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Author Topic: Trip to Pallada garden, north Thailand.  (Read 1178 times)
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jaga
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« on: May 15, 2016, 10:24:15 »

Hi all, just been today to check out brom nursery in Mae Rim, about 1 hrs drive north of Chang Mai Thailand. Have taken a lot of pics but most are on the camera, here's a few from the mobile pH at this stage. It is very hot here so its a miracle the broms can cope, 43 degree Celsius . Also internet very slow so will just pick a few images at this stage. Pallada garden is a brom nursery abd was qhite hard to find, down little street in a village so lucky we got a taxi driver who could find the place. Also need to cool off at resort pool + indulge with a local beer now so will sort this quickly or latter, let's see how l go.

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Seem to have succeeded even with poor WiFi and the photo uploaded issues. Enjoy.

John.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 10:55:24 by jaga » Logged
Kayleen C
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2016, 12:17:07 »

Wow! they certainly have a few broms there. Is it me or don't they grow many red broms or does the heat wash them out.
Love the speckly one in the last picture.
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2016, 22:41:40 »

Hi everyone.

John - I have to agree with Kayleen WOW!

It seems that variegated plants are the “flavour of the month” over there as all the plants except those in the last pic. appear variegated. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen so many variegated plants in the one place before and they certainly must be very popular to warrant growing them in such numbers.

Like Kayleen, I was also thinking that the heat must bleach out a lot of the colour as the Neo. 'Cane Fire' (Pic.11) is less colourful than it is here in Australia.

My main interest (after the plants of course) is the type of shade cloth being used. You may remember Chanin Thorut (Stephania) who was a regular on the old Garden Web Bromeliad Forums and who often posted some amazing pictures of Thai bromeliads; in a thread one day, the topic of shade cloth came up, and he said that the nurseries he visited used black shade cloth as they found it enhanced the colour. 

Looking at your pictures 5 and 6 it seems the owner of that particular nursery prefers white and maybe that could explain why the colour in many of the plants appear a bit bleached.

Were you able to get names for the two plants in the last picture? (the pink ones and the unusual mottled ones with the pronounced spikes on the leaf edges) The pink ones looks a bit like ‘Pink Sensation’ albeit a bit less colourful, and the other interesting one on the right may have a touch of those carcharodon spikey leaves about it, maybe one of carcharodon’s many forms or maybe some carcharodon genes in its heritage somewhere. There are some similarities between those plants and the Ken Marks’ picture of carcharodon on the F.C.B.S. site, although the spines on your plant aren’t coloured like those in the F.C.B.S. picture.

Very interesting pictures John and I eagerly await looking at the others you took.

Thanks so much for sharing.

All the best, Nev.
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2016, 11:58:08 »

Hi all, yes unfortunately here is another sign of ' global warming', with temperatures here a shocking 10 degrees above the average for month of May this year, hotest on record so broms even though under a silver black 50% cloth are no match for the heat. Interestingly the UV is very low so don't need sun tan lotion. Plants don't really burn just bleach out it seems in most cases. Just walked past some Alcantarias in the street that are burnt but suspect this is from stress from lack of water. Will get a image to show.

I got a lot more images with the camera Nev and will try see about some the names once I go through them soon when we reach our home in Malaysia. Most you see are hybrids. Communication was a issue as they don't understand or speak much English.


John
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2016, 00:48:41 »

Final round of images

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14 - some cut pups
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20 - seedling area
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Enjoy - John
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2016, 02:15:08 »

Hi everyone.

John – That’s a great batch of pictures you’ve posted for us this morning.

With such a large number of the same plants are they the result of tissue culture or normal pup production?

I also notice with the plants in Pic.3 of Neo. ‘Dorothy’ (which incidentally is an unregistered name)there is a terrific lot or variation in the markings which gets back to another post where I was saying one of the reasons I’ve lost interest in variegated plants is the fact that many are very unstable.

