BSI Journal - Online Archive


A non-profit corporation whose purpose is to promote and maintain public and scientific interest and research in bromeliads throughout the world.

There are 4 classes of membership: Annual $7.50; Sustaining $12.50; Fellowship $20.00; and Life $150.00. All memberships start with January of the current year.

Address all correspondence to:
The Bromeliad Society, Inc.
P. O. Box 3279
Santa Monica, Calif. 90403
PresidentW. R. Paylen, Calif.
1st Vice Pres.Elmer J. Lorenz, Calif.
2nd Vice Pres.George Kalmbacher, N.Y.
Rec. Secy.Jeanne Woodbury, Calif.
Corres. Secy.Kathy Dorr, Calif.
Treas.Kelsey Williams, Calif.


1972-1975: Jeanne Woodbury, Ralph Barton, George Anderson, Virginia Berezin, Victoria Padilla, Charles Wiley, Ervin Wurthmann, Jean Merkel.

1973-1976: Robert G. Burstrom, Leonard Kent, Eric Knobloch, Elmer Lorenz, Patrick Mitchell, Edward McWilliams, Harold W. Wiedman, Kelsey Williams.

1974-1977: Eloise Beach, Kathy Dorr, George Kalmbacher, Fritz Kubisch, W. R. Paylen, Amy Jean Gilmartin, Robert Read, Edgar Smith.


Adda Abendroth, Brazil; Luis Ariza Julia, Dominican Republic; David Barry, Jr., USA; Olwen Ferris, Australia; Mulford B. Foster, USA; Marcel Lecoufle, France; Harold Martin, New Zealand; Richard Oeser, Germany; Dr. W. Rauh, Germany; Raulino Reitz, Brazil; Walter Richter, Germany; L. B. Smith, USA; R. G. Wilson, Costa Rica; J. Marnier-Lapostolle, France.


Published six times a year: January, March, May, July, September, November. Free to members.

Editor: Victoria Padilla
Asst. Editor: Kathy Dorr

CONTENTS — January-February, 1975

Bromeliad Hunting in Argentina
  Eugenio J. Pingitore4
Bromeliad Seed
  Bernard Stonor9
Professors Confused by Spanish Moss12
Environmental Factors in Bromeliad Gardening
  Goodale and May Moir13
Bromeliads in the Australian Tropics
  Robert Tucker19
A Special Tree in Brooklyn
  George Kalmbacher21
Tillandsia Seemannii (Baker) Mez
  Werner Rauh25
In the Mail Bag29
Bromeliads in the Australian Tropics
  Robert Tucker31
Speaking of Publications33
The Affiliates34
Tillandsia Portfolio
  From the collection of W. R. Paylen40


Scene in the Moir Garden, Honolulu, showing Aechmea fulgens.

Photo by Goodale Moir

Articles and photographs are earnestly solicited. Length is no factor. Please mail copy and all questions to the editor, 647 South Saltair Ave., Los Angeles, California 90049.

Individual copies of the Journal — $1.50


Probably not one of the dozen who met in the backyard of a home in Hollywood one hot summer afternoon in 1950 had any idea that the little study group would eventually become the Bromeliad Society as it is today—an organization of almost two thousand members residing in over thirty countries with an ever-increasing number of affiliates.

Despite the world-wide economic crisis, the Society has continued to grow and prosper and notwithstanding rising costs and shortages has been able to maintain what we think is a commendable journal at no increase in cost to the membership.

Our members, too, are working hard with their plants. Many have become expert hybridists and are producing bromeliads which promise to have a great future. Others have gone collecting in the tropics and returned with new species that are both exciting and beautiful. Fine collections are now in evidence, not only in the Americas and in Europe, but in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

On June 7 and 8 of this year the Society will hold its 25th birthday celebration. It is appropriate that it be held in southern California, as this was the birthplace of the Society. The place chosen is Buena Park, a suburb of Los Angeles, far enough away from the big city to escape its noise and confusion, but close enough so that visitors can take advantage of its many attractions. It is hoped that as many members and their families as possibly can will make the trip. We assure you that it will be well worth while. Full particulars are given in the leaflet that is enclosed. Please remember there will never be another 25th Anniversary.

The one thing that holds the Society together is the Journal. Unfortunately, it is the work of just a few people. In fact, the editor works with so little material that every time an issue comes off the press it is for her "a miracle of rare device." An organization such as ours should be a mutual group, a give-and-take affair, in which ideas and points of view are exchanged, discussed, and commented upon. Our Journal should not be the reflection of the thinking and experiences of just a few members, as it is now, for the picture presented is too one-sided and does not consider the problems of growers who do not make their failures or successes known. We need to know more about the members themselves—what they are doing, the plants they are growing, the experiences they have encountered—and only they can supply this information. It is hoped that many new names will be added to the list of contributors this year.



The author in an area where he found billbergias

Part I — Formosa

My interest in bromeliads is of long standing. During the more than ten years which I have devoted to taxonomical and horticultural studies, bromeliads have always been my chief interest. On my various travels I have had occasion to visit many outstanding collections of tropical and temperate bromeliads and to meet in person some of the foremost experts in their culture. So I have been long familiar with the general principles of bromeliad culture. However, I have always been dissatisfied with this second-hand knowledge, and there were many routine procedures of culture which puzzled me and which I felt I could improve upon if I could observe the bromeliads with my own eyes in their native habitat.

My opportunity to observe at first hand tropical bromeliads growing in the warmer regions of Argentina arrived in the fall of 1972 when I was invited to go to the Province of Formosa in the northeastern part of Argentina. This beautiful province, bounded by Paraguay in the north, covers 74,636 Kmts. and has 9 departments with varying temperatures. The west has a climate like that of Texas in the U.S.A.; the east is more humid and warm with lush vegetation. The province of Formosa is probably the richest area in Argentina. As a special inducement I was offered to spend six weeks at the expense of the famous plantsman Don Carlos Carrara, and I was also given an unlimited license to collect plants as well as an unlimited permit to export what I had collected during my bromeliad hunting trip from the Formosa Government.

Author Aechmea distichantha in habitat, Formosa

Although the trip was a difficult one, the wonder of the sight of the unbelievably rich vegetation was such that I forgot all bodily discomfort and fatigue. Nor was I aware of any monotony, since the slightest change in exposure or in moisture conditions brought about changes in the flora. When I went into the northwestern section, I could easily observe a gradual zone change and the bromeliad species were different in habitat and aspect. There I observed numerous terrestrial "Caraguata" or Aechmea distichantha L., Pseudananas macrodontes (Morr.) Harms, and Deinacanthon urbanianum Mez. In the west there are much drier zones, where truly xerophytic cacti, such as Cereus aethiops Haw., Opuntia salmiana Parm., and Gymnocalycium schickendantzii (Web). Bentham, and others abound. Most of the trees and shrubs are deciduous here. In this area I found Dyckia ferox Mez. form. vulgaris Hassler. In the transition zone (Pirane to N.W.) between 300-500 feet which is also quite dry, I found Tillandsia lorentziana Gem., T. diaguitensis Castellanos, T. meridionalis Baker, T. bandensis, Baker, T. loliacea Mart, and T. recurvata (L.) Linne. These were often found on tree stumps or high above the ground in the cracks of dead trees which had lost their crown. T. bandensis, with its fragrant blue flowers, was found on xerophytic shrubs, on the ground in almost full sun. These fine species are now growing in the Carlos Thays Botanical Gardens in Buenos Aires.

