bromeliads for novices and addicts, sep, 2012

Coffs Harbour, Australia

A new thread for spring! Welcome everyone. We came from here
Hello all you lurkers. Don't be shy. Join in or a chat, or post pictures of your bromeliads, or some you've seen in gardens or while on holidays.

Thumbnail by weed_woman
shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone,

Isn’t it great to see so many of our members writing and posting pictures; it’s really is getting to be an most interesting read each morning and much better than it was a while ago when there was only the usual two or three writing.

I’ve just visited an international brom forum of which I am a member and in it they have a section called “Where do you live?” and it’s very interesting to see all of the different countries where bromeliads are grown by hobbyists.

Although ours is mainly an Australian site, I thought it would be interesting to see what parts of Australia our members come from as it helps us understand better what type of growing conditions prevail and if plants from their areas would grow under our conditions or would they struggle a bit?

I’ll start the ball rolling by saying I come from the South Coast of N.S.W. at a little place called Shellharbour Village. It’s a couple of hours south of Sydney and I live just one street back from the ocean so I experience what you might call a maritime climate with often afternoon north easterly sea breezes.

What a fantastic lot of information and pictures have been posted since I last wrote and as I’m short of time unfortunately I can only make a few comments so for anyone who is left out let me apologise now.

Jen – Great to see you posting again. I’d love to see some pic’s of the Ursulaea macvaughii 's. (For anyone who doesn’t know what we are talking about, I grew these from seed and they just got to a certain stage when it became obvious they didn’t like our cooler climate so I gave them to Jen to weave her magic over and it sounds like they are out of control! ) You certainly have some beautiful foliage Vrieseas, but you threw me a bit with the name of the last one, as ‘Pink Sensation’ is a registered name of a Neo. and is not on the register as a name for a Vriesea; ‘Plantation Pride’ is registered but is a plain leaved Vriesea with a yellow flower (see pic from the BCR). Can you tell us a bit about the history and where it came from or who bred it if you know?

Sue - I eagerly await the pic’s of the final garden you have been working on so hard recently and I must agree with you about the owners of other gardens without brom’s, they do need to be educated, and what's this about Tash's T Shirt? Come on Tash show us all!

Karen – What you say about chronic illnesses is very true “there are good days and bad ones”, the trick is to make the most of the good ones by spending time out in the garden, as for the bad ones, do something interesting to take your mind of bad ones such as wading through the various brom sites on the web, it’s amazing how much new knowledge is to be found. Incidentally is that third pic Aechmea ‘Bert’? It looks very much like it.

Ian – Nice Crypts; unfortunately I’m a bit like Sue and they don’t seem to like me or my growing conditions and I don’t do well with them although I’d dearly love to be able to grow them, especially ones like your NOID in pic three, I think it’s a wonderful looking plant.

Wendy – You have a great collection of Crypts as well and just as a matter of interest, Crypt ‘It’ has a relative called Crypt ‘Ti’ which has a reverse of the foliage colour. However out of your little lot, ‘Marion Oppenheimer’ does it for me, and although I say I don’t do well with them, the little plant you sent me is still hanging on so maybe with some warmer weather it will “take off”. That’s a great set up you have for the seedlings now and I expect great things from you and Johnny. I also like your concentrica seedlings, concentrica is one of my favourite brom’s and a proven wonderful breeder.

Shirley – There’s nothing like a nice feed of good old “fish and chips” by the water. I think it was Jen who first told me about the VOMIT club and I seem to remember John Catlan’s name being mentioned so maybe it was one of his terms. I agree with you that nature is wonderful, and only yesterday I heard a commotion in the shade house and when I looked I saw the mother Honey Eater getting the first baby out of the nest to see the big wide world, I have attached an (not very good) picture.

Trish – You have a great looking batch of very well gown plants there. I see Sue has set you straight on the spelling of luedemanniana, quite a mouthful isn’t it? Actually you don’t really need to write all of that on a (very long) name tag if you don’t want to as Ae. ‘Rodco’ (inverta) is sufficient. The name lueddemanniana just tells us that is where the plant originated from. It is a beautiful plant and I was fortunate enough to get one from Sue a while back, but I can’t grow it as good as you can.

That’s it for now Pic 1 and 2 are of one of my new babies (first day out of the nest) Pic 3, Neo Meyendorffii variegata (Red Form) 4 is Neo Grace U.S.A. and 5 is Neo. Ice White River

All the best, Nev.

Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804

Hi all, 4 of the crypts are Margaret Pattersons, the NOID could be from anywhere, somehow I have to get it identified to give credit where it is due. It was something like this plant that got me interested in broms about 30 years ago. Living in near desert conditions and the expense and availability of shadecloth then, I had to look in another direction so I grew veggies and succulents.
I now live in Mackay about 5km from the coast but have a tidal creek 300 yards north of me. The front of my house faces north and there is a school 2 doors west.There are a lot of trees on my southern boundary and they constantly drop their leaves and fronds on my broms if I place them in the wrong place.
I have just been comparing some of my plants with photos here and realise that I have not got some of them in the right light. I also have to clean out some of them before crown rot sets in.
I am finding with Neos that some have colour for only a short time and these I am starting to cull.
I made a big mistake a few months ago with treating white fly with Maithion and left it on all my plants, I ought to have washed it off after a couple of hours. A lesson well learned. I lost a few plants to this mistake and some are still struggling.
I really like most of the pictures, some I'm jealous of.
Have a good one

Pic1 Blc Chia Lin
2 acanthrostaccys strobila seed
3 Ae orlandiana the bkack one
4 Ae Ramosa festiva

Thumbnail by ianperry Thumbnail by ianperry Thumbnail by ianperry Thumbnail by ianperry
barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. Thanks for all the well wishes. I am starting to get around okay now but boy has it taken some time. I still have my whole back taped, but I have to take it off tonight and put my waist strap on and see how I go. The physio said that the tape has to come off to let my skin breathe. We'll see how I go. Great to see a couple of newbies. Welcome Trish and Ian. I took a few pics of the SH this morning so have some to show you. My Vr. Platynema varigata has THREE pups on it. Whoo hoo. Not a lot of good colour in the Vrieseas but it will come back as the warmer weather comes. It's an absolutely beautiful day today for the first day of Spring. I took the boys down to the Lake and the playground for a couple of hours and since we got back they have been looking for lizards. They have a huge lizard tank that is ready for sleepy lizards but we haven't found one yet. Where I live is in the Riverland of SA. Our yearly average rainfall is 3-10 inches. It gets very hot in the Summer over 40C and in the Winter it can get to -8C so quite a varying temp. My Broms are in a SH on the Eastern side of my house and they seem to love it. I have been so grateful that they take little looking after while I've been laid up. Here's a selection of random pics for you all. Colleen

Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris
Brisbane, Australia

Hi everyone, it was quite a bit cooler here today, something like 10 degrees below average … not the best start to Spring.

Trish, great pics, great colours.

Sue, thanks for the new thread. I’ll have to figure out how it’s done one of these days.

Nev, I envy you living so close to the water. We would love to live close to the ocean one day, maybe a bit further north than Shellharbour … bit too cold I think. At the moment we live in a rural area on a 5 acre property close to North Pine Dam, about 30k north of Brisbane CBD. Love being away from suburbia but we are getting too old and decrepit to keep the place looking good. We have lots of large eucalypts that throw quite a bit of shade and attract lots of native birds and animals. Our shadehouse is at the back of the house, facing north east, great for the early morning sunshine especially in the winter months. And as everyone knows, our Brissie climate is great!!!

Ian, love the orchid. I switched from growing tropical plants to collecting succulents after a few years of prolonged drought and a severe shortage of water and I became rather addicted to them. I started collecting broms about a year ago and I am now totally obsessed with them, especially vrieseas, though I still have hundreds of potted succulents, mainly agaves, aloes and echeverias.

Colleen, so good to see you back here again and hope your back continues to improve. Now that you are able to get around you must make sure you don’t go overdoing it. Love your vrieseas.

I bought another vriesea labelled only ‘patterned leaf hybrid’ from Bunnings today … just couldn’t resist … love the colour, I’ll attach a couple of pics. Also saw some beauties at Masters, might have to go back there tomorrow.

Well, it’s getting late so I’ll say bye for now, Shirley

Thumbnail by works4me Thumbnail by works4me
shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone,

Here it is a nice sunny day and no wind for a change. I’m looking forward to a nice relaxed Father’s Day with most of my family and grandsons so I guess I’ll be aching a bit tomorrow as the boys thinks I can run around at the same pace they can (how wrong they are).

Ian – Regarding your beautiful striped Cryptanthus in your post last month, it seems a shame for it to continue to be called just a NOID. Would you mind if I posted your pic on some of the other forums I visit as there are quite a few Cryp growers there as well as some international hybridizers and hopefully I may be able to get a correct identification for you. I won’t do it until I have your permission though as I know how people feel about others using their pictures without permission.

That’s a nice Blc you have posted and it brings back memories of my orchid growing days.

I am very interested in what you say about your experience with Malathion I assume it was a “typo“ and the “L” was dropped and it was “Malathion” and not “Maithion” as written. I have never heard about having to wash off this insecticide; I have used it many times in the past with orchids and occasionally in my early days with brom’s without any problems. What sort of damage did your plants suffer? Was it burning because they were exposed to the sun after spraying? I was always told it’s best to spray late in the afternoon when the sun has almost gone down and this avoids any of the burning problems.

