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2010 Journals

January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010

A great day at ‘Broms in the Park’ 2010

– Graeme Barclay. Photos by JAGA.

unday, November 7th was another wonderful day at Totara Waters in Whenuapai for the annual ‘Broms In The Park’ event. There was a great turn-out, with well over 100 society members, friends and family attending throughout the day, all enjoying the great weather – and of course the ‘shopping spree’! As always, there was a fantastic range of neoregelias, vrieseas, alcantareas and tillandsias for sale at great prices.
Peter and Jocelyn Coyle were once again fabulous hosts, it really is a treat for everyone to spend a few hours enjoying the exquisite surroundings and bromeliad fellowship. I must say, their gardens, bromeliads and trees are looking better and better every year – and there is always something new to see.
Also on display were some fantastic new hybrid seedlings grown by John Mitchell. He has some stunning vriesea, vriecantarea (bigeneric) and billbergia hybrids coming along – (see our September Bromeliad Journal) – and in the future some are destined to become very interesting new plants. Andrew Maloy also gave a workshop on removing pups on both small and large vrieseas, which was well received by all… it was great to see how a ‘vriesea expert’ does it!
Around midday, the rare plant auction was conducted by Barry Uren, with 17 plants and 2 bromeliad books up for auction. Some of the plants included: Neo. ‘De Rolf’, ‘Engagement’, ‘Storm Warning’, ‘Hush’, ‘Shamrock’, ‘Skotak’s Tiger’ (carcharodon), Bill. ‘Cold Fusion’, ‘Estrella’ and a large Tillandsia rodrigueziana in flower. A number of these plants were offered for the first time to others in NZ, which was great to see – a big thanks to those members who donated the plants and books.

Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc
Bromeliad Journal – November 2010 issue
‘Broms in the Park’ 2010 – Graeme Barclay 2 President’s Page – Jocelyn Coyle 4 Bromeliad Society October meeting news – Dave Anderson 5
J.A.B. theory – Erik Kaihe-Wetting 6 Diana Holt, hybridiser – Andrew Devonshire 7 Bromeliads on YouTube – Maxim Wilson 11 Over potted? – Kathy Dorr 12 What shade cloth to use? – Graeme Barclay 13 ‘Fiesta’ 2011 is coming! 15 Broms from seed – vriesea – JAGA 16 Thank you… from the editorial team 18 Society officers, subs and Journal directory 19 Group News 20 A tribute to Alison Jarrett – Sue Laurent 23 Five flower spikes in Elton Leme’s garden – Jeanette Waters 24
The opinions expressed in articles or letters in this Journal are the contributors’ own views and do not necessarily express the views or the policy of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand


Please see the Group News section starting on page 20 for details, venues and times of group meetings.
NOVEMBER 21st Society bus trip to Thames 21st Wellington Tillandsia Group meeting.
1.30pm at Dianne O’Neill’s, 7 Black Beech Street, Akatarawa.
23rd Society meeting at Greyfriar’s Hall, corner of Mt Eden and Windmill roads, starting at 7.30pm. Annual plant auction and Christmas supper (please bring a plate). Monthly choice competition: Christmas decoration with bromeliads
28th Northland Group meeting 28th Hawkes Bay Group meeting


5th South Auckland Group meeting 8th Bay of Plenty Group meeting and garden visits Note: There is no Society meeting in December. We meet again on
Tuesday January 25th.

ello everyone, I hope you are all enjoying the wonderful fine weather. We have been busy revamping and rejuvenating some areas in our garden and replacing plants that haven’t come through the winter looking that great.
‘Broms in the Park’ was held on Sunday 7th November and I am sure it was enjoyed by all who came. We certainly enjoyed sharing our garden with Society members and friends. I would like to say a special thank you to our auctioneer Barry Uren for doing a great job and making it an enjoyable and fun auction, John Mitchell for sharing his knowledge and vriesea hybrids with us -stunning plants John, keep up the good work! Thanks also to Andrew Maloy for demonstrating the correct way to cut pups from a vriesea and Win Shorrock for her tillandsias.
On Sunday 21st November we are off to the Thames coast on our bus trip. The bus will be leaving Western Springs car park at 8am sharp. We will not be waiting for anyone so please be there and on the bus on time. The pickup at Bombay crossroads (Caltex service station) is 8.30am. It is going to be a fun day with some really great gardens to see and the wonderful hospitality of the Thames Bromeliad Group to share. Please bring bottled water or a drink with you. Lunch will be provided.
Our next meeting is the 23rd November and this is the final for 2010. We will be having our annual prize giving for the competition plants for the year, a special plant auction and a shared Christmas supper. Please bring a plate. The normal sales table and conference sale table will also be available.
It seems a bit early to be wishing you all a happy and safe Christmas but please enjoy it and I will see you all in January 2011.
Cheers, Jocelyn
PS: Start looking out your plants for the 2011 ‘Fiesta’ in February!

Plant donations required for conference fund please!
At each monthly meeting we have for us to sell. A huge THANK YOU to a table with donated bromeliads up all members who have donated plants for sale and a silent auction. All the so far, but we need more members to proceeds go towards helping fund our participate to sustain our fundraising ‘Cool Broms’ Australasian conference efforts. So, please, go on a ‘pup hunt’ in 2013. If you have ANY spare potted before the next meeting… you might plants or pups (bare rooted pups are be surprised what has sprouted over fine) that you would like to donate, the last few months that someone please bring them along to the meeting else will like! – BSNZ Committee

Bromeliad Society October Meeting News – Dave Anderson
resident Jocelyn discussed current business, starting with the Spring Sale and Display held ten days ago that was a great success. The annual ‘Broms in the Park’ will be held at Totara Waters on the 7th of November. At the November meeting we have the annual auction of rare bromeliad plants that are always being sort after - please contact Peter Waters if you have a plant that you want to put in the auction. At the end of the evening in November we have our usual Christmas supper so would everyone attending please bring a plate. And for those going on the Thames bus trip, please be at Western Spring at 7.45 on Sunday 21st November as the bus is departing promptly at 8am!
Peter Waters discussed the ‘Show and Tell’ plants. First for display was a Tillandsia straminea x cacticola – a beautiful plant with 220mm long grey leaves in flower. Next a Neoregelia ‘Buckingham’ that had large red leaves with damage to their ends as if a snail had eaten the top surface from them. The damage was thought not to be snails but probably caused by cold temperatures during winter that was now ‘coming out’. Two hybrid plants of Tillandsia bulbosa x streptophylla had a series of small differences with the owner wondering if they were the same hybrid. However Peter thought that as the differences were small they were probably correctly named. Wanting to be named was a hybrid of xCanmea ‘Wild Tiger’ made by the late Gerry Stansfield. Lastly Peter showed an unusual plant – a clump of Racinaea crispa with its crinkled leaves that needs to be grown very wet to thrive.
Andrew Maloy then gave an interesting ‘PowerPoint’presentation on his recent trip through Holland and Germany visiting some of the extremely large nurseries where they produce many millions of plants annually.
Margaret Flanagan won this month’s conference raffle prize – an attractive Vriesea ‘Twilight’.
The door prizes went to Glen Harris, Andrew Maloy and Heather Cooke.

Open Flowering: First was John Mitchell with Canistrum triangulare – a much sought after plant that clumps up beautifully. Peter Coyle was second with a Neoregelia ‘Lamberts Pride’ x ‘Treasure Chest’. Also in the competition were Aechmea recurvata, Alcantarea vinicolor and Vriesea ‘Tasman Hybrid 2007’ – one of the white leaved hybrids.Open Foliage: First equal were John Mitchell with Aechmea zebrina and Peter Coyle with Neoregelia ‘Totara Twist’. In the competition were Neoregelia ‘Medallion’; Orthophytum ‘Fire Cracker’; Racinaea crispa; Vriesea ‘Kiwi Cream’ and ‘Mint Julep’. Tillandsia: Lester Ching’s Tillandsia streptocarpa was first – a lovely clump
Cont’d P6
Cont’d from P5 – October Meeting News

with three flowers in full bloom, equal were two plants grown by Peter with second going to Lynette Nash’s Coyle –Neoregelia ‘Rosy Morn’ x Tillandsia aeranthos. There were also ‘Lamberts Pride’ and a xCanmea on the table Tillandsia recurvifolia and ‘Wild Tiger’. In the competition tectorum. were Neoregelia ‘Fancy That’, ‘Pink Neoregelia: Peter Coyle was first with Elegance’, ‘Stargazer’ and ‘Midas Neoregelia ‘Engagement’ – a very Touch’. attractive smallish neoregelia similar to ‘Small World’ and he was also second The Plant of the Month Trophy with a Neoregelia ‘Gold Lotto’. In the went to Peter Coyle with Neoregelia competition were Neoregelia ‘Painted ‘Engagement’. Delight’, ‘Jeanette’, ‘Alkazar’, ‘Wild Tiger’ and ‘Desert Rose’. Congratulations to all the winners.
Named Monthly Plant (Gerry
Stansfield’s registered hybrids): NEXT MEETING: Tues 23rd Nov.
First was Margaret Flanagan with a Please remember to bring a plate for
Neoregelia ‘Cabernet Wine’. Second the Christmas supper.

J.A.B. Theory – Just Add Bromeliads!
– Erik Kaihe-Wetting

In this issue we take on popular TV Series, current and past. See if you can work out the original title!

Tales From the Cryptanthus!

Mr Edmundoa

The Land of the Lost Name Tags

The Grace Goodies

The Guzmania Whisperer

I Dream of Leme-y

Little Hechtia on the Prairie

The Man From T*R*I*C*O*M*E

The Day of the Tillandsias

The Wonderful World of Dyckias

The Bromford Files

Desperate Hieroglyphicas

800 (bromeliads) Is Enough!

Extreme Makeover – Shadehouse Edition

Some Old Mothers Do ‘Ave Em!

Diana Holt has horticulture in the blood
– Andrew Devonshire continues his series on bromeliad hybridisers…
people with passion.

his month we profile a relative newcomer to the field of bromeliad hybridising. It was at ‘Broms in the Park’ November 2009 that Diana Holt had some of her hybrids on show for the first time, and she followed this up with a few of her hybrids being displayed at our Fiesta in February 2010.
Horticulture is in the blood when it comes to Diana’s family, and she recalls her earliest experience of gardening was on her grandmother’s property in Panmure, where alongside the cows and the chooks, cut flowers were grown for the city markets. Diana remembers that from about the age of seven or eight she having her own patch of veges growing in her grandmother’s garden. She believes that having grandparents from each side of her family that were passionate about horticulture has given her the ‘growing gene’. Bromeliads first caught her attention in the early 1990s, when she found a shop at Victoria Park Market selling tillandsias. As she worked nearby, she would often visit, so it did not take long for her build up an array of these little silver beauties. In February 1996, Diana came along to the Bromeliad Society show that was being held at Eden Gardens, and the plants on display must have really caught her attention, because she joined as a new member the very next month.
As Diana built up her bromeliad collection, she was attracted to many of the hybrid creations she saw coming into the country from overseas breeders. A trip to the 1999 Bromeliad Conference in Cairns gave her the opportunity to see many of the beautiful Australian hybrids first hand, and it was during this trip that Peter Waters said to Diana, she should just make her own. This made an impression on her, and she started considering all the possibilities of hybridising.
Diana feels that it is very important to have a clear aim before starting any breeding programme…
When Diana retired from full time work she had time to really explore the potential of bromeliad breeding. Early in 2006 she visited Gerry Stansfield, and he was able to demonstrate all the subtle techniques involved in the pollination process. Diana feels that it is very important to have a clear aim before starting any breeding programme and she will always try to visualise the end results. She will research the background of possible parents, and look to see if similar crosses have been done before. Diana believes that developing a new style, a new colour or a new form of plant is as much a work of art as painting
Cont’d P8
Cont’d from P7 – Diana Holt
a picture, but she finds working with nature is even more satisfying.
Plant breeder Luther Burbank (1849
– 1927) has been Diana’s inspiration. He was an American from Santa Rosa, California, who spent his life developing new trees, new vegetables, new fruits, and new flowers. Burbank would use up to three acres to trial his plant creations, saving just the few special ones to progress further, destroying the rest. There are some 2500 new plant creations credited to him, and many are still in use worldwide, including a potato he developed that McDonalds still use for their fries.
With bromeliads, it has been the
work of Grace Goode that has
captured Diana’s attention…
With bromeliads, it has been the work of Grace Goode that has captured Diana’s attention, especially Grace’s miniature neoregelia creations with their year round colour, balance of size and shape. These minis have become her firm favourites and Diana says they are an art form in their own right. With her own bromeliad breeding programme now well underway, Diana has been working on a theme each season, and, as was Grace Goode’s practice, Diana tries to use a species as one of the parent plants in her crosses. It is still early days so none of her hybrids are ready for registration or release just yet.
She will start her seed off on a bed of sphagnum moss in small sealed plastic containers. These plastic containers are placed into polystyrene propagation boxes, as advocated by Gerry Stansfield. She adds a 25 watt incandescent light bulb to give just enough light and heat for the seedlings to germinate and to grow. Diana has been very successful germinating her bromeliad seeds and she has even had success germinating pineapples from the little black seeds found in the pineapple fruit. Once her hybrid seedlings are large enough, they will be potted up and transferred into the growing house where they are left to develop and to show their markings. As she doesn’t have the luxury of three acres to trial her creations, culling has become an important discipline.
While neoregelias are Diana’s plant of choice, clivias have become her other plant breeding passion. Diana has a wonderful collection, including many of the Chinese varieties. She says a lack of space is becoming a real issue. As clivias prefer the shade, they grow very well in areas not suitable for her sun loving bromeliads. Diana has had great joy in seeing the first of her own clivia creations flowering, and this has made the five year wait, and all the effort, well worthwhile.
Diana says that as long as there are people who enjoy hybridising, and there are people who are always seeking something new, there will always be a future for bromeliad hybridising. If you have the desire, passion and patience required then go for it. There is nothing quite like the joy of creating, and the joy of watching each seedling develop.

Diana Holt…
‘Tigrina’ x ‘Flaming Lovely’ showing the attractive banding.
Diana Holt with one of her favourite hybrids‘Tigrina’ x ‘Flaming Lovely’.
‘Tascha’ x carolinae tricolor
‘Gold Fever’ x ‘Tigrina’

‘Tascha’ x carolinae tricolor ‘Tiger Cub’ x ‘Black Knight’
Recording the hybridising ‘process’…
with Diana Holt – Photos by Andrew Devonshire

Seed starting off. Seedlings develop.

Seedlings grown on. One is selected.

Almost ready for a name.

Bromeliads on YouTube and the internet
– Maxim Wilson. Reprinted from Bromeliad Society of Queensland
‘Bromeliaceae’, Jul/Aug 2010

here are many short videos on bromeliads on YouTube to add to the information we get at Bromeliad Society meetings. Just Google ‘YouTube’, bring up the website, then look for the search bar. Type bromeliads , hit return, and a large selection of short videos appears. Do remember to click the small icon with four small arrows at the bottom right hand corner, to get full screen video. Below I list some of the videos I found useful, and you can enter the titles listed below in the search bar:

1 How to harvest pups, Part 1. Todd from N.Z. demonstrates harvesting pups from Guzmania and the mini Neo ampullaceae, in 6 minutes.

2 How to plant pups, part 2. Again Todd does that in four minutes 46 seconds.

3 Jack’s Florida Bromeliads. This four minute video takes you through his greenhouse showing interesting specimens. No commentary, occasional labels.

4 Jack’s Florida bromeliads I and II feature a slide show of his plants in flower, with occasional names .

5 Bromeliad Alcantaria imperialis (rubra) is a one minute 48 seconds video of a good specimen.

6 The Evil Florida Bo Weevil is a video clip from TV News with a woman reporting on the pest, from Central America, which is destroying bromeliads across 20 counties in Florida.
7 Tillandsia ionantha bromeliads shows a 47 seconds slideshow of the many forms of this bromeliad species.

8 Spanish moss in flower (two minutes 30 seconds). This caught my attention because I have not seen this bromeliad in flower.

9 The story of Spanish moss. This professional video from the History Channel tells a fanciful story (one minute 26 seconds).
If you understand Spanish, then your choices are extended. You don’t need to search each of the titles listed above. Once you have viewed one video, you will see a column on related videos down the right hand side of your screen. When I see a beautiful bromeliad at our monthly meeting, I Google its name, and come up with many sites. Clicking images at the top left hand side of the window brings up a whole screen of photos of that bromeliad, and others. Some sites lead to a blog where brom fanciers exchange ideas, photos and answer questions. One such blog introduced me to large Neoregelia species and hybrids. I found I could import them to a file, so I built up an archive of bromeliad photos.

Over potted?

– By Kathy Dorr, reprinted from the December 1983 newsletter of the Study Group of Northern California. The article has been slightly adapted
and updated.

t seems like almost since ‘the beginning of time’, we have been told that bromeliads don’t need anything larger than a four inch pot (approx 10 cm). Did anyone ever ask the bromeliads their opinion?
When listening to the judges, it is not uncommon to hear the remark that a particular plant is ‘over potted,’ but I seldom hear the remark that such and such a plant is ‘under potted!’ It may be time to reconsider, particularly in regard to some genera.
The most vital of these are the members of the Pitcairnioideae group. It has been my experience that dyckias, hechtias, puyas, pitcairnias, deuterocohnias and ochagavias prefer lots of foot room.
Their first preference is to be grown in the ground where they can let their ‘corset stays’ out to the extreme and enjoy themselves. Their next choice is LARGE (according to size: 1,2,5,10,15 gallon) pots – not little four inch pots. (A pot with a capacity of one gallon would hold just over 4.5 litres) The questions are often asked why these plants have brown tips and brown leaves and aren’t doing as well as expected? The size of the pot could well answer these questions in a majority of cases – along with the growing conditions of course. This doesn’t mean they won’t grow in the small pots, flower and offset, but if you want the plants to be their happiest they need plenty of root space.
Dyckias, even when small, can completely fill a gallon size pot with roots.
About two years ago I planted two Dyckia platyphylla plants of equal size and age: one in a four inch pot (10cm) and the other in an eight inch pot (20cm). The one in the four inch pot has grown very little and has not produced an offset. The one in the eight inch pot has grown beautifully and produced one offset that is equal in size to the original plant as well as five smaller ones.
Another example is two Dyckia fosteriana plants The one in the four inch pot has two offsets and has stayed quite small in comparison to the one in the large pot which has a minimum of six plants entirely filling the pot. When I turned the pot up and took the plant out, the pot was entirely filled with roots and obviously needed a larger pot. The four inch pot was also filled with roots and there was little soil remaining. The ends of some of the leaves of the plant were brown and these plants did not have the lush look of the plants grown in the larger container.

What shade cloth to use? – Graeme Barclay
At our September meeting in Auckland I gave a talk, based on research I did, to find out which colour and type of shade cloth gives the best results for growing bromeliads. In this article I report on the research findings.
ast year I designed and constructed a new shade house, so I wanted to ensure I used the best cloth to allow me to grow well formed and colourful neos all year round. I found definitive information relating to shade cloth and bromeliads hard to find. I therefore embarked on an ‘ask-a-thon’, talking to fellow growers and conducting a survey on a bromeliad internet forum. Basically, it comes down to two main things – shade factor and cloth colour. However, common sense says there are also a number of other important considerations you need to be aware of when designing your shade house - more on that later.
You need to select the best colour shade cloth to use for the types of bromeliads you are growing. There are a number of colours available from different sources. Here are the pros and cons from a technical point of view:
Green = Produces low levels of ‘PAR’ (PAR = Photosynthetically Active Radiation), which is the portion of the sun’s radiation spectrum that best promotes photosynthesis, thus plant growth. Reflects the green light (which is useless for plants in photosynthesis). Black = Neutral effect on light transmission. Restricts ‘PAR’ only by size of holes in mesh, as no light passes through the mesh strands. Absorbs heat and solar radiation but reduces polarised (glary) light off plants.
White = Increases ‘PAR’ efficiency, and transmits the best balance of light colours. Optimises light diffusion and maximises yield by allowing the most light to reach the plants, for faster and bigger growth. Also reflects the most solar radiation. Can cause polarised light problems (glare) – although knitted types of cloth don’t seem to do this as much as woven types.
Red = Promotes good levels of ‘PAR’. Reduces the blue, green and yellow light and increases the red and far red light spectrum. Use for accelerated growth, early ripening, greater foliage volume and accelerated photosynthesis. However, can cause some plants to look a ‘different colour’.
Blue = Restricts ‘PAR’ levels. Reduces the red and far red light and increases the blue spectrum. Slows plant development, giving a more compact plant. Slows photosynthesis, delays ripening. However, can cause some plants to look a ‘different colour’.
Sandstone/Beige = Allows good light transmission and ‘PAR’ levels and is best, especially where colour is required (eg: neos, billbergias etc) as it enhances the ‘reds’. Has a lesser polarised light problem than with white, but greater than black.

Cont’d P14 13
Cont’d from P13 – What shade cloth to use?
So, the best colour cloth for growing colourful broms appears to be Beige/ White/Black – probably in that order. Experienced growers I spoke to agreed and almost all use one or more of these colours in their own shade houses.

Next, look at what shade factor or ‘UV percentage block-out’ level is best for your situation. Basically, this comes down to the size of the holes in the shade cloth – a lower percentage means larger holes and more light. My research showed that as a ‘rule of thumb’ the most commonly used shade factors were 30% or 50% for neos and hardy type broms, while 50% or 70% is best for vrieseas and other softer leaf genera.

The shade house location, aspect to the north-facing and midday sun in both summer and winter; roof shape; wall height; shelter from wind; the proximity to buildings, trees, walls and high fences – are all other important factors that you need to take into account when selecting what cloth to use. The ‘golden rule’ is to ensure the shade house light level is not going to be adversely affected through the whole year by any of the environmental factors mentioned above. For example, if the shade house gets only morning sun and minimal midday and afternoon sun in winter – but, sun nearly all day long in summer, it may be advisable to use two layers of shade cloth in the summer, so you can remove one layer and allow as much light in as possible in winter. This would mean you need to select a lighter gauge cloth (say 30%) for two layers, rather than going for one heavy 50% -70% cloth.
Some other facts and tips:
Always use knitted cloth, not woven. Knitted cloth won’t rip and is very strong, UV stable and lasts for years.

The higher the cloth is above the plants, the better the light diffusion (spread) and air flow will be – which is better for growing.

Two layers of , say, 30% cloth does not equal a 60% shade factor – it is more like 40%-50%.

Use heavy white cloth (80%-90%) to line the inside of shade house walls to reflect extra light onto plants if required, but do not restrict air flow too much (i.e. leave gaps top and bottom).

Use different coloured and shade factor segments of cloth over different plants if you need to –

e.g. seedlings versus mature plants.
Experiment over four seasons to see what works for you and your location. Ensure you design for your conditions and plants.
To show the difference you can achieve by growing plants under 30% white shade cloth, the photo on the next page shows two Neoregelia ‘Clarise’ plants. The one on the left has been grown in full sun. The one on the right has been grown in semi-shade greenhouse conditions. Quite a difference! It all depends what you like and what ‘look’ you are after.

The difference shade cloth makes…
– Photo by Graeme Barclay

Neoregelia ‘Clarise’ grown under two different light conditions.

2011 Bromeliad

It’s time to start planning!
Select your special plants!
Plan to get involved in our big annual Show!

Saturday 19th – Sunday 20th
February, 2011

Broms from seed – vriesea…

Fresh seed ready to use. Cutting off the seed and washing.

Pot with broken bits of polystyrene to base Bagged pot, must be placed somewhere then fine bark them in 15mm of sterilised warm but not in direct sun. Right side pot, soil seed raising mix. seedlings 10 months old with plastic bag
taken away.

Young plants two years old. If these are Three and a half year old plants.
separated should have good sized plants
in about four years.

Broms from seed – vriesea

– Article and photos by JAGA

e thought it might be timely to share our successful ways of growing broms from seed starting with vriesea and alcantarea, although this method can be used for most genera. There seems to be a general resistance to growing broms from seed as it’s a slow process compared to just buying a brom but most of us are gardeners that enjoy growing, so what follows is a simplistic overview but hopefully it’s enough to excite people to try their luck.
This is the least complex method and will take you 4-5 years to get a plant to reasonable size and you need to ‘set’ the seed from now on over the warmer months.
Vriesea seed pods are all maturing about now and you will notice around your gardens that they are turning brown and splitting open, so the first step is to collect the seed which must be fresh to get good germination. This seed will have either come from self pollination which is reasonably common with vriesea or from a cross between two plants which can be via insects, birds, wind or by human intervention. The ripe seed pod will begin to split into three and that’s the time to remove it. I use a saucer half-filled with water and add to it two drops of ‘Exit mould’. Break open the pod and with tweezers pull out the seed. I’ve had trouble with mould and algae and part of that reason is the umbrella fluff attached to the ‘wind dispersed’ seed so even though this is a bit of a slow process I remove it with scissors to just leave the seed and place it to soak in the saucer overnight. Only pick out the good seed, tan coloured and slightly swelled are the good ones, black and shrivelled are no good.
I place the seed into a normal plant pot but any container with drainage will do. Start with a layer of broken bits of polystyrene to cover the base followed by fine bark then about the last 15mm with seed raising mix. The finished level should be about 15mm below the pot top. The seed raising mix should be sterilized. I make sure the soil is very moist, put it into a microwaveable container (not one to be used for cooking or you will be in big trouble) zap it for 2-3 minutes then let it cool off. When it’s placed into the pot I spray the soil with a solution, say two drops of exit mould to 750ml till its quite moist. Once all the seed is placed make sure you add in a plant label with the seed cross. I then enclose the pot with an opaque plastic bag with no holes, securing it with a rubber band. The pot should be placed somewhere very warm, either in a plastic house or on a north facing window sill, but not out in the direct sun and also bear in mind that it will need to sit there with the plastic bag enclosure for at least a year so this may take a bit of experimentation.
It will take 2-3 weeks for germination and you should give the pot fresh air once a month but there should be no need to water them as the bag keeps

Cont’d P18 17 Cont’d from P17 – Broms from seed – vriesea
in the moisture but keep checking. You may have to micro weed and spray with that weakened ‘Exit mould’ solution to keep out the algae, or if you decide to use a commercial fungicide make sure it’s copper free.
In a year the seedlings should have reached the top of the pot and you can remove the bag, slowly over a couple of weeks to toughen them up but keep them in that warm spot. From then on it’s important to keep them well watered and give them an occasional spray of ‘Confidor’ to keep out the crawlers and add in some slug bait, otherwise a year’s work can be gone overnight.
From here we will let the images tell the story.

