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Australian and New Zealand Gardening: Bromeliads for novices and Addicts - Dec 2012, 5 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 again everyone, another nice morning down here and hopefully another productive day in the garden coming up.

Shirley – Following what I said yesterday about your plant of Neo, 'Grace' x 'Break of Day', I followed up the past breeding history on the BCR and in the FCBS Photo Index. Unfortunately I still can't answer the question of why it is such a large “open” plant. Neo. 'Break of Day' was made by crossing Neo 'Maid of Honour' with an unknown pollen parent.

If we trace back the 'Maid of Honour' breeding line, we find that it is a result of crossing 'Ruby Jean' with Sarmentosa. As Sarmentosa is a smallish species I don't think the large size comes from there so I went back to look at what made up 'Ruby Jean'; this was the result of a crossing between Neo Chlorosticta (a smallish species) and Neo 'Fireball' (again a smallish plant) so I don't think the large size come from here either.

Neo. 'Fireball' is really an unknown quantity as far as breeding goes, some say it's a species and others say it's a hybrid. It originally came into America in 1960 with a shipment of bromeliad species for Nat De Leon from a Mr. Walter Doering of Sao Vicente Brazil and was at that time unidentified. As the years went by, Ralph Davis who was a “brom buddy” of Nat De Leon gave the plant a “pet name”of 'Fireball' because of its colour and this name seems to have stuck until this day. The plant still hasn't been formally identified or described and as this puzzle has been going on unsolved now for 52 years I don' think I'm going to find the answer either.

All the history known about the plant's parents point to smallish, more compact plants, so the puzzle still remains about where the large open size of your plant came from. Does anyone here have any answers or suggestions?

Yes I am still chasing Neo 'Lime and Lava' and would be more than happy to swap with you, and thanks for thinking of me.

Isn't it a coincidence, the new fridge we bought was an LG (Life's Good) brand as well. When the old one died, I rang up the bloke who has always serviced our white goods over the years. He is now retired, but will still do house calls to some of his long time customers, (says it keeps him in pocket money). Anyway when I asked what brand I should get, he said they are all mostly made in China now even the well know brands we have used for years, but his advice was based on the amount of times he was called to repair these appliances and he said without a doubt LG was the brand to get as he never has to repair any.

From what I've seen of Neo xCorreia-araujoi, the colours do vary considerably but the one thing that I have found with all of the ones I've seen is they are all big plants (3 feet+ across) with nice wide, thick leaves. I have one which has all of these great features except the colour which unfortunately isn't anything to write home about, see Pic.1. On the other hand the colour in yours I think is great and it should grow into a beautiful big plant. It can sometimes be similar in colour and size to Neo 'Moby Dick' as Ian says, but the leaves of my Neo 'Moby Dick' aren't as thick or as wide and that's an obvious difference.

As for your albo-marginated NOID, yes it possibly is Neo 'Predator' (Pic.2), which is widely spread around Australia and sometimes confused with a sport from it called Neo. 'Predatress' (Pic.3) also widely grown. These come from a grex which was made by C. Skotak by crossing Neo. ((carolinae x 'Painted Lady') x 'Takemura Princeps') x carolinae with Neo. 'Dark Spot'. [You'd need a long name tag to write that name wouldn't you?]. At first glance they look very similar but when you look more closely you will see that the leaf margins of Neo. 'Predator' are albo-marginated and those on Neo.'Predatress' are not.

Although not as widely spread around the country, there are also other “look-alikes”, and just four that I know of are Neo. 'Hot Gossip', Neo. 'Wild Gossip', Neo. 'Garnish and Neo. Milagro all which are more commonly grown in Northern NSW and Qld.. To add to the confusion even further, the BCR tells us that Neo. 'Hot Gossip' was previously known as Neo. Anna #40.

I have to agree with Sue and Ian about your final NOID, I too thought it was a Hohenbergia but which one I didn't know as I don't grow them. The thing is, now you have it and Neo xCorreia-araujoi, you now have to be able to pronounce the name!

