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Tropical Fern & Exotic Plant Society - Annual Auction - 2018

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Palmarum

Tropical Fern & Exotic Plant Society

Annual Rare Plant Auction

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden - Garden House Auditorium

 

Society Website: http://tfeps.org/index.htm

Monday Evening, October 22nd, 2018 (next Monday)

Auction Preview: 7:00

It is that time of the year again, the highly anticipated auction of the Tropical Fern & Exotic Plant Society is scheduled for next Monday evening, the 22nd. The auction has become one of the best events for bidding on rare and unusual plants. Ferns are a key focus of the evening, but literally any plant may show up for auction. I have often seen plants for auction representing species and plant families that I have never seen before. Palm species always seem to find their way into the auction by way of many sources. Follow the link above for more information on the auction and the society. It is always a fun night for the plant fanatics in S. Florida.

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I have attended many of the auction meetings and the array of plant material never ceases to amaze myself and other attendees. Of what material may be for auction, I do not know. I have heard that certain rare Crotons may be among the selection. If I do receive info that should be posted (certain plants and the like) then I will post it here. I haven't always been able to post photos from the event, but follow the links below to previous topics where I have. There should be many familiar faces from the Forum and some incredible plants...

TFEPS Annual Auction - 2015

Link: http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/47491-tropical-fern-exotic-plant-society-annual-auction-2015/&do=findComment&comment=728565

TFEPS Annual Auction - 2013

Link: http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/39283-tropical-fern-exotic-plant-society-annual-fall-auction/&do=findComment&comment=608735

 

Ryan

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Gonzer

Looking at prices realized from the other auctions I'd hafta say that there are some outrageously good deals.

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Palmarum
3 hours ago, Gonzer said:

Looking at prices realized from the other auctions I'd hafta say that there are some outrageously good deals.

The TFEPS Auctions over the years have had incredible deals on some very rare stuff and at the same time we have seen amazing back-and-forth, crazy bidding on relatively common items. It comes down to how much someone is willing to bid, and how much they want it. I have seen extremely rare species from obscure plant families go for very little, just because no one really knew anything about the plant; what it becomes, how big it gets, how to take care of it, etc. Common orchids in full bloom sometimes out-gain those rare species orchids that no one has seen before in cultivation, just because of the flowers.

If an attendee in pursuit of their favorite plant group or family knows what they are looking for, they will often come out with some great deals.

Ryan

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Jeff Searle

This is truly a great time and fun night. I hope to see many of you come out and it promises to be exciting.

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Cindy Adair

I would surely be there if it weren't so far away! I love to watch (and sometimes bid) at auctions!

I'll look forward to photos and maybe next year I'll get there.

Enjoy!

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Missi

Noice!! I so wish I lived on y'alls coast :crying:

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Palmarum

Monday night came quickly and it was finally time for the auction. My group and I arrived a few minutes before the preview began and I started with the photos as soon as I could find a seat. The crowd was already at a good size and more were arriving by the minute. They were bringing plants, food, desserts, while accompanied by relatives and fellow plant fanatics. Some went straight for the tables, some went to pick out the perfect seat, while some went into line to register for a bidding paddle. Most were trying to do everything at the same time.

- 6:57PM - Tables lined all four sides of the Garden House Auditorium. On the left side of the room and in front of the stage, the tables were becoming packed with plants as we arrived. It was a challenge to look through what was already on display while checking those that were newly arriving. Forum member Ellis Brown (EllisB) can be seen (B) writing a tag for a plant as he places it on one of the rear tables. The food tables held a nice spread of edible delights, spanning old-time favorites and some new and interesting tasty items to try. The spread was out and ready prior to our arrival. FM. Lenny Goldstein (Leonard Goldstein) is bringing food from the kitchen area (C) to the tables. I think that item was a cheesecake and I think it had been devoured by the time I got to the desserts.

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- I hit the tables running. I was checking out plants, looking for what I happened to know, and everything that was new to me, which was a lot. The fuzzy, velvety leaves of this Solanum sp. were amazing to look at and even more to touch. The soft texture seemed to absorb light as the flash could only do so much to illuminate the plant. From the side, and partially below the leaves, you can make out the stronger-colored, purple leaf undersides.

