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

  • Report of the July Meeting
  • Society Notes
  • Guest Speaker: Chris Larson on 'The Evolution of Collector's Corner and Paradisia Nursery Over The Years'
  • Results of June Mini Show
  • Upcoming Events
  • 2019 Meeting Information

Editors: Maxim Wilson & Rob Murray

Report of the July Meeting

The Information Session featured Mal and Michelle Cameron who talked about preparing plants for Show. Their own plants have won many trophies at the Spring and Autumn Shows.

To prepare plants for Show, your plants must have:

  • Good conformation - symmetry in growth of leaves
  • Broken leaves trimmed carefully
  • An appropriate pot size i.e. not too big
  • No diseases present. This makes the plant ineligible for entry.

Plant of the Month was Vrieseas. Mal and Michelle brought some of their own hybrids for discussion and display.

Bruce Dunstan facilitated the Show and Tell giving members the opportunity to bring plants needing identification, or problems needing diagnosis. This is a regular part of the meetings.

Society Notes

Reminder: October meeting - 10th October
The date for the October meeting is now 10th October. This has changed due to the Golden Broms Conference.

Gardening Australia feature
Watch Gardening Australia's segment, 'A Fine Bro-mance' that featured the Bromeliad & Tropicals Show & Sales from April.

Horticultural Display at the Ekka
Visit the Society's award winning horticultural display at the Ekka in the Old Museum. The Ekka is on now to 18 August at the Brisbane Showgrounds.

The Society's Horticultural Display of a pineapple made from bromeliads. 
Chris Larson: 'The Evolution of Collector's Corner & Paradisia Nursery Over The Years'
Chris Larson, our guest speaker.
July's guest speaker was Chris Larson from Collectors Corner at Braeside, and Paradisia Nurseries at Narre Warren North, Victoria.

It all started in 1980 when Attila and Jeno Kapitany who sold cacti and succulents at the Melbourne Markets, set up a mail order business in these plants. Brother Tom joined them later.
13 plants in polypacks.
In 1985, they expanded to a wholesale business in Narre Warren North and had a small area at Gardenworld for Collectors Corner.

In 1988, they created a separate building at Gardenworld where they moved the existing business, and expanded it to include orchids, bonsai and bromeliads in the Gardenworld Complex.

By 1992, Paradisia was selling all over Australia including cacti and succulents, epiphyllums, hoyas, rhipsalis, bonsai, and orchids.

Chris joined the business in 1992, to manage the increasing Tillandsias business. 

In 2003, they expanded further with the creation of Crystal World in a different location, to market crystals, fossils, meteorites, minerals, lapidary gems, and stromatolites.

Before 1988, bromeliads were imported under ‘the six plant rule’. Government regulations restricted plant imports to six plants of each species only.

All plants were gassed with methyl bromide (CH3Br) which was so toxic, that often all plants perished.

But in 1988, things were revolutionised by relaxation of quarantine restrictions, followed by a great increase in bromeliad imports, along with cacti and other plants.

Change in regulations permitted quarantine to be carried out in alternately designed & cheaper houses, so it became cheaper to import plants in greater numbers.

On the other hand, tightening of water disposal regulations has greatly increased those costs.

1992 was a year of change for Chris when he left the office to work hands-on with plants, especially Tillandsias. He worked with other bromeliads produced by vegetative means, until the 2000's when tissue culture became prevalent. Paradisia has it own tissue culture laboratory.

In 2013, the Australian Government banned the importation of bromeliads from America, Europe and other countries with Xylella.

The bacterium Xylosa fastidiosa had devastated olive groves in Italy. In Texas, Xylella was found in association with Spanish Moss (Usneoides) and so importation from America of all bromeliads was banned by the Australian Government.

Chris asserts that there is no evidence that Xylella has infected any bromeliad.

Editors note: In June this year, I travelled through Puglia (Italy’s boot) and Sicily with a tour group and our guide drew our attention to many sick olive trees dying of Xylella infection. Once a tree was identified as infected, all olive trees in a 100metre radius were felled and burnt.

By 2019, Paradisia sold up to 140 hoyas, also carnivorous plants, supplying up to 80% of Bunnings stock! However, there are some species and hybrids sold only through Collectors Corner.

Tillandsia production at Collectors Corner.
In the early 1990’s, it was mainly vegetative (potting offsets). But this was slow.

By the late 1990’s, tissue culture expanded production greatly, until Paradisia reduced this in 2019. Bromeliads are now a much smaller part of the business. Tillandsia sales are still strong.

Terrariums have become fashionable, and Tillandsias can be grown in them, but with difficulty. Chris advised against using Tillandsia ionantha, but stricta and bulbosa are better.

All plants are grown in heated glass houses, as the heat promotes more rapid growth. 

There is a special emphasis on production of Usneoides and Tillandsia ionantha.

Chris has given us a history of a major nursery business just outside Melbourne, as well as the ups and downs of the bromeliad trade in Australia, with a special emphasis on Tillandsias.

Thanks Chris for an interesting presentation.

Results of Mini Show Competition
Novice Section
Class 1
1st Billbergia ‘Pink Patches’ by Christine Brittain.
2nd Billbergia ‘Talbot Cherry Maple’ by Bev Mulcahy.
3rd Billbergia ‘Groovy’ by Coni Smits.

Class 2
1st Catopsis morreniana by Gilda Trudu.

Class 3
1st Neoregelia ‘Sweet Lips’ by Coni Smits.
2nd Neoregelia ‘Shamrock’ by Coni Smits.
3rd Neoregelia ‘Heatwave’ by Gilda Trudu.