Ian – Nice to see you drop in today even though you don't have any pic's for us, but your tip about the dry leaf tips is well worth remembering.

I was given a little tip a long time ago and that was........ “Brown leaf tips means not enough water” and “yellow leaf tips means too much water”. This is a good indicator of possible problems.

Sue – First let me correct you when you said, “the same as nev, A. 'Port Wine' on the other“, it wasn't Ae. Port Wine, it was Ae. 'Royal Wine' (maybe you've been at the Port Wine or you're getting it confused with the Port Wine Magnolia) Ha! Ha!

You mention Vr. Hieroglyphica seedlings, I was tossing up whether to grow some more from seed or not, but the lack of space answered the question for me. I found them very easy to grow from seed though and quicker than some of the other Vrieseas I grew and for a young “chick” like you I think it would be a very worthwhile exercise as they are always easy to sell. I grew two batches, about six hundred in the first and three hundred in the second and sold them all except the one I have left. They weren't sold to commercial growers either; they really just seem to sell themselves when people see them especially if you have a pic of a nice large specimen to show what they will grow into. I had a visit from a friend and a Dutch lady who had just joined our Bromeliad Society and she wanted one of these Hieroglyphica seedlings but she had already spent her allowance on other plants, so I gave her one in a five inch pot and as a joke I said, “if you grow this well you will win a prize with it'. Two years later she won the prize for the best Vriesea in the Novice Section of our show and you couldn't have seen a more proud and happier grower. In my opinion it is still the “King” of the Vrieseas.

Wendy – I too grew some Pitcainias from seed and like you I was quickly over them also. These ones were very untidy looking plants and in my opinion looked like just “so much grass” and something I would call a “nothing plant”; but then beauty is in the eye of the beholder, isn't it?

Your Billbergia ' Foster's Striate' x Quesnelia Liboniana could be very interesting. The resulting seedlings from this particular bi-gereric cross are called xBillnelias. For years I've often though about trying to cross a Ques. Liboniana with a 'select” Billbergia as they seem very similar in form and I knew they would cross as it has been done before and there are five or six already registered on the BCR. But most have used Bill 'Nutans', (nothing special in my opinion) See:

As for crossing Ques. Tim Ploughmn with something else, I have seen quite a few results of this cross done by others and all it seemed to achieve was to produce a dull coloured plant minus the attractive curled leaves of the Tim Ploughman. They say for a cross to be successful, the resulting hybrids should be better than the parents either in colour, size or shape; these seedlings didn't meet any of this critera. Don't let me put you off though as you never know what will come out of the next seed pod as hybridising rules are being broken every day. I would suggest you look through the BCR and see what has been done before; this should give you an idea if it's worthwhile or not. There are crosses registered with Ques. Marmorata crossed with various Aechmeas resulting in xQuesmeas. As Ques. Marmorata is a parent of Tim Ploughman, this may be a cross worth trying. Anyway, have a look at the BCR and you will have a better idea of what to do, there's no point making the same mistakes of others is there?:

Bree – Yes the plant in your first pic is Amazing grace and a very nice brom it is too. As for the colour change in your second plant, that may just be due to the degree of light it was grown under. I don't have this plant nor of I know of it but as we all know, colours can vary in various positions in our own yard.

To finish off this morning, firstly for Shirley; a pic of my Neo. xCorreia-araujoi (to compare with her plant) Also for comparison are the next two pic's of my plants, firstly Pic.2 Neo. 'Predator' which although it's just a pup the differences in the leaf margins with , Pic.3, Neo. 'Predatress' is very apparent. The next two are not my pic's nor plants but show a couple of look-alikes. Pic.4 Neo 'Garnish' and Pic.5 which is Neo. 'Hot Gossip'. What you need to take into account is that if all of these last three plants were grown under similar cultural conditions in the same area, they could look very similar.

All the best, Nev.

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