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April 2016

Cryptanthus fosterianus ‘Lisa Vinzant’
(Reprinted from

- Articles appearing in this issue of NEWSLINK are for information purposes only and are not necessarily endorsed by the Committee or the Illawarra Bromeliad Society.
- The Society is, by the holding of meetings, displays and competitions, to provide a forum for the people of the Illawarra region who are interested in the culture and collection of bromeliads.
- Under the provisions of the Privacy Act, use of names and references to private details, such as illness, holidays, birthdays and items of a similar nature, may only be published with the written permission of the person concerned.

A very warm welcome to our new member, Lesley Brand who joined in February, and Lance Hazell and Elizabeth Leonard who joined at our April meeting. We wish you a long and happy association with our Society.


Neville Wood, Ian Chinnock, Carole Taylor, Jan Stammers
Sandra Carnie, Ann Kennon, Elizabeth Bevan, Val Miller

Visits to three gardens have been arranged for Saturday, May 21st, starting out at Max Williams’ garden in Caringbah at 10.00 am and then on to Sylvia and Ted Clare’s garden (also in Caringbah), where tea, coffee and biscuits will be supplied. Edwina and Steve (in Gymea Bay) have very kindly offered to supply a sausage sizzle lunch, and if the weather is kind, you will be able to enjoy this in their beautiful and very interesting garden. Max will have address details, etc. at our May meeting and Val will also put out this information on her email posts. If you miss out on receiving this information feel free to call either Barbara on (02) 4272 4110 or Eileen (02) 9544 4726.

At our March meeting (after he had given another extremely interesting presentation) Neville, to his complete surprise, was called up to receive his Lifetime Membership Award. And there is no-one more deserving! Since joining our Society in 2004, Neville has worn so many hats, from serving on our committee as Vice President/2nd Vice President from 2006 to 2013; giving talks and presentations; regularly bringing along beautiful plants for monthly competition and our Shows; supplying many articles for Newslink; and organising and sharing his knowledge at workshops. He is always generous with his plants for the raffles and sales tables (or just to give away to friends); always ready to open up his beautiful garden for visits, and serving time as the friendly welcoming face at the front desk. He has been of considerable moral support to me over the years and I am always hearing how he has been of immense support to other members of our Society. But all this done with a sense of modesty and I want to share with you an email which I received from Nev, just a day after receiving his Award.

“Well, what a meeting! I’m still trying to get over the shock, and I keep thinking I’ll wake up and find it was all a dream.

You don’t realise what a great honour I consider this award to be; to be recognised in this way for just being able to do my little bit in the promotion of these popular plants is a great feeling and to be able to do it together with such a wonderful group of people makes it even more special.

than any of the others as it’s more like a family of friends, and each month I eagerly anticipate attending the meetings.

I do feel a bit bad for not being able to say more in the way of thanks to the members, but to say I was “shell shocked” would be an understatement and as being one who’s never short of a word, for a change I just couldn’t think of what to say, except thanks.”

Thank you, Nev!

Possibly only a few of the older serving members will remember Cliff and his wife Joan who joined our Society back in 1993 as part of the core group of people from the New South Wales Society who helped get our Society up and running! In those days he and Joan were tireless workers, travelling all the way from Strathfield to share their knowledge—and beautifully grown plants—with talks and Newslink articles and a wonderful sense of friendship. Cliff passed away peacefully on March 3 at the age of 92.


May 7-8
June 13-19
Sept 10-11
ILLAWARRA BROMELIAD SOCIETY – SPRING SHOW – Uniting Church Hall, Russell Street, Corrimal
Sept 24-25
KARIONG PLANT LOVERS FAIR – Kariong Mountains High School
Sept 24-25
Oct 15-16
2017 March 30 - April 2

May 7, 2016: Cryptanthus - Noel Kennon
June 4, 2016: Fosterella - Beth Clague
July 2, 2016: Christmas in July