Thank you… from the editorial team

2010 has just flown by and suddenly we’re putting together the last of our eleven issues. Hopefully, members have enjoyed their regular monthly ‘bromeliad reading.’
We wish to thank all our contributors for the year. Without your efforts the Journal would quickly fade away. In particular in 2010 we’ve enjoyed a fascinating exploration in Brazil with Peter Waters and, thanks to Andrew Devonshire, we’ve been able to go behind the scenes with a number of well-known and not so well-known bromeliad hybridisers, to find out about the vision and the passion that drives them to experiment and create. We’ve gained more knowledge about a range of bromeliad topics and, as always, through our writers and photographers, we’ve been able to ‘visit’ and admire spectacular and amazing bromeliad gardens. We have welcomed new writers and contributors: Erin Titmus, Graeme Barclay, Erik Kaihe-Wetting, Colin Symonds, Peter Coyle, Ross Fergusson and John Blanch. Well done and keep it up. Thanks to our dedicated group scribes we’ve all been kept up to date with what’s going on around the country.
Sadly, in July we lost one of our regular and prolific Journal writers – Gerry Stansfield. There would be hardly one Journal over the last five or seven years that hasn’t contained at least one article from Gerry and his ‘From the Registrar’ column was a real Journal ‘institution’.
Looking ahead to 2011, the editorial team welcomes suggestions from members for ideas and subjects they would like to see covered in the Journal. And please… keep those stories, photos and articles coming!

Please email text as a Word file and email photos / images as low resolution jpegs to Peter Waters: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Once the images are selected for use in the Journal we will contact you to arrange to get the high resolution images we need for quality printing.

Patron:  Patricia Sweeney 
President:  Jocelyn Coyle  09-416 8272 
Vice Presidents: Alan Cliffe  09-479 1451 
Secretary:  Dave Anderson  09-638 8671 
Treasurer:  Peter Waters  09-534 5616 
Librarian:  Noelene Ritson  09-625 8114 
Life Members: Dave Anderson, Patricia Perratt, 
Len Trotman, Patricia Sweeney, 

Peter Waters Scientific Officer: Peter Waters 09-534 5616

Committee: Graeme Barclay 09-835 0358 Don Brown 09-361 6175 David Cowie 09-630 8220 Chris Paterson 09-625 6707
Cultivar Registrar: Barry Uren 09-235 5244 Seed Bank: Bev Ching 09-576 4595 Species Preservation:
Barry Uren 09-235 5244 Editor: Murray Mathieson 09-418 0366 Auditor: Colin Gosse

New Zealand:

Ordinary membership NZ $35.00 ($5.00 discount if paid before the end of February). Dual membership (same household) NZ $45.00 ($5.00 discount also applies as above).


AUD $30.00 Australia, US $30.00 United States and other overseas countries. Send all payments to the Treasurer, Peter Waters, 22 Half Moon Rise, Half Moon Bay, Manukau 2012.


All general correspondence should be sent to the Secretary, Bromeliad Society of New Zealand,
P.O. Box 108-168, Symonds Street, Auckland, New Zealand. The opinions expressed in letters or articles in the Journal are the contributors’ own views and do not necessarily express the views or policy of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc.

For all editorial and advertising, the first Tuesday of publication month

Editorial Committee
Dave Anderson Murray Mathieson Peter Waters

Regular Writers
Andrew Devonshire Graeme Barclay John and Agatha Lambert

Murray Mathieson

Dave Anderson All enquiries and contributions welcome, please contact any member of the editorial committee or send to Peter Waters, 22 Half Moon Rise, Half Moon Bay, Manukau 2012 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Display Advertising
Rates are: Full Page $60.00 Half Page $30.00 Quarter Page $15.00

‘Buy & Swap’
Listings in ‘Buy & Swap’ are FREE for members of the Society (max. 30 words). For advertising enquiries and material, please contact Murray Mathieson ph (09) 418 0366 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Group News
Northland Bromeliad Group
– Lois Going
Our well attended October meeting was held in summer conditions at the home of Joy Barnes and Bob Johnson. This is a relatively new garden which is evolving at an astonishing rate. The bromeliads nestling amongst the rocks and palms look very established. Signs are that planting is extending into ‘vacant’ areas and there is another new shade house. Although a couple of bromeliads were divested of their many pups, discussion mainly centred around finalizing end of the year activities.

Competition Results:
1st = Viv Shortland – Neoregelia ‘Green Ripple’, an Avon Ryan hybrid and Maureen Green – Neoregelia ‘Bright Surprise’ which had its genesis in supposedly bilbergia seeds from the USA. 2nd Sandra Wheeler – Vriesea ‘Pacific Sands’. 3rd = Jan Mahoney with Vriesea fenestralis and Sylvia Boswell – Nidularium ‘RaRu’.
Next Meeting: November 28th. This will take the form of a bus trip to view Peter Waters’ collection in Auckland as well as visiting two other properties.

South Auckland Bromeliad Group
– Marion Morton
Our first garden visits of the Summer Season took us to the North Shore to see two gardens that were new to us. The weather of course was glorious (as it always is in the winterless north). Our main meeting was at the home of Elizabeth and David Thomson, who live just a stone’s throw from Cheltenham beach. Their garden is a charming mix of shade and sun loving plants. David is a clivia enthusiast and has hundreds planted through the garden. David says that they were stunning this year. They had finished flowering when we called but the foliage still looked good. Elizabeth helped get the garden ready, however her forte is quilting and a number of excellent examples of her handiwork were displayed in the garden. Another charming feature of the garden is a scarecrow – which doesn’t look even the least bit scary.
After our main meeting we dropped in to see our old friends, Rod Bieleski
(M.M.Z.M) and his wife Val (Miss Whitianga 1952). Lots of our members will remember visiting their garden when they lived in Redoubt Road, Manukau. Bromeliads abound – teamed beautifully with annuals and begonias. The perfume as we walked up the drive was heavenly. The show stopper here though has to be Martha
– a chocolate coloured Newfoundland. The raffle was won by Brenda Green.
Next Meeting: Sunday 5th December from 1.30pm at Margaret and Robert Flanagan’s, Flanagan Road, Drury. This will be our Christmas windup with our usual barbeque and fun auction of choice plants. Two plants maximum please. Bangers and bread will be supplied. Please bring a plate of finger food for sharing – and don’t forget your mug and chair. Drive up to the house if you are dropping off plants, then please park in the adjoining paddock.
There will be no meeting in January 2011. Our February meeting will be at 1.30pm on Sunday 6th Feb at the home of John Mitchell and Birgit Rhode – 18 Albion Place, Papakura.

Bay of Plenty Bromeliad Group
– Jo Elder
President Lynley welcomed a very good turnout of members and five visitors to our October meeting despite the blustery rainy weather. A discussion was held concerning the upcoming events – a bus trip in November and a sales day at the end of October.
A panel of members: Gill Keesing, Audrey Hewson, Bertha Schollum and Barry Jones answered questions from the floor. Many queries were answered such as scale insects on plants, ‘Confidor’ was recommended for this problem. Fertilizing bromeliads: ‘Phostrogen’ is a good product to use, food needs to be high in potash, not in nitrogen. Mosquitoes in cups of plants and how & when to remove pups etc. Gill Keesing has plant pots for sale @ $2.50 for 10 pots. Members are asked to get in touch with Gill if they wish to purchase these well sized pots. We all visited the gardens of Helen Parsons and the Thomas’. These gardens are very sheltered and have an easterly aspect. The plants looked great despite a very wet spell of weather.
Raffle winners: Jackie Walsh, Helen Parsons, Ray Parkinson and Barbara Nalder.
Plant of the Month: Vriesea A wonderful selection of plants was displayed. A number of plants were Andrew Maloy hybrids, some of the grey leafed vrieseas and many species.
Vriesea cereicola, scalaris, bleherae, fosteriana, saundersii, olmosana var. pachamamae, ‘Waihi Dawn’, ‘Visterella’, ‘Erotica’ ‘Highway Beauty’, ‘Majestic hybrid’, and ‘Red Chestnut’.

Competition Plants:
1st Vriesea ‘Vistarella’ Cushla Chudleigh; 2nd Aechmea recurvata hybrid Gill Keesing; 3rd Neoregelia ‘Gold Fever’ Graeme Alabaster. Also tabled Vriesea ‘Sunset’Neoregelia ‘Grace’ Neoregelia ‘Orange Crush’ Billbergia pyramidalis

Tillandsia Competition:
1st Tillandsia ‘Wildfire’ with 18 flower spikes – Lynley Breeze; 2nd Tillandsia bulbosa x – Jo Elder; 3rd = Tillandsia aeranthos x – Audrey Hewson, Tillandsia argentina – Bertha Schollum. Also tabled Tillandsia geminiflora, stricta, ionantha, and ‘Houston’ x aeranthos.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, December 8th ‘Christmas Pot Luck Lunch’ at Jean Richardson’s home, 36 Anderley Avenue, Omokoroa. Please bring a plant for the continuous raffle and finger food to share.
Garden Visits: Prior to lunch: commence at 10.30am. 1st Susan

Cont’d P22 21 Cont’d from P21 – Group News
Glover, 54 The Esplanade, Omokoroa 2nd Jean Richardson.

Hawkes Bay Bromeliad Group
– Judy Newman
Because the weather gods were against us again our trip to Trellinoe Garden Park had to be cancelled and our meeting held at our normal indoor location.
As the meeting was rescheduled at the last minute members just brought along plants they could talk about so we had an interesting afternoon. Wade had brought along four pups he had taken off the same plant of Neoreglia ‘Milagro’ to show what a difference it had made depending on the time of year he had done it. The two taken off late in the season were much smaller and had come into flower while still small. Margaret brought along a lovely bouquet of bromeliad flowers and Noel and Judy showed Quesnelia testudo and Aechmea ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ in flower -neither up to competition standard! Julie also had a plant in flower, a very attractive Aechmea ‘Pie in the Sky’ with its pretty yellow flower. We also discussed the interesting lined basket that contained the Neoregelia ampullacea in the competition. I had bought it from a man who sells orchid supplies and members were keen to see if he would supply the group.
The group’s planting of bromeliads on the Marine Parade was very successful. Eight hardy members were up there early on a Saturday morning cleaning up plants already there, tossing some and planting the large number of others
donated by members. Anna gave a big
thank you to all who helped one way or
another and Lynne, the organiser, said
council staff were very pleased. So far
all the plants have remained there and
it will be interesting to see if they stay
there after an article appeared in the

Competition Results:
Neoreglia: 1st Neoregelia ‘Purple
Star’ – Wade Smith; 2nd Neoregelia
‘Grace x Passion’ – Julie Greenhill;
3rd Neoregelia ‘Aussie Dream’ –
Yvonne Richardson

Miniature/small: Neoregelia
ampullacea hybrid – Judy Newman
Other species: 1st Aechmea ‘Mirlo’
– Julie Greenhill; Dyckia unnamed –
Judy Newman
Next Meeting: 28th November. The
venue to be advised.

Our tribute to a special lady - Alison Jarrett
From Sue Laurent and the Eastern Bay of Plenty Bromeliad and Orchid Group

lison Jarrett, a much loved member of our Eastern Bay of Plenty Bromeliad and Orchid group, passed away on 20th August 2010. She was there when we started the group ten years ago and she shared the same mad passion for bromeliads that we all have.
During the ten years the group has been in existence we have had many meetings and many trips away to look at gardens and buy plants. We have had lots of laughter and fun along the way. Wherever Ali was there was laughter. She did special things. When we had meetings at her place, she would always give my mum a beautiful china cup for her cup of tea.
Ali’s garden was also special. She had genuine artistic flair. I’m sure that those readers fortunate enough to have visited her garden will agree – it was stunning.
When Ali was diagnosed with cancer we went around to her house. She had decided to change her garden to make it easier to care for. A group of us helped her. The plan was that we were going to re-vamp her garden in the spring, with a whole lot of vrieseas that she had growing. She wanted to be able to sit in her rocking chair and look at and enjoy her garden. Sadly it was not to be as time ran out for Ali.
We are all still shell-shocked and we miss Ali very much. She has left a huge gap. Fortunately, in our gardens we all have a little bit of Ali and we have lots of lovely memories.
Our thoughts are with her husband Paul and the Jarrett family. 

‘If you don’t rise to see and enjoy daybreak, you have wasted
hours of precious thought and time.’ – Alison Jarrett, July 2010

Five flower spikes in Elton Leme’s garden
– photos from Brazil by Jeanette Waters

Aechmea sp. Aechmea woronowii Dyckia sp.


Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc
Bromeliad Journal – October 2010 issue

President’s Page – Jocelyn Coyle  3 
‘Monthly choice’ – Gerry Stansfield’s hybrids. A reminder!  3 
Bromeliad Society September meeting news – Dave Anderson  4 
Andrew Maloy …spectacular ‘Kiwi’ vrieseas – Andrew Devonshire  5 
Far North inaugural Show – Eric Stephens  9 
Society officers, subs and Journal directory  10 
Building my shade house – John Blanch  11 
Group News  14 
Genus Hechtia – Robert Kopfstein, San Diego Society ‘Blade’  17 
‘Broms in the Park’ 2010  20 

The opinions expressed in articles or letters in this Journal are the contributors’ own views and do not necessarily express the views or the policy of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand

Please see the Group News section starting on page 14 for details, venues and times
of group meetings.
OCTOBER 26th Society meeting at Greyfriar’s Hall, corner of Mt Eden and Windmill roads, Mt Eden, starting at 7.30pm. Monthly choice competition: Gerry Stansfield’s hybrids (see list on page 3 of this journal). Andrew Maloy will speak about his recent European trip. 31st Hawkes Bay Group meeting – note it is the 5th Sunday this month.

7th ‘Broms in the Park’ (see back cover for details) 7th South Auckland Group meeting and garden visit 10th Bay of Plenty Group meeting 13th South Auckland Group visit Whangarei gardens 14th Far North Group meeting 17th Bay of Plenty Group garden visits 21st Wellington Tillandsia Group meeting 21st Society bus trip to gardens in Thames 23rd Society meeting at Greyfriar’s Hall, corner of Mt Eden and Windmill roads, Mt Eden, starting at 7.30pm. Annual plant auction and Christmas supper. Monthly choice competition: Christmas decoration with bromeliads

FRONT COVER: Continuing our series on bromeliad hybridists …people with a passion …Andrew Devonshire profiles the well-known ‘vriesea man’, Andrew Maloy. Read about his spectacular work, starting page 5.


ell, spring came and went and now I am waiting for it to return again! Those nice sunny days were great when you feel like you can get the tee shirt out at last, but at the moment I am sitting writing these notes and wondering if I should put the heater on as we are having another cold snap.
It’s now time to be cutting those pups from your neoregelias and potting them up. We have been waiting four weeks for our own pot order to arrive so I am really hanging out to get my hands into potting mix and get my plants potted.
Our bus trip to Thames on the 21st November is full and I have a waiting list so could all those members who put their name on the list confirm please by paying me at the next meeting. It is $20 per person and I know we’ll have a wonderful day out.
My thanks to all the sellers and helpers at our Spring Sale, many hands make light work and the effort is always more enjoyable when shared with friends.
Don’t forget ‘Broms in the Park’ Sunday 7th November at Totara Waters in Whenuapai. It’s always a nice casual day to share with other bromeliad enthusiasts.
October is turning out to be an ‘Andrew Maloy vriesea month’. He is the featured hybridiser in this Journal and at our October 26th meeting he is going to share with us some of the highlights from his recent European trip.
Hope to see you there.
Jocelyn Coyle

The monthly choice competition at the Society’s October meeting in Auckland will feature hybrids developed by Gerry Stansfield.
We’re asking members to enter and display hybrids developed and named by Gerry Stansfield. Please – we’d love to have a bumper entry – and to help members sort out their plants for October we’re printing the following list of hybrids that Gerry created and named and that are known to have been sold and ‘out there.’
Neo. ‘Carnival’ | Neo. ‘Champagne Delight’ | Neo. ‘Charming’ | Neo. ‘Exotica Dark Goddess’ | Neo. ‘Exotica Diablo’ | Neo. ‘Fancy That’ | Neo. ‘Fire Mountain’ | Neo. ‘Gem Stone’ | Neo. ‘Kiwi Natalie’ | Neo. ‘Little Charmer’ | Neo. ‘Midas Touch’ | Neo. ‘Moonlight’ | Neo. ‘Pink Star’ | Neo. ‘Red Smash’ | Neo. ‘Rustic’ | Neo. ‘Spotted Delight’ | Neo. ‘Stargazer’ | Aechmea ‘Pink Fantasy’ | xCanmea ‘Wild Leopard’ | xCanmea ‘Wild Tiger’ | xBillmea ‘Rangitoto’ | Nidularium ‘SomethingSpecial’ | Vriesea ‘Lavender Lady’
Thanks to Graeme Barclay and Peter Waters for putting this list together. Most likely there are other hybrids by Gerry Stansfield out there. If you’re not sure check with Peter Waters before the October meeting or bring it along anyway so we can have a look at it before it goes out on the monthly choice competition table.

Bromeliad Society September Meeting News – Dave Anderson
resident Jocelyn welcomed everyone, including two visitors to this month’s well attended meeting. She talked about the Spring Sale and Display to be held at Mt Eden War Memorial Hall on October 17th. The annual ‘Broms in the Park’ at Totara Waters will be held on Sunday November 7th – see notice in this journal.
Peter Waters chaired the discussion on the ‘Show and Tell’plants. The only plant for display was a Billbergia amoena var stolonifera – a light plain green leafed species that sends out very long stolons that is quite different from the other nine or so varieties of this species.Following this we had a very informative talk from Sam of Cosio Fabrics who spoke about the various materials that are now available to cover greenhouses etc. Graeme Barclay then spoke about the effects the different coloured fabrics have on growing bromeliads.Sharon Keller won the special conference raffle prize. The door prizes went to Mark Van Kaathoven, David Anderson and Erik Kaihe-Wetting.
Open Flowering: First was Peter Coyle with Vriesea ‘Highway Beauty’ – a plant that always looks great. He was also second with Vriesea ‘Candy Girl’ a white wide leaved plant bred by Andrew Maloy. Also in the competition were Aechmea orlandiana ‘Hunua Patches’ and Aechmea nudicaulis var. aequalis. Open Foliage: Alan Cliffe was first with a Vriesea ‘Nova Pink Beauty’ – another lovely hybrid made by Andrew Maloy. Peter Coyle was second with Neoregelia‘Fire Plum’. In the competition were Aechmea fasciata ‘Sangria’, ‘MaryHyde’, ‘Brillig’, nudicaulis var. capitata; Billbergia ‘Beadleman’ and Vriesea ‘Tasman’ hybrid.Tillandsia: Peter Waters was first with Tillandsia roezlii – a not so common green leafed plant with dark banded markings and second with a Tillandsia stricta x aeranthos in full flower was Win Shorrock. Also on the table were
Tillandsia caerulea, recurvifolia var. subsecundifolia, ionantha, and tenuifolia. Neoregelia: First Alan Cliffe with Neoregelia ‘Jewellery Shop’ a superbplant that Margaret Paterson took 10 years to breed. Second equal were Peter Waters with Neoregelia ‘Storm Warning’
– ‘Barbarian’ x ‘Royal Burgundy’ an attractive wide leafed plant with green leaves and dark spots and Peter Coyle with Neoregelia carcharodon ‘Tiger’. Also in the competition were Neoregelia Aussie Dream ‘Glorious’, ‘Justin’s Song’ – a beautiful wide red leafed with green/yellow spots, (‘Rosea Striata’ x concentrica) x ‘Maya’, ‘Yellow King’and ‘Predatress’.
Named Monthly Plant (Variegated bromeliads excl. Neoregelias): First was Peter Waters with Vriesea ‘Megan’
– a beautifully grown albomarginated cultivar of Vriesea fosteriana developedby Dillings in NSW and second was David Goss with Nidularium innocentii var striatum. In the competition were Aechmea ‘Bert’ (variegated) and Aechmea ‘Ensign’.
The Plant of the Month went to Peter Coyle with Vriesea ‘Highway Beauty’. Congratulations to all the winners.
NEXT MEETING: Tues 26th October.
P.S. Those who have annual end of year trophies – please bring them along to the October meeting.

Andrew Maloy and his spectacular ‘Kiwi’ vrieseas – Andrew Devonshire
Continuing our series on hybridisers …this month we profile nurseryman, teacher and writerAndrew Maloy, whose vriesea hybrids, with their stunning foliage patterns, have become sought after world-wide. In a relatively short period of time Kiwi Bromeliads have put foliage vriesea hybrids on the horticultural map, making them a ‘must have’ in any bromeliad collection.
hile Andrew’s reputation as an accomplished hybridiser is now well-known, and keen gardeners will know Andrew as the Weekend Gardener magazine’s ‘Plant Doctor’, who solves their plant problems, many people may not realise that Andrew is also:
A long-standing member of the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, and has co-edited their journal.

A past chairman of the RNZIH executive committee.

A fellow of the RNZIH

The chairman of the RNZIH Education Trust.

A member of the International Plant Propagators Society, since 1974.

Is a specialist judge for the Young Horticulturalist of the Year competition.

A previous writer for ‘Consumer’Home and Garden magazine.

The author, in conjunction with publishers, Shoal Bay Press, of ‘Plants for Free’, a New Zealand Guide to Plant Propagation which, for many years, was used as a text book in schools and polytechs.

A lecturer in amenity horticulture and plant propagation.

Early days with vriesea
When Andrew was teachinghorticulture in the 1990s he became friendly with Noel Scotting, a longtime member of the Bromeliad Society. Noel used to import seed and plants during the 1980s and 1990s and Andrew would grow the seeds on for her. Noel was very imaginative, and she enjoyed discovering different ways to use bromeliads in her garden. Andrew would often take his students on field trips to Noel’s garden, and it was during these trips that he began to realise the fantastic landscape potential of bromeliads.
Andrew saw a gap in the market for foliage vriesea. Other people were breeding neoregelias, but nobodyseemed to be doing anything with vriesea in New Zealand. Andrew started hybridising with plants like hieroglyphica, gigantea, platynemaand fosteriana (rubra).
Now Andrew has a wealth of parent plants to select from and his favourites change all the time depending on the results of previous crosses and feedback from his customers. One aspect he can find a little frustrating about breeding for commercial sales is that the plants he likes are not necessarily the best sellers. As he says, you have to grow what the market demands…but over time, the hybrids that do sell well usually end up becoming his favourites.
Cont’d P6
Cont’d from P5 – Andrew Maloy …vriesea hybrids

Looking to (a brightly patterned)future
Andrew has done some hybridisingwith neoregelia and alcantarea, but it is vriesea that have become his passion. Andrew’s credo is ‘Take responsibility for your actions’ and his philosophy with hybridising is to shake up the gene pool and see what comes out. Keep the best, chuck the rest. Use only the very best for further breeding.
Andrew sees great potential for more colour breaks in vriesea, and there are opportunities to breed hardy plants and plants that will still colour up in poor light conditions.
Kiwi Bromeliads is now focused on two clear goals. The first is to breed quality plants for NZ and Australian gardens, and the second is to breed quality plants for the international pot plant market. The requirements for each market are quite different, what performs well outdoors in Australasia is different to what sells well as a pot plant in Europe or America.
While the nursery is primarily focused on commercial sales, Andrew says he does get a great deal of satisfaction seeing members of the Bromeliad Society entering plants he has bred into the competitions and winning with them. It also gives him pleasure to hear and to see how well his hybrids are growing in people’s gardens.
Andrew has been influenced by a number of people including Len Trotman, Gerry Stansfield, Peter Coyle, and of course the many customers who buy his plants and provide feedback. Andrew’s wife Rhonda also plays an important role in the day to day running of the nursery as well as in selecting hybrids with potential. More recently Andrew has been working with overseas nurseries that have shown interest in his varieties of vriesea, and this resulted in Andrew and Rhonda travelling to Holland during Julywhere some Kiwi Bromeliad varieties are being grown under licence by the Stofbergen Plant Company. Recentlythree of these varieties (‘Kiwi Sunset’, ‘Kiwi Dusk’ and ‘Kiwi Cream’) were included in a collection of foliagevrieseas which won a prestigious Flora Holland 2010 Glass Tulip award for the most promising new product in the Indoor Plant category. These plants are now available in Ikea stores in Europe and the UK.