The practical lesson which I learned from my personal observations is that epiphytic bromeliads and other plants of the cloud forest should never be kept completely dry, even during their rest period. Watering may be diminished, although the above mentioned T. bandensis was sopping wet when collected in the leafless resting stage. Daily syringing, preferably twice daily in the greenhouse, must not be omitted.

Important, also, is the fact that the daily fog or rain in tropical forests is always about 10°F. cooler than the air, so that a temporary cooling off takes place, which results in proportionately slower evaporation. This gives the plants a better chance to absorb a fair amount of the available moisture. To obtain the same effect in the greenhouse, one should, therefore, syringe epiphytes with water of a somewhat lower temperature than that of the greenhouse; in a greenhouse of 75°F., for instance, with water of 65°F.

It is clear, furthermore, that it is erroneous to syringe epiphytic bromeliads only on sunny days. Under natural conditions they are, of course, very much wetter on dull days than on sunny days, and syringing on dull days actually gives the plants the very best possible chance to absorb the moisture they require.

It was of particular interest to me to try to figure out how tropical epiphytes, often growing on the bare bark of trees, obtained the nourishment required to sustain life. Growing in shady areas, I found the following: Tillandsia vernicosa, Bak., T. lorentziana Gris., T. meridionalis, Bak., T. recurvata (L) Linne form minuta, the very common T. usneoides, (L.) Linne, and Vriesea tucumanensis Mez. They all grow preferably in the upper surfaces of horizontally spreading large branches of big trees. They are associated sometimes not only with ferns and mosses but also with a great variety of other plants.

Decaying plant parts, as well as probably dead and decomposing insects, therefore, undoubtedly supply a certain amount of nourishment for these plants. But even those epiphytic plants which attach themselves vertically to bare bark, as, for instance, many Oncidium pumilum Lodd., O. varicosum Lindl., as well as the wonderful Anthurium paraguayensis, are not left without resources because the daily rain actually provides a mild continuous feeding. The daily rain of the lush tropics brings with it not only dust from air, but dissolved bird droppings, as well as all kinds of other soluble organic and inorganic substances which are washed off the upper branches and leaves of the trees. What is more, this mild but sustained feeding undoubtedly benefits not only the roots but also the rosette leaves of the major bromeliads.

Collecting Pseudananas macrodontes

Don Carlos Carrara, noted plantsman in his botanical garden at Formosa city.

The fact that leaves, especially growing leaves, as well as growing stems are able to absorb directly important amounts of water-soluble substances has well been established, and there is no doubt that in the life of epiphytic plants such "foliar feeding" plays a rather important role. Personally, I have obtained most excellent results by spraying twice weekly all my epiphytes—aroids, orchids, ferns, and bromeliads—with a highly diluted fertilizer solution. Not only has this produced much more vigorous growth and the plants shown a much greater willingness to flower, but I have also found that recently imported epiphytes which suffered during transportation recovered much more quickly and more strongly when sprayed with fertilizer. It appears that the formation of new leaves, suckers, and roots was stimulated by the nutrients absorbed through leaves and roots. My own feeding formula contains dissolved and fermented chicken manure besides completely soluble salts in carefully computed proportions.

In conclusion, I might add that like many people I am fearful of snakes and when I first entered the Formosa forest, I was worried as this particular region is the home of many different kinds of snakes. But I need not have worried, because a party cutting a path into the forest with a machete makes so much noise that all jungle creatures flee. I had also come prepared with insect repellents, expecting to find in these damp forests a terrible plague of mosquitoes, but again I was mistaken because I was never bitten. I was told that there are more mosquitoes during the summer when the rains are heavier and that they are never bad above a 500-foot altitude.

The bromeliads of Formosa include the following:

Aechmea distichantha, Bromelia serra, Deinacanthon urbanianum, Dyckia ferox, Pseudananas, Tillandsia vernicosa, Tillandsia lorentziana, T. lorentziana forma simplex, T. diaguitensis, T. meridionalis, T. bandensis, T. decomposita, T. loliacea, T. tricholepis, T. recurvata, T. SP., and Vriesea tucumanensis.

—Buenos Aires, Argentina



While many articles have been written describing methods of raising seedlings, comparatively little has been written about the seed itself. It might, therefore, be worth setting down some of the information which is available on this subject. I refuse to be drawn into the age-old argument as to which came first, the hen or the egg, or if you like, the plant or the seed and will assume we have our plants all ready to go ahead and flower. We then expect them to produce quantities of seed for us to sow in order to raise seedlings. Many plants, however, do not cooperate and will not yield any seed at all, for reasons which are very hard to determine. Also, some of the seed which we sow fails to germinate, and the reasons for this are not always understood.

The first step, of course, is to fertilize the flowers by transferring pollen from the anthers to the stigma. This must be done when the pollen is ripe, or mature, and the stigma is at the correct stage, known as anthesis. This may last for quite a short time only, and in spite of the pollen being applied at the correct stage, seed may still not be produced. It is very hard to know why this should be so; there are so many factors to take into account. The flower may need pollinating with pollen from another plant of the same species, the temperature may be wrong, the pollen not properly mature, etc. Some plants when removed from their native land to some quite different climate may take years to settle down and produce seed. Perhaps this applies to bromeliads too. There is also the possibility that plants which propagate freely by vegetative division do not need to set many seed and so produce far less seed than plants which do not increase readily by offshoots.

The Pitcairnioideae, most of which are terrestrial plants, have taken a lot of trouble to provide plenty of seed for the propagation of their species. The seed is small and dry, often provided with a wing or appendage to aid in dispersal by the wind, and is generally produced in large quantities. The seedlings are small and often slow growing, so the number devoured by slugs, insects, etc., must be astronomical. As an example of the number of seed which may be produced, Pitcairnia mirabilis var. tucumana, which flowered here last summer, set seed in 22 flowers. The seeds were taken from one flower, and a careful estimate showed that this one flower produced at least 5,000 seeds. Anyone who has grown Fosterella penduliflora will know that this plant sheds vast numbers of minute seeds all over the place, which often germinate and grow wherever they happen to lodge. In this sub-family the seed generally remains viable for a long time, but for best results should be sown as soon as possible after harvesting.

In the next sub-family, the Tillandsioideae, we have very different conditions to be met for successful propagation by seed. The plants are mostly strongly epiphytic, so the seed must come to rest on the branch or other support on which the plants are to grow. The coma of fine threads with which the seeds are provided solves this problem very neatly. The wind carries the seed onto the tree and the silken threads anchor it securely in place. This is very necessary, since the seed may take three or more weeks to germinate, after receiving sufficient moisture, and the seedlings live for a considerable time before making sufficient roots to support the young plants. The seed does not seem to be produced in anything like the quantity produced by the previous sub-family; presumably the young plants have more chance of survival. In my experience, it is usual for a plant to set seed from one or two flowers only; no amount of careful hand-pollination will result in more seed being produced.

After the seed has set, it develops very slowly, taking perhaps six months to ripen, so it is most important to keep the plant in a healthy condition during this period. If anything goes wrong with the plant, the seeds seem to shrivel and although the pod may eventually burst open, releasing the seeds, they will be useless. Similarly, if a seed pod is removed from the plant before it is fully developed, the seed will again be worthless. Such seed, when examined with a lens, appears dry and withered, quite different from the rounded appearance of healthy seed and can never germinate. The seed of this group seems on an average to have a useful life of about six months. I suspect that seed of some tillandsias deteriorates far more quickly than that of other members of the sub-family, as some of the guzmania seed will germinate after a considerably longer period. However, these seeds all give better results if sown soon after ripening.