Feb 6, 2016: Plant Results

1st = Noel Kennon = Nidularium innocentii var. lineatum
2nd = Noel Kennon = Cryptanthus bivitattus ‘Ruby’
2nd = Max Williams = Aechmea ‘Foster’s Favorite’
3rd = Jørgen Jakobsen = Aechmea fasciata

1st = Suzanne Burrows= Tillandsia cyanea
2nd = Noel Kennon = Tillandsia straminea
3rd = Jørgen Jakobsen = Tillandsia leiboldiana

1st = Rhonda Patterson = Orthophytum vagans
2nd = Lydia and Ian Chinnock = xNeophytum ‘Galactic Warrior’
3rd = Yvonne Perinotti = Neoregelia ‘Predator’

1st = Sandra Carnie = Vriesea ‘Draco’
2nd = Michael Drury = Aechmea ‘Lucky Stripes’
3rd = Michael Drury = Vriesea fosteriana

1st = Noel Kennon = Tillandsia leiboldiana
2nd = Steve Wain = Tillandsia lampropoda
3rd = Noel Kennon = Tillandsia capillaris

1st = Yvonne Perinotti = Neoregelia ‘Fosperior’
1st = Rhonda Patterson = Neoregelia
1st = Max Williams Vriesea ‘Amazonica’ X ‘Red Chestnut’
2nd = Barbara Jones-Beverstock = Neoregelia
3rd = Jan Stammers = Neoregelia ‘Gunpowder’
3rd = Rhonda Patterson = Neoregelia
3rd = Barbara Jones-Beverstock = Neoregelia
3rd = Carol Burgdorf = Aechmea nudicaulis ‘Zebra’

1st = Bronwen Heinrich = Neoregelia ‘Rosatina’
2nd = Sandra Carnie = Aechmea winkleri
3rd = Sandra Carnie = Billbergia nutans X ‘Rubra’

1st = Noel Kennon = Tillandsia caerulea
2nd = Suzanne Burrows = Tillandsia lindenii
3rd = Noel Kennon = Tillandsia fuchsii var. fuchsii forma gracilis

Information taken from The Bromeliad Cultivar Registry, Revised Electronic Version 31 December 2006

Cryptanthus ‘Ruby’:‘Ruby’ is a cultivar of Cryptanthus bivitattus var. atropurpureus.
Possibly an early Belgian cultivar, dating back to before 1979. Medium plant entirely in ruby red with black-red stripes down the leaf centre and also down the edges.

Neoregelia ‘Rosatina’: This is an Australian cultivar, dating back to around 1990.
A cultivar of carolinae(?) X concentrica(?).
Favoured by Grace Goode in her hybridizing programs.
Large yellow-green, broad-leafed rosette with rounded tips. Red-purple centre at blooming with reddish mottling, spotting and spattering in the upper leaves—redder in the most exposed areas. Verbal commentary by Harry Luther said, “Probable source from BSI seed from Seidel or Adda Abendroth. Plants I’ve seen are concentrica X carolinae (cf. ‘Amabilis).”

Neoregelia‘Fosperior’:This cultivar came from Mulford Foster in 1950.
It is a cross of fosteriana(?) X spectabilis(?). (Other cultivars = ‘Foster’s Giant Red’, ‘Morris Henry Hobbs’, ‘Dexter’s Pride’ and ‘Perfection’).
A medium to large stacked rosette of 30+ deep maroon-purple leaves with slightly lighter red tips. Grande illustration shows some pale white indistinct spotting and mottling.
Foster distributed seed or seedlings from this grex to Dr. Morris Dexter and Morris Henry Hobbs—each selected a cultivar and named it. Foster chose the name ‘Fosperior’ for his choice from the grex. ‘Fosperior’ is essentially identical to the other two cultivars which are probable selections from an F-1 grex? Other scenarios exist for the origin of these cultivars but this version seems to predominate.

(Reprinted Accessed May 1, 2016)

Cryptanthus in their natural habitat are true terrestrials (growing in the ground) and a few are saxicolous (growing among rocks). They have never been observed as epiphytes (living in trees) and should not be mounted.

