THE BROMELIAD SOCIETY BULLETIN
|President||David Barry, Jr.||Secretary||Victoria Padilla|
|Vice President||Frank Overton||Editor||Maria Wilkes|
|Treasurer||Jack Roth||Art Editor||Morris Henry Hobbs|
Mrs. Sydney Lawrence, President, Florida West Coast Bromeliad Society|
David Goebel, President, Louisiana Bromeliad Society
Fritz Kubisch, President, Southern California Bromeliad Society
Nat. J. De Leon, President, South Florida Bromeliad Society
|Board of Directors|
David Barry, Jr.
Dr. Russell Seibert
Mulford B. Foster
Wilbur G. Wood
James N. Giridlian
E. W. Ensign
O. E. Van Hyning
Henry M. Hobbs
Benjamin O. Rees
Nat. J. De Leon
Dr. Alberto Castellanos
Fundacion Miguel Lillo
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Monsieur Charles Chevalier
Mr. Charles Hodgson
Mr. C. H. Lankester
P. Raulino Reitz, Dir.
Mr. Walter Richter
Dr. Lyman B. Smith
Mr. Henry Teuscher, Dir.
Mrs. Muriel Waterman
With deep regret, we report the passing of our Seed Fund Administratrix Rosa, Mrs. Meade Goodloe, of 2015 N. Bronson Ave., Hollywood, California.
"All Rights Reserved for republications—excepting by special permission."
The Louisiana Bromeliad Society presented a colorful educational exhibit of Bromeliads in the GARDEN CLUBS OF GREATER NEW ORLEANS FLOWER SHOW held in the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium in October 1959. The vice-president of our group acted as chairman of the exhibit, namely, Mrs. William B. (Mary) Wisdom. See the attached photograph.
Although we were assigned a very small area, the exhibit was made up of quite a number of specimens for the most part in various stages of inflorescence. Against a background of bamboo matting, the more epiphytic kinds of Bromeliads were displayed on two branches, at the base of which several pieces of drift wood, coral rock, etc., formed a setting for the more terrestrial species. In the upper center a branch suspended on a fine wire in the manner of a mobile displayed Tillandsias stricta, exserta, schiediana, recurvata, atroviridipetala and usneoides, the first two in full bloom.
On the floor were Neoregelias Fosteriana, Carolinae tri-color, Marmorata; Cryptanthus Fosterianus and others; and Ananas ananasoides var. nana in full fruit. In a small strawberry jar was a battery of flowering Vriesea carinata.
Ascending the branch on the right were two handsome Tillandsia lindenii with blue flowers on pale rose colored wands. Ascending the branch on the left were Aechmea angustifolia with sky blue berries, two handsome Guzmanias lingulata at their showiest, a stunning Canistrum Fosterianum, a fine specimen of Tillandsia streptophylla and a striking grouping of Vriesea retroflexa. On the bamboo background and showing red berries was Aechmea fulgens discolor.
Mimeographed leaflets outlining the aims of the Bromeliad Society and briefly explaining what a Bromeliad is were available. The show which included many other fine horticultural exhibits was viewed by hundreds. The response to our contribution was enthusiastic and most gratifying.
—Branch No. 2 of The Bromeliad Soc., Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana
|Colorful and diversified educational exhibit of Bromeliads by the Louisiana Bromeliad Society in the Garden Clubs of Greater New Orleans Flower Show.|
The Easter school-vacation period found Dr. and Mrs. Lyman B. Smith and son Steven enjoying bromeliads, for a week, in Florida.
This afforded our taxonomist a refresher-contact with living bromeliads in the Foster's Bromelario in Orlando, the Julian Nally's acres of bromeliads in Gotha, as well as Bob Wilson's Fantastic Gardens and Nat De Leon's Parrot Jungle in Miami.
Society director, Ed Ensign and Mrs. Ensign entertained these guests, the Nallys, the Fosters and W. Hayward (Directors of the Society) at a splendid buffet supper April 18. The group enjoyed seeing the fine collection of tropicals in the Ensign greenhouse and garden.
You can be sure that the predominating conversation piece was bromeliads.
