Bodacious bromeliads at Sacramento Bromeliad Society show

Yesterday I went to the 2018 Show and Sale of the Sacramento Bromeliad and Carnivorous Plant Society. As I had hoped, it was a great opportunity to see plants I only know from books and the web. I'm a rank novice when it comes to bromeliads (especially cultivation) but I'm fascinated by the wide range of forms and colors. And I came home with a box full of treasures—it's hard to resist a good sale with prices that can't be beat.

Here are some of the plants that caught my eye in the show. They're in no particular order, just like the show itself didn't seem to be in any particular order. It's easy to see why many succulent fanatics are into bromeliads as well.

Cryptanthus 'Thriller'
Dyckia marnier-lapostollei; dyckias are the bromeliads I'm most familiar with
Vriesea fosteriana 'Red Chestnut'

Neoregelia 'Hannibal Lecter #3'

Miniature bromeliad arrangement

Tillandsia arrangement

Aechmea fasciata 'Albomarginata'

Vriesea fenestralis

Neoregelia 'Voodoo'

Neoregelia 'Gold Fever'

Neoregelia 'Kahala Dawn'

Aechmea nigra

Neoregelia (carolinae × rosealineata) × 'Fancy Free'

Neoregelia hybrid


Cryptanthus 'Lisa Vinzant'

Cryptanthus 'Lisa Vinzant'

Cryptanthus 'Alpine Frost'

Quesnelia marmorata 

Billbergia 'Muriel Waterman'

Orthophytum sp.

This sign next to the orthophytum above cracked me up

Ananas 'Lava Burst'

Neoregelia 'Lava Burst'

Neoregelia (carolinae × concentrica) × 'Purple Star'

Hohenbergia pennae

Hohenbergia pennae has impressive teeth along the leaf margins

The stage of the Shepard Garden and Arts Center (which happens to be the home of the Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society as well) was decorated with this impressive installation:

Looking towards the stage

A side room featured dozens of carnivorous plants. I only took a few photos since carnivorous plants aren't a major interest of mine, at least not at the moment.

Easily the funniest display I've ever seen at a plant show

Life support for carnivorous plants!

Sarracenia psittacina

Sarracenia leucophylla × oreophila

My plant haul: nine plants for a whopping $44! Eight are bromeliads, one a Japanese bitter orange seedling (Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Dragon') for an irresistible $2. You never know what you might find at a plant show!

This is what I bought (left to the right):
  • Vriesea fosteriana 'Red Chestnut'
  • Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Chestnut'
  • Neoregelia 'Corazón'
  • Tillandsia somnians
  • Cryptanthus 'Thriller'
  • Cryphanthus 'Seafoam'
  • Puya laxa
  • Neoregelia spectabilis × marmorata
  • Aechmea gamosepala
I planted the Aechmea gamosepala (the plant with the red flower in the photo above) in the backyard near the chaste tree; it's hardy enough to remain outside in the winter. I'm not sure yet about some of the others so I've decided to leave them in plastic pots for now. This includes plants I bought yesterday and some others I already had. I've clustered them around the base of the chaste tree:

1. Neoregelia spectabilis × marmorata
2. Neoregelia carcharodon 'Tiger'
3. Billbergia buchholtzii
4. Neoregelia 'Gorrion'
5. Tillandsia somnians
6. ×Vriecantarea 'Julietta'
7. Aechmea gamosepala
8. Vriesea fosteriana 'Red Chestnut'

Most of these don't have a "real" root system. As epiphytes, they primarily use their roots to anchor themselves to trees and absorb water and nutrients through their leaves. Watering consists of filling their "tank", the reservoir in the center of the plant, when it's low.

Look for an update on these bromeliads later in the year.


  1. I really think you have an advantage cold weather-wise in Davis.There is no way Broms would survive outside here. I happened to be in Davis this weekend and as I walked about downtown I noticed many Aeoniums in commercial plantings along the sidewalk. They didn't look particularly cared for , but they were alive ! Maybe it's the dense tree canopy downtown ?

    1. I think downtown Davis might even be a degree warmer than at my house.

      I think the aeoniums you saw were an accident, i.e. not planted based on any particular knowledge. But I could be wrong. Aeoniums tend to look crappy here in the summer because they go dormant to survive the heat.

  2. I think you're on your way to an addiction, Gerhard. Your local sale had a good selection and very good prices. You just reminded me that there's a bromeliad sale and show down this way next weekend - and I've got my own budding addiction to feed.

    1. I do recognize the signs of an oncoming addiction and try to step on the brakes :-).

      I actually was thinking of your bromeliad bed. You have quite a collection going.

  3. Spectacular stage installation there. Can you imagine that in a garden? San Diego!

  4. OMG, I'm salivating with envy over the Bromeliad display you saw, and cracking up over the little sign, because that is exactly what I asked Peter about one of his when I toured his garden. The tall curly striped and spotted one (Quesnelia marmorata) is gorgeous!

    1. This was the first time I've ever seen an orthophytum inflorescence in real life. Definitely an attention getter!

      I bought four small Quesnelia marmorata pups on eBay and they're doing great outside in the shade.

  5. So when you see this on the calendar for next year let me know and I'll be down! Such a great show/sale and your purchases are wonderful. I did have to laugh at Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Chestnut' though...

    1. I think all the Sacto plant clubs follow the same show schedule, so the next one for the Bromeliad & Carnivorous Plant Society would be July 27-28, 2019.

      That Poncirus made me laugh, too. I thought of you right away because I know you have at least one.

    2. I don't! Mine is just the plain old 'Flying Dragon'...

  6. Nice haul and even nicer prices. Your new broms look great just the way they are in that last photo!

    1. Peter, thank you for your kind words. Means a lot coming from a guy with quite a bit of bromeliad experience!


Post a Comment