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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:
Good morning everyone, time for breakfast and then more jobs to see to out among the brom's.

Ian – I missed your post yesterday as we both posed at about the same time. I like the old steam loco, is it still operational? There's nothing to compare with the smell of steam and the enjoyment of a steam train ride, brings back a lot of great memories of the “good old days”. These fancy trains of today are just so uninteresting and don't seem to be “alive” like the old steamers were.

As for using a laptop computer, I don't think I'll go down that path as I'm still coming to terms with this “old dinosaur” and I'm afraid all of this technology has left me far behind.

Trish – It's interesting to hear what you say about the children who visited you and their introduction to Bromeliads. I have an area under shade cloth which I just built out off the fence (the area I recently fitted the shutters to the front of). It's twelve feet out from the fence and as I have a lot of hanging plants, it's necessary to get to the back of them for watering. The easiest way was to make a track between the rear of the main lot of brom's and the ones along the fence. Actually it started out as a track my old dog "Clyde" made when he would chase stray cats out of the yard, and I just widened it a bit.

Whenever our family comes over for a visit, my grandsons and their friends make believe this is a “jungle track” and spend a lot of time walking and running up and down it among the plants. The brom's have taught them which plants they can and can't touch (ouch!) and they spend a lot of time in there with their imaginations running wild.

One day they asked if they could go down “the jungle track” as they call it and after they had gone and were about halfway along it, I called out, “just be careful of my pet crocodile in there”, well, you never saw three kids move so quickly, they came out of there like a shot from a gun.

Trish, I don't know how a Mango tree would go as we don't have them down here and I've never had any experience with them (except eating them, when I can afford it) so maybe some of our other growers up there in "Mango Country" could offer better advise to you . I do know that another tree which in the past I thought would be unsuitable to grow brom's and orchids on is the Frangipani tree. I was surprised to see one in a friends back yard covered in small Neo's and Tillandsias so I guess we learn something new every day.

I've been giving some more thought to Shirley's Neo. 'Bold Streak' x Mc Williamsii and now think that cross may be a bit "unstable" which would explain the different markings, and then on the other hand, those plants could also be sports as a lot of plants will throw a sport or two which is different to the mother plant. I haven't seen this happen with my plants of that name, but then I've only grown it for a couple of years so maybe someone else with more experience growing this plant over a longer period can add more to this conversation; what about you if you're reading this Jen?.

Shirley - Regarding your plant named Neo. 'Bold Streak' x Mc Williamsii; it may also be one of the many unregistered “look-a-likes” which someone has just put that name on because it looks similar to the original. There are quite a few of these “radial red” types around which have mainly come from crossings using Neo 'Rosea Striata', in fact I did a cross myself (Neo. 'Rosea Striata' x 'Bea Hanson') which eventually produced about twenty of these types and at this stage I still have ten which I am growing on. (See pic's 1-5 showing these seedlings and their varying colours when they were young)

There is also a plant which has been getting around the Northern NSW and Queensland area for a few years now and it is registered as Neo 'Blake Street Beauty' and I initially thought this may have been the plant I originally got from Jen as Neo. 'Bold Streak' x Mc Williamsii and that her plant may have been still carrying the formula name and not the registered name. However when I started to delve into these radial red types further, I found that there are many of similar appearance from different crossings, some registered and some not; so I guess we'll never know which is which for sure, but do we really care? After all, they are all beautifully marked plants which I am sure we like to have in our collections anyway.
To see a pic of the original registered Neo. 'Blake Street Beauty', go to:

I must say you have done a wonderful job of growing your little Neo 'Small World'. It's a beautiful little plant with lovely round shape and nice wide leaves which only adds to the great “filled-in” shape. This one along with 'Break of Day', 'One and Only' and a couple of others which I can't remember just now are all beautiful plants of small size and a pleasure in anyone's collection..

Sue – If you would like to email me a pic of your Aechmea NOID (so it doesn't have the DG copyright mark on it) along with the growing conditions e.g. degree of light it was grown under etc. I can post it on a couple of the brom forums I visit and see if I can get a name for you, even if you can get some extra pic's from different angles and a close-up of the leaf will help also with attempting an ID.

Regarding Neo. 'Smithii' I have found the same thing as you. Mine are also slow growers and initially I though I may have a “crook clone“or I may have been a "crook grower" so I got a couple of others from different growers, one from Vic. and one from Qld. and the result is the same, still very slow growers, that's why I've been reluctant to try it in any breeding programme although I know that Lisa Vinzant of Hawaii has bred some beautiful smaller type Neo's using 'Smithii' hybrids as parents, so maybe the second generation from it are better growers. see

Once again you show a great example of just how much different degrees of light can change the appearance of a plant. If we were all seeing those two plants for the first time I'm sure we all would think they were different plants. This is a good example of what to consider when trying to ID a plant also as its appearance depends greatly on where it was grown, which is all info that should be given when seeking ID.

That pic of you Nidularium NOID looks a bit like my Nid. 'Madonna', I know they do vary a bit in flower colour depending on where they are grown but it does look similar to mine. There was also a Nid. Longiflorum x Madonna getting around down here for a while which looks similar also, but Nid's just don't seem to have taken off down here, I don't know why as I think they are great plants and especially good for those difficult shady areas.

That's it for me today all the best, Nev.

Pic's are of five of the Neo 'Rosea Striata' x 'Bea Hanson' seedlings.

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