Cryptanthus should not be under-potted. They develop root systems at least equal to the size of the plant—a five or six inch plastic pot is recommended to help conserve the needed moisture. The medium should be a loose, porous mixture similar to African violet mix. This should never be allowed to totally dry out. There are many good mixes: commercial potting soil; African violet mix; soilless mixes, or a mixture of peat and sand with Perlite. Regardless of the mix, it must be kept damp for best growth. Cryptanthus do well on capillary matting, wick watering, misting system or the old-fashioned method of watching the plant and giving it a drink when it needs it.

Although it is not necessary to fertilize your cryptanthus to have the dazzling display of colour and exquisite markings, you must fertilize to obtain maximum growth.

Cryptanthus are not finicky about fertilizer. However, use dilute solutions, even to a quarter of the recommended strength. There are many excellent brands on the market—any even balanced fertilizer works well (14-14-14, 10-10-10, etc. 14:6:12/10:4:8). Many African violet growers use AV fertilizers on their cryptanthus and the results are outstanding. A time-released granular fertilizer combined into the potting mix for newly planted offsets show excellent results. Many cryptanthus fanciers fertilize with each watering, using an extremely dilute solution. Orchid fertilizer is excellent. Organic fertilizers are also good. The point is, cryptanthus, like us, like to eat. The amount of fertilizer really depends on the intensity of light in which the plants are grown. (Light + CO2 + H2O + Groceries = a healthy, happy plant.)

There are cryptanthus which will grow in every light condition you may have. C. beuckeri is a low-light plant and many of its progeny like to be shaded, moist and humid. This makes C. beuckeri and its hybrids ideal plants for terrariums. Species such as C. bahianus, ‘Cascade’ and warasii can take full sun, but you will find the plants happier in diffused light.

For maximum color in most cryptanthus, bright diffused light is necessary. Too much light will cause bleached spots on the foliage or a leathery, stressed look to the plant. In extreme cases, sunburn spots or holes will occur. On the other extreme, weak foliage and greening of color suggests that the plant needs more light. Acclimate your plants to grow in as much light as possible. Your light may come naturally (in the greenhouse, outside with high shade, in a window garden) or artificially such as on the plant carts that many indoor growers use. Some growers line their walls with reflective material to provide additional light. In fact, the colors intensify under fluorescent light. This makes the cryptanthus an excellent office plant.

Cryptanthus are comfortable in temperatures the same as you, as are other bromeliads—60F to 85F ~16C to 30C brings out the best growing conditions. Most cryptanthus can survive just above freezing, and some survive winter outside with a heavy mulch if water is cut back in the fall and the plants are allowed to “harden off”: depending on how long it stays below freezing, even in the twenties, severe leaf damage results but the mulch protects the root zone and spring brings abundant, beautiful offsets. On the other extreme, they can take temperatures above one hundred as long as there is adequate humidity and the mix is not allowed to dry out. Cryptanthus are easy to grow outside in temperate regions and make exotic bedding plants. They grow just as well or better in the controlled environment of any indoor grower.

Many cryptanthus enjoy humid conditions which may be increased inside the home or office by humidifiers, misting frequently, setting the pots over water or grouping together. Capillary matting does a great deal to increase humidity and maintain moisture. Cryptanthus grow wonderfully as accent pieces in a well-lighted bathroom or above the kitchen sink where the humidity is generally greater.

Insects and Disease
Bromeliads in general are relatively pest free. Should you encounter scale, wear gloves and dip the plant in any recommended non-copper-containing insecticide (following manufacturer’s instructions for mixing). Shade the plant at least 4 to 24 hours. Then rinse the plant but do not place it in bright light until the leaves dry. It is always wise to follow good horticultural cleanliness practices. Do not allow your plants to come in contact with galvanized metal, penta or copper.

As with most bromeliads, the parent plant blooms only once in its lifetime. Cryptanthus are reliable bloomers. Different species and cultivars bloom at different times of the year and it is possible to have a collection blooming year-round. Although the name Cryptanthus means hidden flower, you are rewarded at maturity with a bouquet of delicate flowers. Depending on the species or cultivar, flowers may bloom one flower after another, or a cluster may open at the same time. Some varieties flatten and some bloom high on a scape.