I mainly stopped using Malathion because it was an “organo-phosphate” and there are now much safer insecticides around that do a good job anyway. Below is an extract of some of the written literature about organophosphates which lists problems even with low level exposure and this is why I don’t use them. In fact I don’t use any insecticides anymore and prefer to let the spiders build their webs on and near the plants and eat the insects instead.

Low level exposure of organo-phosphate:

Even at relatively low levels organophosphates may be hazardous to human health. The pesticides act on a set of brain chemicals closely related to those involved in ADHD, thus fetuses and young children, where brain development depends on a strict sequence of biological events, may be most at risk.[8] They can be absorbed through the lungs or skin or by eating them on food. According to a 2008 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a representative sample of produce tested by the agency, 28 percent of frozen blueberries, 20 percent of celery, 27 percent of green beans, 17 percent of peaches, 8 percent of broccoli and 25 percent of strawberries contained traces of organophosphate.[9

Colleen – It’s great to see you back posting once again and hear that your back is on the mend. You just have to remember not to overdo it and aggravate the injury. Best just to sit around and watch the boys looking for lizards; actually I’ll post a pic of a “big lizard” just for the boys. I’d just like to say that I’m pleased that our temperatures doesn’t get down to -8 degrees C like yours, if they did I think I’d have to move to a warmer climate.

Shirley – I think if you came down here to live after being in Brisbane you would regret it during the winter. As for living near the ocean, well it was great when the kids were little and were in the SLSC and the boys as they got older virtually lived in the surf; in fact they would go down on to the rocks with their mates in the early morning while it was still dark and light a small fire and heat up a few tins of baked beans which they would eat while waiting for the sun to come up so they could surf before going off to high school. When they came home from school it was the same old story; Hello Mum, Hello Dad, into the fridge to see what was there to eat, then surf board under the arm and off down to the beach for a surf again, this went on summer and winter.

I would love to have lived on a property as you describe, that would be my idea of heaven; but now that I’m getting on a bit and body parts are starting to break down, I think maybe it may not have been a good idea after all.

They’re a couple of nice Vrieseas you have posted. I heard from a friend that Len and Olive Trevor from the “Olive Branch Nursery” will be sending Vrieseas to most Big W stores from Brisbane down as far as Coffs Harbour in the very near future so keep your eyes open for bargains.

That’s about it from me now a few pic’s to finish off with, first a pic of a “big lizard” for Colleen’s grandsons, the next four are file pic’s of some of my Neo. seedlings which you may have already seen. Pic’s 2 and 3 are Neo. Painted Lady (sport) x Ferny Grove seedlings and pic’s 4 and 5 are Painted Lady (sport) x Grace seedlings.

All the best, Nev.

Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804
Coffs Harbour, Australia

Good morning. Happy fathers Day to the Dads amongst us.
I'm glad everyone managed to find their way over here.
Nev, the first photo of the baby bird is great, and the second one looks like he has a beak extension, heh heh. Jens V. 'Pink Sensation' originally came from me, and I THINK I got it from Pinegrove. I'm not sure. Its a cross with plantation pride and platynema I think? I'd have to google it. I think my neighbour might remember, or I can look it up in my book later.
Ian, I have made the same mistake with pesticides in the past, and now do any sprays in the afternoon and hose them off the next morning. It means there is no sunlight to react with the chemicals and 12 hours coverage should be enough. As for the colour in the broms, definitely experiment with light conditions, even on the ones you say stay green and only colour for a short time. I have a Neo 'Fanfare' that is devilishly tricky to get the light right for colour, but when I do, its awesome. Still haven't worked out the exact requirements, but I now have a few in different areas trying to get it right. Your black Aechmea orlandiana can take full winter sun, but not sure about your summer sun up there. here, I can have it in sun all year around, and it IS black!
Colleen, good to hear from you. I'd give your back a rub if I could reach through the computer, you poor chook! Your shadehouse is looking great, and the colours in your Vrieseas are good. megan looks well, and what is the one next to it, on the left? It sounds like the boys enjoy themselves, what with lizard hunting. I remember doing that sort of thing as a kid.
Trish, your new brom looks lovely. I saw some Vrieseas labelled the same, when I went north a couple of months ago, but nothing as nice as that. Looks a little bit fosteriana x platynema or something. It could be from greenstock nurseries. You might be able to Email them with a picture and ask for the name?
Ok, I live ten minutes north of Coffs Harbour, NSW. We have temps from 5 to (0n average) 35 degrees, and fairly high rain fall for the last few years. We live on 2 and a half acres in a nice estate, but have gum trees galore, making a mess and smashing all thats planted underneath. I try to deflect the branches by planting palms underneath, which does the make a difference. I have extensive gardens as i went through a phase (as we do) But wish I hadn't made quite so many. I have two shade houses, the bunker and the brom house. Both face north and get light from morning till afternoon. I started collecting succulents, then a few bonsais, then Broms and also orchids (loved yours Ian) I also propagate everything i grow and have sales once a month from spring to Autumn to help pay for potting mix, mulch, pots and fertiliser. It has been sunny for three week, hence my mammoth effort to get so much acheived. Unfortunately i am starting to feel the strain, so won't be gardening today!
Here are the pics of the finished bridge. it looks like it isn't quite level, but it is. Its just the light and dark timber making an optical illusion. I'll give it another coat of oil today to try and even out the colours.

Thumbnail by weed_woman Thumbnail by weed_woman Thumbnail by weed_woman Thumbnail by weed_woman

Hi all, and what a day it has been. Fathers day in peace and quiet mostly doing something with the garden. I collected some more seeds for short term storage and planted some more Portea seeds germinated in the pods and some not germinated. I walked through my bush-house and removed dead leaves fom my neos mostly and found a Neo Madam Lash, well that is what I bought it as , now I know it to be xAnagelia Madam Lash. 1 that John Catlan bred fro crossing Ananas nanas and Ananas comosus marginata with a neo. The neo was the seed parent.
The flower on this plant is just about ready to fertilise and I am thinking that I could try to pollenate it with a Aechmea recurvata var recurvata. The flowers look similar in shape and readiness and what a mix that would be.
2 verigated plants, both with spines and good form and colour. What have I got to loose.
Nev it would be nice to have a positive ID on my NOID. Post away and this applies to any that may need further investigation.You have my permission. I noticed that when I water this plant , like tills the white stripes change colour and seem to blend in with the rest of the plant.
I was using Malathion to control white fly and as a preventative for fly speck scale. Sometimes this appears about a week after I get some plants home. I now use bleach ammonia and vinegar 50/50 leave it for about an hour and then wash it off. For some reason some of my neos get rot at the base of the leaves but not on the bottom 2 or 3 leaves up. We discussed this problem at our last monthly meeting and the probible cause was thought to be something sprayed on the plant and the residue did the damage.The general thinking was either a insecticide or a fertiliser. I am not using either at the moment and still have this problem on those same plants. Some will die without reproducing and others have pups at foot. I am wondering if like people, some plants are just more sensitive to some chemicals. Garnish, Kahala dawn, true love, blue nude chlorastricta margina alba were the most affected. I have a quarrantine programme set up to try to keep diseases at bay.
Sue I also have orlandiana picaninny and it is even darker, both of thes plants I have recently aquired and both are getting full sun for 4 hrs a day
Have a good one
Pic1 Anagelia Madam Lash
Pic2N McWilliamsii x Bold streak
Pic3N Garnish
Pic4N Kahala Dawn
Pic5N Coconut Ice pup

Thumbnail by ianperry Thumbnail by ianperry Thumbnail by ianperry Thumbnail by ianperry Thumbnail by ianperry

Hi everyone. lots of reading to do tonight to catch up. was too tired last night and knew we had to get up early this morning for a trip to the markets to collect an order. up at 6am and out the door around 6.20. even the dog refused to leave his bed that early so we had to go and leave him inside. We were home again around 7:30 or 7.45 and he was still in bed. he has a headcold at present as do I so neither of us is sleeping too good at night. After such an early morning I won't be far out of bed tonight. so tired right now.

Nev I think we've been to see your lizard. That looks like one we saw at Normanton when we went up to the gulf last year.

Ian I love your black orlandiana and picaninny sounds lovely too. Please keep me in mind when you get spare pups. We have orlandiana rainbow and snowflake, ensign (albo) and reverse ensign (variegated). At present the aechmea garden is so full of ripening seed pods that we now have seeds down from rainbow, snowflake and we have 4 flower spikes from aechmea bert with nearly every pod full of seed. If anyone wants to try some of these let me know and I will harvest the seed for you. Nev your rainbow and snowflake seeds are on the way with a pup of hula girl.

shirley I love your vrisea from Bunnings. that's a lovely colour. I think I've seen similar at bunnings at some stage but didn't get one without a name. If we see something spectacular we buy without ID but didn't go WOW with these as we have similar.
Colleen love your vrisea pic too. lovely pair there. and so glad your back is getting better too. take care of your back as it is hard to live with a bad back.

setting up our seedling area we have taken the old plastic covered shelves out into the yard and scrubbed the plastic to allow more light in. Having them emptied gave us the opportunity to sort out our trays of seed. Boy we have a 4 shelf unit full of trays of vrisea seed. Can't believe we have so many. I haven't finished setting the area up yet so still sorting out the trays. I have identified a few trays that just don't seem to be growing so I'll take the opportunity to bin those. Nev I have taken some pics of seedlings for you but haven't uploaded the pics from the camera yet. will leave that for tomorrow night as I am ready for a shower now and early night.