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- Crotons, from the uncommon to to the super rare were on the tables. The assortment was interesting and some new ones caught my eye, even as I am not much of a croton person, they still stood out. Codiaeum variegatum cv. 'Geisha Girl' was sporting some brightly colored leaves. (B)

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- The Palm family was represented with a few different species of note. A double specimen of Chambeyronia macrocarpa was featuring a new red leaf.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 7:03PM - A couple of actual light photos of the selection across a few of the tables. I was trying not to use flash wherever possible but it was tricky without a tripod, so I was hand-holding some very slow exposures. The selection was amazing as expected. Some stuff just stood out like a light bulb, while others were small plants or seedlings requiring one to go in close for details, with the names just bedazzling the mind.

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- An unusual species of terrestrial fern, Diplazium proliferum. One could complete a great tropical fern collection from start to finish at this one auction. 

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- Ree Gardens had some incredible contributions to the auction including this new-to-cultivation species of Sanchezia, S. munita. That bloom is fairly large and the photos barely do it justice for color. I can just imagine a larger plant in full bloom.

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- Fairchild Gardens has some contributions of their own, including this peculiar Acanthe, Justicia pectoralis. It has small, narrow leaves and some very tiny lavender flowers.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- A one gallon specimen of Atractocarpus sp. was tucked in between two other plants and I had to dig it out for the photo. The genus was a new one for me. This plant was donated by Fairchild and was described as a small flowering tree with white flowers. One of its neighbors was a 3 gal. Pavonia bahamensis, another one of Fairchild's donations (B,C) and one of their recent distribution plants. It is a Hibiscus relative and a supposed magnet for hummingbirds. 

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- Weird and unusual was the theme for the auction. A bushy 3 gal. Ficus fraseri was one of the evening's Ficus representatives.

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- Specimens of Juanulloa mexicana used to be more prevalent in years past but seemed to disappear from the S. Florida plant world. I had not seen it in a while, until tonight. It is a great vine with unique blooms.

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- A colorful Begonia...

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- Ferns were plentiful in all forms, from container-grown to mounted, or just plucked and stuffed in a plastic bag. This is a small potted fern labeled as Arachniodes simplico but may be Arachniodes simplicior. Whatever the spelling, it is a nice plant.

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- Right next door was a Pteris nipponica in the same sized pot. Nice color. This plant was donated by Oglesby Plants.

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- It has gotten harder and harder to find seed and plants of Coccothrinax scoparia. After seeing the palm in habitat over ten years ago, I would think there would be more seeding plants in cultivation. A rare member of the Fabaceae, Christia obcordata has perfect, butterfly-shaped leaves that flutter and appear to be lifelike in the slightest breeze. C. subcordata seems to be a spelling synonym.

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- Farfugium! A plant genus that is just fun to say. Farfugium japonicum var. gigantea forms a large mass groundcover with thick leaves and erect inflorescences that feature daisy-like flowers. Part of the plant is also a popular edible in Japan. It becomes a great attention device when planted en masse.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- The perfectly named Colocasia 'Tea Cup' has cup-shaped leaves. Over time, the plant puts out larger and larger and better shaped 'cups'.

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- The popular Acanthe known as White Candles, Whitfieldia elongata. It grows easily and becomes a great flowering shrub with upright panicles that get larger over time.

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- This was one of the surprises for the evening. This is an unnamed Croton donated by Jose Lopez labeled as "Seedling #54". It began as a hybridized offspring between two other cultivars and was grown from a seedling to a small shrub. This small shrub then produced an air-layer or cutting, that was established in a 3 gal. pot seen below. The plant came with naming rights that went to the highest bidder. So if you got it, you got to name it. A good number of attendees took a long hard look at this plant prior to the auction.

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- I thought this was quite interesting when I saw it, then was intrigued to find that it was another new Sanchezia donated by Ree Gardens. It was very recently brought into cultivation via a trip to Southeast Asia. It was labeled Sanchezia sp. 'Singapore' and it featured some incredible patterned mottling throughout the older leaf. It seems that the mottling becomes more intense as the leaves age. I could almost count four or five different shades of color in that one leaf. Now, imagine an older, larger plant with every leaf bearing that mottled coloration.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- A group shot of the back corner of plant tables followed by a portrait of a Sansevieria 'Boncel' awaiting further inspection by the succulent collectors in the auditorium.

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- A small Anthurium magnificum sits on the table crowded by nearby plants. The leaves will get bigger and even more impressive.

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- Two photos of the same plant, Hoffmannia roezlii. The color was changing with each setting. The first photo was with flash, the second, without.

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- The very colorful and striking Dracaena goldieana in its glory.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- A ready-to-go basket of Bromeliads, probably a member of the Neoregelia Fireball complex. One leaf is not like the other on a Philodendron 'Pink Princess'.