The plants in Pic 12 are very similar to one I have called Neo. ‘Orange Glow’ and they seem to have maintained their colour well as does Neo Shelldance (Pic 10) The reason could be that they appear to be in a more shaded part of the growing area, whereas some of the others such e.g. Neo. Cane Fire (Pic.5) appear to be a bit bleached due to the excessive UV.

Also a rather large seedling area with possibly some champions of the future.

Thanks for sharing, it’s almost as good as being there.

All the best, Nev.
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2016, 03:44:53 »

Hi, Nev sadly was not able to communicate very well with them and it was way to hot to spend any length of time outside, I tried to ask how they had achieved such numbers of the same plant but did not get a understandable answer but from my observation, plants like the shell dance/ what you pick as orange glow or looked identical, hence I would say they had been tissue cultured.

I think the table with the 'Dorothy' on it in pic 3 is a mixture of different variegated Neo's, many are of there own making.
There was a clear delination between bleached out plants and ones that seemed to be well cared for, shade cloth was part of the reason the other is the cared for ones are on a continuous misting overhead sprinkler system, that included the seedling area.

The images shown are all from one area, there was plenty more but with temps reaching 48c we had both reached our limit. next time will plan for cooler part of the year.

Nev this issue with variegates varying so much does not seem to be any where as bad in the tropics and i have theory they no-var due to our big temp differences.

John

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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2016, 10:28:01 »

Hi John, Real great pictures that immediately evoke feelings of severe jealousy and greed!

Do you have any idea of how their tissue culture is accomplished, or any other method? It has been something that's been on my mind and "to-do" list for some time.

Best wishes,

Conrad
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2016, 01:22:42 »

Hi everyone.

Conrad - A friend and I once dabbled in orchid hybridizing and growing the seed (which incidentally is like powder and nothing like bromeliad seed). Tissue culture was really the next step on from there and a way of mass producing plants that were very special, expensive and in short supply.

It's a simple enough process but you need a fair bit of cash outlay to set yourself up as you need a laboratory and filtered air provided by an expensive  “laminar flow cabinet”. This is where all the work is done; you sit at the bench with the cabinet in front of you which ensures everything inside the cabinet is sterile including your gloved hands which have to be pre-washed in Sodium Hypochlorite to kill any contaminants before you put them inside the cabinet. (You can also make what's called a "clean air cabinet" which is simply a box with a sloping glass top and two arm holes in the front, but it isn't air-conditioned and relies on everything being pre-sprayed with Sodium Hypochlorite before use)

Sterility is “everything”, and things can be so easily contaminated. We had both worked in jobs which required us to use a "no touch technique" (Using sterile forceps instead of fingers to handle everything) so we didn’t have trouble with that part of the process which is where so many go wrong; one slip up at this early stage and everything’s contaminated.

Before you start you have to prepare your flasks with the growing medium and sterilize them, ready for use. The flasks contain about one centimeter of  Agar-Agar which is a jelly like substance derived from algae. Other trace elements are mixed with this before it’s put in the flasks. The flasks are then sealed and sterilized in a pressurized boiler. (I think you can now buy the flasks  "ready to use" which saves a lot of time and heartache, but they aren’t cheap.)

You start with one single “apical meristem” (The meristem at the tip of a plant shoot that produces auxin and causes the shoot to grow and increase in length). This is removed from the plant previously, trimmed, cleaned and sterilized prior to planting. This is planted in the flask on the Agar-Agar which is now in a semi-firm jelly form. 

Once the meristems are planted you then need somewhere to grow them, we used mesh shelves inside the laboratory with Gro-Lux lights above and the whole lab. temperature controlled to maintain a constant temperature for the flasks. As the meristems proliferate they are separated and planted in separate flasks in small groups depending on how many plants you want. All of this has to be done inside the “laminar flow cabinet” as well as they are still prone to contamination.

That's what was required when we did it, but things have hopefully changed to a quicker and less expensive way of doing it by now so it's something you would need to investigate

You can read more detail at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_tissue_culture

All the best, Nev.
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2016, 12:52:12 »

We had a rep from this tissue culture lab do a talk and sell plants at one of our meetings.
https://www.plantbiotech.com.au/

I don't know if it is the weather here but not a lot of brom growers in our club think much of tissue culture plants.
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2016, 01:58:16 »

Hi everyone.

