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2020

2020 Journals

January 2020 February 2020 March 2020 April 2020 May 2020
 

 

April 2020
VOL 60 NO 4
• Covid-19: This month’s Journal goes electronic
• Bromelia binotii… read the fascinating story
of Ross Fergusson’s plant
• Whangarei bus trip photos
Bromelia binotii. SEND US YOUR ‘LOCKDOWN’ STORIES PLEASE!
Photo by Ross Fergusson
2
Bromeliad Journal – April 2020 issue
This issue is available in digital electronic form only. Emailed to members
and it will be available on the Society’s website at www.bsnz.org
CONTENTS
President’s Page – Diane Timmins
Our big bus trip north to Northland – Diane Timmins
Living sculpture in the Quarry Gardens – Diane Timmins
‘Bromeliad Surprise’ – Diane Timmins
‘New from New Zealand’ – Graeme Barclay
Group News
‘Dear Doctor Brom’ – Diane Timmins
‘Beauty from the Beast’ – Graeme Barclay and Ross Fergusson
Society officers, subs and Journal directory
Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc
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.
Covid-19: Society and Group news…
Members will appreciate that nothing is ‘normal’ right now. Society and Group
monthly meetings are cancelled until further notice – and the Society’s Annual
General Meeting has been postponed until it’s possible to convene a proper
meeting.
Members of our Bromeliad Groups around the country should stay in touch with
their secretaries and / or committee members for updates on any developing
information on when it may be possible to resume normal activities and events.
PLEASE TAKE CARE AND STAY SAFE
Front cover: Bromelia binotii. From Ross Fergusson of the Eastern Bay of Plenty
Group. You can look at some great photos of how this unusual plant developed
and read the interesting and informative article about it from Graeme Barclay,
starting on page 13.
3
PRESIDENT’S PAGE
H
ello! Yes, it’s still me! That
virus has got in the way of our
AGM and we’ll keep you posted
on plans to proceed on that important
event. Our general meetings have been
cancelled until further notice – again, we
will let you know when we’re able to get
those up and running once more.
We’ve gone electronic for this issue!
Our wonderful printer PDQ also had
to temporarily close its doors so we
are emailing this issue to members and
it will also be available on our BSNZ
website – www.bsnz.org
With no Society monthly meeting to
report on, the Journal is obviously a
bit different this month. But we’ve
still managed to bring you some of our
regular columns and contributions, plus a
report on our great March bus trip north.
We’ll have more articles on a number of
wonderful gardens coming up in coming
issues and overall, we aim to keep the
flow of good brom news coming to all
our members during this difficult period.
Our editor, Murray, is making a special
request below for personalised brom
news from members – we’d love to hear
from you.
Your committee also understands that
many of our members live alone. If
you would like to chat about broms (no
question too small) – or just chat about
anything really – then all you need to do
is contact myself or one of the BSNZ
committee members (see page 17 for our
contact details).
And remember – there is increasing
evidence that exposure to plants
and green space, and particularly to
gardening, is beneficial to mental and
physical health. As any gardener will
tell you, it’s an amazing way of relieving
stress and anxiety – something we could
all do with right now. So, try to make
time to enjoy those bromeliads, their
little smiley faces looking up at you will
warm the cockles of your heart.
Above all… please keep safe.
Diane Timmins
Editor’s note:
We’ll be doing our very best to make our monthly ‘Bromeliad Journal’ interesting
and a source of pleasure and positivity for all our members during these challenging
times. AND YOU CAN HELP!
Now would be a great time for you to write us a few words about how your broms,
and your garden, are helping you get through these tough times. It doesn’t need to
be a full ‘article’ – a few words will be fine, hopefully with a photo or two. Perhaps
you’ve been using the lock down period to remodel part of your garden or to finally
tackle a new garden project you’ve been planning for a long time? We’d love to hear
about it. Please send your contributions to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Take care
Murray Mathieson
4 Cont’d P5
T
he weather gods ignored all the
rainy forecasts leading to our
big day out, and provided us
with sunshine and warmth for what
was a fun-filled day in selected gardens
in the Whangarei area.
After all the pickups, our first stop was
the Tee Café at the Waipu Golf course
(of course!). We enjoyed a spectacular
spread and spectacular views before
we carried on north to two wonderful
private gardens and the Whangarei
Quarry Gardens.
The first garden was Colin and Iris
Symonds. A fascinating show of
garden diversity and kiwi ingenuity.
Worthy of an article on its own in a
later Journal.
Next we went to Bev and Brian
Hutchings. Aesthetic displays in their
own special piece of paradise… again,
this spectacular garden also deserves
its own article in a later Journal.
Our final visit was the subtropical
community oasis of the Whangarei
Quarry Gardens. The Northland
Bromeliad Group voluntarily maintains
all bromeliads on this site and that is
no easy task, with beautiful clusters of
bromeliads scattered throughout the
extensive property.