Mr. John M. Riley. of St. Petersburg. Florida, draws our attention to: an excellent Bulletin on Pineapple available at the Florida Dent. of Agriculture, Bulletin No. 125, of September 1957 entitled "Pineapple A.B.C's." by Phillip K. Platts. A single copy will be mailed to residents on request to The Florida State Dept. of Agriculture, Tallahassee, Fla. We thank Mr. Riley, and hope others will be watchful for such help to our members.
V Stands for Vriesea
Vrieseas are truly the aristocrats of the bromeliad family. For elegance of flower, nicety of form, and all-around beauty they are not to be surpassed. Even the tiniest of the species—little gems like V. racinae, for instance—have a certain distinctive air that makes them outstanding. It is probably for this reason that they have been so popular in Europe.
According to Mez, there are about 158 species of Vrieseas known, although many more have been discovered since his time. Some are plants measuring only a few inches, whereas others like V. imperialis are veritable giants, reaching a height of 5 to 6 feet and as much in diameter. The numerous whitish flowers of this species, it is interesting to note, exhale the perfume of jasmine, disproving the idea that bromeliads have no fragrance. The great number of Vrieseas, however, are average sized plants, seldom needing more than a four or five-inch pot. They can thus be comfortably housed in a small greenhouse or brought into the home when in bloom. They are at all times graceful plants, the leaves forming a perfect rosette.
Broadly speaking, Vrieseas may be divided into two groups—those with plain green leaves and those that have decoratively colored foliage. To even up the score for the lack of interest in the foliage, the plain leaved varieties have showy inflorescences, whereas those with mottled leaves have flower spikes of little interest and brilliance, the only exceptions being V. splendens and V. guttata.
Although the larger Vrieseas may be found growing on rock in full sun in their native habitat, nearly all of those which are under cultivation come from the dense jungle where they have much shade and moisture. It naturally follows that these plants when grown by man must have shade, warmth, and humidity. Vrieseas rank among the tenderest of bromeliads, demanding the protection of a greenhouse and constant care. They are rewarding plants to grow. however, for their foliage is always attractive and their inflorescence is a thing of beauty for many months. Most Vrieseas are generous with their offshoots—V. x Marie and V. magnifica sometimes having as many as a dozen pups. Thus if it seems that the initial price of some of these plants is high, in the long run they are inexpensive for one plant can be the start of a large family.
What plants should the collector start with? American nurserymen who handle bromeliads list most of the worth while botanicals and can offer the enthusiast a good beginning collection. For fancy hybrids, however, European growers have the best selection, as hybridization of this genus has been carried on in Europe for many years. No bromeliad collection should be without the following:
Vriesea carinata hybrid (x Marie) has almost no rivals when it comes to conspicuous and long inflorescence: its brilliant red and yellow flower spike being most appropriately called the "Painted Feather." This hybrid was made in Belgium many years ago and has been a popular house plant on the Continent.
Another plain leaved species is V. ensiformis also noteworthy for the parrot-like gayety of its inflorescence. Showy yellow flowers emerge from a bright red bracts rising from a rosette of leaves that are suffused a purplish-red at their base.
Vriesea x poelmannii, another plain leaved hybrid is outstanding for its dark red bract, from which come clear yellow, tubular flowers. It grows happily out of doors in the French Riviera.
Two Vrieseas that always attract attention at flower shows are V. retroflexa and V. scalaris, both pendant varieties. In both these plants the inflorescence droops below the pot to form a graceful curve. The bracts are a brilliant red with yellow flowers.
Another species which has a similar habit of growth is V. magnifica, known as the "Goldfish Vriesea." From the nice green rosette emerges an inflated spike that grows more or less horizontally and has the shape and color of a fat Japanese goldfish.
The most exotic appearing of all Vrieseas is V. hieroglyphica, long known as the "King" of all bromeliads. Fantastic purple-black hieroglyphs are tattooed on both sides of its glossy green leaves, giving an effect so exceedingly beautiful as to almost defy description. It is not the easiest plant to grow, being fussy as to water conditions. As with this type of Vriesea, it is not remarkable for the brilliancy of flower or bract. The much-branched spike produces only pale green bracts and rusty yellow flowers.