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- A familiar plant that I have not seen in some time. Chlorophytum orchidastrum 'Fire Flash', a plant originally brought in and put into the trade by the evenings auctioneer Jeff Searle some time ago. We were both surprised to see it sitting on the table. It is a quirky little plant with a narrow threshold for neglect. It is a cousin to the common Spider plant.

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- Many of the popular plant families were represented in one form or another, including Gesneriads. A small, flowering specimen of Streptocarpus saxorum was blooming profusely with pretty little lilac flowers held on cool little thread-like extensions. The small rounded leaves were covered with thousands of microscopic hairs.

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- Leaflets or frondlets in the form of tiny trapezoids, well then it must be Adiantum trapeziforme.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- The end of one table held an overgrown Sybil Griffin Croton with large colorful leaves. The second photo is of the same plant from behind and beneath the leaves. There was talk among the Croton people in the room that this could be the Large-Leaf form of the cultivar.

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- Tectaria incisa. I was constantly reminded about how few ferns I actually knew.

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- This was a puzzling little plant at first, as the tag read Senecio macroglossus and I didn't think a Senecio would look like that, only to find out how massive of a genus Senecio really is. It seems to be the variegated form of the species, which resembles a form of ivy. It was auctioned off as a mystery at the time, but bidders still jumped on it. It has cool flowers that do resemble the regular Senecio we find here in S. Florida.

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- Plant handler volunteer Travis Searle looks over the plants with his dad, the auctioneer of the evening Jeff Searle. The crowd was more than ready for the auction to begin.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- 7:38PM - The annual auction was underway as Jeff was introduced to the crowd and all the volunteers took their positions around the room. The first item up for bid was a Family Membership donated by Fairchild Gardens, a $140.00 value. After the membership was auctioned off, it shifted to fast action bidding on plant after plant. I took the first series of photos from the back of the room...

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- ... before moving up and onto the stage to take some shots from an elevated angle. The bidding was sometimes fast, sometimes slow, depending on the plant and the description that preceded it. You could tell when people were waiting for a particular item, the bidding paddles would go up like a wave.

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- I got closer and took a sample of photos while bouncing the flash off the high ceiling. Jeff was supplied with a steady flow of plant material from the selection. As bidding was finished on a plant, it would be taken to the holding area in the corner of the room, as the bidders number and winning bid was given to the record keeper along the far wall. This was the process and it was repeated many times throughout the evening.

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- Jeff auctions off a White Candles, Whitfieldia elongata, to the crowd as Lenny walks the plant around the room to give bidders a closer look.

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Ryan

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paquicuba

Wow. I wish I had been there, but unfortunately I had to take care of my wife who had a surgery on the 18th. Amazing job @Palmarum !!

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paquicuba

@PalmarumWhere can we get more details about these auctions? How can I donate rare plants to Fairchild? 

Thanks!!

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Palmarum
4 hours ago, paquicuba said:

Where can we get more details about these auctions? How can I donate rare plants to Fairchild? 

Thanks!!

This auction takes place once a year, usually during late October, and is presented by the Tropical Fern & Exotic Plant Society. It is actually their October meeting, and instead of a speaker, a raffle, small auction, etc. they have a giant auction that spans the entire evening. It takes place at Fairchild TB Gardens, but only as a venue and not a direct part of the gardens. The garden often donates plants for the auction, but only as one source. For more information on the Society, future meetings and events, etc. follow the link below...

TFEPS Website: http://tfeps.org/index.htm

The Society has their Meetings & Events calendar for the rest of this year and all of next year all done, including the Annual Auction for next year, Oct. 28th. The plant selection for the Auction has numerous sources and people, organizations, nurseries, gardens, etc. all donate to it each year. If you wanted to donate to the auction that is always possible and easy to do, as the event draws closer. Donating plants to Fairchild Gardens as a different entity, is a whole 'nother story. I am not sure as to the current requirements for the garden to receive plant material, but in the past the garden only received wild collected seed and plant material via specific collection methods within certain guidelines. One would have prior permission to collect the material and the garden would know to expect it, accompanied with details on where it was collected, location, environment, etc. If this has changed, I would not know who to ask, beyond checking their website.

Ryan

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paquicuba
12 minutes ago, Palmarum said:

This auction takes place once a year, usually during late October, and is presented by the Tropical Fern & Exotic Plant Society. It is actually their October meeting, and instead of a speaker, a raffle, small auction, etc. they have a giant auction that spans the entire evening. It takes place at Fairchild TB Gardens, but only as a venue and not a direct part of the gardens. The garden often donates plants for the auction, but only as one source. For more information on the Society, future meetings and events, etc. follow the link below...