A golf cart collected 5 passengers
from the bus, who would have found
the venue a little too extensive for
Our bus trip to Whangarei – March 15th
– Diane Timmins
Symonds garden
5
Cont’d from P4 – Our bus trip to Whangarei
walking around. It was driven by
staunch Quarry Gardens volunteer
– Nancy Peters – who gave a guided
tour with commentary (Judging by the
smiling faces I think there must have
been some amusing comments coming
in reply from the cheap seats in the
back). We were given a brief history
of the gardens, and went on our merry
way. The Quail Café at the entrance
provided coffee, tea and sustenance.
Others enjoyed picnic lunches in the
special picnic area. From there we
followed well-formed paths to the at
least 20-something highlights within
the gardens.
As always, the bromeliad area looked
stunning and natural nestled into its
sloping hillside, with the bromeliads
starring all over the place.
We explored some interesting features.
One was the arid garden area where a
north facing rocky outcrop high up on
a sheer cliff face suffers constant daily
temperatures of over 40ºC during hot
summers. Signs were in place to warn
of the dangers, as the steep climb and
searing heat would not suit the faint
hearted. It is proof of the diversity of
our beloved bromeliads that, within
this ‘furnace area’, there is a healthy
clump of Dyckia growing along with
the tough guys.
A recent additon to the gardens is
the Te Wai U O Te Atakura – Vader
V living fungi sculpture (see article
on page 7). It is attractively accented
with bromeliads, the Vriesea philippo-
coburgii in full glorious bloom. Hutchings garden
Cont’d P6
6
Over an hour flew past with so much
to see. And so the enjoyable excursion
came to a close. Time to board our bus,
Cont’d from P5 – Our bus trip to Whangarei
journey back home and reflect on an
altogether great day out. Many thanks
to all our gracious Northland hosts.
Whangarei Quarry Gardens
7
T
here are many works of art
within the gardens, but taking
centre stage in the Cascade Dell
is ‘Te Wai U O Atakura’, a sculpture
by renowned Northland artist – Chris
Booth. ‘Te Wai U O Atakura’ when
translated from Maori to English
means milk from the breast of Te
Atakura.
Living Sculpture in the
Whangarei Quarry Gardens – Diane Timmins
Te Atakura is the goddess present at
sunrise – she rises from the world of
the ancient and dark, into the world
of the light and life, like the birth of
a child. The sculpture was completed
by Chris Booth and Rata Kapa in April
2018, and unveiled by Te Parawhau
hapu kaumatua Pari Walker, Fred Tito
and Johnny Nathan. It is the fifth in the
global series of Vardar
living sculptures. Vardar
is an old Nordic word for
‘cairn’.
Chris Booth says, ‘The
main living aspect of
the sculpture is fungi,
the greatest recycler
on the earth and a vital
organism for the health
of the majority of
plants and animals. In
these living sculptures I
collaborate with fungi.
The fungi consume the
organic material causing
the boulder to ever so
slowly descend to the
ground. Depending on
the wood, it could take
70 years or more’.
From the pathway she is
accentuated by a planting
of bromeliads where
native New Zealand
forest meets the exotic
subtropical garden.
‘Te Wai U O Atakura’. PHOTO DIANE TIMMINS
8
By Diane Timmins
I
fell behind with cleaning up some
outside neoregelias, and found
pohutukawas growing in the old
plants! There are two huge trees next
door and unfortunately the seeds
LOVE orchid mix. I’m forever pulling
seedlings out of pots, but not usually
out of plants.
From Ginny Rastall – March 2020
Pohutukawa seedlings growing in
bromeliads!
9
Tillandsia ‘Len Trotman’
(T. vicentina x T. erubescens)
Andrew Flower – 1996 (Reg: Aug 2016)
Mature rosette to 30cm diameter x
20cm high. Pliant, narrow, grey-green
scurfed pendant leaves, tapering to
a point. Pendulous spikes of scurfed
coral pink scape bracts and tubular off-
white flowers. Offsets can have either
compound or simple inflorescences.
Named in honour of the late Len
Trotman, pioneer bromeliad grower,
long-time supporter and life member of
the BSNZ.
Tillandsia ‘Percy’
(T. alfredo-laui x T. erubescens)
Andrew Flower – 2002 (Reg: Aug 2016)
Mature rosette to 30cm diameter x 30cm
high. Scurfed, grey-green, chanelled,
spidery leaves. Pendant, shell pink-
bracted spike with chartreuse green
flowers.
New from New Zealand
– By Graeme Barclay
As flagged in our July 2019 Journal, we are delighted to be able to feature a
number of recently named tillandsia hybrids from Andrew Flower in Wellington.
As
you can see, these two hybrids below were made some years ago, so growers
may have these plants under the formulas listed below in black, so be sure to
check your collections and update your name tags if you do. In July we saw
two hybrids with Tillandsia erubescens used as the seed mother, whereas below we
have two others with T. erubescens as the pollen parent. These crosses have created
another set of fantastic results from the obvious harmonious combination of these
Mexican species, producing colourful, pendant blooms and reasonably cold-hardy
plants due to their higher altitude natural habitats around 2000m and above.
Tillandsia ‘Percy’
PHOTO ANDREW FLOWER
Tillandsia ‘Len Trotman’
PHOTO ANDREW FLOWER
10
Group News
Eastern Bay of Plenty Bromeliad and
Orchid Group – Jenny Briggs
For our March meeting, we gathered at
the Pouwhenua carvings (Totem Poles)
Waiotahi, where we were welcomed
by our garden ramble organiser, Gail
Anderson.

