Would like a Plant ID, please

love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)March 31, 2013

Can you ID this brom from the photos? I think it is a billbergia, but I am not even sure about that. It came as a three pup cluster in a black nursery pot full of sand from a little beach consignment store a year ago. It was labeled "Christmas Cactus", LOL. I separated them and planted them around one of my oaks. They bloomed this past winter but I missed getting a photo. You can see the remains of a spent bloom in one picture. Also, all three of the original pups have now pupped. Does anyone know the name?

Thanks very much!
Carol in Jacksonville

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Hi Carol - I'm no Billbergia expert but I do have a few in my bromeliad collection including one that looks very similar to the one you have posted pictures of.

Bill's of this type aren't exactly easy to identify as there are many which look very similar, however the one I have is very commonly grown here in Australia and it's been around for years and was first recorded back as far as the 1800's.

Because of this I expect it's just as commonly grown in the US as well as Australia and I'll take a guess and say it's Bill. 'Hoelscheriana'. That's my guess anyway and it will be interesting what others think.

You will be able to find out more on the BCR or the FCBS Photo Index.

Incidentally the plant in your pic.No. 4 appears to have seed capsules forming on the old inflorescence as well.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 9:47PM
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Looks like B. 'Fascinator' grown in low light.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 7:09AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Hi Nev and Gonzer,

Thanks so much for taking a look and giving your opinion. I looked at Google Images for both and I think Nev is correct. Mine look just like Bill. 'Hoelscheriana'. Fascinator is also pretty but I don't think that is what I have. Well, no surprise to find out it is common. I am pretty sure that this beach consignment store - that deals in furniture, home decorations and odds and ends - dug this up out of someone's yard, planted it in the pot in the beach sand and sold it for $6. I probably overpaid, LOL! But it has grown well and is happy, so I am happy.

Nev, did you say SEEDS? I am going to run out and look!


    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:46AM
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Hi everyone,

I'll try again, I already posted but it's gone! Maybe I hit the wrong button?

Gonz - I never even thought about the effect of light on some of the other Bill's as light's not a problem here in Australia beneath 75% beige shade cloth.

When I think about it, another contender could be Bill. De Nada (see pic below) this is growing under the above conditions but it's easy to visualise how much like Carol's plant it would look if grown in low light.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 5:11PM
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Hi again - I just though I'd show what Bill 'Fascinator' looks like grown here under the same conditions as I mentioned in the previous post. Fascinator is the one on the right of the Bill. Hallelujah seedling.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 5:14PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Interesting! I can see how it would be easy to mix them up since color variation depends so much upon light exposure. They are both really pretty plants.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 9:35AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

I went and looked and I do see the seed pods. How can I tell when the seeds are ready to harvest?

UPDATE: It doesn't matter... I tried to harvest too soon. Seed pods were not ready and I've removed them from the plant. Next year I will be more alert... and patient! :)


This post was edited by love_the_yard on Thu, Apr 4, 13 at 22:54

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 10:00AM
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I'd say it's a Billbergia Hoelscheriana only because I recognize all the different ways this plant responds to various conditions. I've lived with this plant for many, many years and it's a tough one. The first cold snap brings the blooms and it can bloom more than once a year too making it promiscuous. It survives drought and even full sun but it can look a little wild. Put it in a pot and treat it tenderly and you can get it to look show quality and I've even seen it trick me. I'll think it's something else, especially when it finds itself in low light stuck somewhere I forgot I stuck it. I love the bright pink blooms coming out in the winter and then it's full bloom lasting two weeks! It's a wild thing but I love it!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 10:31AM
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Additionally, to add to my comment that this plant might be a Billbergia Hoelscheriana it's helpful to know that it's a cultivar of nutans X saundersii. It could be a Billbergia Saundersii as I have seen photos that look a lot like this plant. I'd love to know how you distinguish between the two.
I'm pretty sure it's either a Billbergia Hoelscheriana or a Billbergia Saundersii but I am no expert.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 10:54AM
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