V. fenestralis is another distinctly ornamental foliage plant. It is a robust grower with foliage about 20 inches long and 3 to 4 inches broad, light green above and below, very densely marked with transverse streaks of deep green, profusely dotted with brown at the base and more sparingly at the tips. A similar plant is V. gigantea, the flower spike of which being similar to Tillandsia utriculata. Its pale-green leaves are streaked both lengthwise and crosswise with lines of deeper green, and in the checks thus formed the color is creamy-white.
V. saundersii or V. botafogensis is unique as to coloring. Its fine broad short, elegantly recurving leaves, glaucous on the upper side, are slightly freckled with white, and densely dotted beneath with claret-purple. The scape is not showy, being of a glossy, pale yellow bearing flowers that are sulphur-yellow.
Vriesea guttata has dull blue-green leaves completely peppered with small maroon spots. A smallish plant, it is at all times intriguing, but especially when it is in bloom. Its inflated, over-lapping pink bracts are covered with a "talcum powder," and resemble something that might come from the sea. Although the pale yellow flowers are not spectacular, the bracts are outstandingly lovely.
Preeminent among Vrieseas is the all-time favorite V. splendens. Not too fussy about growing conditions, it is always a joy, especially when its sword-like inflorescence is in color. It is one of the most common bromeliads in cultivation as it is raised by the thousands from seed all over Europe. In Belgium it flowers within three years from seed. It is one of the showiest of all bromeliads, being well worth growing for its foliage alone. The gracefully recurved leaves, about 1 to 1½ feet long, 1 to 1½ inches broad, are thin and flexible, bright green above, marked with distinct-cross-bands of purplish black, especially beneath. The flower scape stands well above the foliage and retains its brightness for several months.
Note: I have been asked to give the flowering seasons of the bromeliads which I have mentioned. This I have hesitated to do, as so much depends upon the growing conditions. In southern California, where we have had no real winter for the past two years, bromeliads bloom at different times—there being no period of rest. I have had V. splendens blooming throughout the entire year, although I understand it should be a summer bloomer.
For the next issue I am going to start at the beginning of the alphabet again and pick up some of the plants which I did not mention. These bromeliads may not be so easy to obtain, but should be a challenge to those who desire to get them. Part of the fun of collecting bromeliads is trying to locate where they may be purchased. Please don't write to me asking where such and such a plant may be bought. I cannot give out such information. I value my collection because it was gathered in so many devious ways; plant collecting is no fun if one can go to the nursery and purchase any plant that he wants.
Walter Emil Richter
by Victoria Padilla
|photo by Walter Richter|
It seems rather ironic to those of us living in the Western Hemisphere that one of the truly great personalities in the bromeliad field lives in a section of the world that is closed to us by an iron curtain. With the exception of Mulford B. Foster of Orlando, Florida, no one in recent times has devoted himself so whole heartedly to the growing of this family of plants or contributed more in the way of notable hybrids. He is definitely the foremost grower of bromels in Europe today, although his plants cannot be sent out of his country. He has, however, been generous with seeds, so many of his crosses are growing in the United States and elsewhere.
Walter Emil Richter was born in Crimmitschau, Saxony. He started his horticultural apprenticeship in 1918 when he was a lad of 14. He continued his education until 1928. In 1930 the Richter horticultural establishment started growing their first bromeliads. The first hybrid that they produced was a Billbergia, a cross between, B. x fascinator and B. windii x B. saundersii. A Cryptanthus hybrid, C. x mirabilis by C. beuckeri x C. osyanus followed in 1935. At that time the firm already had a remarkable stock of Vriesea splendens major. In 1937 Richter crossed V. splendens major with V. splendens var. longibracteata, the resulting hybrid showing a great improvement over the V. splendens then in the trade. This hybrid Richter called V. "Flaming Sword," not knowing that this was the name given to V. splendens in the United States.
World War II was a difficult time for everyone on the Continent, and the cultivation and growing of bromeliads was very difficult. In 1945, however, Richter's hybrid Guzmania, G. cardinalis x G. minor, flowered for the first time. It was such an outstanding plant that Richter proudly called it G. x magnifica. Another showy hybrid, one that grows very large, flowered for the first time in 1946; this was G. x intermedia, a cross between G. cardinalis and G. lingulata var splendens.