Be patient
Andrew’s advice to anyone wanting to get into breeding vriesea is to be extremely patient, as it takes three or more years to find out the results of a cross. From pollination to collecting seed can be as long as six months, then for at least the next 18 months the seedlings show little colour other than green. After about another year or so you can start picking out the good ones.
Picking out the good ones has been one of the keys to Andrew’s success. His skill in selecting the best parent plants, combined with his and Rhonda’s ability to pick out the seedlings with potential has resulted in stunning foliage vriesea hybrids that have raised the bar, not only in New Zealand, but worldwide.
With Andrew’s passion, dedication, and professional approach to hybridising, I’m sure that bromeliad collectors will be treated to many more spectacular foliage vriesea hybrids.

Andrew Maloy… vriesea hybrids

Andrew Maloy … vriesea hybrids

Andrew’s nursery.

The Far North Bromeliad Group runs its inaugural show…
– Notes contributed by Eric Stephens.

or several years we have had our Show in conjunction with the Waimate North Show. However our Club has ‘out grown’this arrangement, and also this year we wished to make our event more ‘upmarket’.
So, we were delighted to respond to an invitation from the Bay of Islands Orchid Society to join with them, and run a combined show in Kerikeri. The district is especially blessed with the brilliant facilities available at The Centre, in Kerikeri.
It was a most successful event, with over 600 people paying admission, and the bromeliad section of the show attracting 103 entries. Entries were strong for the popular genera, but we would have welcomed more in some other classes. Our judges (Zena Poulgrain, and Poppy Fuller), in consultation with the Group were more liberal than usual in accepting entries without registered cultivar names, but this will change as exhibitors gain more experience.
The ‘Best in Show’ award went to Wendy Mathews with an Aechmea nudicaulis variant, and Eric Stephens took out the points prize over all classes. Winning entries in the specific classes were:
Neoregelia – Peter and Pam Scahill with Neo. ‘Rosy Morn’

Neoregelia miniature – Eric Stephens with Neo. ‘Annick’

Aechmea – Wendy Mathews with an Aech. nudicaulis variant.

Vriesea – Arlene Purdie with Vr. ‘Vistarella’

Billbergia – Deborah Dozzi with a billbergia cultivar

Tillandsia – Iris Symonds with Till. tectorum.

Guzmania – Wendy Mathews with an unnamed guzmania hybrid.

Other Genera – Eric Stephens with

Fosterella penduliflora
• Artistic arrangement of bromeliads
– Eric Stephens with a platoon of Neo. ampullacea mounted on an ancient piece of totara.
All in all, a great occasion, some excellent plants, a lot of fun and a very positive pointer for the future. Well done everyone!


Patron:  Patricia Sweeney 
President:  Jocelyn Coyle  09-416 8272 
Vice Presidents: Alan Cliffe  09-479 1451 
Secretary:  Dave Anderson  09-638 8671 
Treasurer:  Peter Waters  09-534 5616 
Librarian:  Noelene Ritson  09-625 8114 
Life Members: Dave Anderson, Patricia Perratt, 
Len Trotman, Patricia Sweeney, 

Peter Waters Scientific Officer: Peter Waters 09-534 5616

Committee: Graeme Barclay 09-835 0358 Don Brown 09-361 6175 David Cowie 09-630 8220 Chris Paterson 09-625 6707 Sandy Stonham 09-627 9658
Cultivar Registrar: Barry Uren 09-520 0246 Seed Bank: Bev Ching 09-576 4595 Species Preservation:
Barry Uren 09-520 0246 Editor: Murray Mathieson 09-418 0366 Auditor: Colin Gosse

New Zealand:

Ordinary membership NZ $35.00 ($5.00 discount if paid before the end of February). Dual membership (same household) NZ $45.00 ($5.00 discount also applies as above).


AUD $30.00 Australia, US $30.00 United States and other overseas countries. Send all payments to the Treasurer, Peter Waters, 22 Half Moon Rise, Half Moon Bay, Manukau 2012.


All general correspondence should be sent to the Secretary, Bromeliad Society of New Zealand,
P.O. Box 108-168, Symonds Street, Auckland, New Zealand. The opinions expressed in letters or articles in the Journal are the contributors’ own views and do not necessarily express the views or policy of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc.

For all editorial and advertising, the first Tuesday of publication month

Editorial Committee
Dave Anderson Murray Mathieson Peter Waters

Regular Writers
Andrew Devonshire Graeme Barclay John and Agatha Lambert

Murray Mathieson

Dave Anderson All enquiries and contributions welcome, please contact any member of the editorial committee or send to Peter Waters, 22 Half Moon Rise, Half Moon Bay, Manukau 2012 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Display Advertising
Rates are: Full Page $60.00 Half Page $30.00 Quarter Page $15.00

‘Buy & Swap’
Listings in ‘Buy & Swap’ are FREE for members of the Society (max. 30 words). For advertising enquiries and material, please contact Murray Mathieson ph (09) 418 0366 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Building my shade house – John Blanch

bout two and a half years ago I degenerated from a person with a fairly healthy interest in bromeliads to an irredeemable hard-core addict.
I had started out innocently enough, using neos and alcantareas to add a few highlights of colour and form in the garden. Soon the little pockets had become swarms and I found myself planting things for the primary purpose of shading my bromeliads. Then, in November 2009, I joined the Bromeliad Society and of course my collecting impulse became uncontrollable. I needed more space and decided to turn my growing area into a ‘compound’!
Here’s how the project took shape:
General structure:
The site was adjacent to the boundary of my property so to comply with local ordinance I decided to build the shade house as a semi-permanent structure with no concrete foundations. That said I wanted the thing to still be in good repair in 20 years time. The south wall was an existing 1.4m high wooden retaining wall and the west wall was an existing concrete block retaining wall of about 1.4 - 1.6m, open to the north and east. This configuration meant I could take full advantage of morning sun so I decided to leave the eastern and northern sides totally open with an overhang of about 1m along those sides of the roof for midday protection. I was acquainted with a number of horror stories about people who had unwittingly poisoned their plants with copper drippings from treated timber – so I chose to use untreated macrocarpa.
Macrocarpa is easy to work; with similar physical properties to kauri, is dimensionally stable, naturally durable above ground and naturally insect resistant. I considered both plastic and shade cloth as coverings and for a while I planned to double skin the roof with a layer of each, but eventually cost and labour had me settle on just the shade cloth (for now).

Design Considerations:
Before I broke ground or ordered any of the materials I mapped the site into a free CAD (computer aided design) programme called ‘SketchUp’ and went through a number of drafts before settling on my final design. This allowed me to visualise how the structure would look on the site. It was then very easy to calculate my material requirements. I settled on factors like height, number and configuration of support posts, dimensions and configuration of lintels and beams and the pitch of the roof. I also laid out the internal floor and bench plan. If you can manage it, I’d thoroughly recommend the CAD process.
To get the benches level and because the site is sloping, I decided to suspend the benches on wire ropes from the timber beams and just level the walkways between the benches. Aesthetic and strength considerations

Cont’d P12 11
Cont’d from P11 – Building my shade house
led me to select fairly robust beams of 50 x 250 mm and I was confident that they’d be up to the job of carrying the weight of the benches, pots, plants potting media and water.
I was looking for maximum growing area in the space available – I even considered vertical tiering of benches. However after seeking advice on an online bromeliad forum it became obvious that the only place I could get away with that was with the benches directly along the southern and eastern walls, which actually worked out fine. Otherwise I kept the benches fairly low (averaging about 500 mm off the ground) with those on the north-east corner being lowest graduating to the highest on the south-western corner to eliminate shading during winter. I decided to build up – with the roof about 3m off the ground and run wire rope across the undersides of the roof beams to give me almost 100m of line from which to hang pots. Structurally they also act as ties and strengthen the building.

The construction phase was all about doing the work and making minor tweaks and adjustments. That said it took quite a few weekends to get the structure up. To keep the timber out of contact with the ground the posts were bolted into galvanised steel bowmacs which in turn were dynabolted to basalt kerbstones set on pads of compacted gravel. All the timber joints between the posts and the lintels were half lap joined and bolted and the joins between the lintels and the beams were all half lap joined with gravity keeping them in place (aside from the two outside beams which were also bolted). For the benches I used recycled galvanised wire frames that came from a demolished commercial orchid greenhouse and hung them on weathered 3mm galvanised wire rope. The frames are 6’ long by 2’ wide (approximately 2m x 600mm). So far there are 10 in the 1st tier with another 3 in the second tier along the rear walls.

Shade cloth:
Following a fair amount of online research I selected a sand coloured knitted shade cloth which I understand excludes 70% of UV. After listening to Graeme and Sam speak about shade cloth at the Society’s September meeting I’m half convinced I should have gone with 50% but the shade house is in a very hot north-facing position. I’ll see how it goes over the coming year.
The floor has been weed matted and I’ll cover it in a few centimetres deep of scoria, which holds moisture well and can be watered in summer to keep humidity levels up.
Now I need to fill it with cool stuff. If anyone could help me with any of the plants in my ‘wanted to buy’ listing in our August Journal I would be most grateful! And, of course, if anyone would like to come and see my shade house you’re more than welcome. I live in Howick and can be reached by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 027 251 6323.

Building my shade house … John Blanch

The completed shade house.

Group News
South Auckland Bromeliad Group
– Marion Morton
It was a glorious day for our Annual Sale at the Botanic Gardens on Sunday 3rd October.
Our take was slightly down on last year. As a change from our usual display of bromeliads, Judy and Brian Small artfully arranged members ‘Bromeliads in Unusual Containers’.
If there was a ‘best entry’ prize it would have gone to new member, Coleen Munro whose effort stood – literally. She planted bromeliads in the tops of her husband Norm’s artificial legs. Norm however stayed home. Many thanks go to all those who contributed to making the day such a success.
The raffles were won by Judy Small, Lee Smith, Win Shorrock and Trudy Smithyman.
Next Meeting: November 7th marks the start of our summer season of garden visits. Our main meeting will be 1.30pm at the home of Elizabeth and David Thomson at 34a Cheltenham Road, Devonport. Don’t forget your cups and chairs. From there we pay a visit to Val and Rod Bieleski at 33 William Bond Street, Stanley Point, Devonport.
Weekend trip north: On Saturday, 13th November we travel north for our weekend tour of the gardens of Whangarei. First pickup will be 7am at the Botanic Gardens, Hill Rd, Manurewa. Second pick 7.15am at 1 Cameron Street, Papakura and the North Shore contingent will board the bus at Silverdale.

Hawke’s Bay Bromeliad Group
– Judy Newman
President Anna Le Comte welcomed a good number to our September meeting. A discussion was held about the Group’s replanting of bromeliads in the Sunken Gardens on the Parade. Several members will donate plants and help. Some members had brought along plants with problems and these generated a lively discussion. Fertilizing was another topic and some fertilizer was for sale to members. Like potting mixes everyone has their own ‘recipe’. There was also some talk of our involvement with the ‘Green Therapy’ stand at the Home and Garden Show which was an initiative of combined plant societies to try and gain more and younger members. The concept was good but needs some fine tuning. Our visitors had found our contact details from there.
Competition Results: Neoregelia: 1st equal Neoregelia ‘Kings Ransom’ – Grace Smith and Neoregelia ‘Yang’ – Wade Smith; 2nd Neoregelia ‘Hot Gossip’ – Colin Anderson; 3rd Neoregelia hybrid – Yvonne Richardson
Miniature/small: 1st Neoregelia ‘Break of Day’ -Julie Greenhill; 2nd equal Billbergia ‘Genevieve’ - Colin Anderson and Aechmea ‘Tokuri’ - Judy Newman; 3rd Neoregelia ampullacea -Yvonne Gilbertson
Other species: 1st Aechmea recurvata
– Grace Smith; 2nd equal Aechmea fasciata ‘Kiwi’ – Julie Greenhill and Aechmea ‘Fosters Favorite’ – Wade Smith; 3rd Aechmea ‘Aztec Gold – Judy Newman
Next Meeting: 31st October (5th Sunday because of Labour Weekend) at Trellinoe Garden Park, Taupo Rd at 11am. This is an enormous country garden on the Taupo Rd about three quarters of an hour north of Napier. The rhododendrons and azaleas should be magnificent. There is a cafe available for lunch.

Far North Bromeliad Group
– Poppy Fuller
Tranquillity, harmony, the sounds of a fresh water stream and tuis in tall flowering pawlonia trees? Our October meeting at the home of Tom and Audrey Kent was the place to be. The enthusiasm of 37 members, including our new President Rex Pyne, completed the setting. Our raffle table had some really nice neoregelias and fat oysters! The trading table had lots of pots, tamarillo and tomato seedlings.
‘Show and Tell’ featured Quesnelia arvensis (red form) in flower, Aechmea orlandiana with deep shades of pinks, black and white speckles and green (grown under 50% shade cloth) and finally a fabulous Neoregelia ‘Amazing Grace’. All three belonged to Poppy. Our auctions are always a buzz with Poppy’s quesnelia fetching $30 and two small pawlonia trees went for $45. Put your order in with Tom Kent now!
Last weekend we had the pleasure of hosting members from the Bay of Plenty and Eastern Bay of Plenty (Whakatane) groups. On Sunday, David was their guide around Kerikeri and on the Monday Jacqui showed them what Kaitaia had to offer, including seafood delights. On the Tuesday, Vivienne organised garden visits in Hikurangi, Kamo and last of all in Maungakaramea in the garden of our northern ‘Queen of Bromeliads’ – Maureen Green. I believe their bus was jammed packed with broms!
Next Meeting: November 14th we meet at the home of Alistair and Bevlyn Bibby, Kerikeri. Please bring a bromeliad from a genus beginning with ‘A’. Our group meets the second Sunday of each month. Visitors are welcome and if you would like to visit any of our gardens, please call Poppy on 09-407 9183.

Bay of Plenty Bromeliad Group
– Jo Elder
Lynley welcomed fifty members to our September meeting. Our guest speaker Peter Waters spoke about his ‘Brazil Experience’ with Elton Leme. Lynley reminded the group of the value of belonging to the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand and how useful and readable the monthly journal is. There was a discussion concerning the upcoming sales day at Matua Hall on 30th October and the bus trip being planned for Sunday 7th November to visit gardens in the Whakatane area.
Raffle Winners: Doris Shea, Trish Gough, Kevin Pritchard.

Plant of the Month – Aechmea:
Members excelled themselves with a wonderful display of these plants. Some were, Ae. ‘Fascini’ orlandiana, flavorosea, winkleri,’ Mirlo,’ ‘Royal Wine’, ‘Kiwi’, ‘Bert’, several forms of Ae.recurvata, and many more. Show & Tell: Neoregelia johannis x ‘Fosters Giant Red’, a beautiful plant by Barry Jones, Guzmania ‘Neon’ , Tillandsia complanata and a beautiful cryptanthus which Peter identified as ‘Rainbow Star’.

Competition Plants: 1st Vriesea

Cont’d P16 15
Cont’d from P15 – Group News
‘Vistarella’ – Jo Elder, 2nd Neoregelia ‘Milagro’ – Cushla Chudleigh, 3rd Aechmea recurvata – Graeme Alabaster, also tabled Neoregelia ‘Manoa Beauty’ – Gill Keesing and Quesnelia humilis – Jo Elder. Tillandsia: 1st T. tectorum – Cushla Chudleigh, 2nd T. caput-medusae x capitata – Bertha Schollum, 3rd equal
T. recurvifolia – Bertha Schollum T. atroviridepetala – Jo Elder, also tabled were T. juncea – Barry Jones and T. ‘White Star’ – Jo Elder. Next Meeting: November 10th, 12.30pm at TYPB clubrooms Sulphur Point. Roger Allan will speak on ‘Plants not to plant,’ Part 2 of his talk from 2009. Plant of the month: Bromeliads acquired at ‘Broms in the Park’ in November 2009. Garden Visits: 10am 17th November, 1st.Diana Fiford, 206 Carmichael Road, Bethlehem, 2nd Barbara Darrah, 1 Hawkridge Heights, Bethlehem, 3rd Yvonne Moore, 6 Glenrowon Rise, Bethlehem.

The Wellington Tillandsia Group
– Phyllis Purdie
Our September meeting was at the home of Lois and Merv Dougherty. Plants discussed were: T vicentina. 20 seedlings were ordered from USA and were returned after 4 months with a label saying ‘not known person’. They looked dead but were soaked in water for 4 hours and remounted. Some were showing signs of regrowth. These plants are no longer found in their natural habitat. T kautskyi, a small clump with grey tinted leaves and rosy bracts baring pink flowers. T ‘Frosty Jack’, a cross of (T rodrigueziana x T beutelspacheri ),with leaves tinted frosty colour and red tipped magenta bracts baring purple/brownish tubular flowers. T ‘Tuti Fruti’, a cross of (T ionantha x T seleriana), was a large clump colouring red when flowering producing long purple tubular flowers. T (stricta x aeranthos) x T leonamiana, a plant with silvery leaves tainted pink. The flowers were from a deep pink bract, mauve tipped white T ‘Paris Pink’ (T erubescens x T achyrostachys) had a thick salmon bracts which was pinker on the sunnier side. It had long tubular green flowers. T alfredo-laui was a longish plant with a long hanging inflorescence with large green bracts and lemon yellow tubular flowers. There was a second plant of the cross very much smaller and the bracts were closer to the leaves. T matudae (Mexico) x T alfredo-laui, a small clump of grayish leaves with thick clumps of yellow bracts and white tubular flowers. T ‘Watermelon Blue’ x (T elizabethiae x T bourgaei) had an inflorescence of crimson bracts and white flared pale blue flowers. T gilliesii ‘Dwarf’, two plants, one from seed obtained from BSI in 1979, the other grown from seed from Eric Gouda, curator and taxonomist of Utrecht. The earlier plant had thin leaves while Eric’s were thicker and stronger. The small tubular flowers were similar. There were two plants of T scaposa with leaves banded across with dark and light green. All the other plants from the same batch of seed were normal. Various forms of T tenuifolia showed varying depths of blue colour in their flowers. T ‘AT 382’ ( T aeranthos x T tenuifolia) was a smaller plant with bracts baring deep purple slightly flared flowers. Next Meeting: November 21st, 1.30pm, at Dianne O’Neill’s, 7 Black Beech St, Akatarawa.

Genus Hechtia

– Robert Kopfstein. Adapted and reprinted from the April 2010 issue of the
San Diego Society’s ‘Blade’.

he bromeliads (Bromeliaceae) were previously divided into three sub-families: the bromelioideae, tillandsioideae, and the pitcairnioideae. The first two subfamilies contain the most examples of bromeliads both known to science and found in the hobbyist’s garden. For the most part, the broms in these two subfamilies are epiphytes. Although the previously grouped third subfamily – the pitcairnioideae – are nearly 100% terrestrial (soil growers) or petricolous (rock growers), the subfamily has now been broken up into five different subfamilies. Among these, the genus Hechtia now comprises its own sub-family, hechtioideae. The Hechtia genus is probably one of the lesser studied genera, consisting of 52 named species which are listed in the alphabetical list of Bromeliad Binomials.
The plants range from Texas to northern Nicaragua; however the majority of them are endemic to Mexico. A few of the species that come from outside the Republic of Mexico include:
H. guatemalensis; H. dichroantha and
H. malvernii.
H. gamopetala (=glomerata) and
H. texensis are found in both Texas and Mexico while H. gayorum and montana are the only hechtias that grow in Baja California (south). The leaves form a rosette and the leaf margins are usually heavily spined. Many species are centre bloomers; hence the ‘mother’ plant fades and dies after blooming. But some species are side or lateral bloomers, meaning that the plant can continue to grow after sending up inflorescences. Examples of lateral bloomers are: H. gamopetala;

H. texensis; H. argentea; H. elliptica;
H. mexicana; H. schottii and H. zacatacae. Apparently the lateral blooming hechtias are very long-lived. In the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew Gardens in Richmond, outside London, there is a specimen of H. argentea which won awards at a plant exposition in Brussels, Belgium in 1864. The plant is flourishing to this day in the conservatory, so it is possibly close to 200 years old. (BSI Journal, 1988).
Most hechtias are dioecious – that is they are either male and have flowers that produce only pollen (stamenate), or they are female and the flowers are exclusively pistilate (having only ovaries). Most bromeliads have ‘perfect’ flowers – that is, they have both stamens and pistils. Hechtias are not the only dioecious bromeliads, Androlepis (which has only one species within the genus) and some of the catopsis species are dioecious as well. Another feature of hechtia inflorescences is that they are also dimorphic – the shape of the male inflorescence is different from its female counterpart. This has caused some problems for taxonomists because many of the herbarium specimens used for formal descriptions are based on only one plant’s inflorescence.
Cont’d P18 17 Cont’d from P17 – Genus Hechtia
Because hechtias often are very ‘spiny’, and because the flowers are typically very small – and often white – and to grow them well they need to be in a large (and often heavy) container, the genus Hechtia has been relegated to the status of ‘collector’s plants.’ There is not much of a popular market for these plants and there has been little research done on them. As example, in the 50 Year Index of the BSI Journal there are 65 entries for Hechtia, and 30 of these are listed as a ‘mention’.
Most hechtias grow among and on rocks in seasonally dry regions with calcarious substrates (very much like many agaves). Often they can be found on cliffs overhanging rivers – the plants probably benefit from the constant humidity. Most hechtias (like the dyckias) are prolific clumpers, but there are exceptions: Hechtia argentea seems not to produce offsets. Size varies according to the species, but most seem to be anywhere from ten inches to two feet in diameter: this feature would seem to make them suitable as landscape plants. Colour also varies. Some species are very scurfy which produces a silvery appearance to the leaves. Some, like
H. epigyna, are softer leaved and lime green. There are spotted hechtias
(H. rosea) and some whose leaves colour up red to maroon, especially in warmer weather.
In cultivation hechtias are relatively easy to maintain. But unlike the epiphytic broms that don’t mind being pot bound, they need a generous pot.

If hechtia roots are cramped, and the pot dries out, the result is leaf tip browning. It’s important to use a rapid draining potting mix – don’t be stingy with the perlite or pumice. Slow release fertilizer is one of the easier ways to feed the terrestrial bromeliads, but organics like fish emulsion, compost tea, or worm castings also function very well.
Dividing hechtias in cultivation is probably the biggest problem. Most hechtias have relatively wicked spines, and usually the offsets are tightly clustered around the mother plant, making separating them a potentially bloody affair. A good pair of leather gloves is a must. And unlike dyckias, hechtia pups do not usually produce roots while they are attached to the mother plant. A sharp serrated knife is an essential tool to cut away just enough of the base of the mother plant so that the pup has at least some root tissue attached. If the pup has no roots at all, it still can be rooted in a very porous mix, but this process could take a few months. With even a few roots a separated pup will begin to grow almost immediately; with no roots, the process of growth is delayed, sometimes for as much as one year.
Hechtias have been the neglected stepchildren in the world of bromeliads. But for brom enthusiasts who have experimented growing them, the hechtias are proving to be striking accent plants adding to the forms, shapes, and colours of the garden.
Genus Hechtia…

Hechtia argentea at San Diego BotanicGarden (photo R. Kopfstein)

Hechtia species (photo A. Siekkinen)

Hechtia epigyna (photo A. Siekkinen)

Hechtia guatemalensis

Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc
Bromeliad Journal – September 2010 issue

President’s Page – Jocelyn Coyle 3 Society officers, subs and Journal directory 4 Bromeliad Society August meeting news – Dave Anderson 5 Gerry Stansfield’s hybrids – a list for the October meeting 6 Bromeliads by design …John Mitchell – Andrew Devonshire 7 In the Everglades …’gators, snakes and broms – Dave Anderson 10 ‘Broms in the Park’ 2010 12 Bromeliad tips – ‘Bromeletter’ 13 Spring Sale notice 13 World Bromeliad Conference – Peter Waters 14 What you should know about billbergias – Don Beadle 17 Group News 20 Dramatic garden on the cliff top – Peter Coyle 22
The opinions expressed in articles or letters in this Journal are the contributors’ own views and do not necessarily express the views or the policy of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand


Please see the Group News section starting on page 20 for details, venues and times
of group meetings.
SEPTEMBER 24th – 26th Tauranga Orchid Sho 26th Northland Group meeting 28th Society meeting at Greyfriar’s Hall, corner of Mt Eden and Windmill roads, Mt Eden, starting at 7.30pm. Monthly choice competition: Variegated bromeliads, excluding neoregelias. Our speakers will be Sam of Cosio Plastics, talking about frost and shade cloths, followed by Graeme Barclay, who will talk about his experience with coloured shade cloths.

3rd South Auckland Group Annual Sale at Botanic Gardens, Manurewa, 9.00am to 4.00pm. 13th Bay of Plenty Group meeting 17th Society Spring Sale and Display at Mt Eden War Memorial Hall, Dominion Road, 9.00am to 5.00pm. 20th Bay of Plenty garden visit 26th Society meeting at Greyfriar’s Hall, corner of Mt Eden and Windmill roads, Mt Eden, starting at 7.30pm. Monthly choice competition: Gerry Stansfield’s hybrids (see list on page 6 of this Journal). Andrew Maloy will speak about his recent European trip.