Flowers are generally white, but certain clones of C. bromelioides have pinkish flowers, and efforts are underway to introduce fragrance and pink to lavender flowers to modern cultivars from newer discovered species in Brazil. There is no need to force-bloom your cryptanthus—they know their duty. The slowest to mature is the somewhat rare C. warasii.

Offsets or Pups
Your cryptanthus will produce offsets with new plants coming from the leaf axis, from woody stolons (as with C. bahianus), or from the base of the plant. This may begin before or immediately after blooming. The ideal hanging basket plant, Cryptanthus ‘Cascade’ produces long, hanging stolons of up to 2 feet with rosettes at the end.

Offsets may be left on the mother pant for multiple growth or may be removed when ready (approximately one-third the size of the mother) with a slight twist and tug. The pup will release easily when it is ready. Some plants release their own offsets when they are sufficiently mature. Don’t be alarmed that there are no roots on the pup. In Nature the pup will roll to a new location or will take root in the decaying humus of the mother plant, thus forming clumps or mats.

Your plant will root easily in your potting medium. Make a small depression, insert the short stem and press the mixture firmly around it. Pot no deeper than the base of the first leaf. Stake the plant if necessary to keep it from rocking back and forth. It is essential the plant feel secure for an extra fast start and good growth. Bottom heat may speed root development in cooler climates. Place the plant in good growing conditions and water as you would a mature plant.

Unit 16/7-23 Wallaroo Drive, Shellharbour

Currently a vacancy available for over 55 year olds in Unit 16 which is a two bedroom villa with new kitchen, carpet, paint, bathroom, built-ins in main bedroom and sunny courtyard for $370.000. Current maintenance fee $13.31/day including 24/7 maintenance line, Village Manager, building insurance, water rates, 24 hour emergency button.
Contact Philippa Clarke, Village Manager, Lakeview Village. Phone: (02) 4272 1957/04 0725 0714.

By Larry Giroux
(Reprinted from The Cryptanthus Society Journal Vol. XXXI No. 1, January-March 2016)

Regardless of which hemisphere you are growing your cryptanthus, in the spring we need to prepare our plants for their growth and propagation, while in the autumn we want to do those things which are going to protect our plants from the impending harsh environment.

These two sets of seasonal duties are not much different from each other. Although the seasons can vary in degree of severity depending on what part of the World you grow, the procedures are about the same. Cleaning, fertilizing, providing the appropriate growing medium, availing the plants the proper moisture, ridding or preventing infestation by insects and diseases, allowing for the optimal growth of offsets and adding or subtracting from your collection by various methods are what we are trying to accomplish. Sounds like a lot of work, but in reality many of these jobs are related and actually soothing to our psyche.

Observation: The First Step to Healthy and Beautiful Cryptanthus.
In an article which I wrote many years ago I told my readers that one of the best things you can do for your plants is to visit your plants up close frequently; you need to pick up each plant at least once a month. By doing this you get to evaluate several of the needs of that particular plant as well as the conditions of your overall collection. By checking the soil you get an opportunity to remove weeds, de-pack the surface with a fork so as to aerate and allow water and nutrients to percolate downward. You can spoon a little extra top dressing or add a bit of long-acting fertilizer. Checking the leaves can determine if there has been cold damage, water scalding, snail or weevil damage, virus, scale or fungus infestation and you might take this opportunity to mist them with an appropriate treatment, if you feel comfortable doing that kind of thing for your plants. During the spring check, when many of the species and cultivars are in bloom, is a great time to make a few crosses and create a few new and unusual hybrids. And while looking, maybe you will find a mutant—a different sport, new to the world. Check between the leaves for the developing offsets, and maybe put these pots aside to deal with the pups later on. Maybe you have a bromeliad show/sale coming up: separate the plants you might exhibit or sell. By allotting a little time a few times a week, you will be surprised how much you can accomplish and how nice your plants will look starting the growing season and how healthier they will be when putting them to bed.