The 28 members and visitors, including
four from Tauranga, began the ramble
across the road and up the drive to
the garden of Kate and Peter Pasloe.
At the sheltered elevated house level
there’s a spring feeding a pond and
creek. The complementary plants in
this area are a mixture of natives and
exotics, including gunnera and a fruit-
bearing ‘banana tree’. Moving around
this spacious garden we discovered an
edible hibiscus, bromeliads in sun and
shade settings, a cottage garden and a
fire pit area overlooking the expansive
coastline. One of the pathways led us
on up to a vantage point with a ‘Hobbit
style’ beach hut and a stunning view.
Another area of native trees and shrubs
provided shady tracks and plantings
with a large, lush drift of the black-
stemmed Colocasia esculenta, taro
plant. Garden art, some created by the
couple, added to the enjoyment.
Nearby, Leora Ansell and Rod Williams
welcomed us to their three-year-old
garden. Beyond the perimeter wall and
situated on a level cliff edge bordered by
magnificent mature pohutukawas, we
discovered a tapestry of underplantings.
These included native and exotic shrubs,
succulents, huge Agave attenuata and
a variety of flowering perennials and
ground covers. Sea and coastal vistas
wowed again. Various potted plants,
bromeliads and the placement of
Leora’s garden art delighted us. Barbed
wire globes were a repeating feature
that illuminated at night. An impressive
rustic entertaining and plant area with
a ‘horse stable’ theme followed by the
produce gardens of vegetables and fruit
completed our tour.. An unusual variety
of passionfruit, bearing large green fruit
was of particular interest.
Our third garden in Woodlands was
created by Janette Baker. This long-
established smaller garden welcomed
us with a colourful combo of red
alstroemeria (Peruvian lily), matched
with yellow and orange marigolds.
Of note was the newer Hydrangea
‘Limelight’, Sedum ‘Spectabile’,
Acacia ‘Fettuccini’, a variegated
ligularia and the Cornus ‘Wedding
Cake’ tree. There were fish ponds, a
refreshing green native plant area, with
many tall tree pongas and even a little
waterfall.
Our final garden east of Opotiki,
nestled behind tall shelterbelts with
an expanse of garden lawn, bordered
with beautiful mature trees and
underplanted with drifts of bromeliads
in mature established clumps and also
as epiphytes on the trees. Japanese
maples, young nikaus, clivia, ligularia,
cordylines and many other plants filled
the garden. Garden art, stately urns,
pots and pops of red seating enhanced
the plantings. Hosts Joanne and Kevin
Ashford provided a leisurely afternoon
tea which was a most welcome
opportunity to mingle or just sit back on
the terrace or under the trees and enjoy
the whole tranquil atmosphere.
Cont’d P11
11
Many thanks to these keen wonderful
gardeners for sharing their special
places and thanks to Gail for organising
the day.
Our future meetings are on hold for
the time being but, meanwhile, we can
make the most of our isolation time
pottering or just sitting back enjoying
our bubble gardens. For enquiries
call Ross Fergusson 07 -312 5487 or
Maureen Moffatt 07-322 2276.
Bay of Plenty Bromeliad Group
– Lynley Breeze
After our AGM meeting, Kevin Pritchard
gave a demonstration cutting pups off
some very difficult vrieseas. He showed
the many sharp implements he uses for
cutting off pups – the most favoured
being a pointed serrated kitchen knife.
He carefully removed most of the
external leaves below the area where
the pups were growing to give a good
clearance and cut downwards towards
the base of the plant so as to include
the growing point for the root system.
He recommended allowing the pups to
dry off for a few days before potting up.
Roger Allen said that he finds the use of
rooting hormone on bromeliads helps
them to establish more quickly. While
it is not recommended to cut pups off
after April, and before September,
experienced growers still remove
some pups over the winter months but
always keep these ones in a glasshouse
or warmer area. Kevin always cuts off
the flowering heads of vrieseas as soon
as they appear to ensure the energy
goes into pup production rather than
flowering. Potting mixes must be free
draining, and some bromeliads will
survive months without soil if they are
sitting upright with water in the cups.
We discussed whether to have a
bromeliad display at the racecourse
as part of the Garden and Art festival
in November and agreed if sufficient
members were available to help we
would support this.
Competition Results:
• Plant of the month – Aechmea:
1st Dean Morman with a beautiful
plant of Aechmea ‘Sangria,’ 2nd Dean
Morman with Aechmea ‘Strawberry
Ensign’, 3rd Phillipa Lendrum with
Aechmea ‘Silver Streak’ also on
the table, Aechmea ‘Aztec Gold’,
Aechmea nudicaulis (red) and Aechmea
orlandiana.
• Open Flowering: 1st Neila
Fairweather with a magnificent plant of
Aechmea fasciata. 2nd Di Pinkerton with
Nidularium fulgens, 3rd Dean Morman
tabled Vriesea ‘Kent’s Sunset’.
• Foliage Plant: 1st Dean Morman
with Dyckia ‘Kina’ 2nd Dean Morman
with Vriesea ‘Snowman’ and 3rd Di
Pinkerton with Vriesea fenestralis
• Tillandsia Competition: 1st Dean
Morman with a display of Tillandsia
tricolor, 2nd Jo Elder with a Tillandsia
tectorum and 3rd Audrey Hewson with
Tillandsia gardneri, also tabled a
beautiful clump of Tillandsia bergeri
hybrid.
Next Meeting: 13th May 12.30 at the
Yacht Club. Committee meeting at
11.30 am. Topic: Preparing plants for
winter and bigeneric bromeliads. Plant
of the month – bigeneric bromeliads.
NOTE: This notice was posted before
the Covid-19 emergency. Please check
with Lynley Breeze for current updates
on future meetings and group activities.
Cont’d from P10 – Group News
12
Dear
Doctor Brom…
Dear Doctor Brom…
Q: Will eating fresh pineapple or
pineapple derivatives be good for
my health?
Analysis: Ananas comosus (based
purely on opinion).
If you have a ‘bromeliad problem’ that
needs answering, please send your
question, (hopefully with a photo or two),
to ‘Doctor Brom’ c/- Diane Timmins at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Pineapples, their fibrous leaves have
been used in textiles, and their flesh
contains bromelain, an enzyme called
protease that breaks down protein.
Bromelain has been used in scientific
laboratory applications, and is what
makes your mouth and lips tingle
when you eat fresh pineapple… you
are being dissolved by the enzyme in
the fruit!
Pineapples… Ananas comosus… come
from South America and eating them
is sometimes believed to provide real
health benefits. Some of these beliefs
are based on reasonable facts, others
are based more on folk medicine lore,
originating over the centuries.
Although a pineapple is loaded with
nutrients, and does contain disease-
fighting antioxidants, it is yet to be
proven that it therefore may help
reduce the risk of cancer, or that its
enzymes can ease digestion.
Perhaps it may boost immunity
and suppress inflammation, and so
may ease symptoms of arthritis and
may speed recovery after surgery or
strenuous exercise. Some claim it may
ease coughs and congestion, but no
studies as yet have proved its efficacy.
Ultimately, the consensus seems to
lean on the side of the pineapple: it
is going to be beneficial to include in
your diet… in moderation.
Ananas comosus (variegated)
PHOTO JOHN LAMBERT
13
B
romelia is not a widely
cultivated genus in bromeliad
collections and gardens due
their imposing and heavily spined
rosettes that can take up a lot of space.
They also have a habit of propagating
pups on long, spiky rhizomes that
often extend some distance away from
the mother plant underground before
emerging, making for some nasty
surprises if stepped on without shoes!
There are only four or five of the 70
Bromelia species known to have ever
been grown in New Zealand. Like the
Andean genus Puya, for those lucky
enough to have plenty of garden space
growing these thorny giants can be a
rewarding experience, providing a
The birth of ‘Beauty from the Beast’…
Bromelia binotii
– By Graeme Barclay. Photos from Ross Fergusson
Cont’d P14
Top view – 1 month
spectacular, long-lasting show when
they finally burst into bloom.

