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Australian and New Zealand Gardening: Bromeliads for novices and Addicts - Dec 2012, 4 by splinter1804

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In reply to: Bromeliads for novices and Addicts - Dec 2012

Forum: Australian and New Zealand Gardening

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Photo of Bromeliads for novices and Addicts - Dec 2012
splinter1804 wrote:
Hi everyone – We had a bit of rain here overnight and this morning has started with a lot of overcast and a cool southerly wind blowing and not shaping up to be a very pleasant day.

Colleen – Gee it's great to see you back with us once more. It seems all of your troubles are over now as they say these things come in threes and you've had your three; first there was you, with your injured back, then Branden with his eye injury and then Branden again when he had an argument with the cactus. So everything is on the improve from here on for you.

Nice pic's you've posted and the colour in your brom's is great despite what you say. You and I are on about the same latitude and further south than the rest of the growers here so it stands to reason that our plants will be a little behind those of our northern friends in the time it takes them to colour fully. How about some names as I'm sure I'm speaking for everyone when I say we want to know what the plants are.

Branden doesn't look very happy in the picture after his accident or was it that he just didn't like getting his pic taken, in fact if you hung a number around his neck he could be one of those blokes on the “wanted posters”. Tell him to cheer up and that coming a “gutser” off a scooter or bike is something that we all did as kids. To make him feel better, tell him that I remember as a kid getting a (second hand) bike and Dad had fitted one of those little generators on the back wheel so that when I rode at night I had a light. The faster you peddled the brighter the light would be so I decided to try it out. I was riding down the road from where we lived “full pelt” and next thing I found myself in the grass with “slimy things” sliding all over me. What had happened was I had crashed into our next door neighbour and his friend who were just returning from eel fishing at the old quarry dam and I crashed into them causing their eels to escape from the bag and these were the “slimy things” that were sliding all over me. I don't remember much about it until I was being helped up and was probably knocked out as this was before crash helmets, but our neighbours said all they remember was seeing this “bright white light” quickly approaching before I crashed into them.

Bree – Good to see you can at least find the time to drop in and say g'day, and I'm sure we'll be getting a bit more conversation from you in the near future. It's always nice to hear from you even if you don't have any pic's to post.

Ian – I hope your plants like their new location. Moving plants to a different location like this can often have a dramatic effect on them. For example, brom's that would never flower in their old location will often flower in the new one. On the other hand plants that flowered freely in the old location may not flower in the new one which just sums up what the old growers say, and that is, never re-locate a plant that's doing well. It's only when we're not satisfied with their performance that we need to try different places. I have some brom's that I have tried in three or four different locations before I was finally happy with their performance, so I guess it's just a matter of juggling your plants around within the space available to you to obtain the best results.

How did you go with the Quesnelias, did you get any viable seed to plant? I'll be very interested in the results so please keep us posted.

Wendy – It's good to see that Karen is OK, but bad to hear she is still being stuffed around by the Queensland Government Department of Housing. Don't get me wrong, I love Queensland and have spent many wonderful holidays there, but I do think your State and Local Governments need a bloody good “shake up”. It seems that every night on the TV there is some type of housing dispute over some antiquated Govt. rule or by-law and just like the NSW Govt. not one of the “pollies” in office at the time wants to accept any responsibility or take steps to sort it out. Maybe they should all take up brom growing to help them relax and grow a brain that can handle the job they are so well paid to do. Sorry about that little outburst, but it always seems to be the “little bloke” that suffers.

It's good to see your sale went so well, maybe I'll employ you to come down here and arrange a sale so I can thin out a lot of my stuff to make way for the young seedlings coming through. How's Jen going? We haven't heard from her since she had that nasty flu bug that went through the school some time back.

I was checking all my babies yesterday and am pleased to report that all of the Ae. Orlandiana seed you sent is doing well. Also some Billbergia seed I got from a friend as well as my first lot of seed from my own Bill. plants. Bill. 'Fruit Salad' (one from you) crossed with Bill. Fascinator; You Beaut!

Like you I too have difficulty telling the difference between Ae. 'Mend' and Ae. 'Rodco' as I only have pic's to go from and sizes aren't usually given. The only thing I can see when all the pic's I have are side by side is that Ae. 'Rodco' seems to have brighter colours as does Ae. 'Alvarez'. They all appear to be variegated plants and none of the ones I've seen seem to be true pink-marginated plants. Even the ones that look to have pink margins at first glance, do have other slight variegation when viewed more closely. I haven't had the opportunity to compare the flowers though, so maybe that's where the difference is. The BCR descriptions don't seems to answer the question fully either (see below) :

ALVAREZ: cv. of lueddemanniana from wild collection - (See 'Mend', 'Rodco', 'Pinkie' & 'Blanca Alvarez') - Tropiflora said, "Slow growing and has a medio-picta variegation - a broad stripe of pinkish orange up the center of each leaf when grown in bright light" - From observation, a variegated upright rosette w/green margins and lineations within the white center - glazed in intense red-orange overall in good light.

MEND: cv. of lueddemanniana - (See 'Alvarez', 'Pinkie', 'Blanca Alvarez', 'Rodco' & 'Rodco Inverta') - (Name is derived from (M)Mildred Merkel, (E)Edward Ensign who sowed the seed, (N)Julian Nally who gave the seed to Ensign, and (D)in memory of Ralph Davis) - Albo-marginated in white becoming bright pink-red in good light - hardy and attractive - long lasting first white then shiny purple berries - seedling mutation - open vase-shaped rosette to 18" tall and 24" wide.

Two interesting things do come from these descriptions though, the first is how the name MEND was born and secondly, in the description of Ae 'Alvarez' from the Tropiflora Nursery in the U.S. they also say that it is slow growing which supports what Sue and I have found. So if you're reading this Sue, it's not just us, even the “experts” can't make them grow any faster.

Before I go, “Get Well Soon” to anyone on the sick list and anyone else who is just having a bit of a “lurk”, let's hear from you again.

Sue - How do you do it? Every morning just as I'm about to hit the "send button" there's a message saying someone else has just posted, and guess who that someone else is?

Regarding the term "inverta", it's not even mentioned in the FCBS glossary only the word "inverted" which is interpreted as : "Turned over; end-for-end; top side down". Maybe it means that the colours are a reversal of the norm, who knows? I'll have to look further for an answer.

Re. Chanin Thurot, he posted that pic of Crypt. 'Lisa Vinzant' on Dave's Garden in 2007 which was long before I joined and probably in another bromeliad area of Dave's Garden before this one was up and running. He also often posted on the Garden Web Forums along with Lisa, Lyndi Whye (I think that's her name) Jack Koning, Ross Little, and many others I have since forgotten.

As for how I got a grass pup of Alc. 'Silver Plum', it originally came from a bloke who owed me about $20 for some extra brom's I let him have once on the priviso he would pay me back with something I didn't have. He turned up with about six grass pups of different Alcantareas and as I had never grown them before, I just accepted the fact that he said they were all "grassies" as he called them. I don't know whether they were F2's they came from or not so I can't help you with that question.They all grew but this one was my favourite and I don't remember the others but I'll have a look today and let you know. I'm not really into them as they take too much room for my small backyard.

As for the steam trains, our little grandson "had a ball", the only problem was trying to get him off the train when it was time to go home.

Pic's today are: Pic.1 and 2 are my Bill. “Babies”; Pic.3 is an “early morning” look inside the Neo. shade house from the door; Pic.4 is some “suspended colour” in the Neo Shade House and Pic.5 is the south east corner of the Neo. Shade House.

All the best, Nev.

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