Take care everyone and enjoy spring sunshine. Night for now.
Pic is a tillandsia fasiculata minor "nidus"

Thumbnail by perke_patch
Brisbane, Australia

Goodness, I can't keep up with all the posts but believe me, my mouth is watering over the beauties you are all showing here. Sue, the bridge looks wonderful. You've done a great job!

Nev, that's some lizard!


Now I'm from Brisbane southside and we don't have crocs around here, excepting when..... This first pic from 1905 is at the historical craft cottage where Colleen's sister works. Have no idea of the story behind it, but glad there aren't any more round here.
This unnamed bill. coming into flower today.
A mystery neo coming into colour as the sun heats up.

This message was edited Sep 2, 2012 5:02 AM

Thumbnail by DawnSong Thumbnail by DawnSong Thumbnail by DawnSong
north coast nsw, Australia

Got a few new Aechmea Shining Light and a few Guzmania....

Thumbnail by breeindy Thumbnail by breeindy Thumbnail by breeindy
Coffs Harbour, Australia

good morning.
Thanks Karen, for the compliment on the bridge. I like it so much, and can see it from the lounge room. I find myself standing there admiring it quite a bit. Sad state of affairs. heh heh.
I think your Noid Billbergia is perriams pride? (spelling). Its a lovely flower eh? Your mystery Neo looks interesting. How exciting, waiting to see what it does. Thankfully, I don't think there has ever been a croc in Coffs, but I should probably google it? Its enough to have to contend with ticks and leeches! heh heh
Ian, how nice to find you have Madam lash! I have a feeling that xgenus are sterile and can't set seed, but I think Nev has had success with one of his xGenus plants in the past? As you say, nothing to lose, and you'll never ever know, if you don't have a go! From the plants you mentioned that have been getting rot, I have only N. 'Kahala Dawn' and have had no trouble, although it is one that gets algae in the cup, which I now control with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. I just dip a cloth into the solution and wipe the algae off the leaves. This was mentioned by Mike (Bromalong) a few weeks/months back, and works a treat to clean them up.
Hi Wendy. We had a market morning too, but not so early and not for plants. We bought lemons, honey, lemon myrtle waffles (yummmm) and scored a bistro table and three chairs for $10. Theres always a spot in the yard for more seats!
As promised, I didn't garden yesterday. I oiled the bridge again and we went out for a baked late lunch with friends, and came home for an early night. All in all, it was a nice and easy fathers day. How did yours go Nev? We posted at the same time yesterday. Your seedlings look to be getting good colour. Nice to see.
I only have orchid pics to share at this point. the first is an unlabelled Dendrobium
The second is Coelogyne Christata, a trade from Wayne in the Aussie forums.

This message was edited Sep 3, 2012 7:43 AM

Thumbnail by weed_woman Thumbnail by weed_woman
shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone,

Well I feel I've finally made a bit of a start on all of my work for our upcoming show next weekend. We had our son and daughter and their families here for lunch yesterday and while they were here I got my son and son-in-law to carry up all of the large plants for our Main Display and put them in the garage. (Each year everyone lends a few plants for this large display and one of our lady members puts it all together). After everyone had gone home I was able to make a start on the plants and removed dead leaves and generally gave them a good tidy up, so at least that part of my work is now finished. Today I have to prepare my other plants that I am expecting to put on the show tables, however it doesn’t always work out the way it should as you sometimes may have what looks like a beautiful plant and when you start cleaning it up you find that Grass Hoppers have eaten a big hole in one of the middle leaves. This ruins it for showing as nothing can be done to hide the damage, if it’s just the tip sometimes you can cut it off in the same shape as the other leaf tips so it isn’t obvious or if it’s a bottom leaf, that can be removed also, but for some reason known only to the Grass Hoppers, they always chew on the leaves right in the middle of the plant……..bugger!

Sue – I must agree with what you say about the colour in brom’s being greatly influenced by light intensities and the importance of experimenting by trying different areas. I had a few Neo “seedling culls” which I put in the front garden because they were just what appeared to be a real “nothing” green colour with just a little bit of colour on the leaf tips. Once they were exposed to the extra light all I can say is WOW! What a transformation took place.

Your pathway to the bridge looks fantastic, your use of pebbles combined with the stepping stones is certain to impress the judges of the garden competition.

Ian – I read with interest what you had to say about your xAnagelia Madam Lash. I’m not familiar with the plant and this prompted me to go looking in the BCR at and I recommend anyone else should read this interesting article about his cross as well; it’s written by John Catlan who made the cross so the facts are “Right from the horse’s mouth” so to speak.

To give you some idea it starts off as follows:
THE CREATION OF xANAGELIA ‘MADAM LASH’ by John Catlan (Also known as ‘He who dares’ because who else would name a plant after his better half and get away with it)

If you are going to hybridise bromeliads or anything else for that matter, there are three important principles to follow in order of importance.

1. The Dingo and the Fence Theory. A dingo knows if it travels five miles out along a fence and back again, it will make a kill and eat that day. This theory for beginners is the most important. If you do the miles you will succeed.

2. Ass Beats Class. If you haven't a clue what you are going to get, it's ass, helped along by doing the miles.

3. The Scientific Approach. It sounds great but in the beginning has very little influence on your hybridising. Later in your hybridising program, bits and pieces of scientific knowledge will assist your program but you have to go the miles.

I’ve never met John Catlan but I’ve read his book “Under the Mango Tree” and from what I’ve heard from people who know him, he’s quite a character and one who has bred some nice hybrids and reading the above lines from the start of this article really confirms what I have heard.

Ian you say you are going to hybridise xAnagelia Madam Lash with Ae. Recurvata and I’d like to say that once you get into breeding bi-generics, anything is possible, however by “going the miles” as John says and by this I assume he means looking at previous results using Ae Recurvata as a parent, you will often find that in a lot of cases, the Recurvata was the dominant parent and the majority of the resulting seedlings looked more similar to Ae. Recurvata than the other parent.

Although I’ve never owned this plant or bred with it, let me say that if it were mine, as well as crossing with Recurvata, (firstly I would do the cross both ways) I would also also try putting some of its pollen onto a variegated Neoregelia; that is a Neo. with fine variegations in the leaves as it has been found that these are most likely to be the “transmitters” of the variegation. I wouldn’t use an albo-marginated plant as a “Mother” because it’s been found that these usually produce useless albino seedlings that quickly die.

It’s certainly and interesting path you intend to travel and I’m sure we will all be interested in what you achieve and wish you well.

I’ll probably post your Crypt. Pic on a few forums as soon as I get a bit of spare time and I’ll certainly let everyone know the results of the search for an identity.

Ian, I had the same problem with Fly Speck Scale appearing a short time after I had received plants from other growers. The problem is that when these other growers prepare their plants, if they are showing this scale, they just clean it off and don’t spray it. This removes the adult scale but leaves the minute eggs behind which eventually hatch and that’s when you notice the scale. Every plant I receive from any region is always now cleaned (if not already cleaned) and then sprayed with Confidor which is a reasonably safe systemic spray which will kill Fly Speck Scale. I spray late in the afternoon and leave plants in a shady quarantine area away from other plants for about a month before examining them again for any scale and if clean, re-locating to an area with my other plants. Since I have been doing this I’ve had no further problems.

If I notice the odd Fly Speck Scale, I treat the individual plant with Clensel which is a natural and very safe insecticide. I don’t “blanket spray” regularly with insecticides as I have a lot of lizards, frogs and small birds as regular visitors.

Just to finish my rave, I would like to point out that once the Fly Speck Scale is dead, it won’t just drop off the plant, it still has to be removed and I find an old toothbrush with the bristles cut in half to stiffen them up does this job well.

There is an interesting article on Fly Speck Scale in one of our Illawarra Bromeliad Society’s past news letters and it can be found at .

Wendy – That pic of the “Lizard” wasn’t in Australia, I think from memory it was South Africa (I could be wrong about this) but I remember the story behind it quite well. In this particular village there were a number of animals and children going missing and it got to the stage where the villagers called in the army to try and sort out the problem and this is what they found and killed (with still some human and animal remains in its stomach)

Karen – That’s a good size croc. in your pic. “but mines bigger than yours”… Ha Ha. I’m glad you don’t get them where you live and there’s not too many here in Shellharbour either thankfully.

Your Billbergia could be Bill. Fosters Striate, although it’s usually just variegated, it is very unstable and mine will often show spotting as well. In fact last year it put up a pup which was plain creamy/yellow. Unfortunately, just the same as an albino pup, it died soon after removal from the mother even though it did have a good root system. I can’t help you with an ID for your mystery Neo though.

That’s it for today, I’ve gotta go, I’ve run out of time.

All the best, Nev.