Seed of the Bromelioideae differ again from those of the other sub-families. The berries are generally filled with a sticky pulp which fixes the seed in position on the tree or other host. The chief problem in raising plants from this seed is the quite short period during which the seed remains viable. For most of the usually grown genera it is usual for seed to germinate well when less than a month old, with a drop in the germination rate after that period until at three months old only a few seed may still be alive. In the aechmeas the problem is rather worse; some species must be sown before the seed is a week old. It seems that those species which produce bright blue berries, such as A. angustifolia, yield seed which is useless after it is ten days old. A. chantinii is another species which produces seed with a very short life. Generally, seed of the sub-family will germinate when fresh in about 12 days, but obviously the seed of species having a short life will have to germinate in a much shorter time, usually 2 or 3 days. From this we can often estimate the useful life of seed of any species. The number of days taken by the seed to commence germination, under favorable conditions, approximately equals the number of weeks for which the seed remains viable. Thus the majority of species have seed with a useful life of about 12 weeks. After this period the germination rate usually falls off fairly rapidly.

One of the problems encountered in this sub-family is the difficulty in obtaining any seed from some species while others yield more than enough. I have never seen a seed pod on plants such as Aechmea fasciata and Billbergia vittata. Aechmea angustifolia generally produces a few seed and Aechmea chantinii about one seed on each inflorescence. Aechmea lueddemanniana yields plenty of seed, and so does Billbergia zebrina. One difficulty is in knowing which of our plants are true species and which are cultivars and hybrids. Species which do not set seed when self pollinated can sometimes be crossed successfully with other species, and this applies also to some hybrids.

Another fact which complicates the process of hybridizing is the ability of some plants to produce seed when pollinated by another species without the pollen influencing the resultant seedlings, which are all identical with the seed parent. I believe this curious result is especially common in the puyas.

I do not know if any of the bromeliad hybrids have been identified as polyploids; I have never seen any reference to this factor in any articles. Since these hybrids, at least in the case of other families of plants, are often large and vigorous with increased flower size, it would be most interesting to know if any work has been carried out along these lines. There is also a process of treatment by Colchicine which can induce the production of tetraploids. Work of this nature is, of course, beyond the scope of the majority of growers, but it is to be hoped that some day there will be some information on what research, if any, has been carried out. Some years ago there was an attempt to induce mutants by treating bromeliad seed with radiation. I never heard what the results, if any, were of this process. Such treatment could produce only deformed plants, and it is only in very rare cases that such deformity results in a desirable change in a plant.

—Margaret River, West Australia


Frank Cornelison

Those in the know call it Tillandsia usneoides, but 99-44/100 percent of us Florida crackers call it "Spanish Moss." This name, which falsely describes this relative of the pineapple is just as much a bromeliad as the most fancy vriesea or aechmea.

Doctor Daniel A. Roberts, Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Florida, recently said, "We just watch and wonder." Now this statement could pertain to many things, but in this instance the good professor was referring to the astounding recovery of Spanish Moss here in Florida.

Of course, many bromeliads enthusiasts are not aware that in the late 1960's an epidemic of sorts killed over 90 percent of the Spanish Moss here in Florida and also did extensive damage in six other southeastern states.

Spanish Moss at the present has no economic value other than to bromeliad growers and collectors, but it was once harvested by "moss pickers" and sent to firms for further processing to be used as mattress and furniture stuffing. However, the last of these processing plants went out of business over a decade ago as well as the jobs for the "moss pickers."

Researchers could not seem to find a cause or cure for the strange malady that was laying low Florida's beautiful Spanish Moss, but now they are just as baffled at the recovery this bromeliad is making. I for one hope that the recovery is complete.

Doctor Roberts further stated, "Personally I like the moss-draped trees that are a Florida trademark."

Yes, it's nice to see the lacey filigree pattern of Tillandsia usneoides with the new "much alive" look. Maybe this unique bromeliad has finally thrown up its own barrier against our foul air and is learning to live with polluted air the same as us poor mortals.

—No. Fort Myers, Florida.



Many visitors to Lipolani, our garden, comment on the wonderful environment we have and the lushness of our plants. None of them realizes that much of this environment has been created by us. There are large differences in temperature, light, moisture, and air movement within very short distances; even the front and back of an erect fern log, with a mass of bromeliads on it, can be different. The planting and the placement of these taller logs together with the few live fern trees, dracaenas, plus a few trees judiciously placed have furnished enough sun and shade to create air movement even when winds are not present. Normally we have the N.E. trade winds down the valley and a rainfall of 125 inches a year with a wet, windy winter and another short, warm, wet period in summer (July and August). Creating microclimates has been a long study with us and we tell about it in the following paragraphs.

Lipolani, loosely translated, means green heaven and is now forty-four years old. The house is Spanish in architecture with a red tile roof, but with wide eaves. The white walls make a beautiful background for showing off plants, especially highly colored ones. The land slopes down from the upper street to the lower street. These streets join and we are the triangular lot on the inside of the intersection. This pointed end is up valley into the wind and rain. The sun, most of the time, is south of us but in a line parallel to the lower border of our lot.

When the place was started in 1929, a large number of trees were planted as wind breaks around the house. Now, only a few of these remain and these are trimmed every few years, but trimmed with an objective of allowing winds to filter through them and under them so that the fresh air is not deflected away.

Originally the garden had a grass lawn from street to house and all around the house, but some 24 years ago we walled in the areas between the house and the sidewalks. Level courtyards were created of concrete pavers, as well as raised beds on the slopes. Large rocks were placed there for the growing of orchids. We did away with grass, as it is the most expensive item in a garden to maintain. The porous pavers partly act as a sponge and furnish humidity for the plants on hot windy days and still keep the area from being too wet to walk on after a shower.

We had taught ourselves about climates, and especially micro-climates, by observing nature and other gardens. We read all we could on these subjects and about plant zones in relationship to climate. However, when we took our first trip to the jungle in 1953 we were really surprised to find how little our eyes saw, only seeing things we were used to seeing. But after a few days we taught our eyes to see things we had never seen before and actually feel and sense small changes in climatic factors. Our noses soon told us there were air movement and moisture in an area. There and only there did we see epiphytic plants. There was none where air was still or stagnant. Since the majority of orchids and bromeliads are mostly epiphytic this was very important for their existence. As the years went on we made trips to well over a hundred different climatic situations all through the tropics and always learned much from nature even when epiphytic plants were not present.

Our first walls were put in before we took these trips and they were solid walls. Subsequent walls and especially those up wind from the garden were built with hollow tiles placed on their solid sides. The many holes thus created in the wall broke up the strong winds yet allowed good air movement through the plants which were right up against the walls. No longer was shade needed for these plants by the walls, and trees were trimmed to allow wind to come in over the walls and under and through their branches.

Our observations that plants grew thickest where the wind and rains were well deflected towards them became the principle in trimming the trees, placing other plants and in locating the taller fern logs on which we established orchids and later the bromels. In our travels in the Americas we had not collected bromels because they would have required twelve months in quarantine before we could plant them out in our garden. This quarantine is required as a protection against the introduction of harmful insects into Hawaii.

In later years as more insects sneaked into Hawaii in spite of strict inspection many insects harmful to orchids arrived. In addition, the ban on the use of DDT forced us to give up the orchid landscaping and slowly replace it with bromeliads. The big dense masses of epidendrums, schomburgkias and vandas were badly hit.