Ross Fergusson is one such lucky
grower, with his wonderful rambling
bromeliad gardens at his farmlet on a
few hilly acres near Whakatane in the
Eastern Bay of Plenty. Ross obtained
some seed pods in 2006 from a plant
that was thought at the time to possibly
be Bromelia pinguin. This seed
came from a visit to Austen’s Exotic
Gardens, operated by brothers George
and Laurie Austen near Kaitaia in the
Far North. Further investigations with
George revealed they managed to prize
a pup (with great difficulty!) in the
1960s or 70s from Mr. Charles Allan,
Full rosette – 3 months
14
an early pioneering BSNZ member and
grower in Auckland. Charles passed
away long ago, so we are unfortunately
unable to verify exactly where or when
he obtained either his original plant or
seed of his Bromelia. He was known to
import a lot of seed and was also active
in hybridising bromeliads, as well as
other tropicals such as anthuriums.

Ross grew some seedlings on and
planted them in his ‘wild garden’
area where they have matured, with
Cont’d from P13 – The birth of ‘Beauty from the Beast’… Bromelia binotii
Cont’d P15
Inflorescence Close up – 3 months
this featured specimen being the first
seedling to bloom. It has developed
a rosette of around 1.5m diameter
with the inflorescence around 80cm
to 1 metre high. From the onset of
blooming to fruiting, where it formed
elliptical shaped yellow seed pods,
took around five months. Ross reports
the flesh of the fruit is very sweet and
stringy, but numerous seeds within the
pulp are still yet to appear. A number
of Bromelia species have their large
fruits harvested in the wild by locals to
Flower detail
15
eat, or use in cooking. The plants are
also propagated and positioned to use
as livestock fencing, due to their large
size and prickly leaves.

After Ross’ plant began to develop
an inflorescence, he posted photos on
Facebook and we became uncertain
of the correct identification, thinking
it was maybe a variant of Bromelia
pinguin or Bromelia antiacantha. Or,
perhaps it could even be a hybrid,
as we found out Charles Allan also
Cont’d from P14 – The birth of ‘Beauty from the Beast’… Bromelia binotii
Cont’d P16
Fruit formation – 4 months
believed and had told the Austens.
However, Ross was recently able to
supply me with some detailed photos
of the flowers and inflorescence.
Checking the floral features against the
botanical literature, it became obvious
this particular plant was definitely not
B. pinguin, or B. antiacantha (both
of which are reportedly also in New
Zealand), because the inflorescence
is not heavily scurfed in white and
the flowers and petals are a different
colour and shape. Charles
may have thought it was a
hybrid because the other
bromelias around at the
time looked very different to
this plant and there were no
books to identify what had
bloomed for him.
So, what could it be?

