Specialised hybrids named after Gympie

Margaret Paterson loves bromeliads. The only trouble is, when you create a new hybrid, you have to create a new name for that genus. So after naming thousands of hybrids, what better way to name your tillandsias than after the Gympie region?

Margaret has helped put Gympie on the map being an internationally acclaimed bromeliad breeder. In 2013 the Queens Birthday honours awarded Margaret an O.A.M. for the cultivation and hybridisation of bromeliads.

Her tropical paradise in Gympie has allowed her to hybridise thousands of new neoregelias, cryptanthus, aechmeas, tillandsias, vrieseas and other genera. The love affair began over 50 years ago with some cryptanthus and billbergias which were given by friends. The collection intensified until the 1980’s when it was so difficult to obtain bromeliad plants that she had to import them directly from American nurseries through Quarantine House.

Recently Margaret stated “I was eager to experiment with new colours, I tried my hand at propagating from seed which led to crossing (hybridising).”
The rest is history, producing two fantastic books documenting her passion. In 2010, “Bromeliad Hybrids : for my own satisfaction. Book 1” was published showcasing her Neoregelia hybrids. Then in 2012, the second book displaying cryptanthus, tillandsias, and vrieseas, was launched at the Gympie Library.
You can meet her and view some of these wonders at the Gympie Garden Expo on May 2 and May 3 from 8am at the Gympie Showgrounds where you can experience amazing floral displays. Major sponsors for the event are Katek Fertilizers, Vanderfield and Sunshine Mitre 10. For more information and enquiries please contact 0411 876 584

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