The soil in our area is very sticky when wet, and when dry it cracks open two and three inches wide. Since this made gardening difficult we had landscaped with orchids using fern logs, gravel, rocks and loose fern fiber in pockets between the big rocks as a media in which to grow the orchids. This was a culture above the soil but gave the impression of growing in the ground. As time went on the fertilizer decomposed the fern fiber, and this, together with gravel and composted leaves, changed the surface soil, and when bromeliads were planted they thrived.

We had known the commoner bromeliads since childhood here in Hawaii. These we secured and multiplied as rapidly as we could. These were the Pineapple Lily (Billbergia pyramidalis), Queen's Tears (Billbergia nutans), the Fingernail Plant (Neoregelia spectabilis) and a few without common names like Quesnelia liboniana, Portea petropolitana, Cryptanthus bromelioides, plus a few we still have no names for. One day while we were working in the garden a gentleman looked over the front gate and asked if he could come in. He had gotten our name from the subscription list of the Bromeliad Bulletin. This person was Mr. David Barry, Jr. whom we have had for a most welcome visitor many times since and who has been most generous in adding to our knowledge of these plants. Also about this time Mr. Mulford Foster sent us a large envelope containing nine packets of bromeliad seeds, none of which plants we had seen, nor were we aware of how they grew and what they needed, for we had not visited their native habitats. We had no experience with germinating bromel seeds. So we divided the seed up and took half to the flasker of our orchid seeds. We tried the remaining seeds on branches, fern logs and live tree ferns. By luck we were quite successful with most methods and soon had no end of Tillandsia cyanea, Vriesea retroflexa, and seven hybrid crosses of vrieseas to use in the garden.

Bob and Catherine Wilson gave us a copy of their fine book Bromeliads in Cultivation and we learnt more about bromels. With the fine articles in the Bulletin, now the Journal, we kept on learning about these plants. Then we got, in succession, two of Victoria Padilla's books. Always we were seeking to find names of plants we had and which our visitors never seemed to be able to help us out in naming them. Descriptions of plants by taxonomists and laymen from plants grown in their areas do not quite come up to seeing the plants as they grow in your own garden. The environment has much to do with it as well as the differences in color to the eyes of different people, also what is large or small or blue green or yellow green. Just compare the descriptions of two or more people, and you will see what we mean in different terminology. The very cool nights and warm days or cool weather for several months will bring out anthocyanin in leaves and give them the reddish or purplish sheen. This can even be done with an imbalance between iron and manganese in the soil when growing in acid soils. And also when normally shade loving plants from the forest are grown in the sun, these take on deep gray purple coloring instead of being pale green; such is the case of Billbergia elegans which makes masses of beautiful purple among the reds and greens of the other bromels in our garden in the sun. Again flowers are described as rose by one person and just plain pink by others. And if you want to change some of the intensity of colors usually to deeper shades use some "Greenol" in the watering solution.

We had visited the Dominican Republic several times to see friends, collected orchids and studied plants in many environments from sea level to Constanza, where they have frost once in a while. Luis Ariza Julia has, since then, furnished us with seeds of many bromels, some of which were his crosses. Howard Yamamoto, of Akaka Nursery in Honolulu, has furnished us with many plants in exchange for ours and for other plants from our garden. So today we have somewhere between 160 and 200 different species and hybrids of bromeliads.

Tillandsia cyanea growing in the Moir garden, Honolulu.

It has been one continuous experiment of finding where they do best in our garden, and with plants on fern logs we just pull out the logs and move them to whatever location we think would be better. Likewise, if the plants grow rapidly and get crowded we pull out a log to relieve the crowding. Remember the large reservoir of water held by these large masses of bromels is a very important factor in our created environment in cooling the air and raising the humidity of the garden to make all plants grow well. Had we been satisfied with a less crowded garden we would not have had the same environments. We found this out as we expanded and saw more of nature around the world.

In addition, we have noted that our plants mutate just as those in the jungle. Variegated plants return to solid green and vice versa. Some of these changes do not go all the way, while others just reverse the pattern. Some leaves become pinky bronze instead of the normal dark shades. Even the case of Ae. amazonica occurring from Ae. Chantinii 'Ash Blond' has taken place. How different Nid. innocentii var. lineatum is when getting only morning sun versus getting only afternoon sun. It is fun to see what happens to these plants as we try them out in many locations.

Tillandsia cyanea grows everywhere to perfection, in full sun, in full shade, on the ground, on fern logs or in trees and has seeded itself in many places without our seeing the seeds. When in bloom we have hundreds of "pink fish" and blue flowers, which are fragrant, and they bloom from July to March with a few as late as May. Those on the ground or on a layer of fern fiber on the ground are not even planted, just set down and they thrive. On fern logs, they hang down and open up to let more new growths appear.

We have no end of large masses of neoregelias which can shove most anything else out of the way. One of these is four feet across with deep purple leaves, at least 4-5 inches across with maroon spots, red leaf ends and deep lavender flowers. When flowering, the whole top of the plant takes on a red sheen. No book we have seen seems to describe it. Several others are like Neo. marmorata but with colors reversed. Some are dark reds and purple reds with green spots and blotches. Then there are a couple in red and yellow green with narrow leaves, and one medium sized one in many colors that makes dense masses of plants. These are all heavy growers compared to melanodonta, johannis, concentrica and spectabilis.

Several small neoregelias like punctatissima, tigrina, pauciflora, ampullacea and schultesiana, started on the tops of three-foot-long, erect fern logs, have grown downward on all sides to make beautiful displays of colored leaves. In some cases of the tallest logs we made cuts in the side of the logs and pinned in single growths also. These small neoregelias must have the right amount of sun or their color is not intense. Too much sun without cooling winds is very harmful to these colored plants resulting in burnt edges to leaves and loss of red color whereas not enough light makes green plants. One has to balance all growing factors.

The live tree ferns which were started as plants three feet high are now ten to fifteen feet tall. We have attached growing bromels to the trunks, smaller plants up high and large ones at the base. The plant described in Padilla's first book as No. 1 form of Billbergia buchholtzii, with red bracts and black-blue tips to the light greenish yellow petals, thrives on the growing tree ferns in among the stumps of the old fronds. These are large flowers almost as big as the large billbergias and are very well shown off with the red, red bracts remaining clasped about the stem. We do not see this in the latest bromel books nor has any text shown the differences of the several plants listed as this in Padilla's first book.

Great care must be taken to keep the flow of cool air from out of the northerly area and the forested area into the rest of the walled area by not blocking the movement by placing too many tall masses of bromels across the line of air flow. This northerly area is quite cool in the wet winter months. One dry area is in front of a solid wall, and this gets shaded by a plumeria tree except for the few months in the spring when the leaves are off the tree.

Another area, that gets the greatest range of conditions, is just to the lee of the forested area. When wet weather is with us it gets the drip, drip of rain from the trees and at all times the dried leaves fall onto the plants. We keep on trying to find bromeliads that can take this and still are not satisfied with our plantings, but the small neoregelias, Vriesea imperialis, Billbergia elegans, Billbergia 'Santa Barbara' and 'Fantasia', together with several T. fasciculata, cyanea and lindenii, all manage quite well.

We enjoy so much the long flowering periods of T. cyanea (8-9 months) A. fulgens, miniata, and 'Maginali' (5 mos.) A. dichlamydea var. trinitensis (4 mos.) Guz. lingulata 'Magnifica' (5 mos.) Portea petropolitana (5 mos.) and almost constant high color centers of a medium sized neoregelia (unknown) and princeps. Other good bloomers that last well are A. mulfordii and rubens and Neoregelia farinosa and carolinae as well as A. caudata, fasciata, bracteata and fendleri.

