What's Happened and What's Happening
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Contents of Newsletter

  • Report of the November Meeting
  • Main Speaker: Peter Ball described his visit to the nursery of Paul Isley III in California, and the devastating fire that engulfed his nursery.
  • Plant of the Month: Nidularia with Pam Butler and Neoregelias with Barry Kable.
  • Results of November Popular Vote
  • Upcoming Events
  • 2020 Meeting Information

Editors: Rob Murray & Maxim Wilson

Special Notice:
Plant sales at meetings
New Meeting Start Time 7pm.

Starting with our January Meeting, plant sales will be available during breaks only - before the meeting, from 6:30pm to 7:00pm and during supper for the first ten minutes.

Plant purchases or other payments will not be permitted during the meeting.

November 2019 Meeting

Plant of the Month: Neoregelias and Nidulariums.

Barry showed his two favourite Neoregelias – Yin and Yang. He also showed Neoregelia ‘Highland Fling’.

They are grown under 50% – 70% shade. Some of his Neoregelia are grown closer to the ground, others are higher and he has noticed changes in the leaves. When grown high they can be taller, when grown low the leaves can be flatter. This can also be a result of the flowering process. They receive the same care as the orchids that are in the shade houses.

Pam Butler showed her Nidulariums. She uses slow release fertiliser when potting up, grows them on the floor of her bush house, as they are shade-loving plants, under 70% shade cloth.

But the first plant she displayed was Nidularium atalaiaence, which she grows in sun in the garden. Pam showed Nidularium rutilans and a variegated rutilans, pointing out the flower nestled in the centre of the plant. Nidularium ‘Red Queen’ and N. ‘Ruby Lee’ were also displayed.

Thanks Barry and Pam.

Neo ‘Yin’, Skotak 1996.
Neo carolinae variegated x carcharadon, 

Has ivory margins, heavy spines.

Neoregelia 'Yang' similar parents to 'Ying', a seedling with stable variation
Skotak, 1996.
Neo 'Highland Fling', Skotak 2005.
Seed Parent: (carolinae variegated x Hannibal Lecter) x Norman Bates
Pollen Parent: Blushing Tiger x Norman Bates.
Nidularium atalaiaense.

Nidularium ‘Red Queen’
Nid regelioides x innocentii,
R. Davis, 1973.

Guest Speaker, Peter Ball, attended the BSI Conference in San Diego in June 2018, and visited the scene where in December, 2017, fire destroyed much of a well-known bromeliad Nursery, in Southern California. A local reported: 'The flames raced over the hillside in moments, fueled by nature’s blowtorch, the Santa Ana winds.'

And when the Lilac Fire in San Diego County took aim at Paul Isley’s 8.34-acre plant nursery below, the battle was already lost. 'This was not just a fire. It was a Santa Ana,' said Isley, who with his business partner, Jerry Robinson, operated the nursery as part of his Rainforest Flora nursery business at Torrance, California, 'It was so powerful and fast.'

Isley, who lost hundreds of rare plants as part of his inventory cultivated, in some cases, over decades — he estimates the financial loss to be in the millions — is focused primarily this week on helping three families, longtime employees and property caretakers who lived on the San Diego property recoup after losing everything.

Isley, a Manhattan Beach resident, was in the South Bay when the fire broke out on December 7. He received an urgent call from the caretaker alerting him of the fire’s outbreak. They could see smoke rising up over the hillside. Later, it was followed by flames.

They got their hoses out and then called back an hour later and said, ‘There’s fire everywhere,’ Isley said. 'They had the clothes on their backs and that was it.'

They lost three of their four cars, one of their three dogs and 26 of their 27 chickens in the fast-moving fire that destroyed 151 buildings and damaged 56 others. By the time it was over, the fire had burned 4,100 acres in its path. The cause remains under investigation but it was one of several horrific fires that have engulfed Southern California."

Peter and Denise Ball visited the site and brought back a few images, below. Peter said on the bright side, Paul was able to sneak back into the nursery and salvage some plants (approximately three truck loads) and although badly burnt, some of these plants produced pups and/or flowered. These plants were taken back to one of the shade houses at the Rainforest Flora Nursery just south of Los Angeles. Walking into the shade house with all the burnt plants you could still smell the fires!

Peter and Denise with Paul Isley III
at Rainforest Flora.
Paul Isley's display at the BSI Conference in San Diego, California.
Shade house no.1 with fire damage.
Thanks Peter for your very informative talk.

Doug Binns, our January Guest Speaker

Doug introduces himself:
I'm a semi-retired plant ecologist with broad botanical interests. My interest in bromeliads began casually with a few plants of Hechtia and Dyckia about 40 years ago but has intensified a little over the last decade or so. My main interests are growing terrestrial species in the garden, seeing bromeliads growing in nature and trying to propagate species which are not yet commonly cultivated. My garden is currently about a half hectare and still expanding, planted mainly with species of Puya, Dyckia, Hechtia, Orthophytum, Encholirium and Pitcairnia.

Results of the Popular Vote Competition

1st Tillandsia ‘Curly Slim' by Selga Boothby.
2nd Tillandsia xerographica by Jenny Brittain.
2nd Lutheria splendens by Coni Smits.