Brisbane, Australia

Good morning. Brrrrrr......who turned the heater off?

Thanks for name suggestions for my mystery billbergia Sue and Nev. It was one I got from the Olive Branch, and had lost its name tag. The lady at the check out didn't know the name, but I liked the plant so got it anyway. The other mystery neo plant I believe is a Fireball hybrid. It may not actually have a name.

Nev, what is scary about that croc is that people went up north and brought back the eggs or babies, kept them in an aquarium until they got too big then released them into local waterways. That is so totally irresponsible, and it looks like that one stayed hidden for a very long time.

Nice orchids there, Sue, and Bree, those are nice newbies you have there. I love it when the underside is nicely coloured and the topside a nice green. The sunlight plays with the colours and at times they look amazing.

Hello to everyone else as well. Hope you have a lovely day.


barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. Firstly, before I forget, Sue the pinkish Vr is Snows of ManakeaXSpeckles. Starting to look nice eh? Your bridge is great and the pavers are excellent. Great job. I haven't seen any scale on my broms but some of my Epis have it. I just spray with detergent and cooking oil. Seems to do the trick. Another beautiful day, three in a row. Whoopi. The lady who does my floors is coming this morning so had better get moving. Have a great day everyone. Colleen

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Townsville, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Hope everyones well. By the looks of the catch-up read I just did everyone's looks to be keeping extremely busy by the looks of things. I know the feeling, the weeking flew by so quickly and I'm buried neck deep in paperwork yet again for another week, hanging out for the weekend already.

I will have to make this thread short and sweet as I have an early start tomorrow...

Luv everyones photos of a bit of everything these past couple of days, garden projects, brom's, orchids and BIG LIZARDS :) How Wonderful to read and look at all the great pictures.

Our location - we live on the outskirts of Townsville by the beach, on the second dune. We get lovely breezes and hear the sounds of the beach when it's high tide with the wind blowing in the right direction. Our house and garden is on a quarter acre block with many tree's (lemon, mandarin, avocado and mango) shading the back garden as well as the many paperbark gumtrees that inhadit the second dune area that cast beaufiful semi-shade across most of our back garden as well as the many falling gumleaves at present that I am constantly hand-picking out of my broms', mind you small price to pay in return for a perfect environment for my neo's to grow and all the wildlife we get to hear and see every day - amazing.

Anyway, just a couple of quick pic's, hope I get the fist one right as don't have my glasses on lol:

Pic 1 - Neo' Cane Fire (left) and Hot Gossip (right)
Pic 2 - Neo' Leopard
Pic 3 - Neo' Blushing Tiger
Pic 4 - Ae. Fosters Freckles

Well, goodnight everyone - look forward to having some time over the weekend to write and send some more pic's as well as enjoy the sunshine and spend quality time with my brommies lol.

Until then take care and happy gardening.


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Hi all, First off I'll post a pic of this plant problen in Ae Fosters favourite favourite (red ribbon). This is the first ae that I have really noticed with it.I know I don't spend enough time with them and I could be more observant.This rot or dieback starts on the second or third row of leaves and works down. Sometimes mum has a pup and at others it doesn't. They are all relatively young plants and have not flowered.
I potted up some Ae prickly fella that i dont know the name of, I will find out one day.The mother is in someone elses yard, 3rd plant back from the beach on the left hand side of the yard. He has a beautiful collection.
Madam Lash in the previous pic was from when i first got it, May last year, now she has a pup and is flowering.
The Ae recurvata var I got from Bunnings a couple of weeks ago and it is flowering also. The only other brom that is flowering is Ananas lucidus. Ananas tricolor is close to flowering as well.
I have been here in Mackay for 12 years and have yet to see a live big lizard, croc, but I know they are here.#oo yards away is a tidal creek and there are crock nests somewhere in there. I don't swim in their pool and they leave me alone.
Pic 1 problem area.
Pic2 Ae recurvata var recurvata.
Pic3 Madam Lash today
Pic4 Madam Lash flower.
Pic5 Alacantrea Burle marxii

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Hi everyone. Cant talk tonight as I have 2 little girls staying over for the night and I know it will be an early start in the morning.

Love reading everyones posts. Ian I recently got a madam lash from a friend. Sue your garden is looking really good. Nice to see pics and think "oh I know where that is in the yard. I saw it when I was there.". You should do well in that comp I'm sure. love the bridge and stepping stones. well done.

Will check in tomorrow night a bit earlier so I have time to post.

Night all

Coffs Harbour, Australia

good morning.
can't sleep for thinking about all the many jobs I want to tackle. Only two weeks till judging! Today I am watering and fertilising the back brom garden, ready for mulching. Then I am going to tackle a small neglected garden by the new bridge, because it looks really sad in comparison. Later on, hopefully I'll have a chance to do a little bit of potting, just to get some things into the next size pot.
Nev, thanks for the compliments. The bridge is more for my satisfaction, but if I get brownie points for it, I won't complain. I know how you feel when cleaning up plants. I had a tough time finding anything without a blemish to go in the show a few months back. A couple that got placings weren't anything special, but they were in good health and clean with no blemishes. Some had had the blemishes trimmed,and no effort was made to follow the shape of the leaf, and they looked awful. I'm sure yours will be well tended. As for the grasshoppers, they prefer the new tender tips!
Hi karen, thanks for complimenting the orchids. They are putting on a show at the moment, and giving me quite a bit of pleasure every time I walk in the shade house. We get no interetsing bromeliads anymore, at the department stores. Big W used to get Olive branch plants, but I haven't seen one there for ages. I hope you are keeping well?
Hello Colleen, yes, that Vrieseas is showing some lovely colour. Well done. What is the first plant in your pics? I'm not game to open it as i might lose my post. But I will open it after I have posted. Wish i had a cleaning lady...grumble....grumble.....
Hi Trish, i was up your way in May, visiting my sis for her 50th. I visited the queens gardens and the Palmeatum while there. The strand is very pretty too. Your yard sounds lovely and shadey, the perfect spot for bromeliads. A little tip for cleaning leaves out of the spikies (if you don't already know it) is to use a pair of BBQ tongs. I have a few pairs handy at all times, and try to resist the urge to reach in with my bare hands. Its not just the spikes, but the occasional huntsman scares the beejeezuz out of me! Your pictured plants look wonderful. I'd love to see a mature N.'Leopard'. Is that one of John Catlans?
Hello Ian, I can't help with your plant diagnosis, but can only deduce it is a rot, caused by fungal disease. I guess you would have tried all the usual methods? Tipping out the water, spraying with mancozeb or some such? What about treated timber? If you have it overhead, it can drip into the plants causing damage, or if you have it as part of your benches, it can be splashed up onto the plant when watering. Another suggestion that was made to me when trying to find causes of blemishes or rot, was the possibility of urine from birds, bats, cats or possums, so there are lots of things to consider, and some are outside the square. I hope you find the cause and or treatment and don't lose any special ones.
I think your plant in photo two is Aechmea 'Aztec gold'? I think, another one of john catlans? Your madam Lash flower looks interesting. How long have you had it? I have no luck with Ananus lucidus. It is always marked. I think it maybe a trifle cold here for it? the tricolour one does well. I heard they like a lot of fertiliser, so i supply that, but An. 'lucidus' still gets spots. Maybe I'll try it in the hothouse over winter next year, or maybe I'll banish it to the garden and see if it will cope better with its feet in the ground?
Hi Wendy, thanks for the compliments on the bridge. The garden should look like a park when you next visit! Although I could be sick of it all by then and let it turn into a jungle! Have fun with your grand daughters.
Hi bree, i posted at the same time as you and didn't see your post. Where did you get your new plants? Well done. I'm not sure how far away you are, but the bellingen plant fair is on this saturday. I'm hoping to find something new, as i havent had a brom fix in ages. i won't hold my breath though!
Shirley, where are you? I hope all is well? Are you having a day off DG? heh heh
No pics today, but maybe I can find a bit of garden to take one of, while I am out there?
Happy gardening everyone

north coast nsw, Australia

I got my new broms from Ebay sue. Bellinger is a little way away, i have to do the family thing in Woolgoolga this saturday though. hehe! Thanks for letting me know about the show though, i would have liked to go. I try and go to all the orchid shows around to pick up orchid plants. hehe!

Queensland, Australia

Good Morning everyone,
thanks for the new thread Sue. Your bridge, pavers and stones look absolutely amazing, I really think the hand made pavers really make it too, it wouldn't of looked as nice with plain concrete type pavers, very well done. Pretty cleaver aren't you :)

To continue Nev's thing on where we all live, well I'm up north of Cairns, North of Port Douglas and close to the beach. We get a nice breeze here, Winter doesn't get that cold, but we do seem to get a few mornings that just dip into single didgits which is what some of the broms need to bring them into flower so that's good. Summer is extremely hot and humid here and the sun burns things very quickly. 70% shade cloth is not enough in Summer, last summer we had to have two layers of 70% over the brom house. Things like Ae blanchetianas and Ae bracteatas don't go under cloth in summer, but gee it takes a toll on them, they bleach out and usually get a bit of burn as well. Like someone else I know says, a lot of our "sun hardy" broms can't take full summer sun for 360 days of the year.... it's just those few days out of the blue that are particularly nasty that fry them and then... well they are ruined for a long time. So most people up here around the Cairns area, even erect temporary shade cloth over full sun gardens over summer.