Our greatest displays are from July through to May, and in September and October we have to wet down the courts and plants sometimes twice daily to keep the flowers from burning. But with this amount of light and air movement we do not get flowers and intense colors.

Our lessons in the jungle have aided us tremendously in keeping the air movement and humidity at its best. Several times a year we put foliar fertilizer in the water and at least once a year a good application of manure, chicken or cow, is applied to the root area under the plants and then watered in well. The polish or sheen to the leaves following foliar fertilizer watering is pleasing to see. Ever so often a good airing out of the masses of plants is carried out by the removal of dead leaves. Usually this is done before the manure goes on. Just remember, we really cannot begin to feed plants as they are fed in nature with the continuous dropping of bits and pieces, bird droppings, and dust.

Small silver-leaved tillandsias are placed on Dracaena marginata plants in the beds of bromeliads. These plants are assured "dry feet" and still plenty of humidity from the "tanks" of the plants below. Until the solid garden walls were covered with vines — Hoya, Cherokee rose and Garlic, the reflected light and heat were too much for the bromels.

Once in a while the problem comes up on how we are to find space for new plants. We grow the seedlings in pots and toughen them in the morning or late afternoon sun and slowly move them out to more intense light. When we think they are ready, we rip out some plants we have too much of and replant the beds with fresh fern fiber and the new plants. We watch them rather carefully for a few weeks and give them temporary shade if we think they need it.

Recently we had accumulated enough notes on what changes had to be made in the location of plants and had a moving day, sorting out the low growers from the big ones, the light foliage from the heavy ones. The garden is a great mess while this is in process, but when the plants are in place in their new location, and the court swept up and hosed down you would hardly know anything had happened. We always find homes for the excess of plants we remove. We also try to foliar feed plants after the heavy rains of winter have stopped and before the hot summer sunshine.

Cryptanthus bromelioides is the carpet throughout the bromeliad garden and it furnishes many shades of color depending on the amount of sunlight and moisture it receives. This species is just laid on the ground here and there along borders and under large plants. It serves as a mulch or moisture conserver as well as a beautiful carpet. Many bromeliad plants make trips to the Honolulu Academy of Arts as parts of floral arrangements or courtyard highlights. A large specimen of T. cyanea, in a large flat Chinese pot, often has over 40 flower heads for its annual visit to the Academy and stays in the central court there for several months. It is enjoyed by hundreds of people. This plant is almost five feet across and takes two men to move it around. Other smaller pots of other bromels make the trip also. Sprays of bromel blossoms are used, either fresh and dried, in flower arrangements. More and more people are becoming aware of these handsome relatives of the pineapple.

The area shaded by large tree ferns gets only morning sun and is damp, so this place is reserved for Guzmania, lingulata, Vriesea splendens, and some of the cryptanthus species. Many species needing less sunshine have places under the wide eaves but do not get the rain so require more watering. At the north end of our raftered living room is a semicircular, paneled bay window and outside of this window we have landscaped with masses of bromeliads. The garden outside is designed to look like a Japanese screen from within. Our garden in the foreground and the distant mountains in the background with everything in between obliterated by wall and other planting completes the picture. As the living room has Persian rugs with red as the dominant color, the plants and their flowers repeat these colors outside the window. Here many long lasting bloomers are used with a few things like Guz. sanguinea, Nid. 'Francois Spae', A. 'Maginali', A. fulgens, Pitcairnia xanthocalyx and Guz. zahnii as strong color points when in bloom. On the trees of the little forested area to the side are found several platycerium species cascading down from the trees growing along with T. cyanea.

As we are writing in the month of May the garden is quieter than usual, but everything will soon burst out again by summer time. There is always color because of the various colored leaved plants well distributed among the green. We have learned a great deal from the jungle and from the observations in our own garden, and we are always trying to improve on what we have established so as to give the plants the most perfect environment for growing. The microclimates are very important and many within a few feet of each other — this is what makes the difference in color and condition of a plant. We had done this same thing when growing orchids but bromels are far easier to accommodate. We are lucky to be able to garden any and every day of the year if we do not mind getting darn wet some of the time. The gardening keeps one young and affords pleasure to the many people who see the results.

To show that the environment is very good we have bromeliads germinating everywhere, in leaf axils, on trees, on fern longs, and even over the house in the other parts of our garden where we really have a vast array of tropical plants, things we have seen on our trips, liked and acquired. The association of these with each other has helped to maintain the environment, but let us go away for a while and then return and we quickly see how our helping hands and actions are needed to maintain order and the environment. Yes, our presence is needed and likewise we need our garden to keep us happy. No other plants are quite so easy to care for or as quickly responsive to loving care as are bromeliads.

—Honolulu, Hawaii



Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Since so many bromeliads grow on trees, an exhibit that features them in active growth under such simulated appearance not only approaches an exposition of the natural habit of bromeliads, but also makes a most effective diorama, compelling the interest and excitement of visitors to a botanical garden. Large pieces of driftwood are excellent for mounting bromeliads, and branches or trunks of dead trees can also be effective for the rather short time that the material lasts.

The first attempt to erect an artificial tree for bromeliads, so far as I know, originated several generations ago in the Montreal Botanical Garden. The general idea was copied in the New York Botanical Garden, and an ambitious tree was constructed here at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in 1965, with which this article will deal. Within the last few years Kew Gardens in England has made use of a "bromeliad tree." When I visited the Montreal Botanical Garden a few years ago, the bromeliads made a dramatic display, use being made of a number of "part trees," sections of a simulated tree being used in a spaced series.

In the Bromeliad Society Bulletin (now the Journal) of July-August, 1967 is the story of the birth of our tree, with photographs showing the original method of setting it up. The skeleton of the tree as shown in the illustration is 1¼-inch pipe, joined and bent to allow for a trunk and ten branches. Cork slab was used for the bark.

Unfortunately, although the first effort lasted for about 3½ years, the material placed inside the bark for planting and holding the bromeliads consisted solely of osmunda fiber. This is excellent material in which to grow bromeliads, but in time it crumbles to pieces, leaving the plants high and dry. Many plants suffered severely, some drying out. There were a few specimens, on the other hand, that got their roots so well cemented to the bark that they flourished to a high degree. But with the loss of the "stuffing material", the cork sleeves no longer were stable.

The tree was dismantled, and a second effort got under way. The pipe work was changed to make a more picturesque effect and to allow for better overhead misting. The planting mixture consisted of peat moss, osmunda fiber, firbark, and Osmocote—a granular slow-release fertilizer. The cork sleeves, several making a single branch, were placed end to end, as before, but were not joined. For some time matters proceeded in good order, and we had a tree that was an outstanding botanical exhibit.

The weak point that finally demoralized this second effort of ours was the independence of these sleeves to move back and forth, as a result of heavy watering, change of balance of growing plants, or inquisitive testing by visitors. In some places, the open planting space widened, and a little tilt would cause the loss of planting material.

There was a downward movement of the sleeve sections; the plants had been planted in narrow continuous slits at the top of the cork-sleeves. The pipe was at the very bottom of the sleeves, with the planting medium and the plants on top of the pipe. In time as the medium began to disappear, the sleeves moved downward to rest on the pipe, making as the international politicos say, "a completely unacceptable situation."

Profiting by the defects of the two previous attempts, we made a third effort to make a bromeliad tree in March and April of 1974. Clever innovations were adopted and skills employed to produce a superb example of a bromeliad tree and one that promises to be much more durable than the first two attempts.

