New Explorations and Discoveries in Brazil, Part 1*
By Dennis Cathcart of Tropiflora
Tuesday, November 17, 7:00 pm
Location: Auditorium in the San Francisco County Fair Building, 9th Ave and Lincoln Way, San Francisco MAP
Brazil is vast, so vast that I am quite certain that it would require more than a single lifetime to know it well. Our trip in March and April of 2014 was focused on Dyckias and other terrestrial bromeliads. Our first excursion was north in Rio de Janeiro state to the area of Cabo Frio and Buzios, an area with dramatic seaside cliffs, spectacular white beaches and crystal blue-green waters. After a few days we left the coastal habitats and headed to the interior towards Minas Grerais and Diamantina. On the way we passed many other interesting plant habitats. Many areas of the countryside are covered in forest of one kind or another from light scrublands to heavy tropical forest, and almost all are interspersed with rock islands called inselbergs. These features are generally a treasure trove of exotic species of plants, from cacti to bromeliads, orchids and many more. Diamantina is an ancient town near the center of Minas Gerais, and after arriving there we made excursions to many habitats in the area.
Dennis and his wife Linda own and operate Tropiflora, established in 1976, which has become one of the largest collector-oriented exotic plant nurseries in the United States. Tillandsias and other bromeliads are a specialty as well as a wide as- sortment of rare succulents, myrmecophytes, aroids, orchids and more. Dennis and Linda's work with exotic plants, collecting, studying, photographing, writing and speaking about them has taken them to many countries around the world. These explorations have resulted in the introduction of a number of new species of bromeliads to science and cultivation. Three species of bromeliads, an Aechmea, a Neoregelia and a Vriesea, carry the specific epithet cathcartii.
Tropiflora maintains a comprehensive website, www.tropiflora.com, which has color photos, cultural information and much more for all the plant varieties offered.
Dennis will also be this month's featured grower.
*Part 2 of the presentation will occur on Thursday this week at the Bromeliad Society of San Francsico.
What to bring:
For the Show & Tell table, we will feature miniature Aloes on the succulent side, Parodia on the cactus side, and anything else looking good that you would like to share.
Please bring baked goodies, fruit, snack food or a beverage if your last name begins with the letters S to Z and A to B, and any other members who would like to contribute this month.