More specifically, let’s look at these duties we really owe to our plants. I suggest organizing a maintenance basket. One of those cleaning baskets with a handle will do nicely. One or two of these can easily accommodate all the tools and items you will need to take care of your plants without having to run back and forth to the storage closets. I like to use a folding table or stand a little higher than a normal table an old ironing board is light and works well—Ed. and placing it in the area that I am concentrating on. That can easily be moved when you move on to a new area. Since I have hundreds of cryptanthus, my commitments to my plants are an ongoing effort. For most of us, however, it will be the early spring and late Fall, times when we should concentrate our efforts. Besides the maintenance basket I like to have a bucket with fresh, clean soil appropriately prepared with ingredients to allow for drainage or absorption of how much moisture your plants will get in the upcoming months from your watering schedule or the rains. Allow for more drainage if you expect heavy rains and allow for more retention of water during the dry seasons, specific to your area.

If you have a few plants and you have been attending them regularly by removing weeds, removing dead leaves, trimming dried tips and providing appropriate soil conditions, you probably have very little to do when the spring or autumn arrives. In my situation in which I have not been as conscientious I usually end up giving an overhaul to many of the plants. When a pot has become full with new offsets, dried leaves and diminishing soil level, I usually find it best to just take the plant(s) out of its pot, separate the plants, remove dead leaves and weeds and repot the plants either in new soil or its original soil which has been refreshed by at least 50%. I have found this most economical and less labor intensive for myself with no significant detriment to my plants; however, if you have only a few plants, it is probably best to use new soil. This is probably the only way you will temporarily rid the pots of certain weeds like ferns and oxalis. In the Spring I add a long-lasting fertilizer like Osmocote or such.

Holes and dry tips will not hurt your plants or their offset production unless the damaged edges are mushy, look fluid-filled and are progressing toward the base of the leaves. This area which has been damaged by heat or cold or standing water in the hot sun has probably become infected by fungus, bacteria or a virus. Once it gets to the base of the leaf, the meristem will decay and the plant will die. If you have space between the damage and the base of the leaf, trimming or entirely removing the leaf is your best bet. I have tried chemicals such as methylene blue and dunks in Captan with very little luck. Remember, cryptanthus are terrestrials (they derive most of their sustenance from the roots and removing a few dying or infected leaves will not deprive the plant of any significant nutrients or water).

When I find offsets developing during my checks, I determine if they are large enough to remove (greater than 1/3 of the mother). If I decide not to remove them, I often trim the leaves around the pup so it has space to develop properly. If you leave it, don’t remove the entire leaf from which the pup sprouted as it needs that portion attached to the stem of the mother for support. Removing them when they are of sufficient size will encourage more offset development.

We are very lucky that there are few cryptanthus which are prone to infection by scale and since, as mentioned earlier, it is difficult to treat fungi and viruses with chemicals once they get infected many growers do not have to use these products in their homes and gardens. Although there are many World regions where we can grow cryptanthus outdoors or in screen enclosures during the winter, many other places require an enclosed greenhouse for winter protection of their tropical and semi-tropical plants. The conditions within these winter facilities encourage spread of insect infestation and diseases. Use of insecticides is a personal choice and if you so choose to treat your plants in the spring and winterize them in the autumn, please be extremely cautious. Use protective equipment and follow the instructions for your own safety and your pets.

Every so often I get the urge to create a new cryptanthus. I find that the springtime, when many of the species and cultivars are blooming, to be an ideal time to try this. In my maintenance basket I keep a pair of tweezers. First I find two interesting cryptanthus which are in bloom at the same time. Many hybridizers actually store pollen from plants which bloom at other times of the year. This gives you a much greater pool of pollen to choose from. I take the tweezers and grab the stamen, which contains fresh pollen (this is usually early in the morning). I then smear it on the sticky arms of the stylus. I write the name of the cross directly on the original label and place a dot of nail polish (the colour is your choice) at the base of the leaf below where I made my cross. I then take a bamboo skewer (often coloring the top of the skewer with the same nail polish) and place this in the pot. This makes it much easier to locate the cross one to two months later when the seeds are ready to harvest. Keep checking for the distinguishable, fat pods and take them off as soon as they become soft—before the ants walk off with the seeds!