Again the whole tree was dismantled down to the pipes, but this time no change was made in the position of the pipes. Holes were drilled in the bottom of the pipes up to 1½ feet apart and nails 4½ to 5 inches long inserted from below to point upwards, the longer nails at the base of the limb and the shorter at the end of the branches. The holes were drilled to such a width that the nails, once forced into them, were very firmly held. Wires anchored in the cork bark were attached to these nails from each side of the limb to prevent any sway or rocking movement and to keep the pipe at the bottom of the sleeve. In addition, heavy wire, crossing over outside, firmed up the two sides of the sleeve. The precurved cork slabs came in four-foot lengths, and sleeves from four feet down were used, the length depending on the turns of the branches.

The several sleeve sections of each branch were stoutly wired, each to the next, to make the branch a firm unit. Previously each branch had the same diameter from attachment to the trunk to the end of the limb. This time the sections were mitered, resulting in a tapering toward the outer parts, giving a fairly natural look. As sections were added, they were filled with planting medium. When the plants were put in place in the narrow slit on top, each was securely entrenched by tightening the bark beside it with home-made staples of wire. Sometimes it was necessary to chisel out a bit of bark to make room for inserting a plant in a given opening space.

The tree is 11½ feet high, 17½ feet long, and extends 15 feet across the room. The trunk is 18 inches in diameter at the base, and the limbs are about 8 inches through where they come out of the trunk.

The project was supervised by Assistant Horticulturist Chris Huhn, who selected and arranged the material with tasteful effect. The ingeniously devised methods of construction and the involved craftsmanship were the work of Honario Ignacio. An effective manually operated system for misting has been installed, and now after several months the plants are thriving handsomely. The solidity achieved through the new construction gives promise of a fine long life to our tree exhibit.

There are a number of bromeliads planted the length of the room in a wide bed under the tree. Along the side of the room is a bench with an array of more bromeliads. Here also are a driftwood arrangement, a five-foot high cork-bark branched tree, and a dead-tree fixture branching into two lengths on which are placed about 18 broms, mostly tillandsias.

The wall on one side of the room is covered with a plastic green netting on which are placed many tillandsias either attached to fern bark or just tied to the screen. There is also a mobile with various tillandsias, as well as some long pieces of fern bark with more tillandsias, hanging from high attachments.

The exhibit as a whole has been planned to give information on bromeliads to specialists, growers, and society members. But it also has a universal appeal because of the beauty of our tree and the bromeliads, especially the pineapples when in flower and fruit.

Come to see the results of the new project so that you can judge whether it isn't the most important bit of engineering in Brooklyn since the Brooklyn Bridge!

—Brooklyn, New York

FOR MEMBERS WHO ARE PLANNING A TRIP TO EUROPE THIS YEAR, there are two flower shows of uncommon interest. Flora Olomouc in Czechoslovakia will feature bromeliads in their spring show to be held from May 1 to. 11.

The 27th International Horticultural Exhibition "Floralia" in Ghent, Belgium, will take place from April 25 to May 5. This is a superb show, which usually attracts plantsmen from around the world.

CONRAD D. FLEMING, P.O. Box 727, Frederiksted, Virgin Islands 00840 writes: "I am quite new in the hobby and would like to correspond and trade material with as many fellow enthusiasts as possible. The only bromeliads readily available here are Bromelia pinguin and Tillandsia utriculata and recurvata. However, I have a number of interesting cacti of the genera Cephalocereus, Hylocereus, Opuntia, and Selenicereus as cuttings, the orchids Schomburgkia humboldtii and Epidendrum bifidum, Plumeria species and hybrids, Cycas circinalis, and many others as seeds, offsets, etc.

OUR CONGRATULATIONS go to the Bromeliophiles of Greater Philadelphia who won the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Award for an exhibit of extraordinary merit at the Harvest Show held in September, 1974. This was the first show for the Bromeliophiles, an informal group of about a dozen people which has been meeting for four years. The exhibit consisted of a screen made up of ten ten-foot high panels on which were hung watercolors of bromeliads painted by three members of the society. In front of the screen was a 12-foot tree on which were attached plants. The exhibit contained 62 species and over 80 plants.




In the course of our bromeliad collecting trip through Ecuador in the summer of 1973, we found many interesting species, many of them nearly unknown in cultivation because they are not only difficult to find but also difficult to grow. One of them is the dwarf Tillandsia seemannii of the subgenus Pseudo-Catopsis. While most of the species belonging to this subgenus have small and inconspicuous flowers and inflorescences (except T. fraseri Baker, T. tetrantha Ruiz et Pavon and its varieties and some others) T. seemannii is really a beautiful species with its wide, bright-red floral bracts and white flowers.

T. seemannii in habitat — Pass between Loja and Zamora 2,800 m.

Closeup of inflorescence

We collected T. seemannii in a very dense cloud forest on the pass between Loja and Zamora at an altitude of 2800 m, growing epiphytically on trees. In the same locality also grows the rare Mezobromelia fulgens L. B. Smith.1

It was a very cold, rainy and misty day when we left Loja and in our Landrover climbed the road to the pass to Zamora. The road goes up very quickly in the short distance of 13 km from 1500 m to nearly 3000 m. We were searching for Mezobromelia. Entering the dense pathless bush, we by chance came upon large clumps of T. seemannii growing between tufts of mosses and ferns on old trees. (Fig. 1) T. seemannii forms big clumps (Fig. 2); the renewal shoots starting with thin and short (up to 10 cm long) stoloniferous stems and ending in a bulbous rosette with a diameter of 5-6 cm and a height (without inflorescence) of 10-15 cm.2

Their sheathes are conspicuous, round-ovate, up to 3 cm long and 3 cm wide, on the upper side dark-brown-violet, leather-brown towards the base and dark brown beneath; the leaf-blades are long-triangular, 5-10 cm long, about 1 cm wide (above the sheath), curved back, their margins somewhat undulate, green to reddish, distinctly nerved beneath and lepidote on both sides. The simple, rarely branched inflorescence is 10-20 cm long, erect, curved or pendulous (Fig. 3) and produces 7-12 flowers. The scape is thin, round, mostly curved, yellow-green, glabrous and mostly exceeding the rosette. The scape bracts are shorter than the internodes of the scape, erect; the basal-ones short laminated, their sheathes are of a bright red color and sparsely lepidote.

The inflorescence is 4-5 cm long and 1-1,5 cm wide; the rhachis geniculate, thin and silver-white lepidote. The floral bracts are distichous arranged, but are turning often upwards; they are nearly round, 1-1,4 cm long and wide, short apiculate, ecarinate, distinctly nerved, bright red, sparsely lepidote on both sides and longer than the sepals and the white flowers. The white sepals are 1,1 cm long, obtuse, the posterious ones carinate, free, and lepidote within. The petals are pure white, lingulate, about 5 mm longer than the sepals; their rounded tips are curved back. The stamens and the style are deeply included.

The flowering time of T. seemannii is August and September. When flowering T. seemannii is a really beautiful species. Unfortunately, according to the ecological conditions in the habitat (high altitude, low temperatures, much rain and mist), it is difficult in cultivation, at least in Europe. Most of the plants we sent to the Botanical Garden of the University of Heidelberg did not survive. Those which did we are cultivating in a very damp, cold, atmosphere, but we doubt whether they will ever come into flower.

—University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

1) This locality is also cited in the book of A. J. Gilmartin: The Bromeliaceae of Ecuador, where Dodson and Thien collected in September, 1961.
2) The description is based on our collected material (Rauh and Barthlott, No. 35188, 14.9.73).