FRONT COVER: Photo by Dave Anderson in the famous Everglades. Spot the alligator and then read Dave’s article on page 10.

i everyone. With all this rain I have got to the stage where I am checking my feet to see if they have become webbed! Then, just when you are totally fed up, the sun comes out and you have a nice day. It’s amazing how much enthusiasm I have when its fine. I am looking forward to having three or four days in a row so I can get into the garden – I have been planning changes for ages.
At our September meeting we will have Sam from Cosio Plastics Ltd talking to us about shade and frost cloth, so please come along with any questions that you may have. I would like to build a Monarch butterfly house so need advice on what to use on it to stop the wasps getting in, also our very own Graeme Barclay will be telling us about his own experiments with shade cloth.
Please, could all trophy winners of 2009 please return your trophies at the September or October meeting as we will need them for engraving for presentation in November. Our Spring sale and display is on Sunday October 17th – please let me know if you are wanting to sell plants. All sellers must bring three plants for Noelene to do her wonderful display in the foyer, if anyone can give her a hand please let her know because, as they say, ‘ many hands make light work’.
My condolences to family and friends of Alison Jarrett, Whakatane. Ali had a wonderful garden and was always willing to show you around it. She will be sadly missed by all.
My thoughts go out to all those people in Christchurch who have suffered damage or loss to their property and gardens.
See you at the September meeting.

PS: I have just arranged a bus trip to Thames on Sunday 21st November. Please see below.


The Firth of Thames


Patron:  Patricia Sweeney 
President:  Jocelyn Coyle  09-416 8272 
Vice Presidents: Alan Cliffe  09-479 1451 
Secretary:  Dave Anderson  09-638 8671 
Treasurer:  Peter Waters  09-534 5616 
Librarian:  Noelene Ritson  09-625 8114 
Life Members: Dave Anderson, Patricia Perratt, 
Len Trotman, Patricia Sweeney, 

Peter Waters Scientific Officer: Peter Waters 09-534 5616

Committee: Graeme Barclay 09-835 0358 Don Brown 09-361 6175 David Cowie 09-630 8220 Chris Paterson 09-625 6707 Sandy Stonham 09-627 9658
Cultivar Registrar: Barry Uren 09-520 0246 Seed Bank: Bev Ching 09-576 4595 Species Preservation:
Barry Uren 09-520 0246 Editor: Murray Mathieson 09-418 0366 Auditor: Colin Gosse

New Zealand:

Ordinary membership NZ $35.00 ($5.00 discount if paid before the end of February). Dual membership (same household) NZ $45.00 ($5.00 discount also applies as above).


AUD $30.00 Australia, US $30.00 United States and other overseas countries. Send all payments to the Treasurer, Peter Waters, 22 Half Moon Rise, Half Moon Bay, Manukau 2012.


All general correspondence should be sent to the Secretary, Bromeliad Society of New Zealand,
P.O. Box 108-168, Symonds Street, Auckland, New Zealand. The opinions expressed in letters or articles in the Journal are the contributors’ own views and do not necessarily express the views or policy of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc.

For all editorial and advertising, the first Tuesday of publication month

Editorial Committee
Dave Anderson Murray Mathieson Peter Waters

Regular Writers
Andrew Devonshire Graeme Barclay John and Agatha Lambert

Murray Mathieson

Dave Anderson All enquiries and contributions welcome, please contact any member of the editorial committee or send to Peter Waters, 22 Half Moon Rise, Half Moon Bay, Manukau 2012 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

display advertising
Rates are: Full Page $60.00 Half Page $30.00 Quarter Page $15.00

‘Buy & Swap’
Listings in ‘Buy & Swap’ are FREE for members of the Society (max. 30 words). For advertising enquiries and material, please contact Murray Mathieson ph (09) 418 0366 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bromeliad Society August Meeting News – Dave Anderson
ocelyn chaired the meeting and welcomed everyone including two visitors. She spoke about our library where we now have the latest ‘Bromeliad Binomial’ June 2010 that lists all the bromeliad species. As well we have many overseas journals with their informative articles. The Spring Show and Display is scheduled for October Sunday 17th. If you wish to sell plants on the day please contact the secretary if you have not done so already.
Peter Waters once again took us through the ‘Show and Tell’ plants. First up was a Brocchinia reducta that was brought in for display. This species grows as a terrestrial on bare rock at altitude on the tepuis in Venezuela where they get cold nights and very hot days. It is noted for being carnivorous; growing into a large plant some 600mm high. The plant that Andrew Devonshire had grown from seed was only 220mm high and had put out six or so pups around its base
i.e. it had stopped growing and put its energy into producing pups. Next the colourful Fascicularia bicolor out in flower that has leaves that look quite dangerous but are really soft with spikes that, unless you rub them the wrong way, are harmless. Lastly a plant that was imported many years ago as Tillandsia ponderosa from Guatemala. It appears very similar to Tillandsia fasciculata or a hybrid of this species, with yellow-orange spikes, quite dissimilar to Tillandsia ponderosa from Mexico.
Peter Coyle then gave a very informative talk on hybridising. He had made a cross both ways with Neoregelia ‘Lamberts Pride’ x ‘Treasure Chest’ and had some very exciting hybrids to show for his efforts. A key take away message was ‘If you want to make great hybrids choose good parents’.
Jesse won this month’s special raffle prize. The door prizes going to Simon Kriehn, Andrew Maloy and Don Brown.
Open Flowering: First was John Mitchell with Quesnelia ‘Tim Plowman’ – a beautifully grown clump with two plants out in full flower. He was also second with Vriesea ‘Tango Lace’ that had a lovely strawberry red colour in the leaves. The other plants in the competition were an Aechmea recurvata hybrid; Neoregelia ‘Red River’ – made by Shane Zaghini and ‘De Rolf’ – the stunning variegated Neoregelia johannis that was discovered in the ‘wild’ and Vriesea ‘Tasman 2007’ – a hybrid with a bright red colour to the leaves. Open Foliage: John Mitchell was first with a Vriesea gigantea var seideliana that makes a spectacular specimen plant with its beautiful patterned green and white leaves and second was Peter Coyle with Neoregelia ‘Garnish’
– always an attractive plant when grown well. In the competition were Neoregelia ‘Yang’; Vriesea ‘Kiwi Sunset’, ‘Vista’, ‘Tasman Wave’ and
Cont’d P6
Cont’d from P5 – August Meeting News
‘Wave hybrid’. Tillandsia: First was Lester Ching with Tillandsia jucunda – a superbly grown clump in flower. Second was Dave Dawson with the little Tillandsia kautskyi. There were also on the table Tillandsia bulbosa, confertiflora, guatamalensis, punctulata, disticha, recurvifolia var subsecundifolia, tenuifolia and ‘Strictly Bourgeoise’. Neoregelia: First Peter Coyle with Neoregelia ‘Totara Dream’ with its broad red stripes and second with Neoregelia ‘Milagro’ – a plant with variegated wide leaves -was David Goss. Also in the competition were Neoregelia ‘Tiger Tracks’ and ‘Lorena’.
Named Monthly Plant (Miniatures
12.5cm & smaller): First was Peter Coyle with Neoregelia ‘Cayenne’
– a clump of 12 or so lovely coloured plants and second was Andrew Devonshire with Neoregelia ampullacea x ‘Pheasant’ – a miniature with well rounded ‘clean’ coloured leaves. In the competition were Neoregelia lilliputiana, ‘Aurora’, ‘Felix’, lilliputiana x ‘Blushing Tiger’, ‘Anon’, ‘Wee Willie’, ‘Wee Willie’ x ‘Tassie Tiger’ and ‘Wild Tiger’.
The Plant of the Month went to Andrew Devonshire with the most attractive Neoregelia ampullacea x ‘Pheasant’. Congratulations to all the winners.
NEXT MEETING: Tues 28th Sept.

The monthly choice competition at the Society’s October meeting
in auckland will feature hybrids developed by Gerry Stansfield.

Gerry passed away in July and of course over many years he was passionateabout hybridising bromeliads. As a small tribute to Gerry and also because it will make an interesting and ‘different’monthly choice competition, we’re asking members to enter and display hybrids developed and named by Gerry Stansfield.
Please – we’d love to have a bumper entry – and to help members sort out their plants for October we’re printing the following list of hybrids that Gerry created and named and that are known to have been sold and ‘out there.’
Neo. ‘Carnival’; Neo. ‘ChampagneDelight’; Neo. ‘Charming’;Neo. ‘Exotica Dark Goddess’ Neo. ‘Exotica Diablo’; Neo. ‘FancyThat’; Neo. ‘Fire Mountain’; Neo.
‘Gem Stone’; Neo. ‘Kiwi Natalie’; Neo. ‘Little Charmer’; Neo. ‘Midas Touch’ Neo. ‘Moonlight’; Neo. ‘Pink Star’; Neo. ‘Red Smash’; Neo. ‘Rustic’; Neo. ‘Spotted Delight’Neo. ‘Stargazer’
Aechmea ‘Pink Fantasy’; xCanmea ‘Wild Leopard’; xCanmea ‘Wild Tiger’; xBillmea ‘Rangitoto’Nidularium ‘Something Special’;Vriesea ‘Lavender Lady’
Thanks to Graeme Barclay and Peter Waters for putting this list together. There are other hybrids by Gerry Stansfield that may be out there. If you have one or one you’re not sure about please discuss with Peter Waters at our monthly meeting. We can update the above list in our October Journal, out just before the meeting.

Bromeliads by design… John Mitchell
– Andrew Devonshire

This month we profile a bromeliad breeder who has developed a reputation for growing top quality plants. John Mitchell and his partner Birgit Rhode have a unique collection of plants, and it is John who typically brings along a selection of mouth watering plants, displaying them on the show tables at the monthly meetings. Birgit is well known for her bromeliad photography, herphotos have featured at our annual shows, appeared in our monthly journal,
and been printed in the BSI Journal.

t was about a decade ago when John and Birgit first became fascinated by bromeliads. They were looking for a garden interest they could both enjoy, and it was the diverse and intriguing plant group of bromeliads that they were instantly attracted to. Despite a few setbacks over the years, including relocating their entire collection, and coping with the ravages of frost, the attraction for these plants has not diminished.
John and Birgit were very deliberate and disciplined in their approach to gathering a unique collection of plants. They purposely avoided the typical novice trap of just buying anything that was tagged ‘bromeliad’. They connected with established bromeliad collectors who warmed to these newbies bursting with enthusiasm, and it was from these collectors that John and Birgit were able to obtain many special plants. John adds that there are so many kind society members who have helped with their collection, and it is really their generosity that is responsible for the many good plants they now own.
John has a real kiwi ‘do it yourself’ attitude and he says that from the very first time he saw these plants it was a natural step to apply a ‘breed it yourself’ philosophy. Then it was just a matter of gathering the knowledge and the ingredients to put this into practice. Instrumental in guiding John was Gerry Stansfield, who willingly shared his extensive knowledge of hybridising. John is keen to give anything a go that presents a challenge, and might yield promise. Over the years he has hybridised Aechmea, Alcantarea, Billbergia, Canistrum, Navia, Neoregelia, and Tillandsia but, inspired by Andrew Maloy’s work, it has been the genus of Vriesea, with the stunning array of foliage patterns, that have become the primary focus for John. A review of John’s hybridising register shows he actually did his first cross on 10th February 2005, and it was Vr. ‘Afterglow’ crossed with Vr. fenestralis.
Creating new hybrids is relatively straight forward, however, having the patience to wait the three to four years for them to reveal their potential is the true test of a dedicated breeder. John says its still early days in his hybridising journey, and none of his hybrids have him reaching for the registration papers
Cont’d P8
Cont’d from P7 – Bromeliads by Design
just yet, but judging by the photos that day will not be far away.
John has applied the same disciplined approach to hybridizing as he did to collecting. He will only select the best plants available for breeding, and then he will be ruthless in culling the seedlings. One of John’s sayings is, ‘The rubbish bin is a hybridiser’s most important tool.’ It is this uncompromising approach that permits him to carry out an extensive plant breeding programme within the confines of a residential section.
John sets very high standards for his hybrids, and he feels that it is the responsibility of all breeders to constantly remind themselves to only consider registering the very best plants. He would like to see additional standards imposed within the BSI registration process, so plants must be assessed, and passed before they are granted registration. The current international policy seems to be based on creating an identification database, rather than a system to reward the creation, and registration of unique new plants.
John sees a very bright future for kiwi-made bromeliads. He says that extracting the full potential of the foliage vriesea is a long way off. Thanks primarily to the work of Andrew Maloy, New Zealand has become the envy of the bromeliad world, producing a vast range of vibrant vriesea hybrids. John says the success of local hybridising hangs on our ability to make hybrids available overseas, and the work that Andrew is currently doing in the area of tissue culture is a vital tool to achieve this. John’s view is that successful commercial hybrid production is essential to keep up the rate of exciting new hybrid availability. This is a key factor in stimulating home hybridisers to also produce top quality plants.
Today’s hybridisers are really pioneers. As bromeliad breeding is still in its infancy, there are no reference manuals available, and you’re never finished learning. John is focused on achieving plants with foliage appeal, flower appeal, together with garden appeal, and to him, the perfect bromeliad hybrid would have the triple WOW factor, that is perfection in all three areas.
Discovering rich new veins of plant material for breeding, not just relying on what’s already been done is one of John’s goals. He says that as you get more experience you realise that intellectually theorising about the outcome of any cross is really just a stab in the dark. It may take years for plants to prove themselves, but studying existing hybrids and their parentage via the FCBS photo index is perhaps the best homework.
John says, ‘hybridising will intensify plant enjoyment and knowledge by about 300%, but the work load will increase by about 100%.’ Collecting plants just doesn’t compare to do it yourself breeding, which gives you the chance of nurturing and naming your very own totally unique ‘babies’…so, give it a go!

John Mitchell’s crosses…

3 grex mates from the same cross (Vriesea ‘Blush’ x Vriesea ‘Hunua Embers’)
(Vr. platynema var. x Vr. Vr. ‘Splenriet’ x Vr. ‘Candyman’ Vr. ‘Blush’ x Vr. ‘Vista’ gigantea) x Vr. ‘Vista’
Vr. ‘Raspberry Crush’ x Vr. ‘Vista’ Vr. ‘Sunset’ x Vr. fosteriana Billbergia ‘Domingos Martins’ x Billbergia amoena viridis

dave and Joan anderson and Peter and Jeanette Waters recently attended the World Bromeliad Conference in New Orleans. after the conference they found time for some Caribbean cruising and an interesting foray into the famous and fabled Everglades in Florida. dave filed this short report. (also refer front cover photo)

fter a wonderfully relaxing drove along the Loop Road through Western Caribbean 7 day the everglades – a section of roadway cruise, hired a rental car and about 25 miles long that parallels the middle section of the Tampa Miami Trail – a busy two lane sealed highway. It is situated midway between the city of Miami on the east coast of Florida and Naples the wealthy town on the west coast – about one hour’s drive in either direction. The first five miles from the eastern end of Loop Road are paved, the rest is gravel. The first couple of miles are in Dade County and are part of the Miccosukee Indian Reservation. The last couple are in Collier County, but the bulk of Loop Road, interestingly enough is Monroe County, the county that is best known as the Florida Keys. It’s a solid 3 hour drive with most of the road as straight as a rifle barrel with just a few curves through the swamp. The road is about 12 feet across, narrower at bridges, which, by the way, lack railings. As stated in an article in the St Petersburg Times newspaper, ‘the 26-mile, forlorn ribbon of dirt road offers a gritty glimpse into the state’s past: a place where the gators and snakes outnumber humans and houses.’
We travelled from Miami and turned on to Loop Road at its eastern end. As we entered the metalled section there was a sign that read ‘For Locals Only’. It did not take long to find out why the sign was there as there were continuous sections of road with potholes 6 inches deep extending across the entire width of the road. We stopped very soon to observe the water in the Everglades a mere 6 – 8 feet from the side of the road and 3 feet below it. Here you watch both sides of the swamp for any sign of movement. The cypress trees growing out of the swamp were festooned with the endemic tillandsias that looked magnificent as many were coming into flower. A county sheriff stopped us early on, but he was quite satisfied that we had just come to enjoy the wonderful scenery.
It was not long before we noticed the alligators swimming in the water some 25 – 35 feet away. I was very wary of these creatures and would have been more so if I had read another excerpt from the St Petersburg Times paper: ‘for an instant I am tempted to visit the bank for a better look. Then I remember the late Clara McKay, the woman everybody called the ‘Beer-Worm Lady’ because that’s what she sold at her little store. She knew the Big Cypress, knew the ways of critters, but one day she let her guard down. To hear her tell it, she was dipping water for her beloved pet cats when a big alligator lunged up and tore off her right arm.’ There were also numerous frogs, small fish and other water loving creatures.
Racemes of Tillandsia usneoides hung everywhere as a very atmospheric back drop. Apart from Tillandsia usneoides the most predominant bromeliads that we saw were Tillandsia fasciculata and utriculata with the occasional balbisiana. Also growing in the Everglades are Tillandsia flexuosa and Catopsis berteroniana. It was just wonderful to see these plants growing in their natural habitat making it a very memorable day. Many, many thanks to Jeanette who drove us out to and back from the Everglades and to Peter who I am sure could make a career as a rally driver – just superb!!

Sunday November 7th at Totara Waters Starting 10.00am


We have only a few copies left …

Margaret Paterson’s book

‘For my own satisfaction’

A great book with over 600 coloured photos of neoregelias
that Margaret has hybridised and registered. A must have!
Price $39 + $2.50 postage

Phone (09) 416 8272 or
email Jocelyn Coyle: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bromeliad tips

– Reprinted from the May-June issue of ‘Bromeletter’, the newsletter of The Bromeliad Society of Australia.
If you are mounting tillandsias onto wooden or cork mounts, try to do this before the plant flowers. This will improve the chances of the plant sending out roots onto the mount, as flowering plants often do not do this. Flowering plants are probably using their energy to make flowers, then seeds and pups.

Before applying liquid fertiliser to bromeliads, thoroughly wet the leaves with water. This helps to ensure the leaves are in the best condition to absorb the nutrients in the liquid fertiliser.

If you’re thinking of building a shade house, it may be best to build it during the winter. That way the shade house will be ready to house the spring ‘explosion’ in bromeliad numbers due to the potting up of pups and acquisition of new plants.

There is no need to root pups in a special potting mixture. Just plant them in the regular potting mixture you use for that type of bromeliad.

If you’re trying to decide which potting mix is best for your conditions it’s worth remembering that a mix that stays wet and soggy for any length of time will probably cause you more problems than one which tends to be on the dry side.

Peter Waters reports on the Bromeliad World Conference in New Orleans
ew Orleans was the venue for the 19th Bromeliad World Conference and David and Joan Anderson, Diana Holt and I were the New Zealand contingent. It was held in the Astor Crowne Plaza hotel in the French Quarter. The hotel provided large areas for the various aspects of the conference. The competition and sales area in particular had abundant space. At New Orleans the sales area was very well stocked, but the competition was not well patronised with a low number of entries and a much lower standard than we have been accustomed to seeing. Apparently the weather in New Orleans was partly to blame for this, with a very cold winter causing much damage. Displays of bromeliads must also have suffered because the only plants to be seen were a few provided by Bullis nurseries, a shame when we remember the beautiful displays at previous events.
The seminars were also disappointing. A lack of recognised experts meant a lack of new information for attendees and this produced a programme that was rather lightweight overall. While there has to be a balance and we do need some travelogues, cultivation and general growing advice, to my mind attending a World Conference means that we should hear the best available speakers, including the leading botanists and taxonomists.
The weekend continued with a visit to the gardens of some local bromeliad growers which was interesting and there were several local tours for partners. We enjoyed an evening dinner on a paddle-wheel steamer on the Mississippi. The fact that the hotel was situated right amongst the night-life on Bourbon St was also a plus as there was always something to see after the events were over for the day.
On Saturday night, the rare plant auction provided some entertainment, although it probably needed a little more humour to help us through it. There was a very long list of lots and although the total amount collected for the Bromeliad Identification Center was quite presentable, there was not the spirited bidding that we have seen in the past.
The final event on Sunday night was the banquet and this was well organised and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
We look forward to the next event in Florida in two year’s time.

Bromeliad World Conference,
New Orleans 2010

– photos by Peter Waters

Cont’d P16 15 Cont’d from P15 – Bromeliad World Conference 2010

Garden visit

Sale plants

What you should know about billbergias
– This article by Don Beadle is reprinted and adapted from the March 2000 newsletter of the Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society. Don, who is the grand hybridizer of billbergias, originally wrote this article for the May-June 1991 Journal of the Bromeliad Society.
t may well be that the billbergia was appreciated by natives of ancient South American civilisations before recorded history. But they did not leave evidence of their appreciation the way the early 19th century Europeans did in their many marvellous horticultural journals, gazettes, and magazines. The billbergia was introduced to Europe in 1815 where it charmed and intrigued the horticultural community. Hand coloured drawings of these early imports dramatically illustrate this interest. There are now over 60 described species with many distinctive varieties. The native range for the billbergias is primarily eastern Brazil in the lower elevations, but several species are found in Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, and as far north as central Mexico.
Billbergias resemble aechmeas in form and habit and in fact differ taxonomically in only small ways such as structural details of the pollen grains and whether or not the sepal tip is ‘prickly’. (The billbergia is not). In habitat, the billbergias are usually epiphytic in clumps, preferring any locations with bright shade or indirect light. In captivity, the billbergia is usually individually imprisoned in heavy, wet soil, in dank, dismal, deep shady locations.
Glowing descriptions of the beauty of the billbergia bloom inevitably end with the deflating phrase, ‘unfortunately, the bloom is so shortlived, lasting no more than two weeks.’ This, coupled with the outrageous statement, ‘billbergias are the easiest to propagate and grow of all bromeliads,’ has done much to deter the grower from an adventure with the billbergia.
The billbergia has much to offer. A variety of sizes allow the growing of 3 foot tall, stoloniferous rosettes and 1 plus meter clumps of Billbergia rosea or B. stenopetala. The thin tubular shape of the helicoid billbergia allows enjoyment of the colour, form, and the spectacular bloom without the sacrifice of growing area. The efforts of hybridizers have resulted in the availability of new, hardy, and constantly colourful cultivars to which the bloom is merely an embellishment.
The billbergia prefers, whenever possible, to be grown in an open, porous mix with good drainage. Since the majority of growers inevitably custom-design their own concoctions, no specific recommendations are made here. Billbergias do not universally develop large, strong root systems and most normal commercial mixes offer enough support to the tall plants when they become top-heavy after watering. I grow many of them high overhead in the shade house and have