Looking through the
Bromelia photo archives
I came upon Bromelia
binotii as a very likely
suspect. Further checking
of the details of the sparse
description made by Morren
and Mez in 1891, and
comparing them to the floral
parts and sizes, concluded
we were indeed most likely
looking at a true Bromelia
binotii. Interestingly, this
species appears to be rare in
cultivation around the world,
with the only known small
photographs appearing in
Elton Leme’s first book in
16
REFERENCE: Bromeliads in the
Brazilian Wilderness – Leme,
E.M.C & Marigo L.C, 1993
1993. It has never featured in
the Journal of the Bromeliad
Society International in 70
years of publications, so it
is possibly not cultivated in
the United States. It certainly
remains a mystery how it ended
up in New Zealand, far from its
natural habitat of Espirito Santo
State in Eastern Brazil. Perhaps
Charles Allan was dead right
when he was reluctant to
part with a pup, saying to
the Austens at the time; “It’s
extremely rare you know!”
On behalf of Ross, we
hope you enjoy the visual
transformational journey of this
spectacular species – the birth
of ‘Beauty from the Beast’.
Cont’d from P15 – The birth of ‘Beauty from the Beast’… Bromelia binotii
Fruit ripen – 5 months
Fruit opened
17
President: Diane Timmins 09-415 9066
Vice Presidents: Jocelyn Coyle 09-416 8272
Graeme Barclay 09-817 4153
Secretary: Dave Anderson 09-638 8671
Membership Secretary | Scientific Officer:
Peter Waters 09-534 5616
Treasurer: Pas Southon 09-535 3544
Librarian: Bev Ching 09-576 4595
Committee: Lester Ching 09-576 4595
Alan Cliffe 09-479 1451
David Cowie 09-630 8220
Lucy Timmins 021-078 1102
Editor: Murray Mathieson 09-418 0366
Life Members: Dave Anderson, Patricia Perratt,
Peter Waters
OFFICERS
MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTION
BROMELIAD JOURNAL
Editorial Committee
Dave Anderson
Murray Mathieson
Peter Waters
Production
Murray Mathieson
Distribution
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, Auckland 2012 or email:
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Deadline
For all editorial and advertising, the first
Tuesday of publication month
Display Advertising
Rates are:
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‘Buy & Swap’
Listings in ‘Buy & Swap’ are FREE for members
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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.
New Zealand
Ordinary membership NZ $45.00 ($5.00 discount
if paid before the end of February).
Dual membership (same household) NZ $55.00
($5.00 discount applies as above).
Overseas
NZD $45.00. Send all payments to the Membership
Secretary, Peter Waters, 22 Half Moon Rise, Half
Moon Bay, Auckland 2012.
Paying electronically
Paying via internet banking: Bromeliad Society
account: 03-0227-0071516-00. Please include your
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Correspondence
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.
Society Website
www.bsnz.org – For past Journal archive –
growing tips – articles – sales information

Tui enjoying Vriesea philippo-coburgii.
Photo by John and Agatha Lambert.
May 2020
VOL 60 NO 5
• ‘Bromeliad Bubbles’… stories from the ‘lock-down’
• Spectacular Northland garden: Colin and Iris Symonds

Bromeliad Journal – May 2020 issue
CONTENTS
‘Kiwi Broms’ 2021 Conference Corner – Graeme Barclay
President’s Page – Diane Timmins
‘Bromeliad Bubbles’ – lock-down stories from members
The Northland garden of Colin and Iris Symonds – Diane Timmins
Nutrients and Tillandsia seed – Andrew Flower / Diane Timmins
Society officers, subs and Journal directory
‘Bromeliad Surprise’ – Diane Timmins
‘New from New Zealand’ – Graeme Barclay
Bromeliad Society of New Zealand Inc
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.
Front cover: Lock-down will have been a good time to take stock and maybe
reflect on how lucky we are to live in a beautiful island nation like New Zealand.
Our noisy native tuis are always delightful and John and Agatha Lambert have
given us some exceptional close-up photos of this beautiful Whangaparaoa
specimen feasting on their Vriesea philippo-coburgii. More photos and words
on page 5.
Conference Corner – April 2021
– Graeme Barclay
Our printer, PDQ, is operating again and we’re back in business with our
printed ‘Journal’. Members are also receiving a printed copy of the April
Journal.
With no Society or group meetings being held in April, and none able to be
scheduled just yet, we are still running ‘light’ on news, with the ‘Journal’
being reduced in size.
We hope you enjoy our new ‘Bromeliad Bubbles’ section and special thanks
to Andrew Devonshire for creating the stunning ‘bubbles’ heading. You can
read how he did it on page 6.
• Online Rare Plant Auction

The ‘Kiwi Broms’ fundraising online
auction held on the ‘Kiwi Trade a
Bromeliad’ Facebook Group page
a month ago was once again a huge
success. We had a total of 35 wonderful
plants donated for the week-long event,
with auctions finishing every five minutes
between 6.45pm and 9.35pm on the
Sunday night. With the Level 4 Covid-19
Lockdown into the fourth week, we were
encouraged to see a good number of folks
online spending money and enjoying
the entertainment, including quite a
number of new faces. I am delighted
to announce we raised a further $6,465
for our Conference Fund, which will
help towards subsidising some of the
events in the conference programme.
A huge thank you to the donors of the
auction plants – Peter and Jocelyn Coyle,
John Mitchell, Andrew Devonshire,
Pas Southon, Ross Fergusson, Robert
and Margaret Flanagan and myself –
without your generosity we would not
be able to run these auctions and benefit
the conference so positively. Thanks
also to all those that placed bids and
congratulations to everyone that won the
plants.


• Conference Donation

Last month we also received a
wonderful $1,000 donation from the
Bromeliad Society of Queensland.
A huge thanks to everyone in
Queensland for your generous support
and also to John Olsen for organising
the money transfer on behalf of their
society. As with all our contributors,
we look forward to your participation
and camaraderie with your members
when ‘Kiwi Broms’ finally arrives.

• ‘Kiwi Broms’ Plant Sale
The Plant Sale we have planned at ‘Kiwi
Broms’ is shaping up to be a fantastic
sale, with many exciting new releases
and NZ hybrids being made widely
available from our wonderful group of
Kiwi hybridists and plant importers.
I have had some questions regarding
‘Day Registrations’ (which will be made
available in the coming months) and
whether a day registration to attend only
the Thursday night BBQ dinner and Plant
Sale opening is possible. Unfortunately,
due to the very restricted size of the
sales room and the numbers of delegates
expected to attend, we are unable to offer
this option. Hence, only full registrants
for the Conference will be eligible to
attend the opening night Plant Sale.
However, the Plant Sale will also
be open on Friday evening (entry
included in the single day registration
fee) and also on Saturday Morning
(9am-12 noon) when it will be open to
the general public before breakdown.