I love everyone photos, gee it's amazing all the different broms out there.

We had Bloomin Broms on the weekend and gee there were some good talks. I really liked Nigel's talk on fertiliser and his photos to show the difference of heavily fed, well fed and only fed when potted as a pup. Wow what a comparison. I must say in most cases I much rather preferred the look of the "well fed" broms, it wasn't enough to make them go strappy or loose colour, but gee the over all size and shape was amazing.
I brought a couple of nice Vrieseas off him that he brought up for the sales, only very young pups, but they should turn out lovely, they are NZ pinks, so should be nice once they get going.
All the speakers were most informative and well worth attending and the hassle it took to be there, it was a good day and well organised and ran smoothly.

Then on Sunday it was Carnival On Collins, for Father's Day and that was a very relaxed great day. Ran into a few brom friends, brought only one on Sunday but had a fantastic day out with the family.

Ian, I'm not exactly sure what your rot in the lower leaves is, but we do get a similar thing that goes on here. I'm not sure where your broms that are getting this are located, but I was told by a friend up here that certain broms never grow well in a brom house, they get that lower rot in the leaves and will rot out on you. We have had a few do it, and we have taken them out of the brom house straight away and put them in the open garden and they have recovered well. We were told certain ones need a lot of natural air flow around them. Neo Gunpowder is one for us that does not grow well in the brom house, but loves the garden. And our brom house gets a lot of breeze. I'm not sure if that will be of any help, but thought I would mention it.

Oh the shirt Nev, sorry I forget you aren't on Facebook anymore, I'll attach a photo of how it came out. It's my Favourite Macho on the front of it from in the brom house. It came up quite well.

Well I'll add a couple of photos taken yesterday in the brom house, just a Neo Kahala Dawn and a kautskyii, oh and a Neo MacTiger too. I have a few MacTiger's (Macho X Skotak's Tiger) and MacRegiT's, which is the reverse cross (Skotak's Tiger X Macho) and I now know there can be quite a lot of variance in these. Being a seedling batch (grex) that was produced and distributed, some really did come out better than others, and from what I believe, only the better ones were supposed to carry the names, MacTiger and MacRegiT, but of course anyone who has that cross, puts the name on them. I have one RegiT that is quite horrible at the moment, I am waiting to see if it comes right, but then I have another one from someone else that is just amazing. They are very different to each other. Anyway this last photo is my favourite MacTiger.

I hope you all have a great day,
Cheers Tash

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone,

It looks like it will be another nice day down here again so I can hopefully get a bit more outside work done and when the legs and back start to get sore I can make my way to the garage and sit on my bum and clean up plants for the show.

Sue – I’m pretty sure you’re right with your ID of Perriam’s Pride for Karen’s unidentified Bill. When I said Foster’s Striate, I made the old mistake of trying to ID a plant by not looking at the “whole picture” and when I look more closely at the flowers they definitely aren’t Foster’s Striate flowers as they are more bunched.

What also threw me a bit was all of the spotting on the leaves; I have Bill. Perriam’s Pride and it has no spotting, nor does the pic of the plant on the BCR. However the pic’s on the FCBS by Kent Jacobsson shows a plant with just very slight spotting (which isn’t obvious until you look closely) so maybe it’s unstable like my Foster’s Striate or maybe it could even be a hybrid between Perriam’s Pride and something else. Does your plant or anyone else’s have spots as well? Whatever it is, it’s a nice well grown plant anyway.

What you say about bi-generic plants being sterile and unable to set seed was once thought to be the case. Do you remember when you and Bill were down here I showed you a couple of these seedlings and they did look very much like Neo’s (in fact you took a liking to the colours in one in particular) but since then I have had a few that turned out more like the XNiduregelia seed parent.

In fact I put up pics on one of the forums showing seedlings from XNiduregelia ‘Something Special’ crossed with ???? I suspect another Neoregelia. I can’t say for sure as I didn’t do the crossing and I can’t get a clear answer from the “insects” as they won’t own up to doing the crossing either. Anyway when I put up these pictures on one the overseas forums, I was virtually accused of telling “porkies” by a well know international hybridizer, but then a couple of other growers came into the argument and said they had made seedlings from supposed sterile “mules” also (this is what they sometimes call bi-generic crosses) and the grower who first made the comment then said it had been the case every time they tried to cross them and that is what they based their assumption on.

Since then I have read about quite a few growers around the world doing successful crosses using a bi-generic parent and I am currently corresponding with a NZ grower who has commenced a breeding program using bi-generics as parents. So far he’s only developed fertile seed when the bi-generic was one parent and when both parents are bi-generic all the seed has been sterile (so far).

Ian – Based on the little I know about bi-generic crosses so far, I say to you, “go for it”, because as Sue says “you'll never ever know, if you don't have a go”.

I put up the pic of your Crypt on two of the larger forums yesterday and so far just one answer. The answer comes from an Australian grower who also has a brom nursery so his answer of Crypt Black Mystic could be pretty near the mark. I’ll wait until we get some more suggestion so they can all be compared against the BCR to give us a possible definite ID, but so far ‘Black Mystic’ looks pretty promising. To see Crypt Black Mystic, go to: or the FCBS Photo Index at

Colleen - Good to hear you’re on the mend again. What’s the plant on the left of your pic, is it Ae Burgundy?

You say you just spray any scale on your Epis with detergent and cooking oil. You must just have managed to get the exact mixture of the two unless you are using Rob Smythe’s recipe. I say this because if the oil component is too great and they are exposed to too much sun, you can fry the leaves on your plants, so be very careful. A well-known and tested recipe for the Canola Oil mix can be found by googling “Rob Smythe’s canola oil spray” and go to the heading called [CANOLA WHITE OIL - "Oils aint Oils Soll!”]

Trish – At first I thought your first pic was ‘Hot Gossip or ‘Predatress’ as they do look a bit similar but a closer inspection of the very fine spotting nails it as ‘Cane Fire’. In case anyone’s interested, it’s from a cross done by Shane Zaghini using Neo. [carolinae x concentrica] x Neo. 'Barbarian'.

You say your next one is ‘Leopard’; could it be ‘Catlan’s Leopard’? If it is, it’s a really magnificent Neoregelia when well grown. Next is the ever popular Blushing Tiger which everyone should have in their collections as it’s such a good grower and responds so well to high light. My main interest lies with the last pic though, Ae ‘Foster’s Freckles’, this is a plant I’ve been chasing for a very long time so if anyone has a pup they want to swap/sell, please send me a D-Mail.

Ian – Your pic of the problem plant suggests to me two possible causes, either too much water (as I have found all of the Fosters Favourite types prefer to be grown a bit on the dry side) or it’s suffering the effects of being grown beneath or near CCA treated timber and the copper has leached from the timber onto the plant during rain or watering (Copper is fatal to brom’s)

Your second pic is not Recurvata var recurvata, it is Ae Aztec Gold which is a sport from recurvata which John Catlan originally stabilized. You did very well to get one from Bunning’s as I don’t imagine they would be available there very often. I probably wouldn’t use it in the cross you mentioned in a previous post because when you look closely you see it has the yellow margins (flava-marginated) on the leaves and I fear they would probably give the same result as the white margins I spoke of (albo-marginated) resulting in albino seedlings.

However as Sue said before, “you'll never ever know, if you don't have a go”. I can’t speak from personal experience and it’s just a suspicion I have, but perhaps it would be worth a try if only to either prove or disprove that those plants with yellow leaf margins will also throw albino seedings.

That’s about it for today I’ll finished with a five pic’s from the XNiduregelia x ? just to show that bi-generic plants can produce fertile seed.

All the best, Nev.

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Brisbane, Australia

Good morning all. Wow, more beautiful broms to see. It is just amazing how endless these are, and to think people are creating new crosses and colours all the time.

Trish, that Ae. Fosters Freckles look nice. Something a bit different.

Bit of a rush here this morning so I'll keep it short.
Take care all.

This message was edited Sep 3, 2012 5:26 PM

Brisbane, Australia

This is a test photo. Hope it works. It is Neo. Empress X Zonata.

