What's Happened and What's Happening
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Special General Meeting to appoint Patrons to our Society.
Practical Class- Barry Kable on seed raising.
Plant of The Month- Nidularium with Pam Butler, and
                                  Neoregelias with Barry Kable.
Guest Speaker- Greg Aizlewood on Red Imported Fire Ants.
Plant Competition- Popular Vote Results.
Notice: Tillandsia Day 2018.
Rules for Plant Sales at our Monthly Meetings.
Editor Maxim Wilson at

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Appointment of Olive and Len Trevor as Patrons of our Society
President Barry Kable opened a Special General Meeting and
proposed Olive and Len Trevor to be appointed Patrons.

Preamble by Barry Kable:
Olive and Len first joined our Society in February 1976. Olive has served in several committee positions, including President, Vice President, and Chief Judge.
Olive has written articles for our journal, and given addresses to meetings on various subjects concerning bromeliads, and she is widely respected for her service and expertise.
Len has played a key supportive role for Olive, also served in committee positions, including President.

The Trevors have regularly  attended  our meetings. They generously opened their home for Saturday morning study groups, field trips, and Judges Schools, etc.
Barry paid tribute to their generosity in donating plants for prizes, and the refurbishment of the Roma Street Parklands.
Barry Kable proposed their appointment as Joint Patrons, and this was approved by a show of hands. 

Len and Olive Trevor,
newly appointed Patrons of the BSQ.
Patron's Plaque.

Practical Class: Seed Raising with Barry Kable.
Barry brought 4 trays of seedlings in progressive stages of growth.
Skill is needed to achieve pollination to produce seed. Barry gets up at sunrise to pollinate alcantareas. However, Alan Phythian recommends putting the selected plant parents into a dark shed at 2pm and this ensures the flowers all open together.
Cockroaches are notorious for causing random pollination, so it is necessary to protect the flowers from them if you want certainty in the cross.
He discussed preparation of seeds:
After pollination, Aechmeas form a berry and seeds are encased in a mucinous pulp which must be cleaned away from the seed before planting.
Alcantareas set seed which requires up to ten months to mature and be ready for planting, and have a seed capsule.
The mix for growing seeds has sphagnum peat and Perlite, but cocopeat, with a fine sand mix can work.
He sprays the seedlings Hi-San to prevent fungus.
Billbergia seedlings grow quickly, reaching 3cm high by three months.
Separation of the seedlings to transfer to the next pot can have a high mortality, and there was debate as to when to do this.
Barry advised taking care to not plant the seedlings too deeply in the new mix. He uses a fine mix of orchid bark, perlite, ash and some sand to hold moisture.
In the next size pot, he waits until roots have reached the sides of the pot before transfer to the next size pot.
Allan Phythian suggested that dividing the seedlings at an earlier stage improves survival.
Thanks, Barry for a stimulating presentation.

Barry Kable with Seedlings.

Guest Speaker Greg Aizlewood on Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA).
Greg Aizlewood has been a member of BSQ many years, and given talks on his travels in South America, as well  as a previous talk on Fire Ants.
He has a broad interest in bromeliads, with special interest in Tillandsias and Billbergias. He was an International Director for the BSI. He is involved in hosting Golden Broms, the biennial Australasian Bromeliad Conference.

Origin of Fire Ants:
The Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA) originate in the Pantanal, Brazil.
In Brazil, they have two natural predators, the anteater and a fly, neither of which we have in SEQ.

Pantanal region of Brazil.

In 1931, they were detected in the USA and are widespread in the south; they started in New Orleans, then spread east and west (area in red):

February 2001, they were first reported in SEQ. However,  they may have been here for 25 years! in containers in Richlands, in the western suburbs of Brisbane.
It is thought they entered SEQ via shipping containers.

There have been 5 genetically different incursions into SEQ :
1.Brisbane Airport
2.Richlands, West Brisbane.
3.Gladstone a (successfully eradicated)
4.Gladstone b 
5.Second incursion at Brisbane Airport.

Impact on lifestyle.
Their sting causes humans great discomfort with nasty skin eruptions.
In the USA, up to 33,000 people seek medical care for stings annually.

Nasty rash from Red Imported Fire Ant attack.

In the USA, over 100 deaths from anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) are reported. There have been no deaths in SEQ.
In the USA, sports fields must be of artificial turf to avoid them.
They attack and blind new-born calves.
Up to 35 crops are affected, including soy beans and corn.

In Richlands, in Brisbane's west, residents are unable to walk freely in their backyards. They use boardwalks to avoid being attacked.

Life Cycle 
Fire ants live in colonies in nests in the soil. The above ground mound of soil is just a small part of the fire ant nest.

Fire Ant mound.
Diagram of a Fire Ant mound.
It has no entry/exit holes.

