Guest Speaker was Cheryl Basic who spoke on bromeliad Species.
Cheryl remembers collecting Catopsis early in her career.
Catopsis compacta was always mounted probably because it was commonly found as epiphytes growing high in the treetops Then growers started potting them and they grew much bigger.
She ordered a lot from Chris Larsen in Melbourne, both male and female, but they had no names, and although they have propagated successfully, they remain nameless!
Catopsis morreana was an early favorite because of the attractive silvery coating of trichomes on its leaves.
Catopsis compacta is another old favourite:
It is also from Mexico and also has an attractive white silvery coating of trichomes.
Neoregelia have long been a favourite of Cheryl’s.
One group of stoloniferous neos has retained her interest, and they have been separated out as Hylaeaicum. The genus was named after the ancient forest region known as Hylaea, in the Amazon basin, where the 12 stoloniferos species reside as epiphytes. They have spikey leaves and black spines.
She has several including:
and Neoregelia (?Hylaeaicum) ‘Pink Spider’ :
Cheryl is fond on mini Vrieseas and has maintained a collection over the years, suffering a few losses.
Vriesea flammea is a favourite, and makes a beautiful basket, despite its attempts to escape:
Cheryl got a mini Vriesea’ from Bird Rock Tropicals labelled #53,
and Cheryl called it Snow White because it had white flowers.
Uncle Derek (Butcher) investigated it and registered it.
Cheryl believes it to be a species, despite the name:
Vriesea delicatula is a favourite:
and was used by John Arden to create many hybrids.
Neoregelias has produced thousands of hybrids,
and we might forget that there are some beautiful species.
Neoregelia smithii is one attractive species:
Lisa Vinzant in Hawaii has used it as parent to her Blueberry line of attractive hybrids.
Neoregelia pauciflora remains a popular neo species, especially in a big clump:
They are hard to contain in a basket, but are very attractive
large purple form:
Wikipedia lists 23 cultivars of pauciflora. The good thing about pauciflora is that the mother plants persist for many generations allowing an impressive colony of plants.
Quesnelia attract Cheryl’s interest. In particular, Cheryl got a near black Quesnelia from the Olive Branch and propagated it from seed, and believed it was a species. It has since been registered as a cultivar ‘Black Knight’:
Thanks Cheryl for putting our focus back on the species of bromeliads. Species are dying out in the wild, and there is value in preserving them.