Word was received from our honorary trustee in Brazil, P. Raulino Reitz, that the second Brazilian Symposium of Bromeliaceae is being held this year from January 26 to February 1 in conjunction with the XXVI National Botany Congress in Rio de Janeiro. Representing the Society is Dr. Harold W. Wiedman, Director from Sacramento, California. The Journal will carry his report.

Mr. Leonard P. Butt has written us of the death of one of Australia's most enthusiastic bromeliad growers, Mr. Nez Misso. He was probably the most advanced grower of tillandsias in Queensland and his advanced methods of growing these plants on coir rope windings from seed to maturity were indeed remarkable. One of his last developments was his cross of T. usneoides by T. recurvata.

R. H. Phillips, Suva, Fiji writes: "In October 1973 I received seed from your Seed Bank, and the results have been excellent. Twenty-three of thirty-two packets of seed have germinated with generally high percentage results, including neoregelias, vrieseas, and tillandsias with which I have had no success in the past. Billbergia pallidiflora led the way; a month after planting they were nearly three inches high and just bursting out of the seed box. All seeds were planted in small punnets 3½ by 2½ inches nearly filled with chopped sphagnum moss. A fungicide (Benlate) and an insecticide (Malathion) were poured over the seeds when sown on the sphagnum. The punnet was then wrapped in clear plastic (Gladwrap) and set on a table on my verandah, where they got strong light but no direct sun. Temperatures at this time of the year vary between a minimum of 68 and a maximum of 85 to 90 degrees. In most cases germination was rapid.

"This is the first time I have had no trouble with fungus attacking the seeds. Of course, now I have the job of raising the slow-growing tillandsias and vrieseas, but the success so far has been very encouraging and I think it is safe to say that I really have caught the disease of bromelitis, for which I gather there is no cure."

Dr. Lyman B. Smith informs us that what has been known for many years in the trade as Streptocalyx holmesii is in reality Streptocalyx subnuda, L. B. Smith. This plant was described by Dr. Smith in 1955, ten years before Jack Holmes went to South America with Lee Moore on his famous collecting trip. This handsome plant appears on the cover of Issue No. 5 of Volume XV.

From Bernard Stonor, of Western Australia, comes this lament. He writes:

"I have the problem of die-back on some of the leaves in certain bromeliads. It is always the leaves between the outer ones and the center that are affected, usually only three or four leaves. Sometimes it is only the leaf blade that dies, sometimes the whole leaf. The trouble never spreads to the healthy parts of the plant, which continues to grow and flower as usual. All this suggests that it must be a cultural problem and not a disease. I can find no trace of any fungus in the affected leaves. It is a hot weather problem here, usually with plants which have been rather neglected, perhaps not watered regularly. There is also the possibility of the water in the leaf niches becoming heated sufficiently to kill the leaf. This does not explain why only a few leaves at a specific point on the plant are affected. The damage occurs a long time before the symptoms are first noticed, which adds to the difficulty of diagnosis. Affected leaves closely resemble those which have been burnt by the sun, with an irregular dark line between the dead and live areas, and I feel sure temperature is the principal factor involved. I have never seen this defect in plants growing in the ground, only in those in a glasshouse, and even the toughest species, such as Aechmea ornata and A. distichantha, can be affected."

Rolf Rawe, Nurseryman in Cape, South Africa, has sent in this observation:

"Although some members seem to have difficulty growing high Andean bromeliads, I do manage all right with the high altitude plants, even growing Puya raimondii slowly but well. In my location I have almost constant wind, which, for most time of the year comes from the southeast Atlantic where, at this time of the year (April), the pack ice is again creeping north resulting in distinctly chilly drafts! The days are still fine (autumn) but the nights drop down to 50° F. and will drop down to 40°F. in midwinter. This constant air movement is combined with a watering schedule: early morning misting, and watering just before the sun sets so that everything is dripping wet at night. This insures that the high altitude plants get at least cool to cold nights, and I think that this is the deciding factor, as is also a large day-night temperature differential, as is felt above 2000 M. in the Andes."



With a climate suitable to most tropical and subtropical plants along Australia's central and northeastern coast, it seems inevitable that many introduced plants will eventually find a new home in the wilds away from gardens and the gardeners who originally raised these exotics.

There are many "escaped" exotics in the Australian tropics and no doubt quite a few in the subtropical south. Around Cairns, (16° Lat.) in rain forest country, one will find dieffenbachias, dracaenas, philodendrons, other aroids, and numerous foliage plants that have been planted there by folks who were probably not happy with the greenness of the "jungle." Sickly and straggly crotons and other colored-leaved plants have been put out as well, but they soon die in the shade. Some of the climbing aroids are establishing strongly, but they will never approach the vigor and beauty of our own Epipremmum and Pothos. Fortunately, wild turkeys are very fond the dieffenbachias and soon eradicate the introduced communities of this plant. Bougainvillea is also becoming a rampant pest, and I can never understand why people plant this vine in our unique forests. Still it is impossible to keep a country pure and natural, especially in the tropics, where the tourist trade quickly turns the real Paradise into a gaudy "sign post" replica of some touched-up travel brochure.

Bromeliads are "escaping" too, but in a much more subtle way. Along roadsides through the rain forested hills, amidst the tin cans and cordial bottles, and deposited there as litter in the same manner (thrown out of the window of a speeding car by some mindless tourist) very large pineapples can be seen. The shade does not seem to make much of a difference to them, as they grow bigger than cultivated plants and have a much finer form and shape. The fruit, although small, is very fragrant and tasty, not like the sugary and sickly things one pays too much for in a shop. They appear to be very slow growing and some clumps must be ten years old. They have few enemies in our rain forest, but in the open they are assured of destruction by fire. In moist, protected places Ananas bracteatus has naturalized with leaves up to 6 feet long and looking like a bromelia. It is not commonly grown as a garden plant here because of its spines, but someone obviously has planted it out. No bromelias have been introduced to the wilds as far as I know, and I hope no one ever does. They are very vigorous in our gardens and would soon become pests like the Opuntia cactus that has spread. If this did happen, it could lead to the banning of bromeliads similar to the laws that now forbid the growing of cacti in the open ground in Queensland, a sad fact, as most cacti would be less likely to become a pest that the beloved Bougainvilleas.

Another bromeliad on the move is Billbergia pyramidalis. It has been seen as far south as Coifs Harbour in northern New South Wales, and as far north as Cairns. It is not common, although the gardens here can be full of it. It seems to favor shady places and especially in epiphytic ferns where humus and moisture are available. I cannot say that this billbergia seeds naturally, but the places where some are to be seen suggest this. I do not think any one would climb a 150-foot tall, sheer trunked rain forest tree just to plant one billbergia.

Aechmeas have not been noted in the wilds except for Aechmea veitchii, but it grows only in one spot and is not densely established there. It is interesting, though, because of the size it attains. I saw one inflorescence that must have been over 4 feet tall with the shiny red cone-like bracteous head measuring at 10 inches. Aechmea lueddemanniana is suspect, but as yet I have not seen or heard of its spreading. Porteas are commonly grown in cultivation, and it would not surprise me to find they have escaped, but except for a few instances they rarely set seed here. However, birds do eat the berries, and I have seen fig-birds eating fertile and ripe berries on A. lueddemanniana and Portea petropolitana var. extensa. These birds are the main spreaders of Strangling Figs in the rain forest and always leave seed-filled droppings on tree branches wherever they roost. Fig seed is nourished by the droppings, and possibly bromeliad seed will be too.

—Gordon vale, North Queensland, Australia.