Among some of Mr. Richter's outstanding Vriesea hybrids are V. x "flamme," V. x "gigant," V. x "rubra," and V. x "illustris." His V. x "komet" and V. x "gnom" owe their unusual characteristics by the use of V. corcovadensis as one of the parents. Mr. Richter has also grown a number of V. psittacina hybrids, all of which remain small in size.
|photo by Walter Richter|
|Aechmea x compacta|
|Aechmea x polyantha|
Recently Mr. Richer has been working with Aechmeas, using A. fulgens. A. miniata var. discolor. A. nudicaulis. and others as parents. Two notable crosses which have been introduced are A. x polyantha and A. x compacta. He has also been working with Neoregelias, one especially, N. x vulcan. a cross of N. concentrica and N. johannis being noteworthy. He has also produced a number of giant hybrids, which he believes might be suitable for growing in the open ground in Florida and California.
|photos by Walter Richter|
|Neoregelia x Vulkan|
For Mr. Richter the twenty-our-hour day must seem entirely too short. Besides growing many species of bromeliads on a large scale about 50.000 young plants each year are cultivated he is a writer and photographer of exceptional merit. Those who have been fortunate enough to obtain one or more of his beautiful books can appreciate the fact that he is a true artist in every sense of the word. Since 1950 he has published three volumes and soon to be offered is one devoted entirely to bromeliads. These books are:
1953—Bluten aus Tropenfernen (Blooms from the Far Tropics)
1955—Schone and seltene Pflanzen (Rare and Beautiful Plants)
1958—Die schonsten aber sind Orchideen (But the Finest are Orchids)
In preparation—Bromelien, Zimmerpflanzen der Gegewart and Zukurrft
(Bromeliads, Indoor Plants of the Present and Future)
|photo by William Severcke|
Since the Editor asks for pictures etc., I am enclosing a photo of a first prize I just won at The International Flower Show at the Coliseum in New York. This was in Class 332 for a group of five Foliage Plants. Front row: Billbergia Leptopoda, Cryptanthus zonatus argyreus, Vriesea tesselata (gigantea). Rear row: Neoregelia Marmorata hybrid and Vriesea Malzinei. The Leptopoda came from Miss Padilla; the Cryptanthus and Vriesea Malzinei from Fantastic Gardens; the Neoregelia from Foster and Vriesea tesselata from Caribbean Gardens.
The only Bromeliad class was for commercial growers, which Roehrs won with a very nice grouping of 15 plants. It might be worth while to all concerned to have an Information Booth at next year's show
—Edward L. Sard.
Ralph W. Davis
Anxious to embark on our search for bromeliads, my son, Bill, and I boarded our plane and were on our way—destination, Tibu! Our first stop was Barranquilla, the chief seaport of Colombia. While it is considered a "modern coastal city" we found the people still adhering to old customs and ways of living. They walked all over the streets like chickens and their markets were lined with stands of fish, fowl, meat and other produce. Refrigeration here is "for the birds."
Our flight from Barraniquilla to Tibu was over burning forests through such dense smoke that our landing, entirely by instruments, was delayed. Finally, we landed and drove by truck from the airport at Tibu to the home of our hosts, Johnnie and Topy Garretson.
We were in Tibu! We retired our first night dreaming of bromeliads and our trip to the jungle.
The following week we experienced sheer fright on the winding hilly, steep mountainous roads and sheer delight at the surrounding displays of bromeliads as we drove—by truck—in our quest.
Our first day out, which began at 6 a.m., we followed the Catatumbo River road but saw only an alligator no bromeliads.
|Ralph W. Davis and son Bill with tangle prizes.|
Our second day was much more gratifying. We drove to Los Mercedes high up in the mountain to the site of an abandoned oil well. This was a distance of over 80 miles and we rode nearly four hours over a trail deserted and gnawed by erosion. At approximately 5,000 feet, I saw my first red Guzmania. I almost swallowd my cigar butt! Johnnie, however, would not stop until we reached the top. And what a sight then. Bromeliads everywhere—acres and acres of them—millions and millions—like the U. S. debt. In this dense jungle of black palms, we had to hack our way, treading on the bromeliads, just to reach the plants we sought and to transport them back to the truck. Although only 100 yards the trip from bromeliads to truck took at least 30 minutes. Exhausted, we prepared to return to Tibu in low gear. In spite of my terror at our descent, I was thrilled by the tapestries of bromeliads on the surrounding mountains. My prize this day was a real beauty—the big red Guzmania, green with red tips and with leaves 33 inches long and a spread of 48 inches wide. Its bloom spike measured 20 inches in height.