Cont’d P18 17
Cont’d from P17 – What you should know about billbergias
never become adjusted to having them diving down on me when I fill them with water.
Pot shape and size seems to be more a matter of aesthetics than anything else, particularly in judged horticultural shows. I become embarrassed when I behold a single small billbergia alone and forlorn in the centre of a huge, unattractive plastic pot. Please do not do this. Most tubular billbergias suffer from a lack of conventional confirmation when displayed as single plants. They are naturally gregarious and seem to prefer clumping and community life and are best shown competitively as neat clumps.
When left to choose their own arrangement, they seldom conform, unfortunately to our ideas of what orderly should be. The attractive arrangement of a clump requires the grower to remove the old mother plant when they begin to lose their glamour. Gaps need to be filled in by removing young offsets and replanting them in a more appropriate spot. Pruning should be merciless in order to keep a loose,open clump that will allow free access to air and light. The spectacle of a well-grown hanging pot of colourful billbergias in full bloom is a rewarding and is a spiritually uplifting sight.
Watering is also subjective. Most growers schedule their watering by the clock and calendar, mystical signs, weather conditions, their general emotional state, etc.; I recommend a dispassionate approach based on whether the billbergia is wet or dry. My only problems have occurred from excess in one direction or the other. Billbergias do not seem to be overly sensitive to watering and I will confess to leaning toward too little rather than too much.
The imposition of a degree of stress into the everyday life of the billbergia seems to produce a hardier, more compact, colourful, well-formed plant. This desirable condition is more easily obtained when the billbergias are kept on a strict diet. No single factor contributes more to the unattractiveness of a billbergia than does overfeeding. Balance, in billbergia, as in all things, is the key word.
If you grow healthy plants in locations where they get good light for long periods with lots of moving air you may feed them well and reap all the benefits from them. If you grow them in low light in stagnant conditions then feeding is a shamefully cruel process and you should look within and seek counsel. My soil-less mix provides only small initial doses of trace elements that are quickly used up. Peters Peat Lite mixes contain a balanced basic mixture of nutrients together with the needed trace elements. I usually mix Peters to a concentration of well under ¼ teaspoonful per gallon, which is continuously added to my water by a marvellous little proportioning device. I do not know if this is the proper amount but has apparently done no harm.
A summary of ideal growing conditions for billbergias would be to grow them in open, elevated, airy locations with good light for long periods, with moderate amounts of good water,and with a minimum of fertilizer. Most billbergias will survive from just above freezing to over 43 degrees C. Billbergia sanderiana and most of its hybrids surprised me by ignoring -7 degrees C for 30 hours. The large helicoids began to expire or to be seriously damaged at 4 degrees
C. They are surprisingly tender. The best temperature range for colour and confirmation seems to be cool to 10 degrees C at night and a balmy 2124 degrees C during the day. I thrive under those conditions myself, but if they exist in South Texas it’s for only one or two days in the spring and the fall and that’s all. We are all dealt conditions that are probably not ideal for the variety of plants we try to grow and I have found the billbergia willing to adapt to a wide range of conditions. I’ve seen them grown in Illinois basements, New York apartment windows, hilltops in California, under the trees in Florida, anywhere at all in Australia, and even in the unrelenting winds of Corpus Christi. But these cannot happen by ignoring the particular needs of the plants. I note that the people who grow show quality neoregelias and vrieseas inevitably grow show quality billbergias. The reciprocal is also true. The key is caring.
Billbergias are a little more obliging at breeding time than are some other bromeliads. The appropriate parts are readily accessible and the process is well known. I have, however, set seed only about 15 percent of times I attempt to make a hybrid. That cold fact, to me, fails to validate that bit of frivolous folklore that suggests how easy it is to propagate the billbergia. Billbergia also frequently fails to bloom. When a neoregelia fails in this fashion, it becomes famous. I heartily recommend hanging pots to permit the use of otherwise unused space above the rest of your plants and allow maximum exposure to free air and light. Almost any pots can be adapted to hang with a modicum of ingenuity and will add much to the appearance of your growing area. The spectacle of sunlight through billbergias is an added pleasure not available when your billbergias live under a bench.
Today’s grower, when beginning a billbergia collection, is presented with a dizzying array of desirable billbergias from which to choose. In the past, only old standard garden varieties were available. The packed pots of Billbergia nutans, Billbergia pyramidalis, and a token helicoid or two usually defined the billbergia for the average grower.
The modern collection could begin with Richter’s B. ‘Fascinator’, Carrone;s B. ‘Pink Champagne,’ Thom’s and Schwarz’s B. ‘Strawberry’,
B. ‘Manda’s Othello’ and B. ‘Poquito Blanco.’ The spectacular blooms of Billbergia pyramidalis are best displayed in the marginated cultivar
B. ‘Kyoto.’ For foliar colour in species billbergia, try B. amoena var. viridis or B.amoena var. rubra. Interesting form with attractive spines is available with
B. horrida and B. sanderiana.
Try them. You’ll like them.
Group News
Northland Bromeliad Group
– Lois Going
The wrong keys resulted in our August meeting at the Quarry Garden being unplanned. So it was alfresco with some unorthodox seating. Fortunately the sun smiled upon us. It was gratifying, particularly for the members who are volunteers, to see the Quarry Garden bromeliad areas featured in the August Bromeliad Journal. The steep shady bromeliad area is well established and the newer dell area has some very effective single variety group plantings and several tree fern stumps with colourful plants. The South Auckland group will be visiting some member’s gardens along with others in Whangarei in mid November and will have morning tea at the Quarry.
Sandra Wheeler, a member on the garden’s Board of Trustees, gave us an interesting talk on garden progress and aims for the future. A one lane bridge, previously on a highway, has been installed next to a proposed public car park.Workers available from community schemes have built gabions to retain terraces and banks under the bridge. Public toilets are high on the priority list. The Garden Discovery raises money for the Trust.
1st Eva Lewis – Vriesea psittacina; 2nd Lois Going – Neoregelia ‘Gold Medal’; 3rd = Freda Nash – Bowl of miniature neoregelias & Jan Mahoney
– Neoregelia ‘Blushing Bride’ Next Meeting: Sunday 26th September at 1.30 pm. at the garden of Gordon and Rosie Speedy, 56 Springs Road, Whatatiri.
Bay of Plenty Bromeliad Group
– Jo Elder
There was a beautiful, almost spring like day for our meeting and Lynley Breeze welcomed 47 members. Jo Elder reported on her phone calls to Isabel Clotworthy and Cath and Barry Jones re- health issues, also the passing of Colleen Higginson. Members were asked where they’d like to visit in November and Whakatane was the popular choice.
The annual Sales Day at Matua Hall will be 30th October and the Orchid show at Tauranga racecourse will be held 24th, 25th, 26th September, the set up will be on the 23rd in the afternoon. We will have sales and a display and assistance will be necessary. Roger Allan had brought along frost cloth for sale. Members are to supply measurements and Roger will cut off the length for them. The cost of frost cloth is $2.60 a metre. Also, Roger had brought along an interesting head from a pineapple plant he had purchased from Green’s a number of years ago. Our speakers for the day were: Bertha Schollum, Gill Keesing and Jo Elder who all spoke about their ‘addiction’ to bromeliads. Raffle winners were Tom Harris, Barbara Nalder, Kevin Pritchard, Gayle Buttimore, Gwen McCallum and Yvonne Keepin.
Plant of the month: Unusual genera and bi-generic plants. We had a stunning display of these unusual plants, some were – Deuterocohnia brevifolia, Quesnelia marmorata ‘Tim Plowman’, Canistrum seidelianum, Wittrockia ‘Leopardinum’, Cryptanthus ‘Cascade’ & ‘Arlety’, Abromeitiella brevifolia, Deuterocohnia brevifolia, xNeomea ‘Strawberry’, xNeophytum ‘Firecracker’.
Competition Plants: 1st Vriesea ‘Waihi Dawn’ – Gill Keesing, 2nd Neoregelia ‘Aussie Dream Lucky 7’ – Jo Elder, 3rd Guzmania ‘Red Star’ – Gill Keesing.
Tillandsia: 1st Tillandsia tenuifolia
– Bertha Schollum, 2nd = Tillandsia stricta – Jo Elder & Tillandsia leonamiana – Audrey Hewson, 3rd Tillandsia recurvifolia var. subsecundifolia – Cushla Chudleigh. Also tabled T. x correalei, T. fasciculata var densispica, T. gardneri, T. capitata x caput-medusae, T. ‘Califano’.
Next Meeting: October 13th, 12.30pm at TYPB Clubrooms Sulphur Point.Topic: Bromeliad questions/ problems/what to do? Ask our panel of experienced growers. Plant of the month: Vrieseas, including green ones. Committee Meeting prior at 11.30 am.
Garden Visit: 20th October at10am. Helen Parsons, 20a Scantlebury St, in Avenues. Other garden visits to be arranged.
South auckland Bromeliad Group
– Marion Morton
The closure of the Newmarket Viaduct
did not deter members from attending our meeting on Sunday, 5 September, with an excellent turnout. Graham West mentioned that the group had received a card from Margaret Stansfield following Gerry’s passing. He had also received a letter from Vivian Shortland regarding our Whangarei trip in November.
He advised the group of the sad passing of Alison Jarrett from Whakatane who was a great lady and well known by many of our members. Graham also reminded members of our Annual Sale on Sunday, October 3rd at the Botanic Gardens which is being held from
9.00 am – 4.00pm, 102 Hill Road, Manurewa.
We received a great response to this month’s topic of ‘Bromeliads in unusual containers’ – about 35 entries
– which were all well thought out with some innovative containers. A real credit to all who participated.
Next Meeting:
There will be no meeting in October as this has been replaced by our Annual Sale on Sunday, 3rd October. On Sunday 7th November at 1.30pm we will visit the garden of Elizabeth and David Thomson at 34a Cheltenham Road, Devonport, where we will also hold our meeting, so please remember to bring along a chair and a mug for afternoon tea. After the meeting we will visit the garden of Rod and Val Bieleski at 33 William Bond Street, Stanley Point, Devonport.

Dramatic garden on the cliff top
– Article by Peter Coyle. Photography by Tony Mooney.
bout three years ago Jocelyn and I had the pleasure of meeting Ellen and Barbara, the owners of a magnificent cliff top property overlooking the Gulf. Ellen brought his landscape gardeners to our place for a bit of a look around and of course went away with a car load of bromeliads and other plants to add to his garden. We had many wonderful visits to give advice regarding the placement of the bromeliads and some of the other plants and we often talked about ‘what’s next’ with Ellen and Tony Mooney who is their on-going landscaper and also a member of our Society. Tony has been a big part of this project and he has had to cart down the cliff huge amounts of soil, mulch, rocks, bark and of course all the plants, some of which are quite large. Then of course, he’s put them all in place.
Ellen knew what he wanted right from the start, and I am sure had great enjoyment finding the plants he needed. For us it has been all about providing just a small amount of advice and in return getting a lot of pleasure out of seeing the great result. It’s truly an amazing garden with many different palms, cycads, dragon trees, Australian grass trees, aloes, agaves and a spectacular under planting of bromeliads. The colours are truly stunning.


Vriesea sagasteguii
– Photo and description by Dave Anderson
riesea sagasteguii was
described by L. B. Smith in
1968 and named after the collector A. Sagasteguii. It belongs to the group of vrieseas including Vr. cylindrata, harmsiana and tillandsioides all of which have a cylindrical inflorescence. This is one of the vrieseas that looks like a tillandsia and which have in fact been transferred to Tillandsia by Jason Grant, but the move has not been accepted by all botanists yet as the vrieseas have appendages at the base of the petals. This is one of the distinguishing features in the descriptions of Vriesea and Tillandsia so until these are altered it is not considered possible to make the transfer. The species grows in the Olmos Valley in northern Peru at an altitude of 1,500 – 2,000m. The medium sized plant has leaves 45cm long, 4–5cm wide, narrowly-triangular with both sides densely silver/ grey scaled and curled up margins. The cylindrical inflorescence 4cm diameter has spirally arranged spikes 35cm long. All in all, a most attractive species.

Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc
Bromeliad Journal – July 2010 issue

Vriesea sagasteguii – Dave Anderson 2 President’s Page – Jocelyn Coyle 4 How to send in your material for the Journal 4 Society officers, subs and Journal directory 5 Hybridisers… No. 2 in series: John and Agatha Lambert – Andrew Devonshire  6 Bromeliad Society June meeting news – Dave Anderson 9 Group News 11 Heather and Gary Cooke at home – Sandy Stonham 14 Orthophytum gurkenii – growing on ‘sibling pups’- Graeme Barclay 16 Bromeliad websites worth visiting – Dave Anderson 17 Broms aglow in Kamo – Erin Titmus 18 Buy & Swap 18
The opinions expressed in articles or letters in this Journal are the contributors’ own views and do not necessarily express the views or the policy of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand


Please see the Group News section starting on page 11 for details, venues and times
of group meetings.
JULY 25th Hawkes Bay Group meeting 27th Society meeting at Greyfriar’s Hall, corner of Mt Eden and Windmill roads, Mt Eden, starting at 7.30pm. Monthly choice competition: Vriesea fosteriana ‘Red Chestnut’. NB monthly choice has changed from what was published in June Journal. Speaker: Dick Endt of Landsendt Nursery Oratia.

1st South Auckland Group meeting 11th Bay of Plenty Group meeting 15th Eastern BOP Group meeting 24th Society meeting at Greyfriar’s Hall, corner of Mt Eden and Windmill roads, Mt Eden, starting at 7.30pm. Monthly choice competition: Miniatures 12.5cm or smaller. This will be a PLANT SWAP night – members can bring up to three plants each to swap. Speaker: Peter Waters will have a PowerPoint and speak about the BSI World Bromeliad Conference that he is attending in New Orleans in the last week of July.

FRONT COVER: John and Agatha Lambert are relatively new in the world of hybridising but they’re putting their heart and soul into developing some great new plants. Read about them in Andrew Devonshire’s second article on hybridisers... people with passion, on page 6.


ave you all had enough of this wet weather? I’m sure the ground has soaked up enough water after the dry summer and we have great big puddles everywhere. I am looking forward to spring and some warmer weather. I am even looking forward to cutting pups again.
Peter and I have just spent six days on the west coast of the South Island, blue skies, no clouds, no wind, no rain no frosts. Imagine my surprise when walking down the main street in Greymouth I spot an Aechema fasciata in flower outside a florist shop. Aftercloser inspection and a few pinches of the leaf I realised it was artificial. What a disappointment.
I hope our delegates at the BSI conference in New Orleans are having a great time and will return with lots of interesting things to share with us.
What did you think of our June journal with all those interesting articles and wonderful photos? A big thank you to all the writers and photographers and, of course, our editor and editorial ‘team’. Keep those articles coming!If anyone has material for the Journal please refer to the instructions in the panel on this page for how we’d like to receive it..
We have new name tags available so could you please bring your existing one along to the next meeting and exchange it for a new one.
Our guest speaker for July meeting is Dick Endt of Landsendt Nursery, Oratia. He is going to speak about his many trips to South America collecting sub-tropicals which were broughtback to NZ and grown at Landsendt.He will have available his book “The Subtropical Garden at Landsendt” a plant collecters dream, which can be purchased for $55 each. This will be followed by some of our members speaking about their favourite plant.
I hope to see lots and lots of our members on the 27th.

Regards, Jocelyn Coyle

How to send in your material for the Journal
If you’re sending text only, without photos, please email a Word file to either:
Murray Mathieson: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Peter Waters: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
If you have photos to send, the preferred method is to put a good selection as jpegs on to a CD and post to Murray Mathieson at: 14 Matanui Street, Northcote, North Shore City 0627. (include your contact address details). Please make sure the jpegs are in good, ‘high’ resolution (each image a minimum of 500kb but 1mb to 2mb+ preferred). Alternatively, email Murray with a selection of low resolution shots – say 50kb to 100kb each. Once we’ve chosen, Murray will ask you to send high resolution images of the particular shots. You can include your text as a separate file on the CD or email to Peter or Murray, as above. Many thanks. 
Patron: Patricia Sweeney President: Jocelyn Coyle 09-416 8272 Vice Presidents: Alan Cliffe 09-479 1451 Secretary: Dave Anderson 09-638 8671 Treasurer: Peter Waters 09-534 5616 Librarian: Noelene Ritson 09-625 8114 Life Members: Dave Anderson, Patricia Perratt,
Len Trotman, Gerry Stansfield,
Patricia Sweeney, Peter Waters Scientific Officer: Peter Waters 09-534 5616

Committee: Graeme Barclay 09-835 0358 Don Brown 09-361 6175 David Cowie 09-630 8220 Chris Paterson 09-625 6707 Sandy Stonham 09-627 9658
Cultivar Registrar: Barry Uren 09-520 0246 Seed Bank: Bev Ching 09-576 4595 Species Preservation:
Barry Uren 09-520 0246 Editor: Murray Mathieson 09-418 0366 Auditor: Colin Gosse

New Zealand:

Ordinary membership NZ $35.00 ($5.00 discount if paid before the end of February). Dual membership (same household) NZ $45.00 ($5.00 discount also applies as above).


AUD $30.00 Australia, US $30.00 United States and other overseas countries. Send all payments to the Treasurer, Peter Waters, 22 Half Moon Rise, Half Moon Bay, Manukau 2012.


All general correspondence should be sent to the Secretary, Bromeliad Society of New Zealand,
P.O. Box 108-168, Symonds Street, Auckland, New Zealand. The opinions expressed in letters or articles in the Journal are the contributors’ own views and do not necessarily express the views or policy of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc.

For all editorial and advertising, the first Tuesday of publication month

Editorial Committee
Dave Anderson Murray Mathieson Peter Waters

Regular Writers
Gerry Stansfield

Murray Mathieson

Dave Anderson All enquiries and contributions welcome, please contact any member of the editorial committee or send to Peter Waters, 22 Half Moon Rise, Half Moon Bay, Manukau 2012 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Display Advertising
Rates are: Full Page $60.00 Half Page $30.00 Quarter Page $15.00

‘Buy & Swap’
Listings in ‘Buy & Swap’ are FREE for members of the Society (max. 30 words). For advertising enquiries and material, please contact Murray Mathieson ph (09) 418 0366 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

John and Agatha Lambert – budding hybridisers


John and Agatha Lambert’s ‘house of bromeliads’ – Andrew Devonshire
verlooking picturesque Arkles Bay, surrounded by bromeliads and pohutukawa on the sunny Whangaparaoa peninsula, is home to budding bromeliad breeders John and Agatha Lambert. Both John and Agatha are architects and their home is a design and build, work in progress. The home is spread over five levels, with many roof lines showing off their innovative design skills and maximising views out over the bay. Bromeliads have taken up residence on every level and anywhere that catches the sun.
Bromeliads first got their attention about 10 years ago while they were visiting ‘Enz of the Earth’ in Kerikeri. They were actually there to look at the collection of Balinese furniture and crafts. John has a fascination for all things Balinese, cultivated by many trips to Bali during his time working in Borneo. ‘Enz of the Earth’ had a nice collection of bromeliads on display, and this was enough to entice John and Agatha to take a small selection of concentrica type hybrids home with them. Several years later it was a trip to the Takapuna markets that changed everything. They met Peter and Jocelyn Coyle, who were selling a selection of bromeliads, and their display really caught John and Agatha’s interest. A visit to Totara Waters followed, and that was it, largely through their now good friends, Jocelyn and Peter, they had developed an incurable case of bromeliad fever.
John has grown many plants from seed, including a mango, but it was one of Gerry Stansfield’s seed growing demonstrations that caught John’s attention, and made him realise the potential of growing bromeliads from seed. John spent time talking with Gerry after the demonstration, getting all the information he could on the process and the secrets of the polystyrene light box propagator. It was not until a few years later that John had the chance to put theory into practice. A number of their vrieseas came into flower in the same season, and John could not resist dabbling with a few of the flowers. He said it was pretty obvious looking at the flower which part required the pollen, his pollination was successful, and by the next spring he had plenty of vriesea seed to experiment with. John set up a polystyrene propagator, similar to the one Gerry had shown him, and within two weeks he had germination. He was just thinking, ‘Wow! This is easy’… when, within another two weeks, nearly all his precious seedlings had died. John does not give up easily, so he kept trying, but he kept getting the same results. He became less and less excited about the initial germination, as he knew it was only a matter of
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time before most would die. However, perseverance and plenty of spare seed eventually paid off and his success rate improved.
This initial taste of bromeliad hybridising was just enough to wet John and Agatha’s appetites. Now a few years on they are a lot more deliberate in their approach. With their background in architecture, and Agatha’s artistic talents, as evidenced by her lovely oil paintings displayed at the 2009 Bromeliad Fiesta, they are developing the ability to design potential hybrids well before even making a cross.
Their early crosses were with vrieseas, but now they have experimented with aechmeas, billbergias, canistrums, and even a few bigenerics. Gradually neos have become the plant of choice. They are starting to see promising results from their crosses with pedigree plants like carcharodon ‘Tiger, ‘Royal Hawaiian’, and ‘Queen Kapiolani’. Other crosses have been done using plants like zonata, ampullacea, and smithii as they prefer to keep a species as one of the parents.
They’ve discovered that it’s best not to restrict yourself too much when planning hybrids, as most bromeliads will perform well under the right growing conditions. The BSI photo index is a very useful resource for research as it will show if similar crosses have already been done, and give insight as to how potential hybrids could turn out.
John and Agatha really like the compact, multi leaved neos they’ve seen growing in the tropics. Their vision is to create unique hybrids that are well proportioned, with wide leaves, and a full rosette, just like those plants in the tropics, but ones that will perform well in our climate. They face the problem many home hybridisers do, and that is lack of growing space. To work efficiently, they have to be very selective, and will only pot up seedlings with potential. The rest of the grex will go into a community pot to grow on. If the selected seedlings start to show promise, they will then re-look at the grex to see if any are worthy of potting up. At this point in time, they have some 50 trays of seedlings, each with at least 100 plants in them waiting to be potted on. They decided not to do any crosses this season, so they could concentrate on their current stock. Bromeliads are very slow growing from seed, so it is important to give the best seedlings optimum conditions. Also be mindful that a grex of seedlings takes up very little space, but they soon expand!
Their advice to anyone wishing to start hybridising is to start with something like aechmeas or neos, use proven parent plants, have a lot of patience, and make sure you have a lot of room!
John and Agatha are in this for fun. They say it’s great to watch a small green seedling gradually change into a promising plant. The reward is the chance to create something unique that can eventually be shared with and appreciated by, all bromeliad enthusiasts.

Bromeliad Society June Meeting News
– Dave Anderson

resident Jocelyn Coyle welcomed everyone, including two new visitors. She spoke about the books on the sales table including Margaret and Bill Paterson’s new book ‘Bromeliad Hybrids – Book 1: Neoregelias’ -$39.00; John Catlan’s book ‘Under the Mango Tree’ with its many helpful tips - $15.00 and Bea Hanson’s book ‘Bromeliads for Everyone – Book 2’ -$2.00. Please note that our library has many overseas journals to borrow. Our Society’s June journal had several excellent articles that members have commented on. All members are asked to please contribute articles if you can. Society member Enyth Good has been working on the Bromeliad Glade at Eden Gardens for some time. Unfortunately she broke her foot recently and cannot do the maintenance work so if you can help with this work over the next few months please contact our secretary. The work would be 2-3 hours, say once a fortnight.
Again, Peter Waters took us through the ‘Show and Tell’ plants. First up for naming was a variegated Neoregelia that looked similar to ‘Dr. Oeser’ (variegated), however, the late Avon Ryan had also made similar coloured hybrids. The plant could not be definitely named. Next was the most attractive species Hohenbergia burlemarxii that comes from Bahia. In its native habitat, (warm and bright), the 75mm wide leaves develop a pink colouration to them, whereas in Auckland, where the temperature is marginal for this plant, the leaves stay green – still lovely looking. Another plant for display was Tillandsia seleriana – the very large form that has a large pseudobulb up to 15 cm diameter. The inflorescence and upper leaves become an attractive pink to carmine when blooming. Peter had for display a recently found Neoregelia carcharodon species that had many large black spots on its green leaves and looked stunning. A plant for naming was identified as a Neoregelia ‘Marble Throat’ x that had been made by Avon Ryan. A number of people have this plant that has the ‘Marble Throat’ markings with pups that are not stoloniferous. Another attractive species that Peter had brought in was Neoregelia ‘Rafa’
– a medium sized neoregelia that was one of the parents of the much sought after hybrid, Neoregelia ‘Hannibal Lector’. Neoregelia ‘Rafa’ has green leaves with lovely black cross bands that it has passed on in particular to Neoregelia ‘Hannibal Lector’ #1. In full bloom was the species Neoregelia princeps, not to be confused with Neoregelia carolinae ‘Princeps’. Neoregelia princeps has an appealing silver cross banding to the underside of the leaves with the centre colouring a delicate rose on flowering. Brought in for display was Vriesea botafogensis a plant easily confused with saundersii. However it has significantly different flowers. Interestingly, this plant is endemic to the centre of Rio de Janeiro city.
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David Cowie won this month’s special raffle prize with the door prizes going to Bill Ironside, Don Brown and John Mitchell.
Open Flowering: First was Peter Coyle with Vriesea ‘Tasman 2007’ another one of the lovely hybrids out of the grex known as the ‘Tasman’ series. Second with a Billbergia vittata clump was Robbie Burns. The only other plant in the competition was a Vriesea hybrid with white coloured leaves similar to Vriesea ‘Snowman’.
Open Foliage: Peter Coyle was first with a Vriesea ‘Candyman’ – gigantea x platynema var. variegata; that inherits the pink colours from the latter species and second was Judy Graham with Billbergia ‘Domingos Martins’ – always stunning. In the competition were Hohenbergia correia-araujoi; Vriesea ‘Hunua Embers’, ‘Nova Princess’ and Aechmea ‘Bert’ (variegated).
Tillandsia: First was Lynette Nash with Tillandsia tectorum – a superbly grown clump mounted on driftwood. Second was Judy Graham with a Tillandsia stricta clump with dark leaves and four plants in flower. There were also on the table Tillandsia arhiza, duratii, erubescens (large form), guatemalensis, ponderosa, disticha, recurvifolia, ‘Strictly Bourgeoise’ and punctulata.
Neoregelia: First Peter Coyle with Neoregelia ‘Roseo Lineata’ with its broad red stripes and second with Neoregelia ‘Avila’ – a plant with variegated wide leaves -was Glenys Guild. Also in the competition were Neoregelia ‘Top Marks’, ‘Marshalls Select’, ‘Kahala Sunset’, ‘I Like It’ and ‘Predator’.
Named Monthly Plant (Bigenerics):
First was Peter Coyle with xCanmea ‘Wild Tiger’ and second with xCanmea ‘Wild Leopard’ was Alan Cliffe. In the competition were xNeophytum ‘Fire Cracker’ and Neoregelia carolinae x Aechmea fasciata.
The Plant of the Month went to Lynette Nash with the most attractive Tillandsia tectorum.
Congratulations to all the winners.

NEXT MEETING: Tues 27th July

Group News
Northland Bromeliad Group
– Lois Going
A fine mild day on June 27 increased the enjoyment of a well attended visit to Russell Fransham’s subtropical nursery and home at Matapouri. We gathered on the house deck overhanging the lake where a variety of member Mac’s bromeliads were displayed. Then we were taken for a guided walk around the lake, featuring palms including mature fishtail palms and unusual exotic subtropical trees from around the world. Mac is growing certain varieties of bromeliads in bulk. We then wandered through Russell’s nursery houses where he grows many exotic trees and plants. Members then proceeded to Lois Going’s steep coastal garden at Tutukaka for a cuppa and short meeting after which we looked around the garden that features many bromeliads and subtropicals among older shrubs and trees. Sculptures and ceramics are included in the landscaping.
Next Meeting: Sunday 25th July at Don Ogilvie’s at 47 Apotu Rd, Kauri.