1st Tillandsia ‘Beauty’ by Pam Butler.
2nd Tillandsia capitata red by Livia Doidge.
2nd Billbergia ‘Groovy’ by Pam Butler.

1st Pitcairnia xanthocalyx by Barry Kable.
2nd Neoregelia ‘Bottoms Up’ by Barry Kable.

Decorative Display
1st The Funky Dome by Steve Molnar.
2nd Happy Tills by Alfonso Trudu.
3rd Par's Garden by Christine Brittain.

Pitcairnia xanthocalyx by Barry Kable.
Neoregelia 'Bottoms Up'
by Barry Kable.
Tillandsia 'Beauty' by Pam Butler.
Tillandsia capitata by Livia Doidge. 
Tillandsia 'Curly Slim' by Selga Boothby.
Lutheria splendens by Coni Smits.
Tillandsia ionantha 'Apretado'.
'Par's Garden' by Christine Brittain.
Happy Tills by Alfonso Trudu.
Rebekah Trevor.

These people have completed several schools to qualify as judges of bromeliad competitions. They will answer your questions at BSQ meetings. They are from left: Pam Butler, Narelle Aizlewood, Becky Trevor, Maxim Wilson,Olive Trevor, Len Waite, Barbara Murray and Peter Ball.

22 February 2020: Tillandsia Day 2020
Hiro Takazawi will be a guest speaker.
Full day seminar including tillandsia sales. For more information and to register, see the Tillandsia Day 2020 event.

18-19 April 2020: Bromeliad & Tropicals Show & Sales - Autumn Show
Genesis College, Youngs Crossing Road,
Bray Park.
Note increased Prize Money:
Displays win a shield and $250 for first,
$150 for second, $100 for third.
Plant Competition: $250 for Best in Show, $150 for Reserve Champion,
and $100 for others winners.
Exhibitors Draw: $50 for two entrants.

See other Bromeliad Events in Queensland

2019 Meeting Information

Meeting Show Schedule

January - MINI SHOW
Class 1 – Aechmea species and hybrids
Class 2 – Vriesea species and hybrids
Class 3 – Dyckia species and hybrids
Class 4 – any other flowering bromeliad species and hybrid
Class 5 – species.
Feb & March - POPULAR VOTE
– any genus species and hybrids + novelty bromeliad display
Class 1 – Bromelioideae not listed elsewhere in Schedule, species & Hybrids
(Acanthostachys, Ananas, Androlepis, Araeococcus, Bromelia, Canistropsis, Canistrum,
Edmundoa, Fascicularia, Hohenbergia, Hohenbergiopsis, Neoglaziovia, Nidularium,
Ochagavia, Orthophytum, Portea, Quesnelia, Ursulaea, Wittrockia)
Class 2 – Guzmania species and hybrids
Class 3 – Pitcairnia species and hybrids
Class 4 – any other flowering bromeliad species and hybrids
Class 5 – species
– any genus species and hybrids + novelty bromeliad display
– any genus species and hybrids + novelty bromeliad display
Class 1 – Billbergia
Class 2 – Tillandsioideae not listed elsewhere in Schedule, species & hybrids
(Alcantarea, Catopsis, Mezobromelia, Racinaea, Werauhia)
Class 3 – Neoregelia up to 200mm diameter when mature, species & hybrids
Class 4 – any other flowering bromeliad species and hybrids
Class 5 – species
– any genus species and hybrids + novelty bromeliad display
September - POPULAR VOTE
– any genus species and hybrids + novelty bromeliad display
October - MINI SHOW
Class 1 – Neoregelia over 200mm diameter when mature, species & hybrids
Class 2 – Tillandsia species & hybrids
Class 3 – Pitcairnioideae not listed elsewhere in Schedule, species & hybrids
(Brocchinioideae, Lindmanioideae,  Hechtia, Puya, Navioideae, Deuterocohnia, Encholirium, Fosterella.
Class 4 – any other flowering bromeliad species & hybrids
Class 5 – species
– any genus species and hybrids + novelty bromeliad display
Plant of the Month Schedule
Month Plant
January Dyckia
February Tillandsia
March Stigmatodon
April Fascicularia
May Acanthostachys
June Catopsis
July Fosterella
August Spring-flowering Tillandsias
September Ananas
October Quesnelia & Porteas
November Wallisia
January 2021 Pitcairnia

Meeting Dates
Month Date
January 16th
February 20th
March 19th – AGM
April 16th
May 21st
June 18th
July 16th
August 20th
September 17th
October 15th
November 19th
December 3rd – Christmas Party
January Meeting New Start Time 7pm.
Information Session: 
John Olsen on Scale.
Plant of the month:
Dyckias with Len Waite.
Guest Speaker:
Doug Binns on Sincoreas.
Plant Competition: 
Mini Show, see below for details.
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February Meeting
 Practical Class: 
How and when to remove pups with Becky Trevor.

Plant of the month:
Guest Speaker: 
Mick Grange.

Plant Competition: 
Popular Vote see schedule below.
Copyright © 2020 The Bromeliad Society of Queensland Inc, All rights reserved.

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