One aspect of the present increase in interest in plants is the appearance of many popular books on plant selection and care for amateur horticulturists. The quality of many of these is somewhat mediocre. The Apartment Gardener, The Total Guide to Buying, Raising and Living with Apartment Plants by Florence and Stanley Dworkin is decidedly more useful than most. It is well illustrated with many line drawings.

The authors apparently specialize in gesneriads and bromeliads and they cover these well. They consider bromeliads to be one of the most adaptable of all plant groups for indoor growing. Cultural details are given for many kinds of indoor plants, and these are based on considerable personal experience. The book is indeed a real bargain and worthy of a place in any horticultural library. Undoubtedly it will have a wide circulation and will tell the story of bromeliads to a great many people. (Signet Paperback Book, $1.50. Published by the New American Library, Inc., P.O. Box 999, Bergenfield, N.J. 07621 — postage 25¢).

—Vernon Stoutemeyer.


New members will be glad to learn that the Bromeliad Society has reprinted Bromeliads—a Cultural Handbook by Mulford B. Foster and other members of the Society. First published in 1953 and revised in 1959, this handbook has long been out of print, but it has again been revised and brought up to date. This 60-page paperback contains all the information that the novice grower needs to know about successfully growing and propagating bromeliads. Handbooks are available from Charles A. Wiley (who superintended this revision), 4036 Via Solano, Palos Verdes Estates, California 90274. Check for $2.95 should be made payable to the Society.

For a wealth of diversified information no one can do better than to go through old issues of the Journal of the Bromeliad Society. It is regrettable that so many of the past volumes are now out of print. However, a duplicated set of Volume I through XV may be had for $15 by sending check made out to the Bromeliad Society to Mrs. Kathy Dorr, 6153 Hayter Avenue, Lakewood, California 90712.

The only volumes available in original form are XVIII, XIX, XII, XIII, and XXIV. These are $6.50 per volume or all 5 for $30.00. Miscellaneous issues from broken volumes may be had at 8 for $5.00. They may be obtained from the Editor, 647 South Saltair Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90049.

In order to aid bromeliad growers in their respective areas, two members of the Society have written growing guides for beginning collectors. George Anderson has had printed a 32-page booklet entitled "Bromeliad Horticulture in the New Orleans Area," aimed especially at the problems encountered by growers in that region but of value to bromeliad collectors everywhere. Copies may be obtained from the Greater New Orleans Bromeliad Society, Inc., P.O. Box 52014, New Orleans, Louisiana 70152. Price is $1.00. All proceeds go the local society.

Mrs. Kathy Dorr, of Lakewood, California, has recently issued a 28-page booklet "Bromeliads are my Hobby," in which she tells how she successfully grows her bromeliads, two of which are handsomely illustrated in color on the cover. This publication may be obtained from Mrs. Dorr, 6153 Hayter Avenue, Lakewood, California 90712. Price — $3.00.


There are several large plants of Bromelia balansae flowering brilliantly in street plantings in Cairns City (Australia). They are very colorful and have attracted much attention. They have proved to be hardy, needing no watering or feeding and are resistant to theft unlike crotons and colored cordylines.

—Robert Tucker.

January, 1975

The Affiliates of the Bromeliad Society, Inc.

Patrick Mitchell, Affiliate Director
2026 Brun Street, Houston, Texas 77019


Bromeliad Society of Australia — Victoria Branch, Mr. Maurice Kellet
75 Porter St., Templeslows 3106, Victoria

Bromeliad Society of Australia — New South Wales Branch, Ms. Edna Ellison
67 Willis Road, Cornulla New South Wales, 2230

Bromeliad Society of Queensland, Ms. M. Grasselli
11 Holmes St., Moorooka 4105, Queensland


Bromeliad Guild of Los Angeles, Mr. Bill Kirker
1547 W. 122nd St., Los Angeles 90047

San Diego Bromeliad Society, Ms. Nova Gillis
11885 Walnut Rd., Lakeside 92040

Sacramento Bromeliad Society, Mr. James Morrow
8611 #A La Riviera Dr., Sacramento 95826

San Fernando Valley Bromeliad Society, Mr. Mort Lickter
806 N. Ontario St., Burbank 91505

South Bay Bromeliad Associates, Mr. Chas. Wiley
4036 Via Solano, Palos Verdes Est. 90275

Bromeliad Society of La Ballona Valley, Mr. Dennis E. St. John
12464 Lucile St., Los Angeles 90066

Orange County Bromeliad Society, Ed Hagthrop, Jr.
1206 N. Parten St., Santa Ana 92701

Bromeliad Society of San Francisco. Mr. William Wittmer
4135 Howe St., Oakland 94711


Rocky Mountain Bromeliad Society, Ms. Sherman Light
6463 South Datura, Littleton 80121


British Bromeliad Society. Mr. W. F. Wall
4 Selbourne Close, New Haw, Weybridge, Surrey


Bromeliad Society of Broward County, Mrs. Gertrude Cole
909 N.E. 17th Terrace, Ft. Lauderdale 33304

Bromeliad Society of Central Florida, Ms. Eloise Beach
1215 43rd St., Orlando 32809

Florida West Coast Bromeliad Society, Mr. Harry Luther
6708 4th Ave., N., St. Petersburg 33710

Bromeliad Guild of Tampa Bay, Mr. Thos. Reisdorph
196 Angela Dr., Highland Forest, Brooksville 33512

Bromeliad Society of South Florida, Ms. Rosemond Meriwether
1552 Plansentia, Coral Gables 33134


Atlanta Bromeliad Society, Ms. Sue Epstein
1300 Briadale Lane, N.E., Atlanta 30306, or P.O. Box 52842, Atlanta 30327


Louisiana Bromeliad Society, Mr. Jerry Calhoon
1409 Shirley Dr., New Orleans 70114

Greater New Orleans Bromeliad Society, Mr. H. K. Webb
4028 Cedar St., Marraro 70072

Bayou Bromeliad Society, Mr. Paul Talianchich
P. O. Box 355, Slidell 70458

Delta Bromeliad Society, Mrs. W. J. Wilson
112 Veret, New Orleans

Bromeliad Society of Baton Rouge, Mr. Paul Callaway
16250 Philip Hickey, Baton Rouge 70808

Southwest Louisiana Bromeliad Society, Mr. Gene Theriot
328 Hodges St., Lake Charles 70601


New England Bromeliad Society, Mr. Warren Schwartz
246 Brattle St., Cambridge 02138


New York Bromeliad Society, Inc., Mr. Walter Wornick
21-14 92nd St., Woodhaven 11421


Bromeliad Society of New Zealand, Mr. P. Waters
22 Half Moon Rise, Howick, Auckland


Southwest Bromeliad Guild, Mr. David Gardner
33 Camden Pl., Corpus Christi 78412

Bromeliad Society/Houston, Ms. David Francis
5115 Bentwood, Friendswood 77546

Corpus Christi Bromeliad Society, Gordon Bryson
241 Bayside Dr., Corpus Christi 78411

Bromeliad Society of Austin, Ms. Margaret Arthur
508 Sacramento St., Austin 78704

Greater Dallas/Ft. Worth Bromeliad Society, Mr. Robert Smith
1104 Mockingbird Lane, Arlington 76013

Golden Triangle Bromeliad Society, Mr. J. E. Zingleman
3936 29th St., Port Arthur 77640

Alamo Bromeliad Society, Ms. Betty Schulte
125 Primrose St., San Antonio 78209



Tillandsia magnusiana Witt. from Mexico and Central America

Tillandsia atroviridipetala Matuda from Mexico

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