Winged males and females fly hundreds of feet up from the ground and then mate in flight.
Once mated, the female lands, breaks off her wings, and searches for a place to establish her new colony, of which she is now queen.
The new colony may be up to 4km from the original.
How to identify Red Imported Fire Ants.

  • Ants come in various shapes and sizes (size is not uniform)
  • Can be mounds or just some loose dirt
  • No obvious entry or exit holes to the mounds
  • Can be found under and around logs, rocks and garden material


  • Aggressive, particularly near the nest
  • Can inflict a painful sting


  • Small 2-6 mm.
  • Variety of sizes within each nest
  • Head and body are coppery-brown, abdomen is darker.

Eradication Campaign in SEQ is by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Queensland fire ant biosecurity zones.
This is Brisbane area, the brown area top right is the airport.

New regulations in January 2016 puts the onus on us to know if we are in the Fire Ant area, and we are responsible for limiting spread of the red ants.
Dissemination is by people who carry Ants in soil, manure, bailed hay, sugar cane mulch, potted plants, turf, etc
Greg lives in an affected area and says potted plants must be kept ABOVE ground.
Sniffer dogs are good at locating colonies.
Aerial surveillance looking for hot spots is fraught by false alarms from cowpats.

Recognise the Imported Red Fire Ant .
Notify the Department: call 1323252 and someone from the Department will come.
The affected areas are treated with granular bait.
The bait used contains an insect growth regulator that sterilises the queen.
They treat the nests with poisons like biphrenthrin, which is available at Bunnings.

Dr Pam Swepson is critical of  the Department’s handling of the Fire Ant threat, accusing them of incompetence:

Also on ABC News:

Thanks Greg for an excellent update on a problem that is far from fixed.

Plants of The Month:
Barry Kable introduced new hybrid  Neoregelias.
He showed this plant for identification.

Neoregelia 'Bottom's Up' was it's label, but
Dr Google suggested it was Neo 'Highland Fling'.

On the BCR, 'Highland Fling' is described as 
mature rosette to 50cm diameter x 25cms high. Bronze green leaves striated cream and heavily cross-banded / mottled red / bright pink on both obverse and reverse, in strong light. 
Grex siblings = N. ' 'Heads Up', 'Fruit Stripe', 'Bottoms Up'.
Tricolor Group. 11/2014 by O. Trevor.

Neoregelia 'Wally Berg' is described as medium sized rosette, leaves have a pink-yellow tinge w/some mottling and large burgundy spotting, reddish-purple fingernails paler at their base. Seed Parent: Rio Ochre        Pollen Parent: Roy
Described by Odean Head 1998.

Then he showed Neoregelia ‘Yang’ which has been a favorite for a few years. It is a cross of (carolinae x carcharodon variegated). In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang describes how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Chester Skotak has taken these names and applied them to two clones of the same lineage, one albo-marginated (yin) and one variegated (Yang). Both are very large growers that have the size and form of carcharodon but the coloring of carolinae.

Pam Butler brought along some Nidularia.
Pam thought her  Nidularia suffered somewhat from our cold wet weather this winter.
Nidularium ‘Ruby Lee’ .

Nidularium 'Ruby Lee',
v. lineatum X innocentii v. variegate?

Only Nidularium innocentii is accepted in the World Checklist of selected Plant families whereas Leme included two variegates var. lineatum and var. striatum. This one is labelled striatum. Variety striatum has been cultivated for over 100 years and is one of the most popular taxa of this genus.

Nidularium rutilans variegated
Thanks Barry and Pam for introducing us to some new plants.

Popular Vote Competition Results

1st  Tillandsia streptophylla  from Jenny Brittain.
2nd Tillandsia  ‘Leopard’    from Jenny Brittain.

1st Tillandsia ‘Etna’  from Dorothea Andreasen.
2nd three-way tie:
        Tillandsia flabellata  from Fred Thomson
        Neoregelia ‘Blast Furnace’   from Peter Ball.
        Tillandsia capitata  from Livia Doidge.

1st Tillandsia ‘Holm’s Darling’  from  Ron Jell.
2nd Tillandsia caput-medusae  from Ron Jell.

1st Fred’s fuchsii  from Ron Jell.
2nd Season’s Greetings  from Sharon Born.

Tillandsia 'Leopard' from Jenny Brittain.
Tillandsia streptophylla from Jenny Brittain.

Tillandsia flabellata from Fred Thomson.