Graeme Barclay
Conference Convenor
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4 5
PRESIDENT’S PAGE
H
ave you managed to tidy up
an area, or start a new project?
While I wonder if everyone
else’s gardens are looking immaculate,
I have to confess the ideas I formed in
the lockdown evenings didn’t always
translate to reality in the new light of day,
but that’s ok. We’ve had our challenges.
Our bromeliads have certainly shown
us their resilience by quickly cheering
up after each of the infrequent dousings
of heavy rainfall we have encountered
between long dry spells in many drought-
stricken areas of New Zealand. But here
we are, we’ve come out the other side.
I hope you and your family are keeping
safe and well.
The current government ruling at the
time of writing this at Covid-19 Alert
Level 2 states that we are not allowed to
have public gatherings of more than 10
people. Therefore we are unable to hold
our general meeting, or AGM, in May.
THE GENERAL MEETING AND
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING IS
CANCELLED FOR MAY 26th
We are still in the process of confirming
the possibility of holding a general
meeting (and Annual General Meeting)
in June in a hall for all members to
attend. This will involve checking the
availability of a venue, speaker and such,
and will depend on what stage Level 2
we are in, as this will dictate how many
people are allowed at a gathering. We
will shortly be able to hold a committee
meeting to discuss procedures to ensure
the safety of all our members and the
viability of proxy voting on AGM
matters.
We certainly hope for good news in
June when, perhaps, we may be able to
hold a general meeting and the AGM
formalities we have to (won’t take
too long). But more importantly, we
are looking forward to being able to
celebrate the joy we all have with our
darling bromeliads and the social benefit
we all get from being able to safely come
and share our plants, our knowledge, and
our experiences.
The BSNZ is keeping active behind the
scenes. Graeme Barclay orchestrated
another outstanding online auction
achieving an amazing fundraising result
for our ‘Kiwi Broms’ Australasian
Bromeliad Conference here in New
Zealand. Well patronised, and comprising
an incredible range of desirable plants.
In this month’s Journal we’ve gathered
some contributions from member’s
‘bubbles’ during lock-down, along with
another garden from our bus trip North
(more to follow!). Our electronic Journal
from April is available for anyone to
read online at our BSNZ website.
Keep your eye on the weather –
remember to protect your plants from the
approaching cold of winter.
We are still in the midst of a very strange
time in history, so keep in mind the quote
by Audrey Hepburn:
‘To plant a garden is to believe in
tomorrow’
Stay safe.
Diane Timmins
O
ur Vriesea philippo-coburgii
was mounted (wired) in our
kowhai tree via an 8m high
ladder about twelve years ago. Every
year at least two or three plants will
flower, attracting the birds.
We enjoy the ‘feasting’ from the
various deck levels of our home.
The kowhai tree is about ten metres
away and on day 33 of ‘lock-down’
these tui images were created, using
a telephoto lens. It’s amazing just
how beautifully coloured these birds
are up close and how their feathers
shimmer in favourable light. We
love the way they end up getting
covered in pollen and, by accident,
they then pollinate all the flowers.
There’s always an explosion of seed
in the spring!
Day 33 of ‘lock-down’ and
this hungry tui is ‘having a ball’…
– Thanks to John and Agatha Lambert of Whangaparaoa
Spring flowers on John and
Agatha’s kowhai. Photo from the
cover of our October 2012 Journal.
6 7
PHOTO LUCY TIMMINS
D
ew drop refraction is a
fascinating area of macro
photography… it is not a
Photoshop trick.
The story behind the image:
A few years ago, I became interested
in macro (close-up) photography and
I was often on the hunt for new subjects.
I came across images of tiny flowers
reflected in dew drops. and I wanted to
find out how they were created.
Each ‘dew-drop’ is only around 2mm
in diameter and each acts like a tiny
lens to capture the image that sits in
the background. I decided to give it a
go and I chose one of my own hybrids,
Neoregelia ‘Golden Pheasant’ as the
subject.
I set up a stage on our kitchen bench.
Neoregelia ‘Golden Pheasant’ was
Editor’s note: Many members will be wondering how Andrew Devonshire was able
to create the stunning photographic image that heads up this column.
Read on… and thanks Andrew. Outstanding!
placed in the background and the
lighting was provided by a portable
builder’s light. The green ‘branch’ was
a stalk of chives, chosen for its waxy
coating which helps to hold the dew
drops in place. It was held up by two
little wire frames. Water drops were
created by using a mix of water and
glycerine which helps form bigger dew
drops than normal. This mix was then
sprayed over the chive stalk.
Once set up, I proceeded to take
hundreds of photos! The focus margin
is so fine and the challenge was to
get all the dew drops and the image
of the bromeliad in focus at the same
time. This process took so long that
my portable builders light heated up
to the point where it actually burnt my
bromeliad! Fortunately, I had managed
to capture a few suitable images. They
were then adjusted slightly for colour