It took two days to recuperate from this excursion, two indispensable quiet days spent in cleaning our prizes, packaging our seeds, etc.
Rested and eager, we again set out—in another direction—toward Cucuta. Once more we traveled a deserted and treacherous road leading directly to a stream. With our extension ladder, we dropped to the water. Walking downstream on rocks and banks we found three unfamiliar bromeliads growing in trees which overhung the stream. With our ever present machete, we cut these trees, collected our plants and returned to Tibu.
Climbing to Los Mercedes on a second expedition, we stopped at a mountain stream. There, completely covering the mountain side and in full spike was Guzmania lingulata. Into the thick growth we went among tree ferns 30 feet high, yet only about the size of a man's wrist in diameter, collecting Guzmania lingulata by the armful. Our prize for the day was a stranger. It was one of the largest bromeliads we collected during our entire trip—a Tillandsia deppeana, with leaves 38 inches long and a spread of 56 inches. What a bromeliad! Our zest at collecting was matched only by the zest of the man-eating ants (some as large as pack mules and the smaller ones, the size of a "Texas Mouse")—and all of them starved and hungering for their meat double grind style.
We continued on up the mountain until the trail became impassable. For a thrill, try turning around on the side of a mountain with only two feet to spare! We managed to eat lunch with one hand tensely holding a sandwich and the other clutching tightly the side of the truck. Fortunately there was NO traffic. No pack mule would climb this narrow, washed-out trail although it was crowded with ants, frogs and toads of no less than three pounds. With our collection of red Guzmania, Vriesea, Tillandsia and Guzmania musaica (which looked like a Zebrina due to bands ½ to ¾ inches in width across its leaves) we returned to Tibu, again in low gear.
After our latest collection was packaged and our nerves were restored we entered the Indian country arriving at possibly the site of Mulford Foster's find of Guzmania musaica. Here the plants were few and not so good. Continuing along the trail, we found ourselves blocked. A large tree had burned off at its base and fallen across the road. Probably 300 feet high, this giant of the forest was laden with epiphytic plants, bromeliads, ferns and orchids. We found one small bromeliad, a Tillandsia andreana similar to Mexico's Tillandsia ionantha except the foliage of this was finer and its flower was pink or almost red. Each plant contained only one seed pod growing in clumps.
We planned two more truck trips to Los Mercedes but looters, taking advantage of open season on Americans, stole, for bootlegging in Venezuela, our windshield, battery, and all tools and equipment they could carry. Fortunately, they were not interested in our plants. Thus, we were forced to spend the remainder of our trip cleaning, drying, sorting and packaging our plants. We succeeded, although the ants tried numerous times to move our gems back to the jungle.
With our specimens, we returned to Miami and the U.S.D.A. cooked our plants well done without benefit of hog meat—before we were allowed to place them in their new surrounding. We added 29 bromeliads to our collection. These are listed below and were identified by Mulford B. Foster in April, 1959.
Plants collected: Aechmea pubescens, A. bromeliifolia, A. penduliflora, A. No. 7, Guzmania No. 2, G. No. 3, G. danielii or cryptantha, G. musaica. G. Monostachia. G. lingulata. Vriesea No. 6, V. heliconioides, V. elata. Vriesea No. 24, V. No. 27, Araeococcus flagellifolius, Tillandsia crispa, T. incurva, T. andreana, T. No. 13, T. pruinosa, T. deppeana, T. 21, Tillandsia No. 22, T. No. 28, Pitcairnia heterophylla, Billbergia macrolepis, B. rupestris, Catopsis sessiliflora.
15500 N. E. 9th Ave., N. Miami Beach 62, Florida
By David Barry Jr.
Agricultural authorities are trying to eradicate the palm scale, Hemiberlesia palmae. It is a serious pest of citrus, fig and other plants. It is as yet not known to be established in California. It has been found a few times in Los Angeles County, and each time infesting bromeliads, from which it has been eradicated.