Eastern Bay of Plenty Bromeliadand Orchid Group – Eunice Silvester
In spite of the weather, a good crowd gathered at ‘Professionals’ for our first winter meeting to meet Liz Bailey and friends from Tauranga. Liz started an interesting ‘discussion’ about orchids and bromeliads and the tillandsia genus which ended up covering a wide range of subjects. Liz brought with her a lovely selection of small tillandsia, neoregelia and miniature orchids and also samples of insecticides, homemade comfrey and liquid and pellet fertilisers, among them the innovative ‘BioBoost’pellets, produced by the New Plymouth Sewerage Plant, and which were new to most of us. The ‘discussion’ format turned out to be an entertaining way of sharing knowledge among visitors and local members alike.
We had a good selection of favourite plants of the month, and a breathtakingly colourful display of small orchids by Trevor and Pam Signal, followed by a delicious afternoon tea.
Next Meeting: Sunday 15th August at 1.00pm at the Community Hall in Mair St, Matata. Guest Speakers: Lester and Bev Ching. For further information contact Maureen 07-322 2276, Sue 07- 307 1323, or Ross 07-312 5487.

South Auckland Bromeliad Group
– Marion Morton
Considering it was such a bitterly cold and wet day we had an excellent attendance for our July 4th meeting.
Graham West reminded the group that the Whangarei trip is on 13th and 14th November – $98 per person which covers the cost of the coach, motel and dinner on Saturday night. Any members who have not already registered and would like to attend should contact

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Margaret Kitcher, who is also taking payments for the trip. Hawi Winter gave a very humorous and informative presentation of our trip to the various gardens on the Coromandel, and our visit to the Driving Creek Railway. DVD’s of the trip are available to members at $10.
The raffles were won by Lois Phillips, Pauline Ashton and Colleen Munro.
Next Meeting: Sunday, 1st August at 1.30pm at the Auckland Botanicl Gardens, 102 Hill Road, Manurewa. There will be a demonstration of garden art by Fay Cox and Jane Utting from Whangamata.

Bay of Plenty Bromeliad Group
– Jo Elder
It was a sunny but chilly day for our June meeting, Wilma Fitzgibbons, standing in for president, Lynley Breeze, welcomed 62 members and seven visitors.
Dave and Joan Anderson had travelled down from Auckland to attend the meeting and Dave was our speaker with his topic ‘Tillandsias.’ Dave’s spoke about the Bromeliaceae family, the sub-families, and where different genera take their place. He went on to place Tillandsia and Vriesea in that family and explained the ways of differentiating between these two genera when some plants appear so similar. He talked about the growing conditions, watering, fertilizing etc. and stressed that if a plant is growing well, do not move it. Like other plants, tillandsias are position sensitive. Dave had brought along many beautiful plants to show the members. He was surrounded by enthusiastic people at the afternoon tea break, and we now have many new converts to growing tillandsias.
Raffle winners: Ian Pirani, Molly Reid, Wilma Fitzgibbons, Christine Borlase.

Plant of the month: Tillandsia.
A wonderful display of plants was presented, Tillandsia xerographica, ionantha, seleriana, fuchsii, tenuifolia, balbisiana, gardneri, ionantha, cardenasii, neglecta, reducta, tectorum to name a few.

Competition plants:
1st Cryptanthus ‘Arlety’– Gill Keesing; 2nd Vriesea ‘Waihi Dawn’ – Gill Keesing; 3rd Vriesea hybrid – Barbara Nalder

Tillandsia competition:
1st Tillandsia tectorum (small form) – Jo Elder; 2nd Tillandsia stricta – Audrey Hewson; 3rd Tillandsia guatemalensis
– Elizabeth Bailey
Next Meeting: August 11th, 12.30pm, at TYPB Club Rooms Sulphur Point. Gill Keesing, Jo Elder and Bertha Schollum will speak about how their interest in bromeliads began, and give their top three growing tips.
Committee meeting at 11.30am, before general meeting. Plant of the month: unusual genera and bigenerics, (a bigeneric is a cross between species of different genera).

Bay of Plenty Group: May meeting
Jo Elder welcomed 49 members and three visitors. Isabel Clotworthy gave us hints on ‘How to prepare bromeliads for winter.’ Some of her hints were: put soft leafed plants under cover away from frost, clean out the cups of plants and spray with a weak solution of ‘Bravo.’ Tidy up dead leaves etc. to prevent fungus and mites. Put slug bait around plants. Water less over the winter months and do not fertilize plants again until spring.
Anna Long was our speaker: ‘Keeping NZ native geckos in captivity.’ Anna has a permit from DOC. Geckos can live 40 years and people who keep NZ geckos cannot sell them, but can swap at meetings with other people who have permits.
Plant of the month: Nidularium and Canistropsis: The owner of each plant spoke about growing conditions etc. On the table were: Nidularium ‘Rusty’, ‘Nat de Leon’, ‘terminale’ ‘Nana,’‘Litmus’, rutilans, regelioides, innocentii var striatum, longiflorum, fulgens, ‘Spotty’.

Competition plants:
1st Neoregelia ‘Milagro’ – Jo Elder; 2nd Neoregelia ‘Kahala Dawn’ – Gill Keesing; 3rd Neoregelia ‘Noble Descent’ – Gill Keesing
Tillandsia competition: 1st Tillandsia ‘Houston’x aeranthos – Jo Elder; 2nd equal Tillandsia recurvifolia var subsecundifolia – Bertha Schollum and Tillandsia ixioides x recurvifolia – Jo Elder; 3rd Tillandsia ‘White Star’ – Cushla Chudleigh

hawke’s Bay Bromeliad Group
– Judy Newman
We enjoyed an interesting meeting featuring pumice garden sculptures. Secretary, Lynne , brought along some interesting pots she had carved from pumice. Some resembled Easter Island heads. She showed how she had done them and explained that if they were painted with yoghurt they soon took on an aged appearance. The trip up the coast to collect pumice has been delayed until the weather improves. Anna brought along some frost cloth from her workplace to show members. We have had several frosts one of which was a real beauty. The October trip to Tauranga was discussed with members being told that the bus fare would be very reasonable. One of the competitions was a plant growing in a complimentary container which brought out some lovely combinations.

Competition Results:
Neoregelia: 1st Neoregelia ‘Brazil’

– Anna Le Comte; 2nd Neoregelia ‘Perfecta’ – Wade Smith; 3rd Neoregelia ‘Sheba’ – Margaret BluckMiniature/small: 1st Neoregelia ‘Sugar and Spice’ – Wade Smith; 2nd Neoregelia ‘Tasha’ – Judy Newman; 3rd Billbergia ‘Bobtail’ – Margaret Bluck

Plant in complimentary container:
1st Aechmea ‘Ensign’ (reverse) – Wade Smith; 2nd Billbergia ‘Hoelscheriana’
– Grace Smith; 3rd Billbergia ‘Hoelscheriana’ – Margaret Bluck
Next Meeting: 25th July at the Beacon, Ormond Road, Napier.


Gary and Heather Cooke in Te Atatu
– Sandy Stonham

Catching the bromeliad ‘bug’

eather and Gary have been members of our society since 1982. They first encountered bromeliads in the Herald ‘plants for sale’ section. They were curious and had no idea what bromeliads were, so they attended a show and then it all began. After they were married in 1979 they bought a glass house for their first Christmas together, a couple of years later the tomatoes were ‘turfed out ‘so they could start collecting bromeliads and orchids in earnest.
They smile when they remember how things have changed over the years. Heather remembers how, one year, the society’s Christmas meeting was a sit down meal with entertainment and she won a pastel picture by Enid Treweek, because she had the lucky number under her seat. Over time, the couple’s passion has evolved and they have brought three shipments of plants into the country. Because of cost and regulations it has become too difficult to do this anymore – anyway, Heather thinks a lot of New Zealand’s hybridists are just as good as any others around the world.

A keen hybridiser… with ten glasshouses to support the ‘habit’
They now have ten glasshouses dotted around their Te Atatu peninsula property which Heather happily fills and sells from occasionally. Heather is also a keen hybridiser, learning the art from Gerry Stansfield. She says she wrote Gerry’s instructions down and followed them to the letter and has had nothing but success. Neoregelia ‘Enchantment’ x ‘Royal Burgundy’ is one she is proud of. Heather has also grown on seed she got from Gerry and has a promising plant from a Neoregelia ‘Midas Touch’x ‘Sharlock’ which is colouring up nicely.
Gary prefers miniature neos but has just bought Heather a Neoregelia ‘Gold Medal’ for mother’s day. Actually, a large part of their collection is miniature neos and there aren’t many they don’t have!
They are also involved in orchids and Heather is accredited as a judge for the NZ Orchid Society; The Orchid Council of NZ and, recently, The Cymbidium Society of America.
They have many ‘favourite’ bromeliads: Neoregelia ‘Chili Verde’; Billbergia ‘Domingos Martins’; Neoregelia ‘Tartan Princess’; aechmeas, tillandsias… you get the picture!
On Heather’s ‘wish list’ is Neoregelia ‘Totara Gold.’

Gary and Heather Cooke…

Heather Cooke with Vriesea ‘Tango Lace’.

Neoregelia ‘Gold Medal’.

Orthophytum gurkenii – growing on ‘sibling pups’ – Graeme Barclay
his species is one of the best looking and most desirable orthophytums around. With its dark brown/maroon leaves and zigzag silver banding very prominent on the upper leaf surfaces, it gives the impression and texture of ‘snakeskin’, making it a great feature plant in either pots, or in the garden amongst succulents and ground covers.
Orthophytums like very free draining soil (e.g. succulent mix with pumice is ideal) and lots of water, as they are a terrestrial bromeliad that has a very extensive root structures, like other ground dwellers such as the Dyckia genus. Feeding them a few times a year (especially when young) is beneficial to attain good size, form and markings.
I’ve had my Orthophytum gurkenii growing in a north facing pebble garden, that gets a little shade but also a lot of heat in the summer. It has flowered twice from two different heads after several pups sprouted like other broms do from the original plant’s base. However, one of the unusual things about this species, is that often it also has ‘sibling pups’that appear along the spent flower spike, long after flowering. The flower spike extends from the centre of the plant, elevating the centre leaves upward with it as it grows. Numerous bright green, compactflower bracts then emerge at the leaf joints and near the tip of the spike. After flowering finishes, the spikedroops and the green flower heads dry up, but sometimes if you are lucky, the flower heads actually turn themselves into a baby plant – so don’t cut it off and throw it away too early! The babies emerge from the centre of the green flower structure and go a light brownish colour like the mother plant, then the tiniest silver bands begin to appear on the leaves. When they reach around 3 inches or so in diameter, they will have formed a number of small root nodules under the bottom leaves and can simply be ‘popped’ off the stem with a gentle tug. They can then be rooted in seedling mix in a small pot and a good idea is to use a rubber band around the pot and over the top leaves of the plant, to initially hold it firm in the pot. This is necessary for a few weeks while the first extended roots grow, as the recurved lower leaves will try to ‘push’ the plant out of the soil making it unstable and root production difficult.

I’ve now had seven pups sprout along the original flower spike, and another pup has also decided to grow directly from the end of another spike that was knocked off by the kids’ soccer ball before flowering even occurred ! They sure are a resilient and determined be sure to keep an eye on your flowering ‘Gurks’ in future. 

Bromeliad websites worth visiting – Dave Anderson
To find relevant material and information on bromeliads many members just ‘Google’ the web. For those members, (in particular the newer members), there are a number of websites that have an enormous amount of information on bromeliads. The following are a list of a few websites that are well worth visiting: – Website of the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies Inc. that has been operational for many years. One click on their ‘Photo Index’ to look through a vast range of species and hybrids. Also amongst others on the index are ‘Whats New’ and ‘Uncle Derek Says’ that are well worth reading. – Website of the Bromeliad Society of Australia. Again worth a look, especially their ‘Photo Index’ and ‘Detective’. – Website of the WWW BROMELIAD SOCIETY with its Brom-L Picture Gallery.  Once again a superb site. – Lastly a website where there are discussions on many bromeliad species and hybrids. Several members of our society contribute to these discussions.
Happy viewing – but please do not expect to positively identify your plants by looking at pictures on the web!

Broms aglow in Kamo
– Article by Erin Titmus with photos by Colin Symonds
he first glimpse of bromeliads in Iris and Colin Symonds’ garden in Kamo, just north of Whangarei, sets the scene for more that is to come: an overall sense of quality planting, both in plant health and clever composition.
The garden has been established 40 years now and over that period the structure remains as first laid out, but the underplanting style has changedfour times. The current emphasis on subtropical planting began 10-12 years ago when bromeliads became popular and available.
This style complements Iris’ first love in the garden, orchids. They appeal as a wider family of plants and as a bigger challenge to grow - more deaths! Three orchid houses cater for cool and intermediate planting requirements.Colin shares the interest as builder, sprayer and waterer of the gardenand captures their beautiful results in photographs. Their skill in growingorchids transfers to the general garden where bromeliads glow in good health. ‘It is important to look after your plants’, says Iris. ‘People keep buying them but often don’t look after them well.’
Colourful tapestry and contrast comes through better in numbers and groupings…
‘You need a collection,’ she adds, ‘to be able to use colour for contrast which will come through better in numbers and groupings.’And so Iris repeatsspecimens, colours, textures, and then intermingles contrasts to create her tapestry effects in the underplanting. Fine festuca blue grass and the native green-mounding scleranthus are favourite complements along with the softening textures of fine-leaved ferns.
Among the bromeliads, Iris favours the tillandsia genus. The hardy species mingle in the general garden. For instance, Spanish moss, Tillandsia usneoides, hangs from many openboughs and is encouraged as it is a useful medium to enhance orchid displays. Other tillandsias feature in a collection that frames the broad opening of an orchid house facing north. Here, together, their diversity in leaf colour shows to full effect. These plants don’t like wet with the cold and Iris moves them into the glass house over winter. The more sensitive plants have pride-ofplace on a wall display inside the glass house year round.
And why tillandsias you may ask? Well, Iris is looking forward. When the time comes to move to a flat they will be able to accommodate these plants which will be nicely established.
Meanwhile, Iris and Colin’s garden in Crawford Crescent continues to evolve as an eclectic mix that will delight from season to season.

Plants/pups: Neoregeliacarcharodon cultivars ‘Rainbow’, ‘Macho’, ‘Tiger’ and Neoregelia ‘Norman Bates’, ‘Roberto Menescal’, ‘Tiger Head’, ‘Jolly Roger’, ‘Pink Star’, ‘Grande Fantastic Gardens’. John Blanch 027 251 6323, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
We will publish Buy or Swap notices from members of the Society. Maximum 30 words. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or postto: 14 Matanui St, Northcote, North Shore City.

Kamo broms…

An eclectic mix. Bromeliad underplanting creatingtapestry effects.

Aechmea fasciata. Vriesea guttata repeated in effectivehanging display

Obituary – Gerald Bernard Stansfield
July 15, 1934 - July 14, 2010
– by Heather and Gary Cooke

erry met his wife Margaret in 1958, they became engaged in 1959 and married in 1960.
In an article in a 1960 issue of the New Zealand Orchid Society monthly circular we read: “It is of interest to note that two single members of our society have become married to each other. Mrs Stansfield was a member as Miss Merrey. So far as I am aware this may be the first time that two of our members have married. The Executive and members wish them all the very best for the future and a long happy marriage”.
And it certainly was. After 50 years many have commented that their honeymoon was never over. Leaving school at fifteen, Gerry served an apprenticeship as a toolmaker. Being a very thorough person throughout his life he rose to senior management positions becoming manager of CBS Engineering, Te Atatu. He served his compulsory military training in the Air Force and soon after he obtained his pilot’s licence at the Ardmore Aero Club.

He came from a musical family, his father played the saxophone and his mother taught piano. Gerry inherited his mother’s talent on the piano and was soon playing in competitions at the town hall. His love of music remained with him throughout his life.
His other passion was bromeliads which were very few in those days. However this did not deter him from assisting in the formation of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand with wife Margaret and other inaugural members. He was very much devoted to bromeliads, giving his utmost to the cultivation and hybridising of this family. His hybrids, of which over one hundred have been registered, are recognized and appreciated by many other hybridists in New Zealand and overseas.
His willingness to talk to people, pass on his knowledge and lend a hand to help others is well known. He served on the society committee, as the Journal editor and the NZ Cultivar Registrar. As a member of the BSI he was awarded the Bromeliad Cultivars Registration Award by the BSI Directors. He was made a Life Member of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand in 2010.
Gerry had a great sense of humour, an engaging smile and a personality which allowed him to make friends wherever he went. He will be very sadly missed by his family and friends and the fraternity of bromeliads.

Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc
Bromeliad Journal – August 2010 issue

Obituary for Gerry Stansfield – by Gary and Heather Cooke 2 President’s Page – Jocelyn Coyle 4 Spring Sale notice 4 Hybridisers …No 3 in series: Aussie Jack Koning – Andrew Devonshire 5
J.A.B. theory …just add bromeliads – Erik Kaihe-Wetting 9 Buy & Swap 9 Bromeliad Society July meeting news – Glenys Guild 10 ‘Broms in the Park’ 2010 11 Wittrockia ‘Leopardinum’ – Graeme Barclay 12 Society officers, subs and Journal directory 14 Group News 15 Whangarei Subtropical Quarry Garden – Erin Titmus and Colin Symonds 18
The opinions expressed in articles or letters in this Journal are the contributors’ own views and do not necessarily express the views or the policy of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand
Please see the Group News section starting on page 15 for details, venues and times of
group meetings.
AUGUST 22nd Northland Group meeting. 22nd Hawkes Bay Group meeting. 24th Society meeting at Greyfriar’s Hall, corner of Mt Eden and Windmill roads, Mt Eden, starting at 7.30pm. Monthly choice competition: Miniatures 12.5cm or smaller. This will be a PLANT SWAP night – members can bring up to three plants each to swap. Speaker: Peter Waters will have a PowerPoint and speak about the recent BSI World Conference in New Orleans, followed by a display by Peter Coyle on some of the hybrids that have come out of crossing Neo.’ Treasure Chest’ with ‘Lamberts Pride’.

5th South Auckland Group meeting. 8th Bay of Plenty Group meeting. 12th Far North Group meeting. 24th-26th Tauranga Orchid Show. 28th Society meeting at Greyfriar’s Hall, corner of Mt Eden and Windmill roads, Mt Eden, starting at 7.30pm. Monthly choice competition: Variegated bromeliads, excluding neoregelias. Our speakers will be first, Sam of Cosio Plastics who will tell us all about frost and shade cloths, followed by our committee member, Graeme Barclay, who will talk about his experience with coloured shade cloths.
FRONT COVER: In the Subtropical Quarry Garden, just out of Whangarei. The garden is sustained by volunteers and donations and the Northland Bromeliad Group have been involved in creating a bromeliad feature garden for the last twelve years. It’s time we paid a visit – and you can read about it and see Colin Symonds’ photos, starting on page 18.

have just picked my first daffodils and what a wonderful feeling those lovely bright yellow trumpets always give me. They fill me with warm fuzzies knowing that spring is on its way. It is great to walk around the garden and keep an eye on the new buds swelling on the trees just waiting for that glimpse of green as the first leaves unfold.
We spent a nice weekend in Whakatane and enjoyed attending the Eastern Bay of Plenty Bromeliad and Orchid monthly meeting, catching up with Brom friends and members. We even bought a couple of nice orchids home as we are planning a shade house. (Some of the birds have got to go!)
Our spring sale and display is not far away…October 17th… so if you wish to sell bromeliads could you please let me know, phone 416 8272 or put your name on the list at the next meeting .
Please don’t forget to wear your name badges. Bring your old one along and exchange it for a new one at the door.
If you don’t have a name badge please let Joan Anderson know.
At our August meeting Peter Waters will be doing a small presentation on the highlights of the Bromeliad Society International world conference in New Orleans. This will be followed by a display by Peter Coyle of some of the hybrids that have come out of crossing Neo.’ Treasure Chest’ with ‘Lamberts Pride’. Then it will be our ‘August Plant Swap’ night. Please bring along up to three plants and put them on the table with your name and the plant name on a piece of paper under the pot and have fun having a look at the other plants and see what you can swap it for. Please make sure the plants/pots are clean and dry and don’t forget to wear your name badge so we can easily identify you! There will still be the main sales table for the end of the meeting.
I’m looking forward to seeing you on the 24th August.


An iconic Aussie – Andrew Devonshire
akadu Sunrise; Daintree Forest; Uluru Sunset; and Nullarbor Glow are all well known Australian icons, and they are also names given to a selection of spectacular bromeliad hybrids by an iconic Aussie, Jack Koning.
Port Macquarie, with its beaches, wineries, and wonderful subtropical climate is the place Jack calls home. Plants have always fascinated him, and he was a dedicated orchid grower before Bill Morris converted him. Jack has a reputation for building shade houses, and it was during the construction of a large shade house for Bill, that Jack was hooked. Bill was a staunch advocate for bromeliads, and it didn’t take him long to win Jack over.
Getting started…
Hybridising came naturally to Jack. He vividly recalls seeing a colour catalogue of beautiful hippeastrums from a Dutch company, but as they could not be bought in Australia, Jack developed the philosophy ‘if I can’t buy it, I will breed it’. This started a 35 year programmme of plant breeding where Jack had a go at a wide range of plants, including hippeastrums,orchids, gloxinias, all types of begonia, and a few caladiums. He even crossed zygo cactus with epiphyllums, because someone told him it could not be done.
During this time he also started to make his first bromeliad hybrids, using Vr. gigantea and a ‘Chestnut’ type of Vr. fosteriana. Jack says he had no idea what he was doing, but guided by what he had learned from orchid breeding, he knew that in general the pollen parent influenced colour and the pod parent influences shape and size. Two of his best breeding plants are Vr. ‘The Daintree’ and Vr. ‘Milky Way’ both of which came from these early crosses. Jack says you just can not get a bad seedling from them no matter what, and the hybrid Vr. ‘Lemon Sorbet’ is proof of that. Jack has another firm favorite and that is the species Vr. fenestralis. He says that few people have used it for breeding, but he has found it to be a very good plant, and he has created some outstanding plants from it. Vr. fenestralis gives nice shiny leaves, it can make hybrids bigger than itself, and it carries the genes for salmon, pinks, and whites. Its only drawback seems to be that it can create offspring that are a bit cold sensitive, but when hybrids as stunning as Vr. ‘Melissa Dilling’ can be created, it’s a small price to pay.
When Jack started raising bromeliads from seed, he had to teach himself by trial and error as there was no one else around to give advice. With his dedicated, do it yourself attitude he quickly mastered the process, and now he is considered an expert. Over the last few years Jack has received tremendous support and encouragement to continue his work with breeding vrieseas. Much of this encouragement has come from the beautiful lady friends in his life, and he has honoured them by giving
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their names to a number of his vriesea hybrids. Of note are his ‘Aussie Beauty’series, which have been named after Debra Jones, Kerry Tate, Frances Wilson, and Tamera Ison. In fact it was Debra who really pushed him to get out into the public eye, resulting in Jack giving a lecture at the 2007 Australian Bromeliad Conference which was held in Port Macquarie. Jack is now constantly encouraging others, and sharing his knowledge. His attitude is that it’s rather pointless keeping secrets, and I find that to be a refreshing approach in the area of plant hybridising.

his favourites…
Foliage vrieseas have always been Jack’s favourite bromeliads, with their beautiful patterns, fine symmetry, and lack of spines. He is fascinated by the genetics of this genus, and says it’s a constant voyage of discovery trying to work out how colours can be extracted that may not be apparent in the parent plants, to work out what traits are dominant and which are dormant. Jack has the ability to visualise two to three generationsahead when he does a cross, and he will also do complementary crossings to try to achieve his goals. He says it is also worth while doing a number of experimental crosses, as we tend to learn the most from our failures.
Jack has hybridised aechmea, neoregelia and also a number of cryptanthus, but it is his vriesea hybrids that stand out with 37 registered to date, and many more are in the pipeline. Jack sees a big future for breeding bromeliads, he says the potential has barely been scratched. There is now a tremendous pool of hybrids being created by breeders all over the world, and we are in for a visual feast. The plants of the future will be the ones we can only dream of today. Jack’s perfect vriesea hybrid would be something like his ‘Montezuma’s Gem’ but with albomargination, carrying the flower spike of the stunning Dilling hybrid ‘Phillip’ and have very shiny leaves. Oh, and be easy to grow of course!
Knowing Jack’s dedication, I would not be too surprised if one day we do in fact see him produce his perfect vriesea hybrid.
Some good advice…
Jack’s advice to anyone starting out in the area of hybridising is to do plenty of research, and ask lots of questions. Some people won’t give you the answers, so find those that will, then take plenty of notes. Look through the photo index on BSI, and get an idea of what has been done, and get an idea of the type of plants you like. Develop a plan of what you want to achieve, and then buy the best plants you can for breeding. As Jack says, ‘It’s better to own two champion race horses than twelve donkeys’. Once you start breeding plants, do not be in a hurry, it’s a long term project, and don’t give up if at first you don’t succeed.
Thanks Jack for all the information, and the photos. I’ve really enjoyed the journey and I think we’ll soon be seeing many more of your spectacular vriesea hybrids.

Jack Koning…

Jack and his “Aussie Beauties”, left to right Kerry Tate, Debra Jones, Jack Koning, Frances Wilson, Tamera Ison.

Vr. fenestralis hybrid
Vr. ‘Melissa Dilling’

Vr. ‘Montezumas Gem’, a Vr. hieroglyphica hybrid

Jack’s new shadehouse, a joint venture with Tamera Ison.