before the final version was selected.
Getting the bromeliads
‘into the bubbles’…
– Andrew Devonshire
P
as reports that their three cats
– Gus, Brownie and Abby
are also a great help in the
garden as they love to hunt wetas
and crickets.
Pas and Jim Southon’s furry friends
enjoy ‘lock-down’ in their beautiful
garden…
Gus checks out the Tillandsia bergeri
Abby on patrol atop the Tillandsia
usneoides
Brownie takes a break and blends in
8 Cont’d P10 9
T
his plant is one of my early hybrids bred
in 2014. I have not done many variegated
hybrids as I find they take a long time to
stabilise, however this is a first off the line cross
between Neoregelia ‘Stargazer’ from the late Gerry
Stansfield and a plant I imported from Australia
many years ago called Neoregelia ‘Apricot Nectar’
which is the creation of Australian Shane Zaghini.
I was so lucky with this grex of seedlings.
I have already named one after my daughter –
Neoregelia ‘Totara Tracey’ so I guess this one will
be named Neoregelia ‘Totara Hayley’ after my other
daughter.
The plant is looking at its best right now and I would
definitely recommend our members consider giving
breeding (hybridising) a serious shot. It is a long
haul but well worth the excitement all along the way.
Neoregelia ‘Totara Hayley’ is now being submitted
for registration with the BSI.
The joys of hybridising – Peter Coyle
Neoregelia ‘Totara Hayley’
A
bout two weeks into ‘lock-
down’ I was a bit shocked,
but pleasantly surprised,
when our 30 year-old son, who has
been in our ‘bubble’, phoned up and
asked me if I’d like him to come
over in the weekend to help in the
garden. It must be all of 15 years
since he last helped in our garden!
In recent times he has borrowed
various tools to help with his own
tiny townhouse garden but that’s
been the extent of his gardening
interest.
There’s always an upside…
– Murray Mathieson
It was great – he helped me for most
of one day and together we tackled
an overgrown garden path at the back
of our property, which backs on to
a bush reserve. We removed heaps
of wild ferns and ‘nasties’, trimmed
and weeded and rediscovered the
pebble path. He worked hard…
we achieved a really good clean-
up and an added bonus was there
were no electronic interruptions and
we actually managed some decent
conversation!
A
garden full of
interest from a
thriving vegetable
garden to flower beds and
trees, unusual shrubs, and
of course their collections
of bromeliads and orchids.
I heard comments of what a
varied and inspiring garden
it was to view – something
for everyone.
Being a classic quarter acre
section, over the fifty years
Iris and Colin have been
there, trees have grown,
and garden beds have
filled the area, so they have
adapted some ingenious
ways of utilising the space:
• A covered patio on the
upper storey by the front
door provides the perfect
environment for the lovely
tillandsia collection.
• Ponga posts along the
neighbour’s fence line are
topped with broms.
• A row of large bamboo
poles side by side are
adorned with all kinds of
neoregelias, tillandsias
and aechmeas. Working as
a partition, it gives a focal
point to an upper corner,
while it entices you to
From our Society Bus trip to Northland gardens – March 2020:
Visiting Colin and Iris Symonds.
An ‘inspiring garden – something
for everyone’
– Diane Timmins
10 11
Cont’d from P9 – Symonds garden…
see what is behind, like dividing the
garden into rooms.
• Wooden fence posts have pottery
orchid pots attached that hold small
clumps of Vriesea guttata – no doubt
an attractive display in their shady
position when they send out their
cheerful bouquets of pendulous pastel
pink flower spikes in cold winter
months.
There is an impressive display of
blooming crucifix orchids, their
tall narrow form and bright flowers
breaking the expanse of brick on the
north facing wall of the house. Of
course pongas and trees are laden with
bromeliads and orchids.
Some time ago an Australian company
made various units from galvanised
steel mesh – for many and varied
uses – from pig enclosures to plant
shade houses. This was recognised
by someone in Tauranga as ideal for
growing orchids. A number were
imported for local orchid enthusiasts,
until the freight cost became
exorbitant at which time they were
no longer brought in. Unfortunately
these quality structures appear to be no
longer available, but Iris and Colin still
have their orchids and precious plants
housed in them.
Their interest started in orchids some
years ago when Iris spotted a lovely
frilly orchid at a Hammer Hardware
shop in Kawakawa. The bromeliads
were a natural follow-on – Maureen
Green has been an important source
for much of their beautiful bromeliad
collection. Colin and Iris have been
actively involved in the maintenance
of the bromeliad area at the Whangarei
Quarry Gardens since it was developed over
20 years ago! A lot of hard work has gone
into the establishment and the progression of
the beautiful bromeliad displays we enjoyed
at the Quarry Gardens on our visit.
Asked if she had any words of wisdom on
how to make the best of your garden, Iris
stated that it is important to get the right
plant for the right place. For example, she
has noticed that generally vrieseas tend to do
better in her garden than for instance in Bev
and Brian Hutchings more expansive, open
garden which is full of thriving neoregelias.

