Bromeliad display

Just back from the annual BOP Bromeliad Group Show – lovely display as always, and this time a separate table for some of the smaller tillandsias, plus plenty of plants for sale. Among those enjoying the afternoon were Jocelyn and Peter Coyle of Totara Waters garden in Whenuapai, Auckland. (In fact, Peter talked me into a purchase, reckoning the plant should have been double the price!)

No, Cryptanthus ‘Maggie’ hasn’t passed on to the great plant heap in the sky, this is a plant in peak condition! Photo: Sandra Simpson

Cryptanthus ‘Maggie’ was a subtle eye-catcher in the main display – my photo doesn’t do justice to the colour though, somewhere between grey, chocolate brown and silver. The Cryptanthus bromeliads are commonly called ‘earth stars’ because of their shape. Read more about them here. Note the saw-tooth edges to Maggie’s leaves!

Everyone wanted a piece of Tillandsia mallemontii. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Tillandsia mallemontii hails from Brazil’s Atlantic coast rainforest and has lightly fragrant flowers. Peter Coyle recommends foliar feeding (spray on half-strength fertiliser) for tillandsias.

Tillandsia imperialis is a real show stopper – one of the soft-leaved tillandsias that look more like a bromeliad. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Society president Lynley Breeze told me Tillandsia imperialis, native to Mexico, flowers reliably around Christmas every year with the ‘pagoda’-like flower lasting for 3 or 4 months. In the wild, they grow in trees in cloudforest regions, must be quite a sight.

I didn’t see a name for this one, but it may be Vriesea ‘June’. Photo: Sandra Simpson

The BOP Bromeliad Group meets on the second Wednesday of the month, 12.30pm at the Yacht Club, Sulphur Point, Tauranga. Visitors welcome. For more information phone 576 7711.

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