Kayleen – I certainly don’t know all of the “ins and outs” of tissue culture, but I first got to know about it when I was growing orchids back in the 60’s when “mericlones” (That’s what tissue cultured plants were called then) first became available to hobbyists in Australia. They were being imported from a company called Lecoufle (I think that’s how you spell it) in France.

In those days it was mainly Cattleyas and Cymbidiums that were available to the likes of you and I, and they were supposedly exact replicas of top class show plants with a string of French and American awards after their names that you couldn’t jump over. Obviously, they were something new and exciting which allowed us access to plants we would never be able to otherwise afford, so everyone “had to have some”.

It was a different thing altogether when these early mericlones eventually flowered though, and a lot of disappointed growers found that the quality needed to gain those awards was much below the standard required for Australian bred plants to gain the same award. For example, some that had an F.C.C. (First Class Certificate) which was the highest award possible, would be lucky to even gain the much lower H.C.C. (Highly Commended Certificate) by Australian standards. It just seemed that those companies could get awards for their plants no matter what the quality, and consequently many of these early mericlones, finished up in the “green bin”. Likewise, Australian growers soon learned that the only awards they could trust were those awarded by the Australian Orchid Council and the Royal Horticultural Society in England. 

From what I understand when tissue culture started, Lecoufles were looking for ways of producing a virus free potato. By this time they had already learned how to tissue culture various plants, but it was believed that because these mericlones were exact replicas of the parent plant, they would all inherit the same good and bad virtues (including viruses) of the mother plant. If they they could isolate and select a parent plant that was free of virus, and use the tissue from this plant, all of the mericlones would be the same and “virus free”.

This became a very big “selling point”, as there were some serious viruses among some orchids at that stage, with Mosiac being a common one. This was believed to originally have come from the Tobacco Mosaic Virus and at that stage was infecting mainly Cymbidiums in our area. It was also during this period that the export of Australian Cymbidium flowers was big business for some of the larger orchid growers, mainly because our plants were in flower when there were none in flower in other countries.

Because the threat of Cymbidium Mosiac was a serious one and could wipe out whole collections, when Cymbidium mericlones first became available and were guaranteed virus free, they were bought in large numbers by these orchid flower exporters.
To learn more about Mosiac Virus See: http://www.aos.org/orchids/orchid-pests-diseases/virus.aspx

When I got into bromeliads many years later, it came as no surprise that Brom’s too were then being tissue cultured and imported into Australia in flasks. Because they didn’t have to undergo the rigorous quarantine treatment and attrition rate that bare rooted plants did, some of the larger growers were importing these plants in there thousands, growing them on and when they got to flowering size, treating with Ethylene gas to induce flowering so they had whole batches in flower at the same time.

At that time Tropiflora, a leading bromeliad producer and seller in Sarasota U.S., recommended a product called “Florel” for this purpose, but anything with the active ingredient “Ethefon” will work. There are several different products on the market here in Australia which containing Ethefon which are used to achieve successful results. These plants are then distributed to large stores such as Bunnings, Big-W, K-Mart, Masters and other large outlets to be “on-sold” to the public; even market sellers can go to these large wholesale growers and buy at wholesale prices to later re-sell at markets. Unfortunately most of these plants are sold with just the generic name of “Bromeliad” on the label and from the time of purchase the hunt begins to find a correct ID for these plants.

I don’t know about others, but I have not had a happy relationship with tissue cultured bromeliads. My first one was one of the many cultivars of Ae. Fasciata that were around at that time. It was in full flower and looked just like a magnificent first class large flowered fasciata. When the flowers eventually died and the inflorescence was removed, it produced five pups which pleased me no end. When they were a suitable size and were removed and shortly after, it produced four more. In time these all grew into mature plants and produced pups of their own, but from these (now nine plants), not a single flower; and after growing them on for another several years without any flowers, they all found their way into the “green bin”.