Thank you Iris and Colin for sharing your
time and garden with us when we visited on
our March bus trip north.
12 13
Effect of nutrient availability on
Tillandsia seed development
– From the files of Andrew Flower. Notes by Diane Timmins
So, to get to the point:
Year 1 – first batch of seed germinated
in Northland.
Year 3 – first batch of seed moved to
Pukerua Bay growing-on house.
Year 5 – enhanced nutrition started in
Pukerua Bay.
Year 6 – second batch of seed
germinated in Pukerua Bay incubator,
with 12 hour day lengths.
Year 7 – second batch of seed moved
to Pukerua Bay growing-on house.
After a couple of years, Andrew noticed
that the second batch of seedlings were
about the same size as the first batch,
despite them being 5 years older! From
then on the second batch kept growing
faster than the first batch – even though
they were now growing side-by-side.
The conclusion he came to was that
the seedlings develop a metabolic rate
during their early year(s) that is related
to the richness of their environment.
The growth rate does not accelerate as
quickly when they move into a richer
environment as do seedlings that
started life in the richer environment.
In other words, nutrient availability
in the initial development of a
seedling is critical to its ongoing
growth rate.
The first batch of seed just kept falling
further and further behind the second
batch, even when they got to be grown
in the same environment.
A
ndrew Flower of Anwyl
Bromeliads has an extensive
collection of tillandsias, and
has been successfully growing species
and hybrids from seed for many
decades. Based on nutrient trials with
species seedlings, and element analysis
of dessicated plant leaves, he has
documented experimental procedures
in a controlled environment, and
reached some interesting conclusions.
One incidental observation was the
effect of nutrient availability on
Tillandsia seed development.
Andrew had batches of seedlings
grown from the same species at
different times.
In one species the first batch was sown
in the Northland greenhouse, in the
days when he did not fertilise much.
They received only local day lengths
– no artificial light. A couple of years
later, they were transferred to Pukerua
Bay, and eventually moved into the
new growing-on house.
Over the next couple of years Andrew
experimented with different nutrient
solutions (you can refer to his article in
the BSI Journal 57(1) 2006. It is also on
the Anwyl Bromeliads website (www.
anwyl.com) under Information tab,
articles, ‘Sources of Nitrogen’). He
started an upgraded nutrition regime
for the seedlings. He also started
germinating seed under lights in an
incubator, and giving them 12 hour
day lengths under fluorescent lights.
Tillandsia seed development
Stage 1 germinate on shadecloth mesh Stage 2 community sticks
Stage 2 community sticks
Stage 3 individually mounted on pine
14 15
President: Diane Timmins 09-415 9066
Vice Presidents: Jocelyn Coyle 09-416 8272
Graeme Barclay 09-817 4153
Secretary: Dave Anderson 09-638 8671
Membership Secretary | Scientific Officer:
Peter Waters 09-534 5616
Treasurer: Pas Southon 09-535 3544
Librarian: Bev Ching 09-576 4595
Committee: Lester Ching 09-576 4595
Alan Cliffe 09-479 1451
David Cowie 09-630 8220
Lucy Timmins 021-078 1102
Editor: Murray Mathieson 09-418 0366
Life Members: Dave Anderson, Patricia Perratt,
Peter Waters
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please contact any member of the editorial
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Inc.
Society Website
www.bsnz.org – For past Journal archive –
growing tips – articles – sales information
Neoregelia ‘Maggies Pride’
– and lots of determination
By Diane Timmins
Can you see the weird small clump of dirt
hanging below the pot I am holding? (it
has a tiny pup). I was clearing up an area
of Neoregelia ‘Maggies Pride’, when I
pulled out a pot. It was slightly elevated
from a neighbouring pot, and took a bit
of encouragement to come away from
its perch. It took me a moment to realise
why – the old mother from the lower pot
had thrown a pup … and the pup had
grown up through the neighbouring pot –
from the drainage hole. The bare remains
of the lower pot plant came away with
the pot I had picked up. Its pup emerged
as an awkward teenager in the upper pot!
It looks to me that with a little TLC it
has every chance of becoming a happy
healthy plant. (And I think after all the
effort it deserves every chance).
Covid-19 forces a postponement of
the World Bromeliad Conference in
Sarasota, Florida, USA for one year…
The conference, called ‘THE BIG SHOW’ was scheduled to be
held June 10th – 13th 2020. The mayhem created by Covid-19
means a change of dates is necessary – and the BSI confirms the
new conference dates as June 8th – 12th 2021.
Details of booking transfers and refunds etc available on the BSI
website www.bsi.org
16
Neoregelia ‘Mai Snow Storm’
Andrew Devonshire – 2011 (Reg: Dec 2019)
New from New Zealand
– By Graeme Barclay
Our featured new plant this month is being multiplied for release at ‘Kiwi
Broms’, another little gem to savour from the ‘Devo’ stables.
M
ature, open rosette to 18cm
diameter x 16cm high. In
strong light, lime green
leaves marginated white (flushed
pink) and reddish pink inner growth
has partial cross-banding and white
spots, as well as at the foliage reverse
base. Tricolor Group. Grex siblings =
N.’Mai Snow Pheasant’; ‘Mai Tasha
Tiger’.

The parentage: (Neoregelia ‘Tascha’
x ‘Clarice’) x Neoregelia ‘Golden
Pheasant’.

As mentioned above, this wonderful
new ‘midi’ albomarginated hybrid is
a sibling of the now well known Neo.
‘Mai Snow Pheasant’, that we featured
here in June 2017. The variegated seed
mother Neo. ‘Tascha’ x ‘Clarice’ and
pollen parent Neo. ‘Golden Pheasant’
are both Andrew’s own hybrids, which
he has combined as parents in a second
generation cross. Using a striated seed
mother that will transmit variegation
to its seedlings is a must for producing
variegated progeny.

Like Neoregelia ‘Mai Snow Pheasant’,
this seedling also eventually developed
stable albomarginated leaves with
vibrant markings, sometimes this
variegation stabilisation can take
two or three generations of pups
to settle down, which is possibly
why Neoregelia ‘Mai Snow Storm’
appeared around three years after its
earlier sibling. This new midi will
develop a compact, brightly coloured
rosette in very strong light, a perfect
candidate for hanging containers, or
growing in ponga stumps or pots etc.
Neoregelia ‘Mai Snow Storm’



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