Friday, August 10, 2018

Bromeliads!

Last weekend, the South Bay Bromeliad Associates (SBBA) held their annual show and sale at Rainforest Flora in nearby Torrance.  As I've been slowly adding to my collection of these often pricey plants, I had to check it out.

Rainforest Flora's interior sales area


I checked out the SBBA show first.  Held in Rainforest's warehouse area, the surroundings aren't as attractive as the plants.

Panoramic view of the show area.  Hey, I warned you it wasn't fancy.


The plants were grouped by genus.  Here's a selection of my favorites:

Billbergia saundersii

I've been looking for Quesnelia marmorata for well over a year now.  The one on the left is 'Rafael Olivera' and the one on the right is 'Tim Plowman'.

Dyckias, clockwise from the top: 'South Bay', 'First Cousin' and 'Carol Wajick'

Hechtia 'Baker's Beauty'

Tillandsias, clockwise from the upper left: T. capitata 'Peach', T, capitata 'Variegata', T. durantii var saxatilis, mixed Tillandsia wreath, and T. hybrid (maybe 'Silver Trinket')

Vriesea ospinae var. gruberi (left) and V. 'Splendide' (right)


Unfortunately, even though I arrived within just a couple hours of the show's opening, the varieties offered by the SBBA sale didn't reflect the range of plants on display in the show area.  I bought just one plant.

This is Billbergia 'Boracho' trying out a spot between my succulent and bromeliad beds in the front garden.  I was concerned that the morning sun might be too strong here but it seems to be holding up just fine.


So I took a stroll through Rainforest Flora, which was offering 20% off on all bromeliads.

The official greeter was lying down on the job.  To be fair, it was very warm.

I considered the lovely Tillandsia kimosthenes (left) and a variety of Vriesea (right)

Instead, I bought Tillandsia 'Isaac Jogues', on sale for nearly twice the cost of the prior options


I'd hoped to find more bromeliads to fill in empty spaces in the pocket garden area I created last year.  It's a good that I had a back-up plan.  I'd placed an order with Plant Delights for 3 new x mangaves.  Those arrived Wednesday afternoon so I'm now eyeing the available space in the bromeliad garden for at least 2 of them.

From left to right, the new plants are Agave-Manfreda hybrids 'Spotty Dotty', 'Bad Hair Day', and 'Kaleidoscope'.  The latter arrived a bit battered but it looks like it pups readily so I trust it'll outgrow the damage.


I'd planned to get the Billbergia and mangaves planted this week but an extension of the excessive heat warning had me putting that task off.  With monsoonal moisture blowing in from the east, the temperature should come down so hopefully I can tackle planting this coming weekend.  Do you have plans to work in your garden this weekend?


All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

28 comments:

  1. Love that name 'Boracho' (drunk!). So glad you attended because I couldn't unfortunately. I've got to get over there to scratch my fav official greeter.

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    1. Clearly, my high school Spanish was inadequate! The greeter tolerated being patted but didn't exert himself.

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  2. I recommend more xMangaves! Maybe one of the new purple leaved ones? If you squint they kind of look like bromeliads?

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    1. I've got a 'Lavender Lady' but she seems happy where she is and she's yet to produce a pup but, if 'Silver Fox' produces more of those, I may move one.

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  3. What a shame that the Bromeliads on display weren't a taste of what they still had for sale. I love those ones with the curly leaves, and I'd love to find some more colorful Dyckias. Hmm...I might have to check out the Mangave offerings at Plant Delights.

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    1. The SBBA did have a handful of small Dyckias for sale, although not any of those I saw in the show space and I didn't consider the prices real bargains. Plant Delights has an excellent selection of mangaves but they aren't cheap either.

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  4. You got a great Brom and the Mangaves are cool.

    Would love to work in the garden, but it's too #(%$^*!@ hot!

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    1. It seemed more comfortable here late this afternoon as both the temperature and the humidity dropped (i.e. to mid-80s and single digit). I got in a little over an hour's work in before the dinner bell rang. I hope tomorrow continues the trend.

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  5. Inter City C&S Show is this weekend.

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    1. Ah, yes, but my builder has a birthday to celebrate and that doesn't fit into the line-up. Have a good time and take lots of photos!

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  6. That Quesnelia that looks as though someone curled the leaves with a pair of scissors as you do with ribbon is very interesting. They’re an interesting plant group you’ve featured and I look forward to seeing their flowers when they arrive.

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    1. That leaf curl is exactly what's had me on the hunt for the Quesnelia for a year now, Jane. I've yet to find anything in this genus for sale.

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  7. With so many beauties to choose from, I think your choice was a good one. It's lovely!

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    1. I'm not sure I saved much but I'm happy with my bromeliad purchases (and the mangaves too). Hopefully, all will prosper and produce pups!

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  8. I’ve been lusting after the curled Bromeliad for some time now, thanks for finally giving it a name (Quesnelia marmorata). I would love to place an order from Plant Delights, but the shipping is what makes me just say no... your Mangaves are fabulous!

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    1. The shipping fee just about made me choke too, Loree.

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  9. You always introduce me to plants I have never heard of which I enjoy seeing. It is like you live in a different world. In a sense you do. Yes, I am working in the garden this weekend. I work out there early before the sun comes around to the portion of the garden where I need to do the work. I have some plants to get into the garden too.

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    1. Different climates but the same world, Lisa! Enjoy your work in the garden this weekend.

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  10. Oh wow, I would be there in an instant if I lived nearby! And I'd definitely welcome bromeliads in the garden if I lived in a warm climate. I remember seeing stunning collections in Florida and California gardens! And the indoor botanical gardens here have some amazing ones, too. :)

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    1. I'd always hesitated about planting bromeliads in the ground but, so far so good!

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  11. Sorry that you didn't find more bromeliads at the show/sale but the mangaves are an exciting addition.

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    1. The mail order mangaves were a major indulgence, Peter, but what's a plant addict to do during the warm summer months, especially when my local garden centers have thus far failed to get on the mangave train?!

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  12. The two Quesnelia marmorata are very striking; too bad there were none available for sale! However, the Tillandsia 'Isaac Jogues' is beautiful, and I am glad you got that one! I have found mail order plants to be hit or miss, but the ones you ordered look like they are well developed and in good condition. Hope rain arrives and your temps come down so you can do some planting.

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    1. I probably need to search mail-order providers for the Quesnelia - the plants have been elusive to say the least. The 90-day forecast currently shows a chance of a thunderstorm in late September and then essentially nothing through mid-November; however, NOAA is projecting a "decent" chance of an El Nino positively impacting the Southwest during the winter months. El Nino can bring a host of problems, though.

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  13. I look forward to seeing them in situ!

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    1. I got the last of them planted today so photos will follow soon.

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  14. I think you will love the Billbergia.I have a Hallejuah (can never spell it) that blooms red, white and blue flowers on a purple spotted plant. And reproduces like mad - 10 or 12 in the garden now.

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    1. I got another Billbergia from the SBBA sale last year - 'Carioca'. That one actually did bloom once in the past year so perhaps I'll be as lucky with 'Borracho'.

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