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Hi all,So many so beautiful broms and the colours are fantastic. I am fairly certain that copper is not my problem as my plants have been away from treated timber for 6 months. Some have never been near it here. I am very interested in an article by Darryl Ganter on the treatment of rot using unwashed beach sand and Captan. I have tried drying out the plants and washing with Miltons, leave for an hour then wash this off , dry out again and only water the roots, it is working on some plants, possibly because I noticed it early enough. The article was in The Illawarra Bromeliad Society IncClub news 04/07 that I just stumbled on while doing research. I printed it out on 13/05/12.
The flowers on the plants that I'm hoping to cross were not open when I left for work at 6.00 this morning but were partly open this afternoon and had a trail of ants going to and fro. I shook a fine probe inside and collected some pollen and tried to transfer it across both ways. I have marked these flowers with a drinking straw over each of then so that I will know which ones have been tampered with. One can get a variety of coloured drinking straws and I believe Margaret Patterson uses this method. I am keeping these plants upstairs on the verandah until they finish flowering. Out of sight out of mind.
Thanks for correcting my Ae Aztec gold, I am going to make mistakes and need to get it right All my Ananas in full sun are flowering now and on looking at lucidus it has spots caused in this case by flyspec scale. It is in the front of the yard and everything gois past it to my quarrantine area, looks like I need my quarrantine area on the footpath but I don't think the council would take kindly to that. Another bush house on the other side of the driveway could be the answer.
My thinking was that Black Mystic could have been it's name, but it seems more brown and in places there are tinges of green.I realise that 2 plants from the same clone could colour differentlyn due to different growing conditions.It is 1 that I erred on the side of caution. I will let those who know more than me guide me, I am a beginner, especially with identification.
I just took all diseased leaves off Ae red ribbon and found a fair bit of debris in there, holding lots of water, I'll keep it on the verandah for a while too.
This is a nice NOID for pic1
Pic2 a group of crypts
Pic 3 inside west end of bush house
Pic 4 Vr Splendens showing baby pups last week
Pic 5 Alacantrea vinicolour "Hawaiin Sunrise"

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Brisbane, Australia

Hi everyone, another busy day, unfortunately I didn’t get done what I had hoped to achieve today. Kept having to stop and hang out washing and other such mundane chores when all I wanted to do was get stuck into the garden. Lots of weeds to pull out and mulching to be done … oh well, maybe later in the week.

We went back to Masters on Sunday, they had some really good promotions in store. We were after sugar cane mulch and they had it for only $9.?? something and if you bought 3 they were giving a fourth one free so we got 4 bales for under $30.00. They were also giving a $10.00 discount if you spent $50.00 (and that wasn’t hard). I bought another vr Hieroglyphica as mine isn’t looking good and a vr Gigantea Nova. We also had a 5% discount voucher from a previous promo so were very happy with our bargains. I will post pics of my two new vrieseas.

All is well here Sue, thanks for asking. I did have Sunday night off DG but planned to post last night but after falling asleep in front of the TV (such crap on, I don’t know why we bother), I decided to take a second night off the computer and fell straight into bed. I slept late this morning too so must have need the extra sleep.

Sue, I can relate to what you say about having too many gardens. Over the years we have put in quite a few, which wasn’t easy even then as we have lots and lots of rocks and not much in the way of topsoil so we would dig out the grass and the biggest of the rocks, put in garden edging, then bring in soil from the landscaping yard before planting and mulching. Now that we’re older, we find just keeping the gardens tidy and weed free a bit of an effort.

Wendy, I had a bit of a reading catch up as well after missing a couple of days … so many posts … isn’t it great. And I bet you enjoyed having the girls for the night.

Colleen, nice neo in your second pic … what is it?

Nev, good luck with your Spring show next week.

Trish, love your neo Leopard. I have an Ae Fosters Freckles but it doesn’t look like yours, it’s stunning. I must get mine out into better light as it’s quite green by comparison.

Bree, nice new broms. I should have pups for you in a week or two.

Tash, interesting what you say about fertilizing, does that include neos and did they define the amounts of fertilizer they used for the ‘well fed’ broms and also what type of fertilizer was it? And NZ pink vrieseas … lucky you, they are so yummy … and so are your neos Kautskyii and MacTiger.

Hi to Karen and Ian and anyone else looking in.

OK, that’s it for me till tomorrow, ‘night all


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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone,

I don’t know what happened to my version of Dave’s Garden yesterday but when I got down to Wendy’s few lines saying she couldn’t talk as she had two little girls staying over, that was it; there were no more posts, so I finished adding a few pic’s and checked everything (still no posts) and so I posted my reply. After I posted it and opened it to check, I found three other posts before it, 1 from Sue, one from Breeindy and one from Tash, all posted a couple of hours before mine. Where were they hiding?????????????????

Sue – You say that Big W in Coffs Harbour used to get plants from the Olive Branch but doesn’t any more. A friend of mine who was at the Till Nuts’ conference in Vic. Said he was talking to Olive and they will be sending Vrieseas to all Big W stores from Brisbane to Coffs Harbour in the very near future (which should be about now).

Your tip about cleaning out leaves from brom’s is a good one Sue and we have found that for the junk right down where something thinner is needed, we get 10” forceps available through the brom society which are also very handy, they are stainless steel and only about $8 a pair.

I don’t have a pic of a mature Neo ‘Leopard’, but I do have a pic of a mature Neo. ‘Catlan’s Leopard’ I don’t know if they’re the same plants or not but I have posted a pic. below and now you can see why I was breaking my neck trying to get one.

Tash – Glad that “Blooming Brom’s” turned out to be a good show and that you enjoyed the speakers. One thing we should never lose sight of though is that when attending these conferences, occasionally some of the speakers are from other countries and the cultural methods they speak of are what are used in their country and won’t necessarily work here in Australia, I guess it’s a bit like reading brom books, one has to be aware of what country they came from.

No Tash I’m not on Face Book anymore and I wish you weren’t either, then maybe we would see a bit more of you here. The shirt looks fantastic do they come in 4xxxx with “Nifty Nev” on them? Maybe we could do a deal ….. Ha! Ha!

The colour in your Neo’s is just amazing and that plant of Neo Kautskyi is just great; and to think it’s a species which a lot of people look down on, but as far as I’m concerned, this one can hold its own against any of the hybrids.

Karen - Your test picture came out OK

Ian – Your NOID in pic 1 looks a bit like Ae. Mirlo; It has naturally very glossy leaves and slight “bumps” on the leaves in some places just like the plant I have. I have found the best dark colour will be obtained when grown in low light areas.

As for the Crypt NOID we are trying to ID. I have another answer back; this time from America:

""Hi Nev
This one could be several crypts. Black mystic comes to mind first or one its offspring hybrids like 'Absolute Zero', ‘Ice age’, ‘Sweet Tooth’. Growing conditions can change these plants as you know.""

As for the colour of your plant, you say, “but it seems more brown and in places there are tinges of green”. Light can play a very important part in the colour of plants and if you look at the pic’s in the FCBS Photo Index you will see most of the plants are more brown than black, although the pic’s on the BCR are more black then brown.

I think taking into consideration the two answers we got back (one from Australia and one from America) plus the information gained from the pictures on those two sites, we can safely say that your plant is Crypt. ‘Black Mystic’.

Regarding the treatment for fungus/rot, there are as many different cures as there are growers. I even know of a couple of growers who used a highly recommended fungicide from a respected company that’s been around for years, only to find that their problems increased and they lost even more plants. (Sorry I can’t name the company or I’ll finish up in goal)

That’s a very good tip about the coloured drinking straws, we were only discussing various ways of identifying flowers which we had pollinated in a recent post and I don’t think this method came up.

Shirley – They’re a nice couple of plants you scored. I think hieroglyphica is a great plant and one that everyone should have, and once again we have a species that can hold its own against any hybrid in my opinion. Vr. Nova is a C.V. (Cultivated variety) from Vr. Gigantea which is yet another species, so you see we shouldn’t dismiss plants just because they are species and not hybrids as there are many beautiful species and some which look much better than good hybrids.

I’ll finish with a few pic’s, firstly the beautiful Neo. ‘Catlan’s Leopard’, 2nd and 3rd some Neo seedlings freshly re-potted and 4th and 5th more of the same awaiting their turn to be re-potted.

All the best, Nev.

Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804 Thumbnail by splinter1804
barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. We've had 4 absolutely beautiful Spring days and now this morning it quite warm but all overcast with a bit of a breeze. Shirley the Neo above is Neo "Break of Day" and the other pic Sue is Ae Burgundy. I was out in the SH having a look around yesterday and am amazed at the pups that are coming along. I have Ae Freckles is that the same as Ae Fosters Freckles? Nev, tell me again please. What's the difference between a hybrid and a species? Shirley that Vr. G. Nova is something special, and as Nev says everyone "needs" a Hieroglyphica. Beautiful plants. Wow Nev, neo catlan's leopard is lovely. All the broms that did have any purple in them have faded at the moment but they'll come back with the warmth. Must go and get the boys ready Here is my Ae Freckles.. Colleen

Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris
Newcastle(NSW), Australia(Zone 10a)

We are about to cop some strong winds, here, blast it!

I have some broms that I will have to get out of pots and into the soil/gravel to get them producing pups. I need to know what they are in relation to sun or shade planting. Since they are just about shrivelled, it will be some time before I can show them to you. I can get plenty of the little boys but they aren't labelled.

Chrissy just dug me out of an old brom forum and suggest I get in here. (I am always getting lost) The subject was Billbergia and I want to replant my side garden with a mixture of Billbergia Nutans, Anemone Japonica alba, Dwarf Impatiens and Club moss in the chinks.

I was away getting photos of the above and when I got back I found the link to here thatChrissy had left. (Thanks Chrissy)

I have a side garden about 3 metres wide and the house next door blocks a lot of the eastern sun and I get the sun 'till midday. I have Alexander palms which give dappled shade when the sun is high on the fence (eastern) garden. The western (house side) garden is in totally in the shade of my house by midday. I have steps up to the side door and under the landing is total shade all day, except in winter when a little gets under the steps.

Don't everyone scream, but I let the Native violets get away from me(ducking)! I will come back & finish this later or do another reply as my husband wants the computer.

