but from what I’m hearing this should be quite a party! Each of the bromeliad societies around the state will be responsible for donating 5 items for the rare plant auction, so we need to be thinking about what we can donate at our next meeting.

Field Trip to Plants and Things:

Speaking of our next meeting – our president has made arrangements for us to visit the Aldrich’s nursery in Ocala for our September meeting. Some of you may remember our last field trip to George and Irene’s place and how it was just a nice, laid-back, "take your shoes off and set a spell" kind of visit. A great way to see some gorgeous bromeliads (and other non-bromeliad things like gingers and carniverous plants too), a chance to buy some plants to add to your collection, a chance to talk with the Aldrich’s about their plants and their experiences in growing them …and a great way to spend part of a Sunday! Did I mention that both George and Irene are certified BSI judges and have collected vast numbers of awards in standard, judged shows? This might be an opportunity to learn a bit about techniques for raising blue ribbon bromeliads! Meet at their nursery at 10a.m. before it gets too hot and don’t forget to bring your wallet with you because I can guarantee that there will be at least one plant there that you won’t want to leave without.

How do you get there? See the attached map, but for many of us the most straightforward route should be to take SR40 west to Ocala from Ormond Beach (you’ll see the signs marked ‘to Ocala’). When you come into Ocala you will see lots of Silver Springs signs and the attractions will be on your left. Look carefully on your right – because it’s easy to miss – for NE 8th Rd. Turn right and continue on this north. You will cross NW 10th St. – just continue until you come to the intersection of NE 35th St. Turn left. The address you are looking for is 746 NE 35th St. and it will be on your left. Don’t worry if you miss it – you can turn around and come back again(I always seem to have to circle around an address before I finally find it). Hopelessly lost? Call the Aldrich’s at 352-629-1913 and they can talk you into a safe landing.

Need a ride? Let us know and we will work out the transportation details. See you there!

2004 Daytona Beach Flower Show

Although we didn’t have a sales booth last year at the Flower Show, we did have a terrific display of native bromeliads and a brief description of the problem posed by the Mexican weevil. Our president did a great job on this and it was very well received by the public. This year we have been asked once again to put together a display for the show and our thoughts are to expand on last year’s display and so we put forth two questions to each and every one of you:

  1. Do you have any suggestions to incorporate into this year’s display?
  2. Would you be willing to help out?

Let’s hear your comments!


This is a column that I would prefer not to become a regular part of the newsletter, but as our organization grows and new members join us, we inevitably lose some of our old friends and their loved ones. The following items were brought to my attention:

Some of you may have had the opportunity to talk with Robert Read at last year's Extravaganza in Daytona Beach but did you know that you were talking to Dr. Robert Read – a prominent figure in botany, taxonomy, and horticulture for 50 years? This is the same Robert Read who in 1965 looked closely at the plant that had been called Aechmea marmorata for the past 93 years and declared it to be a member of the Quesnelia genus - Quesnelia marmorata - rather than an Aechmea (I think it looks more like a Billbergia, but what do I know?). This was just one of his many contributions to horticulture. Small in stature, but a giant in the bromeliad world Dr. Read passed away on July 15th

We were also saddened to hear recently of the passing of Roger Daubach, after a lengthy illness. Roger was FECBS charter member Bud Martin’s partner in Blossom World Bromeliads and was well known by many in the bromeliad community. He will be dearly missed.

Most recently, our condolences go out to Marion Kitzmiller for the loss of her husband, Stanley on August 2nd after over 50 years of marriage. Marion has been an active member of FECBS for many years now. She has our deepest sympathies.

What’s Blooming?

How many times have you heard newcomers to the world of bromeliads mention that their newly acquired plant’s bloom has begun to fade and they would like to know when that plant will bloom again? When you hear this question, please break the news gently that their plant will never bloom again and that they will need to wait for its offsets to mature and then bloom – and, of course they, in turn also will only bloom once! This can be very discouraging for some gardeners. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem - I always encourage new members to acquire a variety of bromeliads representing a number of different genera. This way it seems as though there is always something either coming into bloom, in bloom, or starting to fade away, but still maintaining some color. You may feel that Guzmanias are just gorgeous, but since a lot of them bloom during the same time of the year you may find yourself "bloomless" for a sizable portion of the year. Are you delighted with Dyckias? Unless you add some other plants to your collection you may only be looking at blooms in the Spring. Or are you a Billbergia bug? Some of these may bloom at almost any time of the year, but the blooms are so short lived that if you are out of town for a weekend, you may miss the show entirely! If you want something in bloom at different times of the year you are going to have to have a good variety of plants covering several genera and you should pay attention to when you can expect to see a bloom before you buy that plant. By selecting plants known to bloom at specific times of the year (and the vendor should be able to help you with this if you buy from a reputable bromeliad vendor rather than a grocery store or some shady looking character with plants in the back of his out-of-town pickup truck) you should be able to develop a collection that will reward you with blooms throughout the year. Whether you do this by purchasing a dozen or so long-lasting Vrieseas or by means of 365 different Billbergias is entirely up to you – that’s part of the fun of collecting!

Upcoming Events:

11/7-9/03 – Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society Standard BSI Show and Sale. Terry Park in Ft. Meyers. Call L. Giroux at 239/997-2237 or B. Weber at 239/391-4268 for details and directions.

11/15-16/03 – 2003 Extravaganza presented by the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies and hosted by the Bromeliad Society of South Florida. Location: Miccosuckee Indian Reservation Hotel and Casino in Miami (corner of Tamiami Trial and Krome Ave.)

7/26/04-8/2/04 – Sixteenth World Bromeliad Conference in Chicago, Illinois