Jack Koning…

Vr. ‘Leonis duBois’ Vr. ‘Kakadu Sunrise’

Vr. ‘Aussie Beauty Eden’ Vr. ‘Michele Cameron’

Vr. ‘Lemon Sorbet’ Vr. ‘Yellow Moon’

J.A.B Theory – Just Add Bromeliads!
– Erik Kaihe-Wetting
ave you ever noticed yourinterest perking up when you spot a bromeliad or three in the background of a film or TVprogramme? It could be a guzmania on a side table in an episode of ‘Days of our Lives’, a clutch of neoregelias spotted during that ‘Magnum PI’ rerun, or some aechmeas posing as alien flora in a science fiction movie. Yes it’s true, even the most dreary infomercial suddenly becomes wildly more interesting when you spot a bromeliad in it!
This has led me to extend J.A.B. Theory to a number of areas. This month: movie titles. See if you can work out the original film titles from the list below which have received the
J.A.B. Theory…
A room with a vriesea

Big tillandsias in little China

Bill and Ted’s excellent alcantarea

No country for old mothers

Harry repotter and the saxicolousbromeliad’s stone

Fasciata attraction

My stepmother is an aechmea

Dances with wittrockias

Brom wars – Episode One: WANTED TO BUY: The hybrid menace Plants/pups: Neoregelia

The Brazilian patient carcharodon cultivars ‘Rainbow’,

Aechmea apocalyptica now! ‘Macho’, ‘Tiger’ and Neoregelia

Kill billbergia! Part One. ‘Norman Bates’, ‘Roberto

Doctor Strangepup, or how I Menescal’, ‘Tiger Head’, ‘Jolly learned to stop worrying and love Roger’, ‘Pink Star’, ‘Grande the brom. Fantastic Gardens’.

The flight of the navia John Blanch 027 251 6323,

• Little shop of hechtias This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
• Catopsis on a hot tin roof We will publish Buy or Swap notices from members of the Society. Maximum 30 words.
Coming soon… J.A.B Theory takes on  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or postto: 14 Matanui St, Northcote, North Shore City.
television and literature.

Bromeliad Society July Meeting News
– Glenys Guild

espite the miserable midwinter weather there was a good turn-out of members for our meeting, including two visitors. President Jocelyn Coyle spoke of the loss of life member and avid hybridiser Gerry Stansfield, and suggested that we may have as our monthly choice in September bromeliads that Gerry developed. She reminded members to pick up their new name tags from beside the door, and to wear them at the meetings. Our Spring Sale and Show will be held on Sunday October 17th from 9am to 3pm. A list of sellers will be compiled at the next meeting. Treasurer Peter Waters and secretary Dave Anderson are at present attending the 19th World Bromeliad Conference in New Orleans in their respective roles as Honorary Trustee and Director. Members attending the August meeting will be able to hear Peter talk about this and watch a PowerPoint presentation. This will be a good opportunity to see the stunning plants they can grow in that steamy part of the world.
Some of our members brought their favourite broms to show and explain why they like them. Heather Cooke said although Vriesea ‘Tango Lace’ was her favourite, it was too big to bring in, so brought another, Vriesea ‘Cherry Pie’ instead. This plant was quite compact with wide green/ cream leaves topped with a bright red ‘cherry’ tip to the leaves. Heather
said it was quite slow growing, and it was suggested that she repot it into a
2.5 litre pot. David Gosse then spoke about an old favourite Neoregelia ‘Manoa Beauty’ which always makes a colourful display and never fails to delight. Diane Timmins said she likes the hardy plants that can survive outside in the garden all year, and brought in Neoregelia tristis x ‘Johannis Rubra’, a plant she has had for many years that has never flowered. Over time it has produced many pups, and in doing so has developed a long stem, making it quite an oddity. It has very dark reddish leaves. Her second plant was another Neoregelia, a concentrica hybrid with silvery black leaves. Finally Chris Paterson brought in a selection of the Neoregelia ‘Aussie Dream’ grex, bred in 1995 by Bob Larnach. Chris said he has a love/hate relationship with these plants, as they can be stunning bright pink plants with variegations, but need warmth and often lose the variegation and pup when too young. His selection included ‘Tartan Princess’, ‘Big Pinkie’, ‘Glorious’, ‘No 7’, ‘Red Pride’, ‘Christmas Cheer’ and ‘Rosie’.
Our speaker for the evening was well known plantsman, Dick Endt of Landsendt Nursery at Oratia. Dick gave us an illustrated trip via PowerPoint to South America, Hawaii, New York, California and Miami. We saw bromeliads in the wild in South America where Dick and his wife went plant hunting a number of times, in extensive nurseries, and in landscaping. Dick introduced many tropical fruits to NZ, and has had great success with babaco plants. He now exports them to many countries, including South America where their plants have almost been wiped out by a virus.

Open Flowering: Peter Coyle was first with Vriesea ‘Solar Flare’, and second equal were David Gosse with Neoregelia ‘Princess Caroline Superb’, and John Mitchell with Aechmea recurvata ‘Kiwi’. Also in the competition was Aechmea ‘Daveyi’.
Open Foliage: Peter Coyle was first with Vriesea ‘Tasman’ hybrid, and second was Glenys Guild with Vriesea ‘Tasman Wave’. In the competition as well were, Vriesea fenestralis and ‘Tango Lace’, Billbergia ‘Hummel’s Fantasia’ and ‘Hallelujah’.
Tillandsia: Lynette Nash took first
and second place with Tillandsia recurvifolia subsecundifolia, and butzii
Neoregelia: Peter Coyle took first and second place with Neoregelia ‘Flama’, and ‘Pemiento’. Also in the competition were ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘Mottles’, and ‘Predator’

Named Monthly Plant:
Vriesea fosteriana ‘Red Chestnut’

Peter Coyle won this class and Graeme Barclay was second. There were six lovely plants in the competition.
The plant of the month was Peter Coyle’s Vriesea ‘Tasman’ hybrid.
Door prizes were won by husband and wife, Nancy and Larry Murphy, and Donna Cramond, while Lynette Nash won the Special Raffle.
Congratulations to all the winners.
NEXT MEETING: Tuesday 24th August.

Wittrockia ‘Leopardinum’ – grow it
in sun!  – Graeme Barclay
his plant is one of my favourites and is now becoming very widespread in New Zealand collections. First reported in 1888 and formerly known as Canistrum leopardinum, it has a somewhat dubious and interesting history. It has never been found in the wild again and it wasn’t until 1997 that Elton Leme in Brazil claimed that C. leopardinum was actually considered to be taxonomically the same as Wittrockia gigantea – and should therefore be reclassified and re-named.
The “Leopard” (as I affectionately call them) has some interesting traits and there were a number of conflicting features of leaf patterns and flower colours between different specimens in cultivation, around the time Leme proposed the name change. One of these traits is that it does NOT like flowering under any conditions, meaning it therefore had been very difficult to study closely. So in 2001, our own Gerry Stansfield managed to flower his specimen using ‘ethylene’ pills. He then dissected the flower and reported his findings in a quest to determine its true identity. There was some suggestion it is actually a bigeneric natural hybrid, but it is now considered to indeed be a cultivar of
W. gigantea, hence its new cultivar name of W. ‘Leopardinum’.
The reason I like it so much is that I’ve discovered it can handle growing very well in full sun here, making it look fantastic in the garden. Most garden specimens we encounter are generally grown in semi to full shade, where the leaves can become quite long and the plant fairly large (see top photo opposite). This mother plant has had several pups (one good trait it does have), so I experimented with placing the young plants in mostly full sun, amongst hot stones – and some even tied up with no soil on a vine branch in full sun. Surprisingly, they all did extremely well, with no sun scorch or bleaching at all – even in mid summer. Under these conditions they seem to form a very nice even-shaped rosette (similar to a neoregelia) and develop much darker and more prominent ‘leopard spot’ markings (see bottom photo). In the right amount of light, the leaves colour up with very nice subtle rose-blushed patches, giving the whole plant a fabulous new make-over and shine.
I think the plant looks much better when grown a little harder and in much stronger light – and best of all, because it doesn’t flower, it stays looking great in your garden for ages. Give it a go in the sun …you won’t be disappointed!
Wittrockia ‘Leopardinum’…


Patron:  Patricia Sweeney 
President:  Jocelyn Coyle  09-416 8272 
Vice Presidents: Alan Cliffe  09-479 1451 
Secretary:  Dave Anderson  09-638 8671 
Treasurer:  Peter Waters  09-534 5616 
Librarian:  Noelene Ritson  09-625 8114 
Life Members: Dave Anderson, Patricia Perratt, 
Len Trotman, Patricia Sweeney, 

Peter Waters Scientific Officer: Peter Waters 09-534 5616

Committee: Graeme Barclay 09-835 0358 Don Brown 09-361 6175 David Cowie 09-630 8220 Chris Paterson 09-625 6707 Sandy Stonham 09-627 9658
Cultivar Registrar: Barry Uren 09-520 0246 Seed Bank: Bev Ching 09-576 4595 Species Preservation:
Barry Uren 09-520 0246 Editor: Murray Mathieson 09-418 0366 Auditor: Colin Gosse

New Zealand:
Ordinary membership NZ $35.00 ($5.00 discount if paid before the end of February). Dual membership (same household) NZ $45.00 ($5.00 discount also applies as above).

AUD $30.00 Australia, US $30.00 United States and other overseas countries. Send all payments to the Treasurer, Peter Waters, 22 Half Moon Rise, Half Moon Bay, Manukau 2012.

All general correspondence should be sent to the Secretary, Bromeliad Society of New Zealand,
P.O. Box 108-168, Symonds Street, Auckland, New Zealand. The opinions expressed in letters or articles in the Journal are the contributors’ own views and do not necessarily express the views or policy of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc.

For all editorial and advertising, the first Tuesday of publication month

Editorial Committee
Dave Anderson Murray Mathieson Peter Waters

Regular writers
Andrew Devonshire Graeme Barclay John and Agatha Lambert

Murray Mathieson

Dave Anderson All enquiries and contributions welcome, please contact any member of the editorial committee or send to Peter Waters, 22 Half Moon Rise, Half Moon Bay, Manukau 2012 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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‘Buy & Swap’
Listings in ‘Buy & Swap’ are FREE for members of the Society (max. 30 words). For advertising enquiries and material, please contact Murray Mathieson ph (09) 418 0366 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Group News
Far North Bromeliad Group
– Eric Stephens
Our July meeting found us once again in our ‘winter quarters’at Kingston House Kerikeri, with 37 members present.This was also our ‘Soup for Lunch’ day, where our top soup aficionados bring along their speciality on the meeting day nearest the shortest day of the year. Our guest speaker was our own Rex Pyne, who entertained us with his lifetime of adventures as a marine biologist in the tropical waters of the Great Barrier reef, Torres Strait and the outlying islands of Papua New Guinea. Rex became one of the group advising the Commonwealth government in their negotiations with neighbours Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
We have now joined with the Bay of Islands Orchid Society, and we will hold a combined Far North Show at The Centre, Kerikeri – Oct 14th to 16th. As a consequence, we will not be present at the Waimate North Show this year.
Interesting plants in ‘Show and Tell’ included a large ripe (smooth skinned, no prickles) Filipino annas hybrid
– ready to eat, Tillandsia grandis,Neoregelia ‘Noble Descent’, Guzmania. sanguinea, a sneak preview of two of Andrew Maloy’s new ‘Jewel’ series – ‘Celestial’ and ‘Stellar’ and a lovelygroup of Vriesea carinata with multiple flower heads.
We are looking forward to the visit of the Eastern Bay of Plenty group on Oct 2nd and 3rd.
Next Meeting: August 8th at Kingston House, with our 2010 AGM scheduled – same location for September 12th

Northland Bromeliad Group
– Lois Going
A fine day saw a good attendance for the July meeting at Don and Pat Ogilvie’s garden at Kauri. The level garden with a variety of plantings includes groups of bromeliads and many mature aloes and agaves, a number of which were in flower. An agave with a stunning huge, arching flower stem complimented several art pieces placed around the garden.
We were saddened to hear of Gerry Stansfield’s death and realise what a tremendous loss this will be to the bromeliad world.
Member Brian Rathbone talked about the brugmansias he hybridizes. He showed us a number of photos of luscious flowers with various colours and forms. Some varieties will not intercross. Germany has an extensive hybridizing programme, the plants having to be housed in the winter. Brian’s new varieties will become available for sale at Russell Fransham’s nursery.

1st Jan Mahoney – Vriesea ‘Pacific Opal’; 2nd Lyn White – Neoregelia ‘Milagro’;3rd = Don Ogilvie – unnamed vriesea; Lois Going – Neoregelia ‘Yin’

Next Meeting:
Sunday 22nd August at 1.30 pm at the Quarry Gardens. We hope to have David Muir talk about progress at the gardens.

South Auckland Bromeliad Group
– Marion Morton
Another very cold, wet and windy Sunday

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did not deter too many of our members for our August meeting. Graham West thanked Fay Cox and Anita Petersen for coming along to demonstrate their garden art to the group.
Fay explained that she has been doing mosaics for about five years and is self-taught. She and her husband go along to the quarry at Bombay and select their pieces of rock; she estimates that they have collected about two tons so far. Murray, her husband, does all the carrying of the heavy rocks and polishes them in preparation for the mosaic pieces which end up displaying birds, fish, geckos, etc. Fay also makes very colourful hanging mosaic mobiles, coasters, runners, and mats made from pebbles and she has even been commissioned to make memorial stones for families. Graham again informed us that DVD’s are available to members of our trip to the Coromandel, and the Driving Creek Railway, at a cost of $10.We were also reminded to start sorting out our plants for our Annual Sale in October. Graham congratulated Judy and Brian Small on their upcoming 50th Wedding Anniversary.
Raffle winners: Brenda Green, Anita Petersen, and Pat Lawson.
Next Meeting: Sunday September 5th at 1.30pm at the Auckland Botanic Gardens, 102 Hill Road, Manurewa. The subject will be bromeliads in unusual containers… an opportunity to show off your artistic flair.

Bay of Plenty Bromeliad Group
– Jo Elder
Lynley Breeze welcomed 46 members. The annual Tauranga Orchid Show is being held 24th -26th September. Set up will be after 2.00pm, Thursday 23rd September. The annual Sales Day at the Matua Hall will be held on Saturday 30th October.
Re a possible bus trip later in the year, members were asked whether a Saturday or a Sunday would be suitable. Jo Elder had brought along some frost cloth that was almost clear, somewhat like bubble wrap and did not need to be removed from around plants during the cold months. Our speaker, Graeme Saltiel from Daltons, explained how they started their business of supplying gardenproducts and how their various mixes are prepared. Their best is available from their depot at the Mount.
Raffle winners were Danny Begley, Wilma Fitzgibbons, David Munro, Yvonne Keepin, Roger Allan and Judy Young.
Plant of the month: Billbergia: A nice selection of these plants was tabled, ‘Hallelujah’ ‘Perriams Pride’, ‘Smoky Rose’, sanderiana, brasiliensis, ‘Duke’.
‘Show & Tell’: On the table was a neoregelia requiring a name. It was thought to be Neoregelia ‘Radiant.’ It is not easy at this time of year to identify plants!
Competition Plants: 1st Aechmea orlandiana – Gill Keesing, 2nd = Aechmea ‘Ensign’ (reverse) – Gill Keesing and Billbergia ‘Hallelujah’ – Jo Elder.
Tillandsia: 1st Tillandsia recurvifolia – Bertha Schollum, 2nd Tillandsia tectorum
– Bertha Schollum, 3rd Tillandsia stricta (hard leaf) – Jo Elder. Also on the table were T. tenuifolia, ‘White Star’.
T. recurvifolia var subsecundifolia, T. latifolia (small form)
Next Meeting: September 8th, 12.30pm, at TYPB Club Rooms Sulphur Point. Peter Waters will speak to us about his trip to Brazil, seeking bromeliads with Elton Leme. Aechmea will be the plant of the month.

hawkes Bay Bromeliad Group
– Judy Newman
A smaller group than usual met on an afternoon which started nicely but turned cold later on. The members were saddened to hear of Gerry Stansfield’s passing. The date for our Tauranga trip is the first weekend in October. The council has agreed to us planting a bed with bromeliads in the sunken gardens on the Parade. A job for when the weather improves! The main discussion was ‘what got you into growing bromeliads?’Everyone had a turn which proved very interesting ranging from one member who saw a man selling bromeliads from a van and bought the lot to others who had been given one.
Competition Results:
Neoregelia: 1st Neoregelia ‘Empress’

Julie Greenhill; 2nd = Neoregelia ‘Rosea Striata’ – Wade Smith and Neoregelia ‘Bullseye’ – Judy Newman.Miniature/Small: 1st A Cryptanthus – Denise Dreaver; 2nd Tillandsia capitata ‘Yellow Rose’ – Judy Newman; 3rd Neoregelia ampullacea – Wade Smith. Flowering Plant: 1st Dyckia marnierlapostollei x ‘Silver King’ – JudyNewman; 2nd Quesnelia liboniana – Noel Newman; 3rd Aechmea gamosepala

Denise Dreaver.

Next Meeting: 22nd August at the Beacon, Ormond Rd, Napier. This will be a soup lunch meeting starting at 12 noon.

The wellingtonTillandsia Group
– Phyllis Purdie
Plants discussed at our July meeting at Morris Tarr’s, in Petone.were: T stricta x T bourgaei. grown from a seed pod resulting from a cross made by Andrew. Some of the plants looked like T stricta, small, short stem with an inflorescence of pink bracts and mauve flowers. The other was greyer, and will grow into a larger plant.   T latifolia v divaricata, an Ecuadorian plant with long stem and branching bracts producing brick red flowers. The seed had been sown in 2001. A large clump of T ixioides had a medium sized stem, with a branched inflorescence that produced yellow flared flowers.T reducta had a medium sized stem and clumps of bracts with tubular mauve flowers turning white. T ionantha x leonamiana with grey foliage, medium sized stem, bronzy bracts producing mauve flowers. T‘Te Ngakau’, a cross of T velutina and T bradeana (syn abdita) had a bunched inflorescence of pink bracts and tubular purple flowers. T 5145 still had attractive large green bracts and spent purple flowers. T roseiflora another grey leaved plant, with long dark pink bracts and red flowers. T punctulata in a pot had a single stem turning deep purple from the green top. Racinaea tetrantha v aurantiaca, green leaved with a long hanging stem and clumps of pale orange bracts and orange flowers. A large clump of T tennuifolia (blue) had clumps of deep purple flared flowers. After plant sales and afternoon tea we viewed Morris’ collection where we saw some beautiful bromeliads, some of which were in flower.
Next Meeting: Sept 26th at Merv and Lois Dougherty, 416 Warspite Ave, Ascot Park at 1.30 pm.

Whangarei Subtropical Quarry Garden
– By Erin Titmus with photos by Colin Symonds
f you take the SH1 bypass through Whangarei a large brown tourist sign directs to the ‘Subtropical Quarry Garden’, sited less than a kilometre toward the hills. The remains of the quarry are clearly visible and set the character of the gardens planted among spectacular rock and water features – just the right ingredients to produce a microclimate for subtropicals.
The gardens are a community project created and maintained by volunteers and donations. About twelve years ago members of the Northland Bromeliad Group offered to plant a feature bromeliad garden and were allocated an area on shady hillside beside the rippling stream. The group underplanted among the trees and created walking tracks to allow access for the public to enjoy a wide range of bromeliad species.
The success of this area of bromeliad planting led to the group being offered a new area to develop about five years ago. This is the ponga dell: a flatter area either side of a smaller stream with sunny beds and easy access for all.
Today, Freda Nash, along with Iris and Colin Symonds, remain the stalwart volunteers who meet one day each week to work in the gardens. They are revamping both the bromeliad garden areas by planting the better species and varieties of bromeliad in groups for greater effect. Standout groupings include Neoregelia johannis at the hillside entrance contrasted in the forefront by Aechmea recurvata that has turned bright yellow in the recent drought.
Recently, raised rock beds have been built around specimen chorisia trees near the original garden and the group has underplanted these with bulk broms too.
If you are pressed for time you can walk a short loop - over the bridge by the car park to reach the dell, along the low road to the ford to take in the chorisia tree beds on your left and then cross on huge stepping stones to reach the hillside bromeliad garden. You can return downhill on the high road past the camellia walk.
There are many other feature gardens and you can whet your appetite for more detail, at http:www.
A stunning new feature throughout the site is the building of gabion walls made from very large netting boxes filled with rocks.
So, if you have never visited the Quarry Gardens, or it has been a while, then next time you pass through plan to take your driving break (at least) in this quiet haven.

Quarry Garden…

In the ponga dell.

Entrance to the original hillside garden.

New group plantings in the dell area.

Quarry Garden…

Quarry remains set the scene.

Shady hillside garden.

Two attractive tillandsias
– Notes and photos from Dave Anderson

Tillandsia ‘Bacchus’
This hybrid has the seed parent Tillandsia capitata and the pollen parent Tillandsia flabellata with the possible hybridist being P. Bak. It was made in 1997. When in flower the plant colours to a beautiful red showing the best of both parents.
Tillandsia flagellata
A medium sized plant with numerous thin leaves some 30cm long and 1.5cm wide that also looks very attractive when in flower. The numerous flowers have red bracts and purple petals that fully open at the same time.
Native to Ecuador where it grows on trees, hillocks and dry hills at an altitude of 600–700m.

Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc
Bromeliad Journal – May 2010 issue


Two attractive tillandsias – ‘Bacchus’ and flagellata – Dave Anderson 2 President’s Page – Kesson Sharp 4 Society auction for ‘Cool Broms’ 2013 conference 4 Bromeliad Society April meeting news – Dave Anderson 5 Getting ready for winter – Gerry Stansfield 7 Bromeliads and cold – Dave Anderson 8 How long is a piece of string? – Diane Timmins 9 Society officers, subs and Journal directory 13 Group News 14 Exploring in Brazil …continued – Peter Waters 16
The opinions expressed in articles or letters in this Journal are the contributors’ own views and do not necessarily express the views or the policy of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand


Please see the Group News section starting on page 17 for details, venues and times of group meetings.
MAY JUNE 23rd Wellington Tillandsia Group 6th South Auckland Group meeting meeting at the Purdie’s, 5 Rochester 9th Bay of Plenty Group meeting St., Wilton, at 1.30pm 13th Far North Group meeting 23rd Hawkes Bay Group meeting 22nd Society meeting at Greyfriar’s 25th Society meeting at Greyfriar’s Hall, corner of Mt Eden and Windmill Hall, corner of Mt Eden and Windmill roads, Mt Eden, starting at 7.30pm. roads, Mt Eden, starting at 7.30pm. Monthly choice competition: ‘Cool Broms’ 2013 conference Bi-generics Auction. Monthly choice competition: Dark leafed plants, any genus
FRONT COVER: (Photo by Peter Waters). Vriesea gastiniana thrives on a cliff face in Brazil. Read Peter’s latest Brazilian exploration article, starting page 16.

ell at long last there is a change in the weather and for those who are on tank supply no doubt this is a godsend. I know the garden is going to really appreciate many days of gentle rain even if it means the weeds will start to grow once again.
I am sure that you will join with your committee in sending our best wishes to Gerry Stansfield who is ill. Our thoughts are with both Gerry and Margaret .
After much frustration in trying to sell our house once again, we were surprised when we received two offers. One fell over but the last one has gone unconditional and we move out on the 27th of May. As you can imagine, Gaylene and I have suddenly become packers and I guess you could say that we are now camping in our house. We are shifting down to Tauranga to live so I have stepped down from being president and our vice president, Jocelyn Coyle, will now assume that role. I will still be very involved with the Society as a member and as an organiser of the 2013 ‘Cool Broms’ conference to be held in Auckland. also hope to make the odd monthly meeting. I thank you for putting your trust in me for the last 15 months and I know that you will all help and support Jocelyn as she takes over the role of guiding and leading the Society.
Fortunately I have been able to organise a small truck with adjustable shelving to transport our plants down. I thought there would be about 100 – 150 plants but once we had gathered them all up it is more like 300 – 400. They will be sitting under avocado trees for a few weeks so fingers crossed.
I never thought that I was a hoarder until I started to tidy up and pack our belongings – first trip to the tip was 980Kgs and there is still more!
Once again many thanks for your support and friendship and Gaylene and I wish you all well for the future.
Regards, Kesson Sharp

An auction of donated plants will be held at the May meeting with all proceeds to go to the 2013 Conference fund. Would members who have special plants that they would like to donate for the auction please contact a committee member? Your help will be greatly appreciated.