This message was edited Sep 4, 2012 9:34 PM

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Brisbane, Australia

Hello Gabi. Nice to see you here. I will let those with more experience than I answer your questions as you live much further south than I. I have more problems in winter here as there is little to no winter sun at all here. My babies look very sad come Spring, but somehow they survive, get pups, and move right on. I guess we are lucky we don't get so cold in winter in Brisbane.

Nev, that Neo. ‘Catlan’s Leopard’ is divine. You mentioned the forceps once before. I thought it was a great idea then, and still think its a great idea now. I get so much debris in my broms from all the trees around here, including a couple of Leopard trees that drive me crazy during the leaf dropping season, and though those tiny leaves can often be flushed out, some do build up and get caught among the larger leaves that don't flush out. The forceps would save my poor hands from getting shredded.

Colleen, its nice to see your pics, and Shirley, those are good looking vrieseas there too. Ian, nice pics. I like that Alcantarea. I think I have one that I got as a hair pup (is that what its called?). It has grown in height dramatically but still only has 3 leaves. Must go have a look at it again.

That test photo was one of my pics that I had saved in Photobucket, which makes it very difficult to retrieve if you've lost the original from your own files. I wanted to see if I could post the photo, not just the link. It worked after a few tries of different things, but now I can't remember what I did that worked. Duh!

Hope everyone is feeling great. A bit of a chilly wind here this afternoon. We really need rain though. Can anyone email me some rain clouds?

Take care

Newcastle(NSW), Australia(Zone 10a)

Thanks Dawn,

My niece lives in Kedron and her mother, my sister, Cathy now resides in the Nursing home near her as her Parkinsons got the better of her and she couldn't be kept at home.

I am going to be all over the shop, as my side garden has a great variety of plants and of course, I want them all, as you do. I am putting up pictures so I can know from your experts here, just what broms that I have so far, should be planted where and I will get Photos up as soon as they are recogniseable!

This place is Great!
When your photos come up and they have red and white crosses in the corner, does that mean I shouldn't post them, cause they are too big or that I can delete them by clicking on the cross only If I Want To?

Merino, Australia

Hello everyone. I am always lurking but dont post because you all have so many more beautiful broms.
I was going to let mine stay at the number i had already but I found that the extra pups sold well at my local trash & treasure so have bought a few more.
None as lovely as all yours but some cheaper ones that I can use for pups.
Most people that buy here are not worried about names, just that the plants look nice and are easy to look after.
I am just curious about the names for my own sake. I would not like to sell something with the wrong name.
If I am in doubt with other plants I sell such as epis or irises, I always stress that it is a noid. I only sell plants with names I know are right and always use my own pictures. If it hasnt flowered , I tell buyers and leave it up to them.
The ones I just bought are are a bit shabby but seem healthy.
I am not able to find a couple of the names.
I could use some of your expert help.. I will post pics later when the plants look a bit better
One is a large prickly fellow named as aech. callichroma.. I found this one on the brom index but there are questions as to what is actually given the name .Apparently one of those names dubbed on anything.
Another is neo Rosetta, cant find this one at all.
Another is neo Martin Novar ( sport ) cant find this one either.
Any help is appreciated but I am not really bothered if noone knows them . I will just sell any pups that come along as noids.
Half of my named collection has spent our cold winter out in the shadehouse in all the weather and aside from looking a bit dull at the moment , all are healthy.
I will have to wade in among them once the weather warms up and see what they are doing under those leaves.

I also bought a while ago from reputable sellers. neo. Burbank , neo Orange Crush, neo Hot August Night , neo Grace Darling x self and neo Shelldance.

So much for my keeping the collection smaller.

Hi all.When I tried to post tonight while setting up my pictures the words dissapeared, ah well I'll just have to try again. The photos with crosses on if one clicks on the cross it is deleted.
Nev thanks for helping to identify Crypt Black Mystic. I am taking Ae Miro to our group meeting on Sunday to see what they think.
Old timers disease got me and I have forgotten what the first 3 photos are but I see they are labled.
Pic 4 is Neo Running River.
Pic 5 neo picasso Blue Nude.
I am lucky with Blue nude i still have a pup on the parent plant, parent has gone bye bye.
Have a good one

Thumbnail by ianperry Thumbnail by ianperry Thumbnail by ianperry Thumbnail by ianperry Thumbnail by ianperry
Townsville, Australia

Hello to Everyone!!!

Hope you are all well, as always enjoyed reading everyone's thread's and looking at everyones beautiful pic's.

Hi Nev, thanks just with regards to Ae. Fosters Freckles, yeah aint it a beauty, it was luv at first sight when I first spotted it's hidden beauty some 6 months ago now, it's colour at the time was mainly green all over but I could see slight hints of color and oval looking faded marking and though if I gave it the right amount of light it would be something I just felt would totally blow me away and it did just. I ended up purchasing another one a couple of months ago because I just had to have two lol and I can't wait for them to pup. Nev' as soon as they do you will be the first to know. I call these my "walk stoppers" in our garden because you can't help but stop and admire their beauty when your walking around the garden.
Nev in regards to your question about my Neo' Leopard, I do not know if it's the same as your 'Catlans' Leopard, but I hope that it is because the pic of your is out of the world - amazing! I purchased her from EBay and all it said was Neo' Leopard WOW!!! Large grower and that it was a hybrid, likes to grow in semi-shade and will reward you with lots of spots all over her foliage as she matures. Anyway the picture at the time of the mother plant was larg and full of spots all over her foliage witht the curves of the tip leaf coated with a line of the same color spot marking, but did not have the centre blush colour that your pic reflected, so I will be curious to see what my one does when it get's bigger, as soon as I know I will let you know.
Nev, thanks for the info on my Neo' Canefire on what it's crossed with, I had no info on this one other than Canefire written on it's tag.

Hi Karen, thanks - yeah isn't Ae. Fosters Freckles different.

Hi Shirley, thanks - glad you liked Neo' Leopard and Ae. Fosters Freckles, yes get your Fosters Freckles in more light, mine are in semi-shade and I will be curious to see how they go over summer, I am going to experiment and see how they travel. Shirley, luved your vriesea pics plants look very healthy and of good size.

Hi Ian, great pics', curious about your Vr. Splendens pups, could you please let me know if the pups produce from the bottom leaf as I hear they pups can pop up anywhere, even halfway up the plant. I have Vr. Splendens but am not to sure what to expect from what I have heard, but either way I can't wait to see my one pup. Can the pup's be removed easily/safely if halfway up the plant or are you best to sacrifice the mum and let the pups take over the pot?

Hi Colleen, luved your pic of Ae. Fosters Freckles, nice color and spots. The two I purchased from two different people called it the same name, and on the odd occasion I see them called the same on EBay.

Hi Gabi65, enjoyed reading your thread and seeing your pic.

Hi Jean, enjoyed reading your thread.

Hi Wendy, Sue, Bree - hope you are all well - I hope I have not missed any of your threads.

Anyway, trust I have not forgotten anyone from the threads I have just read, apologies finding it hard to keep up with you all but luving it, but please don't hate me if I have forgotten anyone, if I have my sincere apologies but I do care about each and every one of you and look forward to chating with you all real soon.

Time to put the kettle on, hanging for a cuppa lol.

Until next time take care everyone and happy gardening!

Couple of quick pics' of my babies and my big ugly foot lol:

Pic 1 - Vr. Fosteriana Seideliana Rubra (can't remember if I posted a pic of this one last month?).
Pic 2 - Neo. Dominos (mini) - not the best picture.
Pic 3 - Neo. Lime & Lava.
Pic 4 - Vr. Rubyae.
Pic 5 - Vr. Hieroglyphica Hybrid in flower (exuse my ugly foot in photo lol)

Thumbnail by bromishy Thumbnail by bromishy Thumbnail by bromishy Thumbnail by bromishy Thumbnail by bromishy
Coffs Harbour, Australia