Neoregelia 'Blast Furnace' from Peter Ball.
Tillandsia 'Holm's Darling' from Ron Jell.
Season's Greetings from
Sharon Born.
Fred's fuchsii from Ron Jell.
Popular Vote Aggregate            
Advanced Feb Mar May Jun Aug Sep Nov Total
Ron Jell 3 5 7 9 5 3   32
Bruce Dunstan     1 1 5 2   9
Barbara McCune 9 7 4 3 4 3   30
Barry & Ann Kable 2     3   5   10
Bob Cross           7   7
Intermediate Feb Mar May Jun Aug Sep Nov Total
Fred Thomson   1           1
Maxim Wilson 1   3 5   6   15
Pam Butler   1 5 2 3 3   14
Peter Ball 5             5
Pat Barlow   1 5         6
Denice McLean   1   3   2   6
David Rees         1 1   2
Livia Doidge 2   2 3 3     10
Narelle Aizlewood               0
Charmaine Rooney 1 1           2
Ric Cairns     3         3
Dorothy Andreason 5 9 5 5   6   30
John Olsen 1       5     6
Jenny Ittensohn     1     4   5
Novice Feb Mar May Jun Aug Sep Nov Total
Sharon Born 5 4 4 5 9 2   29
Steve Molnar 2         5   7
Jenny Brittain 3   6     7   16
Tom Isaac 2             2
Glen Drewett   8 3         11
Decorative Feb Mar May Jun Aug Sep Nov Total
Ron Jell 5 1 5 3 5 5   24
Janet Richter 3 3           6
Sharon Born 1   3 1 3 4   12
Denice McLean   5   5       10
Barbara McCune       1       1
Mini-Show Aggregate      
Advanced Jan April July Oct Total
Barry Kable 3   13 8 24
Ron Jell 7 8 8 11 34
Barbara McCune 27 15 14 15 71
Peter Paroz 1       1
Bruce Dunstan       4 4
Intermediate Jan April July Oct Total
David Vine 7       7
Pam Butler 5 5 15 6 31
Livia Doidge 8 5   7 20
Pat Barlow   6     6
Maxim Wilson   8   8 16
Greg Aizlewood     8   8
Charmain Rooney     2   2
Jenny Ittensohn       14  
Novice Jan April July Oct Total
Steve Molnar 5       5
Sharon Born   8 5 5 18

Plants brought into the hall must be offered for sale,
and pay 10%  to the Society.

Plant Sales begin 6:45pm,
and no removal from the sales tables is permitted before this.

Private plant exchange is to be made off the premises.

Christmas Party Thursday 7th December, 2017.
Starts 6 to 6:30pm
Easts League's Club, 40 Main Street, Coorparoo.
costs $40 per head.


Sunday 4 March 2018

9am to 4pm

Venue: Newmarket State School, Banks St, Newmarket, Brisbane


7-9am:            Set up sales area

8:30am            Registration

9:00am            Opening session                  

10:30               morning tea

10:45 -3:30     Workshop presentations

12:30               lunch and plant sales

3:30                 wrap up sales and Silent Auction

4pm                 Finish and clean up.

“First Dibs” Raffle: Your $5 entry fee gives you a lucky number. Five numbers will be drawn at 30 second intervals to give the lucky five first choice of 1 plant at the sales table before the general sales opening.  Your number is also the key to the Lucky Door Prize.
Silent Auction. We will have an assortment of rarer plants for auction.
Sales: The variety of Tillandsias on offer is exceptional! Plants need the standard tag with plant name, seller and price.
A 10% commission goes to the Society.

How many plants can you enter into Competition ?
For the Popular Vote, you can enter three plants only.
For the Mini Show, you can enter two plants in each of four classes 
making a maximum of eight plants.

The Committee is keen to expand the range of plants on offer at meetings. Sales will be made open to the public so bring your plants in!

Society Member Shirts are available,
For new members they are $25, includes
the BSQ logo, and members name.

For current members, BSQ shirts cost $25.50 with BSQ logo, 
an extra $5.50 for a pocket (total $31)
and an extra $5.00 with your name embroidered on it.

2018 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 hybrids


 – any genus species and hybrids + novelty bromeliad display


– 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


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


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


any genus species and hybrids + novelty bromeliad display

Plant of the Month Schedule

Month Plant
January Aechmea
February Tillandsia
March Cryptanthus
April Dyckia/Orthophytum/Puya
May Alcanterea
June Vriesea
July Intergenerics
August Rare Genera
September Billbergia
October Guzmania
November Neoregelia/Nidularium
December Hollioides (S. Claus to present)

Meeting Dates

Month Date
January 18th
February 15th – AGM
March 15th
April 19th
May 17th
June 21st
July 19th
August 16th
September 20th
October 18th
November 15th
December ?6th – Christmas Party.

This Month 7th December
Christmas Party East's League's Club,
40 Main Street, Coorparoo.
starts 6 to 6:30pm.

Next Meeting January 2018
Plant of The Month-Aechmeas.
Guest Speaker 
Popular Vote - see schedule below.
Practical Class- Pests and Diseases in bromeliads with Greg 
Copyright © 2017 The Bromeliad Society of Queensland Inc, All rights reserved.

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