My next experience was with a Vriesea ‘Splenriet’ which I bought when the inflorescence was only half grown; as it grew it began to take on a weird shape with twists and bends and eventually produced multiple deformed bracts which never produced a single flower.

A third plant was given to me as a gift and was obviously one of the many “mass produced” Ae fasciata types to hit the local market. It was of similar shape, flower and foliage colour as the normal Ae. Fasciata and looked to be an exact replica, with one major exception; it had smooth edges on the leaves. This was in flower, and when it finished, like the others, produced multiple pups but these only ever got to half size and developed ugly creases and ridges on the leaf surfaces. I left some on the Mother plant and others I removed, but none of them increased in size and all developed those horrible leaf deformities. Who knows, maybe if I had persevered a few years more, I may have developed a miniature fasciata? Needless to say these all finished up in the “green bin” also and that was the end of my association with tissue cultured bromeliads.

There have since been other growers in our Brom Society who have spoken about similar experiences with tissue cultured plants they purchased at local outlets, and no one can come up with a definite answer that can be substantiated regarding a cause of these problems.

Initially it was thought that the number of plants that could be produced from a single meristem was limitless and could just go on ad infinitum; but since then I have read where some tissue culture technicians are now questioning this and are of the belief that the greater the number of plants that are produced, the more chance of problems.

The reasons they give are, the tissue material used may become weaker as the numbers produced increase. They also suggest that because this process is performed by humans, human error may also come into the equation. This could result in the introduction of contaminants such as harmful bacteria or worse still, viruses which increase the likelihood of deformities or other problems being introduced into the plant mix. Their logic for this reasoning is that after all it is still performed by humans who can and do make mistakes! As hygiene is the most important part of the whole process, it only takes one person to forget to wash their hands and sterilize their gloves to cause the whole process to become contaminated and the more times it’s performed, the greater the chance of this occurring.

My theory is, that either during the tissue culture process or the treatment with the Ethefon, something happens to upset the genetic makeup of these plants and it’s this genetic “mixup” that is causing these deformities and this could be added to  the situations mentioned above. Whether this is correct or not I don’t know, and only time will give us an answer.
 
John - I have to apologise as I seem to have gotten well and truly away from the original topic once again, and hijacked your thread about Pallada Garden. I'm sorry John, and my only defense is Kayleen; you can blame it on her as she got me going again.

All the best, Nev.
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2016, 03:32:47 »

Greetings all, The forum is about info sharing and discussion so even though I know you are joking Nev about varying away its all good. In this case I did expect this discussion to occur Im just a little surprised just how much you know about it Nev, well done, can see its a hang up from your orchid days.

So where to start......... Thailand has many very good universities and a lot of the nursery owners have biology/horticultural type degrees there and over the course of the few years that FaceBook has been running the 'Planet Bromelaid' site I have seen a number of postings from the Thai members on there 'Tissue culturing' efforts so when you see 2000 identical plants lined up as above its fairly clear that they are 'Tissue Cultured'. Unforturnately my Thai is limited to greetings and thank you so was not able to discuss this with Pallada Gardens other than getting a 'yes' when I asked if the neo I pointed at that time was Tissued Cultured. Its quite clear when you examine 1 table of plants that they are all completely identical, size form and markings.

Here's my experience with plants here and maybe not as bad as yours Nev, lets see,

1-Vriesea Gigantea, from holland. Grew very well and flowered upon maturity. Had no pups and died. However I did cross one flower, 1 result below.
2-Vriesea 'Kiwi Sunset', from kiwi bromelaids NZ. 4 plants, Grew well but did not colour as per original so have binned.
3-Vriesea 'Kiwi Cream', from kiwi bromelaids NZ. 2 out of 4 plants very good with good pups/colour. Other 2 binned.
4-Vriesea 'Kiwi Dusk', from kiwi bromelaids NZ . all 4 plants fine and seem identical, since pupped fine.
5- Aechmea Madge, never brought this but many did here as very nice looking smaller version of Chantinii, from all counts most got there plant to flowering point but very few sent up any pups, now only a few plants left here.