good morning. It has taken me half an hour to get through all the reading. That will teach me to miss a day.
Bree, bellingen is only a 15 minute drive off the highway, just north of urunga....well worth the stop if you can wangle it. Also, the coffs harbour orchid show is on, on friday, saturday and sunday at the botanical gardens, so another worth while stop! I hope your family thing is fun. I am just south of Woolgoolga, and 1km off the highway, and also a worthwhile stop! heh heh.
Tash, thanks for the compliments. my head is definitely getting bigger! I love the new shirt, and the pictures you posted. your kautskyi has amazing colour! I'm going to show that to mine and see if they will be encouraged to try harder! I would be interested in knowing what Nigels rates were for fertilising too. Your climate is a tough one, but with the colour your getting, I can see its got its benefits!
Nev, my perriams pride does have a few spots, as do most of my Billbergias. It might be a climatic thing? You gave me a few of those xNiduregelia seedlings when I visited, and thy are residing happily in a garden around here somewhere!
Hi Karen, I had to laugh that you couldn't remember what it was you tried, that made the picture work. Isn't that always the way! You will have to try again, and take notes or something. Its a nice plant. i am familiar with zonata, but not empress.
Good score, Shirley. I heard a rumour that we might get a masters store here, in the future, so hopefully we will have access to the same kinds of bargains as you?
Hello Colleen, thanks for the ID on A. 'Burgundy'. It really stood out in your pics. My A. 'Freckles' lives out in full sun, and loves it. It always has great colour. No pups at the moment though Nev. I thought I sent you one? Or was it just a promise I made, but didn't keep?
Welcome Gabi. I didn't scream, because I have let the violets go too. Not much else you can do with them rampant little bludgers! They make a good cover though, and keep out the weeds. I'll wait till you post pics before suggesting any plants, as it makes it easier to see the space and style of the area, before suggesting something that might be totally unsuitable. You'll get lots of ideas here!
Hi Jean, how are you! I think your Neo. 'Rosetta' might be N. 'Rosella'? and Neo. 'Martin' is a variegated neo, so if its a 'NOVAR' it means it has lost its variegation, which is common with Martin. As for your callichroma, I have that one too, so I will search my photos later and see if I can find one. Has yours flowered yet?
Ian, you are putting up some nice piccies there for us. I'm guessing there are more to come? Looking forward to them
Trish, don't worry if you leave someone out. Its all good, and I or one, wont bite you! Not hard, anyway. Not everyone acknowledges all the comments, mores the pity, but not everyone has the time or ptience to do so, and I understand that. Nev makes up for it with his in depth posts, so everyone feels loved! heh heh. Ugly foot? We all have those. It makes for good scale, to show how big your plant is!
I'll leave you with a couple of pics i took in the garden yesterday, and then I'm going outside to water, water, water for an hour or so. It was windy overnight, so there will be branches to pick up also.
Happy gardening all.

Thumbnail by weed_woman Thumbnail by weed_woman
north coast nsw, Australia

oh sue i love the botanical garden in Coffs. Might have to sneak there. hehe! Ill have my partner with me and his not interested in plants.
Heres my Rosella and Martin Bromishy.
Love them broms Ian and Bromishy. I killed my Domino and i want Lava and Lime i love it.

Thumbnail by breeindy Thumbnail by breeindy
shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone,

Lots of smoke around this morning just to remind us we’re coming into the bushfire season once again. The good news though, is the hot westerly that was fanning the fire has dropped over night and they now have the fire under control. Oh boy I’m glad I’m too old now to be out all night fighting bushfires, it wasn’t very pleasant but the camaraderie was great and the friendships you made were “everlasting”.

Colleen – Your plant could be either Ae.’ Freckles’ or Ae. ‘Foster’s Freckles’ judging by the foliage colour. The seed parent of ‘Freckles’ is Ae. Organensis and the pollen parent is unknown and very little else is given on the BCR; unfortunately there is no picture of a flower by which to compare them. The seed parent of ‘Foster’s Freckles’ is Ae. Fendleri and the pollen parent is Ae. Orlandiana and the BCR show a picture of the “striking” inflorescence. You can see pictures of the foliage of both plants on

To answer your question in my simple language, a species is the “original” plant, as it came from “the wild”. It is “pure” and not contaminated by the genes from other plants. If you were to cross a species with pollen from itself, you would get plants the same as the parent. A hybrid on the other hand is a mixture of different genes caused when two plants; either species or hybrids have been crossed with each other resulting in seedlings with different characteristics to each other.

Below is a section of an article written by Derek Butcher (Uncle Derek) about the various expectations when crossing various plants with each other.
“Some general rules that should help you decide whether your hybridizing has been successful.

1. True species × same true species = same true species.
2. True species × Self (own pollen) = same true species
3. True species × another true species = F1 hybrid with consistent characteristics in each of the seedlings.
4. True species × Hybrid = F2 hybrid with inconsistent characteristics.
5. Hybrid × Hybrid = F3 hybrid with inconsistent characteristics.
6. Hybrid × Self (own pollen) = F2 hybrid with inconsistent characteristics.
7. Hybrid × same Hybrid = F2 hybrid with inconsistent characteristics.

An F1 hybrid gives hybrid vigour and an F2 hybrid the most variable offspring which diminishes as the number of the F increases.”

Gabi65 – Welcome to the forum, I feel we have something in common as we’re both from areas of Australian “Steel Cities” (Newcastle and Port Kembla) and we both grow brom’s.

If the plants you intend to move are as you say “just about shriveled”, this indicates they are very dehydrated and in a very “stressed state”. I wouldn’t move them anywhere with the approaching hot weather. I would make sure they have adequate water and a couple of doses of the original “Seasol” mixed as directed for “stressed plants”. This is for want of a better word a “tonic” and a good pick-me-up. You should keep them in a semi-shaded area with access to good morning sun but avoiding the sun in the hot part of the day.

Karen – As Sue says, long handled BBQ tongs are great for avoiding the prickles but there are occasions where they are just a bit too bulky to get right down in the bottom of the leaves, this is where these long forceps come in handy. You could possibly buy them in a “kitchen” type shop as well from some of those companies that deliver a catalogue to your door such as the one down here is which is called “Home Care” (and I know they sell them because this is where I first saw them).

Jean – Good to hear from you again after so long. We’ll begin to call you “Jean the Lurker” if you’re not careful. As for your “name search”, don’t be afraid to post pic’s of your plants as someone here will possibly be able to help you with a name.

As for your plant with the name “Neo Martin Novar ( sport )”, this simply means that it is a sport from a plant called Neo ’Martin’ and NOVAR means that the plant it came from was variegated but the sport isn’t showing this variegation. It won’t change and is highly unlikely it will produce any variegated pups. To see a picture of the Neo ‘Martin’ just go to:

Ian – You have me intrigued; please tell me why you put your plants on a piece of mesh to photograph them.

That’s a nice lot of pic’s you have posted today and as someone who is interested in future brom breeding, just let me pass on a handy little bit of info. which I found about your last plant, Neo. ‘Blue Nude’. I’ve used this in three crosses now and each time it has passed on the nice wide leaves to its babies (something worth remembering).

Trish – Everything about that plant you posed as Neo ‘Leopard’ makes me think it could well be ‘Catlan’s Leopard’ and I hope for your sake it is, but now we have to play the waiting game.

They are a great lot of pic’s you’ve posted this morning but the pic you have posted of Neo. ‘Dominos’ (mini) is a “little ripper” and please let me join the list for a pup when you have a spare as I’m sure we can arrange a swap with something.

That’s it again, sorry no pic’s for today, too busy getting ready for the show but I’ll make up for it when show time comes around.

All the best, Nev.

Merino, Australia

Thank you Sue & Nev. Now I have a neo Martin which arrived today It is a lovely brom and I can see how it compares with the Martin novar.
The large aech. callichroma has not flowered as far as I know.. I will wait to see what it does. Quite large & prickly.
The other, neo Rosetta that you think could be neo Rosella is just plain green at the moment with a hint of red on the inner leaves. I will take pics later when they are looking better in the warm weather.

I always come in and read, but dont post much as I am not so into the broms as you all are.
I have too many other plants
.I always like to see all the pics and tell myself I do not need them


Hi all, Another beautiful spring day, a bit of mist this morning and then it cleared to an overcast day, but the temperasture is fantastic.
Nev to answer your intrigue, I always use 1" mesh for scaling of plant size. I have seen professional brom growers show catalog pictures of plants and then later admit that it is hard to know what size that plant is. This is my possible solution to this problem.
Sue, Yes I have a few more plants, some rough and ready and some nice to very nice. Thanks for the compliment.
Trish, Vr splendens can produce pups anywhere, and they are awkward to remove. The brown patch above the pups is where I just took off a pup after 9 months of gentle separation from the parent. Alacantareas often need this method as well. The gentle removal generally allows for less parent damage. I have the pup potted in a 4" pot of Quincan gravel (scoria). This is the third pup I have taken in 18 months. As the plant is getting older the pups are getting lower.
Some more pics for you all
Pic1 Neoglaziova zebrina
Pic 2 Neo Treasure hunt
Pic3 Noid suspect it is a mimi ananas if there is such a plant
Pic4 Ananas tricolour flower
Pic5 Ananas lucidus flower
Have a good one

Thumbnail by ianperry Thumbnail by ianperry Thumbnail by ianperry Thumbnail by ianperry Thumbnail by ianperry
Brisbane, Australia

Hi everyone, gosh so many posts to catch up on again.

Nev, love your neo Catlan’s Leopard … what a beauty. Guess you have a list a mile long waiting for pups from her. How is your knee progressing? All the best for your Spring show this weekend.

Jean, I am always saying I have enough broms and won’t buy any more but it never lasts long. I continually say I won’t buy anything without a name but that doesn’t last long either. I have purchased a number of plants with names that are not on the BSI registry so they could be incorrect or ‘pet’ names anyway.

Ian, love your pics, especially neo Running River. Nice wide leaves on neo Picasso Blue Nude, not unlike neo Silverado, I think. You mention “gentle separation” method for removing pups from vr Splendens and alcantareas … can you explain this method, please.

Sue, your garden is looking really great. Good luck with the competition.

I have moved most of my broms into the new (almost completed) shadehouse. The shelving is not ready and we still have to replace the temporary shadecloth but I couldn’t wait to get in there. The big problem with it is, even before it’s finished, it’s already inadequate. Once we get it finished, we’ll have to start on another !!! I will post a pic.

Till tomorrow, Shirley

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