Bromeliad Society April Meeting News
– Dave Anderson

esson welcomed all those present. The Society received an email from a tour operator in Brazil offering tours to see bromeliads growing in the forests there. Please contact the secretary if you want further information. Margaret Paterson’s new book is on sale for $39.00. Aluminium labels are on sale for $10.00 per 100 labels. There is now a conference table open on meeting nights selling donated pups with all proceeds going to the 2013 conference.
Peter Waters led the discussion on the Show and Tell plants. First up for display was a Neoregelia johannis x ‘Lamberts Pride’ – the 3rd generation of a plant made by David Brewer from Kerikeri. It is best described as a Neoregelia ‘Barbarian’ on steroids with its spotted wide leaves making it a very attractive plant. Next also for display were two tillandsias – the species araujei a small stemmed plant which is similar to Tillandsia tenuifolia and Tillandsia cocoensis that looks similar; just much smaller with pink bracts and white petals. For naming was a small tillandsia with hard leaves that had been bought at Laurie Dephoff’s auction late last year. It was identified as Tillandsia vernicosa
– see picture in Takizawa’s ‘Tillandsia Handbook’. An aechmea with blue flowers was identified as Aechmea ‘Karamea Topsy’ with possible parents recurvata x pimenti-velosoi. Peter Waters brought in for display a silver leafed Vriesea espinosae in flower. This large form about 30cm across comes from Ecuador compared to the more common smaller Peruvian form that is 12cm wide. A question that is commonly asked was how one tells a tillandsia from a vriesea – the answer being that vrieseas have two appendages of flaps at the base of the petal whereas tillandsias have none. Also for display was the medium sized plant Racinaea tetrantha var. aurantiaca, with, as its name suggests, orange flowers. Peter had two vrieseas that had been discussed on the gardenweb website recently – Vriesea guttata and pardalina; with guttata being a very spotted green leafed plant whereas pardalina does vary and can have very few spots however the significant difference is that the flowers of guttata are yellow and those of pardalina tend to be whiter. Vriesea capixabae is similar to guttata but its flowers are spaced much further apart. Vriesea guttata has been used to make spotted hybrids such as the plant Vriesea gigantea x guttata.
Isabel Dryburgh won the special raffle prize this month with the door prizes going to Becky Cavit, Bevan Matchett and Noeline Buchanan. The Conference Raffle – a lovely mounted clump of Tillandsia recurvifolia var. subsecundifolia was won by Peter Coyle.
Open Flowering: First Alan Cliffe with Guzmania sanguinea ‘Tricolor’ – always a most attractive very colourful
Cont’d P6
Cont’d from P5
plant when in flower. Second and also
with Guzmania sanguinea ‘Tricolor’
was John Mitchell. Also in the
competition were Aechmea chantinii
x recurvata, flavorosea, tessmannii;
Nidularium innocentii var. striata,
procerum, scheremetiewii and Vriesea
Open Foliage: John Mitchell was first
with a Billbergia ‘Domingos Martins’

grown as a small 12cm high clump of 3 plants; and second was Peter Coyle with Vriesea ‘Taranaki Mist’

with very strong ‘Red Chestnut’ like markings. Interestingly these two plants were voted equal plant of the month. In the competition were Aechmea pectinata; Billbergia ‘Domingos Martins’ x ‘Afterglow’, ‘Hallelujah’; Neoregelia ‘Little Hector’, ‘De Rolf’, ‘The Governor’s Plea’; Nidularium ‘Exotica Ruby Red’ and Vriesea ospinae var. gruberi, ‘Burnsies Spiral’, ‘Gold Curls’, ‘Matai Spray’, ‘Tasman hybrid’-a plant with a very white centre similar to ‘Snowman’ but with more white. Tillandsia: Lynette Nash was first with Tillandsia crocata -a lovely clump of scented plants mounted on driftwood and second also in flower was Tillandsia ‘Wildfire’ from John Mitchell. There were on the table Tillandsia brachycaulos, cocoensis, comarapaensis, guatamalensis, lindenii, kammii, velutina, and streptophylla. Neoregelias: Peter Coyle was first with Neoregelia ‘Bird Rock’ – a medium sized plant that looks quite stunning with its many leaves arranged in a spiral and second was Sandy Stonham with a highly coloured Neoregelia ‘Blushing Tiger’. Also in the competition were Neoregelia ‘Bob’s Dream’, ‘Claire’,

(carolinae x cruenta) x ‘Silver’, carolinae x ‘Painted Lady’, ‘Garnish’, ‘Gold Medal’, ‘Marble Throat’ x ‘Little Dazzler’, ‘Little Dazzler’ x ‘Marble Throat’, ‘Manoa Beauty’, ‘Painted Delight’, ‘Red River’, ‘Rosy Morn’ and ‘Small Mercies’. Monthly choice – Canistrums: First was John Mitchell’s Canistrum triangulare. Peter Waters was second with Canistrum auratum ‘Vania Leme’. There were no other plants in the competition.
The Plant of the Month went equally to John Mitchell with Billbergia ‘Domingos Martins’ and Peter Coyle with his Vriesea ‘Taranaki Mist’.
Congratulations to all the winners.

NEXT MEETING: Tues 27th May.

Winter approaches …same old ‘problems’…same old advice!
It’s that time of year again and we can’t do better than repeat some good advice from Gerry Stansfield and Dave Anderson that has been printed in the Journal in previous years. Take care of your plants!

Pre-winter chores in the garden and the greenhouse – Gerry Stansfield
round about this time we usually give out some advice to our newer members and perhaps a reminder to others, about the few things we should do before the onslaught of the cold winter months. There is one job we must do prior to winter, and it is extremely important to do it now rather than waiting for the usual spring clean up – dead leaf our plants.
Unlike in the spring and summer months, the dead leaves in the winter can and do start to rot and break down. This can very quickly turn to bacteria and viral infection. You might say, ‘How does that happen?’. Well, actually, we do know quite a lot about rotting vegetation. After all, that’s what composting is all about. However, the important difference between composting and dead leaves lying next to our bromeliads is that in composting we allow the temperature of the compost to rise dramatically which generally kills any pathogenic and viral bacteria, and leaves us with the lovely sweet smelling compost. This does not happen with our dead bromeliad leaves! How does this bacteria get into our plants? We do know that all bromeliads have trichomes, and we know that these trichomes are there to facilitate the absorption of water from rain and nutrients, and we also know that they are quite capable of absorbing matter from decaying vegetation.
It is well known that vectors (orcarriers) such as animals, insects, mites, aphids, nematodes, mealy bug, scale and the sucking or chewing type of slugs and snails etc, are all potential viral disease carriers, and by chewing and sucking at our plants they can and do pass on forms of infection that can attack the stomata pores of the leaves and of course also the stemcells. In particular, the sucking and chewing insects, that just love rotting vegetation, are extremely harmful to our beloved bromeliads.
By getting rid of the dead leaves we are helping our bromeliads to continue to grow and stay in a healthy condition.
If you have only a few bromeliad plants, this may not be a big job. But if you have a large collection, either in your garden, green house or shade house, then it is a much bigger job and should be planned. If your plants are in pots, then it is just a matter of lifting the pots, cleaning up the plant and replacing the pot. If you have planted in the ground, then it is more complex and perhaps you can do with the help of a kneeler or thick foam pad. We find the kneeler is ideal, and the handles allow you to easily hoist yourself up again. They are available from the Mitre 10 shops. Finally, when you have finished it is a good time to lay slug baits.

Bromeliads and cold – Adapted from an article by Dave Anderson, first published in our ‘Bromeliad’ Journal, September 2001.
he northern parts of New Zealand have a climate that allows the growing of a large number of bromeliads outside, all year round. Of course, additional protection needs to be given to those species that cannot withstand the occasional freezingnighttime temperatures through the five to six weeks of mid-winter.
Sometimes a series of milder winters has lulled a number of our members into a false sense of security, perhaps with the assumption that ‘global warming’is already taking effect. When winter reverts back to being one of the colder and wetter ones, with cooler nightly temperatures starting in late April, a drier than usual June with (for some areas) many ground frosts, followed by a cold and wet July and August. Some plants that have fared well growing outside for the last few years, have suffered badly and may even succumb. The northern New Zealand climate with winters usually cool and wet and summers warm and dryish are the opposite of the bromeliad’s habitat, which is mainly cool and dry winters and hot, wet summers.
Bromeliads, when subjected to frosts (dry cold) where the leaves have actually frozen, will suffer badly with the leaves spotting and turning brown over the following days. More tender bromeliad species will just rot out in the centre. Smaller pups attached to the parent plant are quite often protected from being frozen by the parentplant’s foliage and will keep growing, particularly when the weather turns warmer. Plants that have been subjected to cold rain and wind will initially appear to be growing satisfactorily. However, after a couple of months of the cold, wet weather, plants become debilitated and rot out in the centre. It could be that the plant’s roots have died, leaving it vulnerable to infection.
Several ways of minimising the damage from the cold and wet:
Location – if possible, grow on north to north-east, sloping land that is frost draining.

Shift the plants into a glasshouse (preferably heated) in the late autumn.

Make use of solar sinks such as large rocks, brick and concrete walls that are able to warm up from the sun’s energy during the day and release the energy at night.

Cover the plants with frost cloth (keeping it clear of the foliage) in the early evening if a frost is expected. There are various grades of frost cloth – the heavier the better. Where heavy frosts are likely to occur, cover the plants with corrugated cardboard before placing the frost cloth.

Canopy – use the foliage of taller plants to ward off frost. One of the founder members of the Society grows many of his plants very successfully under citrus trees (hardy to -6°C)through the winter months.

Grow the plants as epiphytes,suspended high off the ground where the temperatures on frosty nights do not drop below freezing.

Be very careful fertilising plants. Do not give them nitrogen fertilisers from midsummer onwards, otherwise they tend to produce lush growth that is damaged in cold weather. 

How long is a piece of string?
– By Diane Timmins
Did you hear the story about the String and the Rope?

I will try to keep this short and sweet. String and Rope went to a bar in Santa Barbara,

hoping to catch up on some hot gossip and a game of black jack.

They ordered a bottle of red wine closely followed by a cherry smash.

Cont’d P10
Cont’d from P9 – How long is a piece of string?

‘You have an angel face’ said String to Rope. She had on her royal robe,

and looked a majestic beauty, obviously of noble descent.

Rope looked at String with love. She had a little rose blush in her cheeks

As she smiled at his charm F2. ‘Gee whiz’, she said,

‘The bands playing, so lets add a little sugar and spice.’

The excitement was too much for String who acted like a barbarian
swinging from the chandeliers. ‘Out of here – you’re banned’, said the barman.
Rope left with amazing grace…

Cont’d P12 11
Cont’d from P11 – How long is a piece of string?

considering the cheers of hallelujah as they departed. String slithered off home.
With String gone, Rope being a bit of a scarlet charlotte,
tied herself at one end, ruffled her hair and went back in.
‘Hey’, said the barman, ‘aren’t you Rope – didn’t I just ban you?’

‘Oh no, I don’t think so…’ she said, ‘I’m a fraid knot.’

Patron: Patricia Sweeney President: Jocelyn Coyle 09-416 8272 Vice Presidents: Alan Cliffe 09-479 1451 Secretary: Dave Anderson 09-638 8671 Treasurer: Peter Waters 09-534 5616 Librarian: Noelene Ritson 09-625 8114 Life Members: Dave Anderson, Patricia Perratt,
Len Trotman, Gerry Stansfield,
Patricia Sweeney, Peter Waters Scientific Officer: Peter Waters 09-534 5616

Committee: Graeme Barclay 09-835 0358 Don Brown 09-361 6175 David Cowie 09-630 8220 Chris Paterson 09-625 6707 Sandy Stonham 09-627 9658
Cultivar Registrar: Gerry Stansfield 09-834 7178 Seed Bank: Bev Ching 09-576 4595 Species Preservation:
Barry Uren 09-520 0246 Editor: Murray Mathieson 09-418 0366 Auditor: Colin Gosse

New Zealand:
Ordinary membership NZ $35.00 ($5.00 discount if paid before the end of February). Dual membership (same household) NZ $45.00 ($5.00 discount also applies as above).

AUD $30.00 Australia, US $30.00 United States and other overseas countries. Send all payments to the Treasurer, Peter Waters, 22 Half Moon Rise, Half Moon Bay, Manukau 2012.

All general correspondence should be sent to the Secretary, Bromeliad Society of New Zealand,
P.O. Box 108-168, Symonds Street, Auckland, New Zealand. The opinions expressed in letters or articles in the Journal are the contributors’ own views and do not necessarily express the views or policy of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc.

For all editorial and advertising, the first Tuesday of publication month

Editorial Committee
Dave Anderson Murray Mathieson Peter Waters

Regular Writers
Gerry Stansfield

Murray Mathieson

Dave Anderson All enquiries and contributions welcome, please contact any member of the editorial committee or send to Peter Waters, 22 Half Moon Rise, Half Moon Bay, Manukau 2012 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Display Advertising
Rates are: Full Page $60.00 Half Page $30.00 Quarter Page $15.00

‘Buy & Swap’
Listings in ‘Buy & Swap’ are FREE for members of the Society (max. 30 words). For advertising enquiries and material, please contact Murray Mathieson ph (09) 418 0366 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Group News
Far North Bromeliad Group
– Eric Stephens
We had a record attendance of over 60 members and visitors at Fulbert Bromeliads to listen and interact with Andrew Flower, at our April meeting. Andrew made the long car trip from Wellington to Kerikeri to visit us. It was a great day.
Andrew started by demonstratingand introducing an array of different tillandsia species. He then gave us growing hints for tillandsias in this temperate climate – enlarging on the data contained on his web site – a recommended comprehensive guide to plant care, watering and nutrition etc. Aunique opportunity for us, and perhaps for Andrew, as he worked to sort out, where he could, some of the unnamed or mystery plants of members. As to be expected, ‘Show and Tell’was dominated by tillandsias.
Next Meeting: Our May meeting at Glen and Eric Stephens’ home at Ohaeawai.For our June 13th meeting, we move “indoors” to Kingston House in Kerikeri
– and we will be delighted to welcome Peter Waters as our visiting speaker (who needs little introduction to bromeliad enthusiasts).

Hawkes Bay Bromeliad Group
– Judy Newman
Our dreamy run of ‘good to be alive’ autumn weather continued for the April meeting which certainly brought out a good number of members. A large number of plants were for sale so everyone was happy! Julie Greenhill gave an interesting talk on nidulariums and had some very nice plants, many in flower, to show us. Having brought back a box of seedlings from Barry Jones, Julie had provided pots and potting mix for members to take one home. There was some discussion on finding a source of pongas for pot making. Not of course the sort you smoke! The new format for the competition certainly brought out a lovely selection of plants in what turned out to be a ‘Wade Smith benefit’.
Competitions:Neoregelias: 1st Wade Smith – Neoregelia ‘Gold Medal’; 2nd Margaret Bluck – Neoregelia ‘Annick’; 3rd Julie Greenhill –Neoregelia ‘Bright Surprise’Miniature/small: 1st Wade Smith – Neoregelia ‘Blushing Tiger’; 2nd JudyNewman – a bronze dyckia; 3rd Margaret Bluck – a tillandsia Aechmea: 1st Wade Smith – Aechmea ‘Silver Streak’; 2nd Julie Greenhill – Aechmea orlandiana; 3rd Judy Newman
– Aechmea fasciata (variegated)
Next Meeting: This will be on the 23rd May at the Beacon, Ormond Rd, Napier

Bay of Plenty Bromeliad Group
– Jo Elder
Our April meeting was well attended with 49 members and two visitors. It was another beautiful day in Tauranga with the harbour sparkling outside our club rooms. Lynley welcomed new committee members Lisa, Doris, Ruth and Gayle and also thanked retiring members, Gwen McCallum and Lois Brown, for their great contribution to the club over the past few years.
Our speaker, Ron Maunder, was fortunate enough to have been on a horticultural trip to Ecuador, and had a private tour into the Amazon. He presented a large number of very interesting photosincluding very large orchid and flower nurseries, stunning orchids growing in trees and at the side of the road, puya growing in the wilderness, religious grottos along the roads, very steep and dangerous terrain, and some amazingflora and fauna.
We send congratulations to Dave Anderson, Gerry Stansfield and Peter Waters who have been honoured with Life Membership of the Bromeliad Society of New Zealand.

Plant of the Month: Neoregelias
On the display table were;
Neoregelia coimbrae, ‘Cayenne’,
‘Harmony’, ‘Fosperior Perfection’,
‘Zoe’, ‘Dexter’s Pride’, ‘Kahala Dawn’,
‘Orange Glow’, ‘Lamberts Pride’ and
‘Oesers Red’. The hot summer has
produced great colour in the neoregelias

Competition Plants:
1st Neoregelia hybrid (thought to be ‘Rosy Morn’) – Gwen McCallum;2nd Neoregelia ‘Picolo’ – Jo Elder; 3rd Neoregelia ‘Painted Delight’ – Jo Elder Also on display Neoregelia correiaaraujoi

Tillandsia Competition:
1st Tillandsia butzii x – Jo Elder 2nd Tillandsia crocata – Audrey Hewson 3rd equal Tillandsia sprengeliana – Cushla Chudleigh, Tillandsia streptophylla – Bertha Schollum, Tillandsia stricta – Wilma FitzgibbonsOthers on display Tillandsia reducta, Tillandsia sphaerocephala

Next Meeting:
Wednesday 9th June, 12.30pm. At TYPB Club Rooms. Dave Anderson from Auckland will speak about tillandsias.Plant of the month: Tillandsia Committee meeting: 11.30am
No garden visits.

South Auckland Bromeliad Group
– Marion Morton
We had a beautiful sunny day for our first meeting back at the Auckland Botanical Gardens in Manurewa on 2 May with an excellent attendance. The meeting commenced with our Annual General Meeting and Graham West was again unanimously elected as President. Roy Morton was re-elected as Vice President and all the other committee members were also all re-elected. Graham West advised that a trip to Whangarei has been organised for Sunday 14 November and we will call into Andrew Steens place as well. Andrew will also give a talk on his new book at our next meeting on Sunday 6 June. Members were invited to bring along their favourite plant and give a brief talk on it. Carolyn Scholes brought a Vriesea ‘Sunset’; Roy Morton an Encholirium magalhaesii; Cara Lisa Schloots a Neoregelia ‘Fire Wheel’; Pauline Ashton a Tillandsia punctulata; John Mitchell a Vriesea ‘Tango Lace’; Margaret Flanagan a Vriesea ‘PhilipFoster Red’; Win Shorrock a Neoregelia ‘Night Sky’ and a Tillandsia crocata (the latter in flower); Norma Cook an Aechmea ‘Black Jack’; Margaret Kitcher an Aechmea recurvata ‘Aztec Gold’; Nancy Murphy a Quesnelia arvensis (red form); Marie Healey and Hawi Winter a Neoregelia lilliputiana; Marie Healey a Neoregelia ‘Alleycat’; Graham West a Neoregelia ‘Break of Day’;Judy Graham an Aechmea ‘Bert’, Pat Lawson a Neoregelia ‘Silverado’ which she purchased in 1987 for $7. It was a stunning collection of bromeliads which created a considerable amount of interest amongst the members.The raffles were won by Marie Healey, Sorojin Kavall and Carol Jolly.Next Meeting: Sunday 6th June at 1.30pm at the Auckland Botanic Gardens, 102 Hill Road, Manurewa.

Exploring in Brazil… continued – Peter Waters
In Part Two, Peter and Jeanette Waters started exploring in earnest in the area known as Santa Maria Madelena in the Atlantic rain forest. Now, after continuing their adventures there, they start exploring in nearby Bela Juan.

Santa Maria Madelena

he next morning we were up early again, ready to go as our transport arrived at the hotel. We knew we had a 40km drive ahead of us and while the first part was good road it soon deteriorated. After a brief stop on the main highway to inspect some pitcairnias on a roadside bank, we turned onto a metalled side road and headed for the hills. We were keeping a lookout for any signs of bromeliads and not seeing much when Rafael shouted to stop. We were on a steady incline as farmland changed to bush, and I couldn’t see the reason for the excitement. We piled out and clambered up a clay bank and there before us lay a carpet of bromeliads, not only on the ground but over logs and on branches. There were many hundreds of plants and it was difficult to move around amongst them. We forgot about the snake danger as we tried to identify the different species. The most visible were Quesnelia quesneliana and strobilispica with their striking inflorescences but there was also Billbergia euphemiae, Neoregelia farinosa, Vriesea scalaris, Nidularium procerum and other species. We also found some very nice Aechmea patentissima clinging to a cliff-face.
Although it seemed like a ‘supermarket’ to me, Elton did not appear too excited so I presumed there was nothing new there. However, he did spend some time taking photos. This can be quite a long process as he is meticulous in his

He says he treats every
photo as though it may
be the cover picture
of a book…

preparation. He says he treats every photo as though it may be the cover picture of a book and he can take ten shots of each part of the plant, at different exposures or flash settings so that he will get the best possible result!
When we moved on you can imagine that we scrutinised every tree and nearly missed a clump of bromeliads on a power-pole. This was a much more significant find as it was
Quesnelia edmundoi var intermedia
which I gather was not expected here. As we passed through a small village we called into a farmhouse restaurant to book for lunch and then continued on up a bumpy road to a waterfall. It was very picturesque with a large pool and huge rocks. It was a prime spot for bromeliads and we shortly found some more of the previous quesnelia and very large Vriesea fenestralis which were well up a large tree. There were nidulariums by the falls on the other side of the river and Rafael was soon swimming across. Nidularium procerum, rutilans and innocentii were there. After an hour or so we returned to the restaurant. I use this term loosely as it was just a couple of tables in a very untidy backyard and the cooking was conducted on the back porch of the house by a very old couple. The place was a shambles and there was no way one would normally want to eat there, but in actual fact the food was great. Just don’t look at the ‘kitchen’, I kept saying to myself!
After lunch we carried on, the road becoming quite bumpy but not too bad and the scenery was very interesting. Even though we are still relatively close to the most populated areas in Brazil you get a feeling of the vast size of the country as you see the hills rolling into the distance with the small patches of forest still on the tops. In the cleared land there are still many large trees usually quite separate from each other and some are covered in bromeliads, while others have none. The difference is firstly in the age of the tree (young trees have none), and also in the type of tree. Bromeliads only seem to cling to trees that don’t shed their bark, and have smoother trunks. Every time we saw some broms I wanted to stop and have a close look, but Elton or Rafael would say that it was only Aechmea nudicaulis or Aechmea ramosa which seemed to be everywhere.
Eventually the road petered out and became a track through rock strewn fields. We were now quite high and the clouds were all around us as we arrived at the end of the road at a stream. We tumbled out and immediately started our searching. It wasn’t easy to find bromeliads here but eventually we found some clumps of a vriesea which appeared to be something new. There were many Aechmea fasciata and much to Rafael’s chagrin, Elton found a variegated specimen. As I mentioned before Rafael had a knack of finding variegated plants and thought it was his prerogative to find the first one. A small way up the stream there was a very large impressive waterfall with water cascading down a sloping sheet of rock about a hundred metres high. Unfortunately we couldn’t find anything of interest around here and as the light was beginning to fade we started off on the way home just as the rain came. The road became very muddy and the potholes filled with water and it was dark before we were halfway home.

Bela Juan
Today’s trip is to an area called Bela Juan which was easier to access as we no longer had the 4WD. We left early as it was going to be another full day and would involve a lot of travelling. Almost from the start the road began to climb and although it was mainly through farmland it was quite steep. There were many cliffs and bluffs and every one of them carried their own crop of alcantareas. The alcantarea seeds do not disperse widely and are

Cont’d P18 17
Cont’d from P17

Exploring in Brazil… continued
not carried by birds so they tend to remain in their own area. This probably accounts for the fact that there are so many undescribed species. Each group differs from the others. In this region Alcantarea heloisae and similar seems to be the predominant type. At one site we climbed a steep hill to reach a rock bluff with an interesting alcantarea and I found a pitcairnia which Elton thought might be new. He took specimens and will await its flowering to see if that is the case. A little further on we came to a cliff very close to the road and that was almost overhanging. There were many silvery bromeliads on the face and Elton identified them as Vriesea gastiniana, recently described from the Santa Maria Madalena area. We clambered up to the base and hunted for some time to find a fallen plant. Eventually we were lucky and came across a couple of dilapidated specimens. It is a fairly narrow-leaved silvery-grey medium sized vriesea with a rather colourless inflorescence denoting a night-flowering species. I found it interesting that there didn’t seem to be any more of these plants on surrounding trees or even rocks. You would expect the seeds to have blown that far. Why do they only survive on a sheer rock face?

Why do they only survive
on a sheer rock face?

The view was amazing as we climbed
higher and we stopped several times

to check sightings but nothing too interesting until we came upon a large tree with clumps of a type of vriesea. Elton and Rafael recognised it as Vriesea fidelensis which was described not long ago and found north of here. It is a medium large plant with faintly patterned leaves. Rafael had been told about an unusual neoregelia that someone had seen in this vicinity and we spent quite some time wandering about the open type of forest. Alas, we had no luck, as you could imagine I was dead keen to come across another new bromeliad. Not long after this we crossed the top of the range and found ourselves dropping down into a valley containing a marble quarry. Soon the road became impassable to cars, so we walked for a way and found another cliff with the usual alcantareas and pitcairnias which seem to often grow together. There didn’t seem to be much else in this area so we back-tracked for about ten kilometres and followed the road along a river to a place that Elton had visited before. Across the river on the facing rockwall dozens of Encholirium horridum were perched, their shining silver leaves turning pink and purple in the late afternoon sun. We couldn’t get across but took some photos instead. After this we decided to head back to the hotel as we were exhausted after the day’s effort. While searching for bromeliads is quite exhilarating, it can also be tiring, always on the lookout for that new species. (To be continued.)

Exploring in Brazil
– Photos by Peter Waters

Billbergia horrida.
Aechmea bambusoides.

Quesnelia edmundoi rubrobracteata. Lunch and preparation area.

Exploring in Brazil

Looking for plants.

Marble quarry and alcantareas.
Quesnelia edmundoi intermedia.

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