Tissue cultured Vriesea gigantea x fosteriana hybrid. That I have grown from seed. Has grown without a hitch but we will see if it has any pups.
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2016, 07:35:18 »

Hi everyone.

John - That's a fine looking hybrid you've made there. Beautiful colours and conformity. It will be interesting to see what seedlings do when a parent is a tissue cultured plant; here's hoping they grow normally like any other seedling.

I had forgotten about the 'Kiwi' series of Vrieseas; there were three available here initially, I don't know if any more since but many of us rushed in and bought the three at $30 each. Kiwi 'Dusk', Kiwi 'Cream' and Kiwi 'Sunset'. Kiwi 'Sunset' always does well here and colours up nicely and pups freely, Kiwi 'Dusk' grows well and pups freely but doesn't colour up as well as the pictures I've seen of it.  Kiwi 'Cream' seems to be the "lemon" of the trio in our area  with almost everyone complaining about its slow growth and being prone to rotting

Mine didn't rot, although it was a very slow grower which eventually put up a very small deformed inflorescence with flowers that never opened. After the inflorescence died, it just went backwards, never pupped and eventually died. So once again the dreaded 'tissue culture curse" got a third of my purchases.

Just a little more info. about tissue culture; it was when I was just getting out of orchids that tissue culture was coming into its own in Singapore, prior to that, everything we got here came from France or America.

All the best, Nev.
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2016, 08:25:16 »

Nev, we have had this discussion between us on Vriesea 'Kiwi cream' in the past and it seems I was lucky? just maybe its the way with all Tissue cultured plants, many mules to a few good ones?
Pleased I did that plant above now, seems quite strong but needs to go through its full cycle as the parent did not last long once its seed pods were removed, I guess you wouldn't mind so much if you got just 1 pup off it.

So in conclusion Tissue culture in the past hasn't given very consistant long term results with a number of bromeliads that we have had between us here, but a tool to mass market a collectibles to get quick dollars so I guess its 'buyer beware'! The actual Tissued plants always look so good having had optimum growing before being flogged off , There are many Tissue cultured guzmania  in our supermarkets here with all sorts of flower colours to attract the punters most get binned and replaced when the flower finishes and I have never seen one pup?

It would be great to see how the plants above proform in Thailand in the long term, neoregelia may buck the trend. Not sure if any have been imported into Australia yet ? Haven't seen any here.

-John
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2016, 02:10:06 »

Hi everyone.

John - Was that Vr. gigantea that came from Holland a particularly good clone, and do you have a picture? The reason I ask is that I’ve seen a few different clones around here and they are all vary a bit and none of them are said to have been the results of tissue culture. Maybe it’s just one of those variable species.

You say, “Pleased I did that plant above now”; I think that’s a bit of an understatement as I know if I had bred such a plant, I would be wearing a grin on my face like a “cat in a milk factory”. It’s such a beautiful plant and could well be the “pride of your fleet”, but time will tell as it goes through the reproductive cycle.

It’s a pity your gigantea died before you were able to get a pup as it looks very promising as a parent, do any of your brom growing friends in NZ have the same plant that you could perhaps get a pup from? I think in view of what happened, it would be good if you can keep a good progressive record on the performance of that particular seedling you bred from it.

Regarding Guzmanias and to a lesser extent, green leaved Vrieseas, these seem to be the main tissue cultured plants that pop up here from time to time and as you say the Guzmanias seem to be the ones with the biggest array of colours, and some of them are quite beautiful with colours ranging from the softest pinks and mauves through to very strong reds and purples as well as apricot orange and yellow colours with occasional bi-colours as well. It seems that more has been done with these, particularly in Belgium and Holland as they seem to have cornered the European flower trade where they take the place of cut flowers, and as you say are produced with the idea of being binned when finished and then buying a new plant. They definitely do fulfill their purpose as they make a wonderful showpiece in the home sometimes for several months, and dollar for dollar, are a much better proposition than buying cut flowers which only last for a couple of weeks (if you are lucky).