Bromeliads appear to be a favored host and the inspection of bromeliad plantings, with the early finding of this pest if present will help to prevent a serious pest from becoming established, and will aid in preventing the pest's spread and injury to bromeliad plantings.
If agricultural inspectors should call upon you to inspect your bromeliads, your full cooperation is requested. In the event that this scale should be found on your plants, the inspectors can recommend a simple method of eradication that will not injure your plants.
11973 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles 49, Calif.
It is with great pleasure that the Bromeliad Society announces the formation of a new affiliate society—the Bromeliad Society of South Florida.
This group first met in May of 1959, and since that time 24 members have continued as active participants through to the present time. The society meets monthly, holding programs of unusual interest. Enthusiasm is running high and the members are making plans for a very active future. First on their agenda is their display in the Metropolitan Miami Flower Show, about which we shall write more later. Officers of the society are Mr. Nat J. DeLeon, president; Mrs. Helen Cutten, secretary; and Mrs. Elsie Picot, treasurer.
With congratulations, we all wish them the best of luck!
By Mr. Ralph W. Davis
Probably when you receive this and are comfortably settled in your favorite chair I will either be on my way or be in Colombia again. The main object on this trip will be Aechmea zebrina and you can just bet your bottom dollar that I will bring it back alive even though it will cause Mulford to have a coronary I am sure.
Frankly, I think this trip that I am going on now will really be a dilly. The safari has been months in planning I trust everything is all set. As a point of interest to you, to get into Zebrina country and out requires 12 days (hope I get out). Will make notes and take pictures, of course, and will try to get the write-up of this trip to you probably by early summer since I am sure that Aechmea zebrina being brought back alive should create a lot of interest. Just remember one thing as you read this letter. In case you see a news print the Jivaro (?) Indians have captured another fat juicy old man you will know that I won't be back since contrary to Foster's location of Zebrinas, my scouts have located it and it still may be in Ecuador.
15500 N. E. 9th Ave., N. Miami Beach 62, Florida
Turnford Hall, Broxbourne, Herts, England
In April we put up nearly 1,000 of our plants in the British Exhibit at the Paris Floralies.
The Show was the largest International Flower Show ever staged and was held in the largest exhibition building in the world only just completed after five years.
Our Cryptanthus in the British Exhibit took first prize and our bromeliads, third prize competing against seventeen countries.
Among the Cryptanthus we exhibited was the new species Cryptanthus Fosterianus. It caused much comment and was greatly admired. Over 1 ½ million people saw the Show in the ten days it was open.
J. A. Schuurman
On page 96 of the Nov./Dec. number of the Bulletin a remark occurs to the effect that the generic name Tillandsia was formed after that of a Swedish botanist, but that no explanation could be given for the specific epithet usneoides. The termination oides means like, and usually takes the place of another generic termination. There is a cactus named Rhipsalis mesembrianthemoides, which means a Rhipsalis looking like a Mesembrianthemum. There is another cactus, Hatiora salicornioides, which bears this specific epithet because it looks like a Salicornia. We see from these examples that the ending oides was substituted for the endings um and a.
Tillandsia usneoides means a Tillandsia resembling Usnea, and to find the generic name Usnea you have to look in a book on so-called lower plants. Usnea is a cosmopolitan genus of lichens.
G.P.O. Box 857-L, Brisbane, Q., Australia
We are pleased to announce, as we go to press, that Miss Estelle Recinos, 2700 Ivan Hill Terrace, Los Angeles 39, Calif. Telephone No 1-3271, has offered to take charge of our Billbergia Society Seed Fund. It may take a while for her to get materials and files, but communicate with her direct.
Members are please requested not to write inquiring where bromeliads may be purchased, as there are so many nurserymen offering bromeliads that she could not possibly send out an accurate list. All those who have bromeliads for sale or exchange should place a notice in the BUYER'S DIRECTORY. An insertion the equivalent of one-eighth page is $3.50 an issue, or $14.50 for a year or six issues. Special rates are also given on larger ads. For further information write the secretary.
Grateful thanks from the Editor for contributions to YOUR Bulletin. Please keep it up to standard and better by continued flow of material.