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A salute to Central Florida bromeliad pioneers October 20, 2013

Many of today's modern bromeliad hybrids had their start in the work of Central Florida horticultural pioneers.
Many of today's modern bromeliad hybrids had their start in the work of Central Florida horticultural pioneers.
Jim Ford

The Garden Club of Sanford is celebrating 85 years as a club this month with an open house “Salute to Central Florida Bromeliad Pioneers”. Displays tracing important events in the history of the Garden Club have been arranged by members of the Wildflower Circle of the garden club, while the Seminole Bromeliad & Tropical Plant Society will showcase the special achievements of the bromeliad and tropical plant pioneers of Central Florida and the Bromeliad Society International with displays highlighting their work.

Bromeliads are one of today's most beautiful and successful plants in the horticultural market. "Bromeliad Pioneers of Central Florida" provides historical background on some of the most important bromeliad horticulturists and explorers of the 19th and 20th century from Central Florida. Included will be some of the plants these pioneers discovered or hybridized. The displays will cover the earliest beginnings of the Bromeliad Society in America, including an exhibit of artwork by Morris Henry Hobbs, executed for covers of the Bromeliad Society Bulletin.

Additional emphasis will be on Theodore Mead – Oviedo's pioneering horticulturist, Henry Nehrling -- founding father of Florida horticulture, Mulford B. Foster – the father of the Bromeliad Society and his home in Orlando, Florida called Bromel-La, and the roles of Julian Nally, O. C. Van Hyning and Edgar W. Ensign as major bromeliad horticulturists of Central Florida.

The celebration open house takes place on Sunday October 20, 2013 at the Garden Club of Sanford, 200 Fairmont Dr. Sanford, FL. Special hours for this event are 12 Noon to 4 PM. The event is free and open to the public. In conjunction with the celebration, there will be a plant sale and a plant raffle.

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