When I mentioned my experiences with tissue cultured plants in the previous post, I completely forgot all about Guzmanias and green leaved Vrieseas. I have over the years bought several Guzmanias just for the purpose they were intended (colour in the home) and I have found in my case, they do produce abundant pups, in fact in some cases I would say they are prolific which I put down to the fact that as tissue cultured plants, maybe they were still stuck in the proliferation mode of the tissue culturing process, if that is possible. 

My memory is a bit hazy after all these years, but I seem to remember when we tissue cultured a plant, the basis for the agar agar mix was initially the old Knudson “C” formula
See: https://www.duchefa-biochemie.com/product/details/number/K0215

To this there were several extra additives mixed in prior to the sterilizing process. My mate at the time was the “chemical brains” behind the formulae so I’m unable to relate what these additives were, except for one which fascinated me as it was simply “over ripe” bananas which were blended and added to the mixture to provide extra potassium and was said to be better than adding potassium in its pure chemical form. Whether this is true or not I don’t know, but I do know once seedlings and mericlones were re-plated (thinned out and transplanted) from the Mother flask into flasks containing this mixture with the banana, they really went ahead in leaps and bounds.

I also remember that with tissue culturing there were two mixes used; the first one was to encourage proliferation of the original meristem and the second was to stop this proliferation of the mericlones once they had been re-plated. I remember once by mistake, I re-plated ten mericlones into each of six flasks which contained the proliferation mixture, and every one of these mericlones started to proliferate and soon the bottom of the flask was covered in proliferating mericlones. The mind boggles to think where this could have all ended up, and I have visions of mericlones enveloping the whole laboratory Ha! Ha!

However, once again I’m getting off track a bit so I’ll return specifically to my experience with the tissue cultured Guzmania and Vriesea plants I bought. After they had flowered I grew on the pups (which initially were very slow to make progress) several just died for no apparent reason, but I did manage to grow some to maturity. However I only managed to get about six different hybrids from an initial total of ten to flower, and that took about five years from pup size. Even now several years later they are just still very slow growing but now producing pups at the rate of one at a time and not multiple.

As for Neoregelias, I’ve only ever seen the one tissue cultured hybrid available in our area and that was Neo. ‘Deroose's Medusa’ (previously just ‘Medusa’). It is a very attractive spineless Neoregelia (See: http://registry.bsi.org/?fields=&id=5753&search=medusa) but I found that the plant I bought only grew to about ¾ maturity and then stopped growing. It didn’t flower and didn’t pup, and eventually died; so once again no success with these tissue cultured plants. I suppose there could be another reason, and that is maybe they just don’t like me or my growing area, who knows?

In case Conrad reads this, I have posted below three URLs about tissue culture he may be interested in.

http://himedialabs.com/TD/PT066.pdf

http://www.himedialabs.com/TD/M848.pdf

http://phytotechlab.com/media/downloads/14820/O799-EpiphyticOrchidSeedSowingKit.pdf

Here’s a few pic’s of the tissue cultured Guzmanias and green leaved Vrieseas I bought some years ago, some still flower but they are very slow growing and unreliable.

Vriesea 'Barbara'

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Vriesea 'Evita'

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Vriesea 'Splenriet'- The Mother of this particular plant was the only surviving pup that got almost to the adult stage when we had our coldest ever winter. It suffered very severe cold damage and the survival reflex produced three pups after which she quickly declined and died. As we were fortunately now coming into spring, the pups kept growing and took over the space where the mother once was. They grew into adulthood and all three flowered as you can see. Unfortunately by the time they had finished flowering, winter was upon us once more and they all suffered from cold damage and simply stopped growing. They never produced any pups and ultimately died; however I did get a couple of months of beautiful colour to brighten up our lounge room before this happened.

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Guzmania 'Cherry Ripe' (unregistered)

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Guzmania 'Sunny Time'

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Guzmania 'Hilda'

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All the best, Nev.
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