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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To quote the brom man himself
By far, the most common (and in my opinion, BEST) genus of bromeliads used in terrariums are those from the genus Neoregelia. Neos come from Brazil and are, in general, tank type broms. This means that they grow in a manner which allows them to hold water. Neos are grown for their foliage colors b/c their flowers bloom within the center axil of the bromeliad and aren’t as showy as other genera. There are many suitable and non suitable species and hybrids in this genus. The suitable species and cultivars are those which stay small and have lots of leaf cups for water holding. Some notable species are Neo. fireball, Neo. ampullacea, Neo. compacta, Neo. rubrifolia and Neo. olens. There are by far more hybrids/cultivars than species and many of these also make excellent terrariums subjects. These include but are not limited to, Neo. June Night (my personal favorite), Neo. Echo (holds LOTS of water), Neo. Wee Willy, Neo. Superball, Neo. Rien’s Pride, Neo. Angelface and so many more.
These are best introduced as bare root pups so that they can acclimate and grow into the conditions of one’s terrarium. On average, they enjoy high light levels but care should be taken not to place these plants too high in the terrarium as the air in the upper regions will often be quite dry b/c of the lights. They should root somewhat quickly and adhere themselves to whatever they are mounted on. After reaching a certain age, most will pup and the pups can be cut off when they reach about half size of the adult and then mounted to another location.
If we can get a running thread going with all information dedicated to the neoregelia species and hybrids, i.e. size, color, suitability for tadpoles, etc... Post either a picture or a link to a picture with the description.

And here is a link to a general bromeliad care sheet from the New York Bromeliad Society
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I suppose I'll start it out by borrowing some descriptions.

N. Fireball
-An epiphytic species from Brazil which still remains unclassified today. Best colors are achieved in medium to bright light. Grows to about 8" in diameter by 10" high. Medium leaf axils hold water. In bright light the plant turns blood red; in low light the plant turns emerald green.

N. Red Waif (Zebrina X Fireball)-This is a neat little hybrid cross of Neoregelia ampullacea and Neoregelia 'Fireball'. It grows to about 3 inches tall in a somewhat loose rosette to about 5 inches in diameter. The base color is green but is peppered with so many red specks as to appear red. Best of all some red remains present in even less than ideal lighting conditions. As with most Neoregelia, the best color will be obtained under bright lighting. It sends out long stolons, like its parents, and if the pups are not removed will form a nice cluster of colorful plants.

N. Lilliputiana-This is an epiphytic, true species from Brazil that is seldom seen offered for sale. The smallest member of this genus, its many hybrid varieties are more commonly found. It prefers medium to bright light. Grows to about 3" tall by 1"-2" in diameter. Small leaf axils hold very little water. Light to dark green leaves with contrasting red stripes and spots.

N. Chiquita Linda (Lilliputiana X Fireball)-A neat little epiphytic hybrid that captures the best traits of its parent stock. Forms a compact rosette of various shades of red, pink and green with red spots. The best coloration will develop in brighter light. In low light and during winter the coloration will become mostly green. Barely reaches 4" tall by 3" in diameter. Sends out stolons which form new plants.
 

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I use fireball and ampullacea in my vivs and find them to be excellent plants. Fairly bomb proof with the right placement. As long as the axils remain filled, I feel like they can tolerate some dry air. When I first got my ampullacea it was planted ingravel and I was growing it along with my cactus ina very dry area of the house and it pupped out and grew just fine. In the 3 years I have had it it has been divided 2x into 6 or 7 different plants. Respond well to extremely low doses of botanicare pure blend pro bloom formula when grown outside the viv.
 

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My personal favourite is liliputiana. A very strong, and nice looking neoregelia. The red ampulacaea cultivars are also good plants. I try to stay clear of the fireball, as they have a habit of taking over vivs.
 

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Ya but if you keep trimming pups then you always have a constant supply to use in new vivs or to trade. I guess they are a little on the large side when compared to the ampullacea but they are big enough for larger frogs like leucs to sleep in comfortably.
 

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I have never seen a 10" tall Neo. Fireball. Not even close.
Never been to Selby Gardens at Christmastime and seen their Neo. Christmas Tree? The broms making up the tree were described to me as Neo. Fireball by the staff. I suppose that it's possible there are different varieties known as fireballs, though.
 

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Never been to Selby Gardens at Christmastime and seen their Neo. Christmas Tree? The broms making up the tree were described to me as Neo. Fireball by the staff. I suppose that it's possible there are different varieties known as fireballs, though.
I think that many of the fireball hybrids will get pretty large. Maybe they just used fireball as their default name since they don't expect most people to care beyond that?
 

