Glenn and Katrina Kime, Glenda Thompson and Jamie Shaw prepare for the Bromeliad Group's first sale in Rockhampton
Glenn and Katrina Kime, Glenda Thompson and Jamie Shaw prepare for the Bromeliad Group's first sale in Rockhampton Jann Houley

Brom-oholics host first CQ sale

A GROWING love of all things spiky and spotted, striped and succulent has united a group of Rockhampton green thumbs to host CQ's first bromeliad and tillandsia sale.

The Rockhampton Bromeliad group began after Glenda Thomson posted on social media last year, asking if anyone shared her love of the low maintenance species.

"Our first social group in January 2018, I expected about 10 people to turn up but it was closer to 20,” she said.

"”There are now more than 350 people - bromnuts, bromaddicts, bromoholics - who follow our facebook page.”

Members of the group meet once a month for morning tea to swap tips, sell their 'pups' and hold working bees.

It's also an opportunity for enthusiasts to compare their wishlists, and how widely they travel to tick them off.

Glenn and Katrina Kime attended the Bromeliad Society of Queensland's annual sale at Brisbane's Newmarket school last weekend.

"We drove eight hours Friday to spend three hours at the sale Saturday then drove back Sunday,” Mr Kime said.

"I love coming downstairs at nights with all the tillandsias under the floodlights; they look magical.”

The social group has also organised trips away together to Mackay and Gladstone to ogle other growers' collections, which range in size from tiny wisps of spanish moss to the 1.5m wide aechmea.

Such is the fascination with the species' colourful foliage and endless variety, there are specialist groups from the Sunshine Coast, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Calliope and Gladstone who will in turn make the trip to Rockhampton for the group's August sale, which will feature guest speakers as well as plant sales.

"Bromeliads are a great species for children to learn gardening because it's relatively easy to propagate pups from the adult plant,” said Jamie Shaw.

Growing a bromeliad from seed, however, turns out to be a far more arduous task.

It can take two years, following hand pollination, for a seed pod to mature and after it pops open, a further seven to 25 years to grow into a mature plant.

But, as the Kimes discovered last week, nature is always happy to lend a hand.

"I looked out to the shadehouse and there was an eastern honey eater (bird) flitting from one tillandsia to another, dipping its beak into the nectar,” Mr Kime said.

"It is absolutely thrilling that our growing collection is drawing nature into the suburbs.”

- Bromeliad and Tillandsia Sale

- Saturday 17 August 8am to 4pm

- Sunday 18 August 9am to 1pm

- Rockhampton State High School Campbell Street

- Gold Coin entry