Class 4
1st Canistrum fosterianum by Christine Brittain.
2nd Tillandsia stricta red by Gilda Trudu.
3rd Tillandsia bulbosa by Gilda Trudu.

Class 5
1st Tillandsia xerographica by Jenny Brittain.
2nd Billbergia nutans 'Queens Tears' by Coni Smits
3rd Tillandsia ehlersiana by Jenny Brittain.

Intermediate Section
Class 1
1st Billbergia ‘Taraole’ by Pam Butler.
2nd Billbergia ‘Hoelscheriana’ by Livia Doidge.
3rd Billbergia ‘Talbot Tease’ by Maxim Wilson.

Class 2 
1st Wallisia cyanea by Pam Butler.
2nd Catopsis aff morreniana by Alfonso Trudu.

Class 3
1st Neoregelia ‘Burnt Embers’ by Jenny Ittensohn.
2nd Neoregelia species by Alfonso Trudu.
3rd Neoregelia ‘Zeppo’ by Alfonso Trudu.

Class 4
1st Tillandsia‘ Curra’ by Livia Doidge.
2nd Tillandsia recurvifolia subsecundifolia  by Pam Butler.
3rd Tillandsia ionantha 'Stricta' by Alfonso Trudu.

Class 5
1st Tillandsia ionantha by John Olsen.
2nd Tillandsia tectorum by Alfonso Trudu.
3rd Tillandsia neglecta by Pam Butler.

Advanced Section
Class 4
1st Tillandsia bulbosa by Ron Jell.
2nd Tillandsia helmutii by Bruce Dunstan.
3rd Tillandsia crocata x duratii by Ron Jell.

Class 5
1st Tillandsia pseudobaileyi by Peter Paroz.
2nd Dyckia goehringii by Barbara McCune..
3rd Tillandsia gardneri by Barry Kable.

Beautiful Ananas on display.
Tillandsia bulbosa by Ron Jell.
Tillandsia gardneri by Barry Kable.
Tillandsia 'Curra' by Livia Doidge.
Tillandsia ionantha 'Stricta' by Alfonso Trudu.
Billbergia 'Hoelscheriana' by Livia Doidge.
Wallisia cyanea by Pam Butler.
Neoregelia 'Burning Embers' by Jenny Doidge.
Billbergia nutans "Queen's Tears' by Coni Smits.
Neoregelia 'Sweet Lips' by Coni Smits.
Canistrum fosterianum by Christine Brittain.
Billbergia 'Pink Patches' by Christine Brittain,
Tillandsia ehlersiana by Jenny Brittain.

9-18 August: Horticultural Display at the Ekka
Visit the Society's award winning Horticultural Display at the Ekka.
Date: Everyday of the Ekka - now to 18 August
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
Location: Old Museum at the Brisbane Showgrounds.

25 August: BBQ fo Volunteers
Date: Sunday 25th August
Time: 11 am
Location: 14 Sunset Grove, Samford QLD 4520.

14 September: New Grower's Session
Learn the basics of growing bromeliads with Pam Butler.
Topic: Pitcairnia, Canistrum, Quesnelia and Ananas and Sun/Shade
Date: Saturday 14 September
Time: 9 am to 11 am
Location: 14 Sunset Grove, Samford QLD 4520
RSVP to 0423 173 859.

28 September: Field Day
For the September field day, we will be visiting the gardens of Society members, Denise and Peter Ball, and Barbara and Rob Murray.
Date: 28 September, with more details to come at the meeting.
Locations: Joyner (The Balls) and Narangba (The Murrays).

17-20 October: Golden Broms
The Australasian Bromeliad Conference will be held at the Gold Coast on 17 - 20 October 2019.

2-3 November: Bromeliad & Tropicals Show & Sales - Spring Show 2019
Dates and Times:
Saturday 2 November, 8 am to 4 pm
Sunday 3 November, 9 am to 1pm
Location: Belmont Shooting Complex,
1485 Old Cleveland Road, Belmont QLD 4153.
Entry: $4, includes entry into the Lucky Door Prize

5 December: Christmas Party
Join in the Society's end of year celebrations. Food will be buffet style with alternate drop for dessert. Open bar tab (upto a limit) and in the same venue as last year.
Date: Thursday 5 December
Location: Easts Leagues Club, 40 Main Avenue, Coorparoo QLD 4151
$35 per person for members. 

22 February 2020: Tillandsia Day 
Full day seminar including tillandsia sales. More detail will be provided closer to the date.

See other Bromeliad Events in Queensland

2019 Meeting Information

Meeting Show Schedule


– 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, Hechtioideae (= Hechtia), Puyoideae (= Puya), Navioideae, Pitcairnioideae (= 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 Aechmea
February Tillandsia
March Problem bromeliads
April Dyckia/Orthophytum/Puya
May Hybrids
June Bring your favourite bromeliad
July Foliage Vrieseas
August Spring-flowering Tillandsias
September Billbergias
October Guzmanias
November Neoregelia & Nidularium

Meeting Dates 2019
Month Date
January 17th
February 21st
March 21st – AGM
April 18th
May 16th
June 20th
July 18th
August 15th
September 19th
October 10th change of date
November 21st
December 5th – Christmas Party
August Meeting
 Practical Class: Question and answer on Plant Nutrition with Bruce Dunstan.
Plant of the month: Spring Flowering Tillandsias with Bruce Dunstan.
Guest Speaker:
David Tanswell on
'A Plant Expedition in Colombia'.

Plant Competition: 
Popular Vote, see below for details.
September Meeting
 Practical Class: TBA
Plant of the month: TBA
Guest Speaker: TBA
Plant Competition: 
Popular Vote see schedule below.
Copyright © 2019 The Bromeliad Society of Queensland Inc, All rights reserved.

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