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Never been to Selby Gardens at Christmastime and seen their Neo. Christmas Tree? The broms making up the tree were described to me as Neo. Fireball by the staff. I suppose that it's possible there are different varieties known as fireballs, though.
No but I saw them BEFORE they became the tree! :)
 

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Even I, with my (gift , talent , curse ?) to grow obscenely large 'miniatures' have never seen Fireballs that big. 8" maybe.

I think the problem is that everybody seems to default to 'Fireball' when they have lost their tag.

I have a few other proven winners. Maybe Antone can tell me if they are mislabelled.

Neo. "Wee Willy" - small growing, narrow growth habit forming deep cups. 5-7" tall. Pups well, and rhizomes stay fairly short (not more than a couple inches).

Neo. ampullacea and Neo. tigrina - similar to "Wee Willy" but a bit larger. Maybe Antone can clear these up for me, most of the clones I have are similar to eachother.

Neo. "Donger" - A variety of fireball I sell as 'Pink Stripe'. Why? Just because.

Neo. "Zoe" - I think this is also a fireball. There at least two or three distinct forms being sold as "Zoe" (I've seen both side by side in Walmart) - which really shouldn't be possible. One form is green and white with very (or no) little red/pink, the other is much more red on the green and white. Will the true "Zoe" please stand up? Not more than 8", very striking. It is a sweet Neo, whatever it really is named.

Neo. "Guinea" - Green with fine spots. Larger than Fireball, mine get 14-16". A very short rhizome gives tightly clustered growths. They can be hard to cut with such short rhizomes.

You know, we should include pictures...
 

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Even I, with my (gift , talent , curse ?) to grow obscenely large 'miniatures' have never seen Fireballs that big. 8" maybe.

I think the problem is that everybody seems to default to 'Fireball' when they have lost their tag.

I have a few other proven winners. Maybe Antone can tell me if they are mislabelled.

Neo. "Wee Willy" - small growing, narrow growth habit forming deep cups. 5-7" tall. Pups well, and rhizomes stay fairly short (not more than a couple inches).
This sounds right to me. This plant looks a lot like its punctatissima parent. Short, stout and tons of dark bands. Stolons are predominantly short (less than 3inches or so).

Neo. ampullacea and Neo. tigrina - similar to "Wee Willy" but a bit larger. Maybe Antone can clear these up for me, most of the clones I have are similar to eachother.
Neo. ampullacea exists as many different clones. All have some sort of banding or dark coloration on the throat of the plant. Neo. tigrina is still very confusing to me and I may have to ask Harry Luther to explain this to me on my next visit to Selby. Neo. tigrina is a valid species name but the plant bears extremely close resemblance to another plant I have labeled as Neo. crispata "Tigrina". I will get some more info on this and get back to you.

Neo. "Donger" - A variety of fireball I sell as 'Pink Stripe'. Why? Just because.
This is an albomarginated fireball cultivar. Its *probably* a cross of fireball and carolinae variegated. This plant is patented and legally can not be propagated without consent of the patent holder (Bullis Bromeliads in Florida). I'm sure it would be costly to get permission too.

Neo. "Zoe" - I think this is also a fireball. There at least two or three distinct forms being sold as "Zoe" (I've seen both side by side in Walmart) - which really shouldn't be possible. One form is green and white with very (or no) little red/pink, the other is much more red on the green and white. Will the true "Zoe" please stand up? Not more than 8", very striking. It is a sweet Neo, whatever it really is named.
What you're talking about here are both Neo. Zoe and Neo. Eoz. My understanding is that both of these plants are the exact same plant aside from the name. Its apparently a cross of Neo. carolinae variegated with fireball. As some may know, Neo. carolinae variegated is one of the only broms that actually carries its variegation onto to its progeny in hybridizing. The resulting plants don't always come true though (variegation may not be consistent or go away as the F1s produce 2nd and 3rd generations).

The original hybridizer of Neo. Eoz scrapped the plant but a company decided to run with it anyway and changed the name to Zoe. I think there are some legalities concerning this plant as far as royalty payments go but not 100% on that.

Neo. "Guinea" - Green with fine spots. Larger than Fireball, mine get 14-16". A very short rhizome gives tightly clustered growths. They can be hard to cut with such short rhizomes.

You know, we should include pictures...
Sounds about right to me. Mine don't get that tall but I do grow them hard.
 

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Neo. ampullacea exists as many different clones. All have some sort of banding or dark coloration on the throat of the plant. Neo. tigrina is still very confusing to me and I may have to ask Harry Luther to explain this to me on my next visit to Selby. Neo. tigrina is a valid species name but the plant bears extremely close resemblance to another plant I have labeled as Neo. crispata "Tigrina". I will get some more info on this and get back to you.
I just was looking for info about crispata vs tigrina. Did you ever come up with details?
 
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