Of course, growing conditions are going to vary throughout the world. These differences will determine such factors as how much water your growing media should hold; when, how much and which kind of fertilizer you should use on your plants; and the sun and temperature exposure you give your plants. Even in your own garden you must be able to provide different microenvironments for plants, even within the same genus.

You can’t always learn the ways you can adapt your conditions to suit your plants from a general article like this, but you can always talk to other growers in your area or go on the Internet and ask away! Oh, don’t you just love the Web? We have decided to become the adoptive parent of our plants. It is now our job to provide them with the proper care, protect them from the elements and prepare them so they might grow and prosper.


I had been thinking long and hard following Laurie’s talk at our November meeting as this resulted in my overhearing one group of members saying how they would never use the products involved--Seasol and Thrive- again. However, perhaps while concentrating on looking at examples of the damaged plants they may have missed the whole story of how the damage occurred, and I would like to straighten out this misunderstanding as these two perfectly good products, which we have been using to advantage for years, were not to blame. It needs to be emphasised that it was the “hose-end spraying apparatus” and not the products that caused the damage and so I asked Laurie to explain the situation which he has kindly done and is included below:

“The problem was that the hose-end sprayer, which holds a very concentrated quantity in the attached container, would often block, which if I didn’t have a pin to unblock I would sometimes turn all the way up and forget. I would then realise it when the container was empty and had only done a small section where it should have done most of the collection.

These attachments are not accurate by any means at the best of times, so the quantity applied to the plants would reach sometimes up to six times the recommended dose. Plus, to make it worse, being water impounding plants, the fertiliser would build up even more in the cups.

The biuret in the Urea (nitrogen source) caused damage from the use of Thrive—leaf tip dieback on older foliage with yellow banding between green tissue and necrotic tissue distinguishes it. If applied as a foliar application biuret is quickly absorbed and very slow to metabolise if at all within a plant, so it can build up. Damage doesn’t occur straight away so easy to become complacent. It is passed onto succeeding pups and appears to become more evident during the growing season. It can continue for at least 2 years (depending on dosage) after application.

The plant growth regulator (Cytokinin) in the Seasol and other seaweed extracts used caused bud proliferation and abnormal leaf shape (restricted leaf elongation). As growth is prevented, death usually follows, but is slow to occur.

Thrive and Seasol, and other seaweed extracts, are fine to use on bromeliads at the rates recommended by the manufacturer. The talk was to show the results of oversupply of these substances and what could happen if you become complacent with the rates.”

Following a discussion about plant names at the February Sales Day, some members said how they have trouble with the correct pronunciation of some bromeliad names. To make it easier to understand I have copied the following from “Growing Bromeliads – Third Edition”, published by The Bromeliad Society of Australia Inc. in 2006.

Bromeliads can be broken down to three subfamilies, namely Pitcairnioideae, Tillandsioideae and Bromelioideae, and then different genera within these subfamilies.

Pitcairnioideae – (pit-cairn-ee-oy’dee-aye)
Has 17 genera which in turn subdivide into a 1070 species.
Ayensua (a-yen‘su-a)
Brewcaria (brew-car’ea)
Brocchinia (broch-in’ea)
Connellia (con-nel’lee-a)
Cottendorfia (cot’en-dorf’ea)
Deuterocohonia (doo-ter-o-co’nee-a)
Dyckia (dick’ea)
Encholirium (enko-leer’ium)
Fosterella (fos-ter-ell’a)
Hechtia (heck’tya)
Lindmania (lind-may’nya)
Pepinia (pep-in’ee-a)
Pitcairnia (pit-cair’nea)
Puya (pew’ya)
Steyerbromelia (stayer-brom-eel’ya)

