Brom ID

tropicbreezentSeptember 29, 2012

I've been off and on with this forum, mainly answering queries on pineapples which I've been growing for many years. Other Bromeliads I'm not so good on. This is one that I have growing on the edge of a garden bed bordered with rock (lateritic rock to be a little more precise). You can see one of the spent inflorescences behind the new flowers coming. It developed seed pods but they seem to be empty. Not surprising as we don't have the pollinators here. My question is for the ID, at least at genus level, and also just where is the best location for it. There's some small slightly yellow blotches on the leaves which I don't think are normal. So I was wondering whether I should have it up in a tree or on a log. I'm thinking the soil may not be entirely agreeing with the plant. Any comments greatly appreciated, thanks.

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Hi tropicbreezent - Your plant is a Billbergia. However which one it is I can't say as they come in many different sizes shapes and colours. As for the spotting; well this is quite common in some Billbergias, while some just have plain foliage. Others may have a type of barring on the underside of the leaves and still other may be variegated. It's hard to say if the spotting on your plant is caused by the soil it's growing in or is just natural for that particular plant or even a combination of the two.

As for your other question about whether you should have it mounted on a tree, well I think that's just a matter of personal taste. I have them growing in the garden; in pots, and mounted on trees and they are all growing happily. However the pendulous type of inflorescence does lend itself more to being tree mounted and is certainly better to view when grown in this manner.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 12:57AM
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Thanks Nev. I just had the feeling that if the plant was naturally an epiphyte it may not like the ground contact with the higher mineral content. The other thing was the inflorescent hung down (it's propped in the photo by a bit of bark) looking like it expected a lot of air space below.

Many epiphytes end up falling and some continue to persist on the ground for some time. But their preference is "out on a limb". I'm planning on bringing some more logs/large branches onto my place and loading some up with Broms (and other epiphytes). I'm never short on ideas, no matter how impractical/crazy they might end up being, LOL.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 9:42PM
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Old panty hose and spagnum make got homes on the trees for your tree dwellers. I also use old clear fishing line to attach them and mix spagnum at the base.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 4:45PM
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Thanks for that Hotdiggetydam. But I'm out of pantyhose, either old or new, LOL. I use fishing line for a lot of epiphytes because afterwards it's easy to cut and pull out without disturbing the plant. I also wrap the base up in coconut cloth, that is the natural fibrous cloth at the base of coconut fronds. It eventually decomposes like any other organic material but you can get a good year out of it. So that around the base of the plant up against a tree/limb and then tied off with fishing line. I don't know why they son't sell the stuff, it's so handy for a lot of things (except as a substitute for panyhose - too scratchy, LOL).

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 10:26PM
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