Tillandsioideae - (til-land-see-oy-dee-aye)
Tillandsioideae is the second subfamily representing around 40% of the known bromeliads.
Nine genera make up this subfamily
Catopsis (ka-top’sis)
Glomeropitcairnia (glomero-pitcair’ne-a)
Guzmania (guz-may’nya)
Mezobromelia (mez-o-bro-meel’ee-a)
Tillandsia (till-and’sia)
Vriesea (vree’se-a)

Bromelioideae - (bro-meel-ee-oy’dee-aye)
Bromelioideae is the third subfamily of these remarkable plants and it consists of 34 genera, containing over 1140 species.
Acanthostachys (a-cantho-steak’-is)
Aechmea (eek-me’a)
Ananas (anay’-nus)
Androlepis (an-droll’epis)
Araeococcus (a-ree-o-cock’us)
Billbergia (bil-berj’ea)
Bromelia (broh-meel’ea)
Canistrum (can-is’trum)
Cryptanthus (cript-anth’us)
Fascicularia (fasick-u-lar’ea)
Fernseea (fern-see’a)
Greigia (grayg’ea)
Hohenbergia (hoe-en-berj’ea)
Lymania (lie-may’nya)
Neoglaziovia (ne’o-gla-zee-o’vee-a)
Neoregelia (nee-o-ree-jeel’ya)
Nidularium (nid-u-lar’ium)
Ochagavia (och-a-gah’vi-a)
Orthophytum (or-tho-fy’tum)
Portea (por’te-a)
Pseudaechmea (soo-deek’me-a)
Pseudananas (sood-a-nay’nus)
Quesnelia (kwes-nail’ea)
Ronnbergia (ron-ber’jee-a)
Wittrockia (wit-rock’ee-a)

Editor’s Note: While searching to find the missing pronunciations for the genera added to an earlier edition of the book, I came across some notes from Derek Butcher’s South Australia Bromeliad Gazette which may help take the worry out of whether or not we might have the correct pronunciation. From his Roving Reporter May 2014 report: “Ever since I read Padilla’s book ‘Bromeliads’ in the 1970s I have shuddered on how the Americans pronounce their botanical Latin…. I had thought they were consistent but Herb Plever from New York was able to straighten me out. Here is his Email:

Derek …”There are two schools for English pronunciation of Latin words: Traditionalist and Reformed Academic. Surprisingly, British botanists used the traditionalist pronunciation, so that the letter ‘a’ is pronounced as the ‘a’ in fate, whereas the academic pronunciation of ‘a’ is as in the word father. We Yanks prefer to use the latter sound when saying fahsciahta instead of faysciayta. …When I met Mulford Foster for the first time in 1962 I noted that he pronounced Aechmea as Echmea, and asked him about it. He replied with a twinkle in his eye: “Well, if you go to Harvard you will say Eechmea as Lyman does. Herb”
Dear Herb … Another problem as I see it is that there is Latin AND Botanical Latin and as W.T. Stearn says, “Botanical Latin was designed to be read not spoken.” Thus you would expect Botanical Latin to be pronounced differently by a Kiwi and an Aussie. If we understand each other, who cares! Derek.”

I wanted to mention about a new range of potting mixes now stocked by the above company at 47 Bellambi Lane, Bellambi. I’ve dealt with this business right back from when I bought bird seed when I was breeding birds many years ago and have found them to be a great business to deal with and always reasonably priced.

I’ve previously bought Brunnings orchid potting mix from there but when this was no longer available, they started stocking Martin’s products (, a company which has been around for quite a while, supplying many large organisations for projects such as Floriade in Canberra. They have a good range of reasonably priced potting mixes including an orchid mix, which is based on aged pine bark and also contains controlled release fertiliser, a wetting agent, Zeolite and other trace elements. I’ve been using this now for over four months and find the growth rate much better than the product I previously used. There is the added bonus of a discount if you buy four bags, plus each bag after that is at the discounted rate as well. Some of our older members will find them very obliging as they will also load your car so there’s no lifting involved.

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Updated 15/10/16