TFEPS Website: http://tfeps.org/index.htm

The Society has their Meetings & Events calendar for the rest of this year and all of next year all done, including the Annual Auction for next year, Oct. 28th. The plant selection for the Auction has numerous sources and people, organizations, nurseries, gardens, etc. all donate to it each year. If you wanted to donate to the auction that is always possible and easy to do, as the event draws closer. Donating plants to Fairchild Gardens as a different entity, is a whole 'nother story. I am not sure as to the current requirements for the garden to receive plant material, but in the past the garden only received wild collected seed and plant material via specific collection methods within certain guidelines. One would have prior permission to collect the material and the garden would know to expect it, accompanied with details on where it was collected, location, environment, etc. If this has changed, I would not know who to ask, beyond checking their website.

Ryan

Thanks a lot Ryan! Great info

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epiphyte

I really enjoyed reading this post and your other one about the tropical fruit event.  Have you ever thought about starting a blog?  

 

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Palmarum

- 7:52PM - As attendees became settled in their seats and more comfortable with bidding, the pace began to pick up as more and more plants were paraded in front of them, including this random Croton that flew past during one such moment. I didn't catch the name, but post it if you know it. Jeff was moving back and forth, forwards and backwards throughout the auditorium and with the help of volunteers was catching each raised bidding paddle. He had a smirk on his face as he was leading into a joke about something, plant, person or otherwise.

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- Travis was assisting with the plant selection process for the auction. He would pick a plant at random and bring it to the front tables, where it would go in an immediate line for the auction. Next up, was that Adiantum trapeziforme seen earlier. Travis wasn't irritated by something, he was just really focused and normally looks like that. The natural wood podium served as a stand for the current item or the next item up for bid.

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- Travis eyes the Double Chambeyronia macrocarpa and selects it as 'next'. It gets carried into action and Jeff easily dives into the palm's description. One of the attendees quick to bid on the palm was Craig Morell, Director of The Kampong, National Tropical Botanic Garden.

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- The brightly colored Fire Flash was next, which included part of the story behind its origin in cultivation, which Jeff knew first hand. I would move around now and then to capture the action from different angles, while trying not to block anyone's view of the auction.

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Ryan

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Palmarum
22 minutes ago, epiphyte said:

I really enjoyed reading this post and your other one about the tropical fruit event.  Have you ever thought about starting a blog?  

 

I have a few times, but all the time I have for writing/posting is used up on this Forum and a few others. I also have long stretches where I wouldn't have much to blog about, and the better blogs are the ones that are regularly updated.

Ryan

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Palmarum

- The hanging basket of Neoregelia bromeliads was up next and Jeff made an off-hand remark about how it would fit nicely on one's head, so the volunteer proceeded to try out the idea... on Jeff's head, bringing a laugh from the crowd.

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- I was enjoying the action above when I turned around to find myself face-to-face with a Red Sealing Wax Palm, Cyrtostachys renda, that seemed to appear out of nowhere. It must have just arrived. It was a tad small for the 7 gal. pot it was in, but it had plenty of room to grow. Since it was a donation, one could ignore the mealybugs; after one swipe of a wet paper towel they would be gone.

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- Tropical flowering trees, shrubs and vines were well-represented during the auction. A 3 gal. Cubanola domingensis was up next, complete with flowers. I found out later that evening that the flowers are actually quite fragrant when there is still air. An 'introduced' species of Florida fern, Macrothelypteris torresiana, was among the plants on the forward tables.

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- The auction had periods of intense, fast-paced bidding which would wind down to a slow, back and forth action between two determined bidders. Jeff was moving down the aisle to 'stir the pot' between two bidders that were close to one another. The next plant had an eager bidder in the front row that made sure Jeff could see his paper plate, err paddle. At one point the attendee even out-bid himself.

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Ryan

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epiphyte
31 minutes ago, Palmarum said:

I have a few times, but all the time I have for writing/posting is used up on this Forum and a few others. I also have long stretches where I wouldn't have much to blog about, and the better blogs are the ones that are regularly updated.

Ryan

I don't regularly update my blog... :(  Sometimes I go months without posting anything.  What's neat about blogs is that you can subscribe to them using a feed reader.  This way I wouldn't have to check your blog each week to see whether you've posted anything new.  Instead, whenever you did post something it would automatically show up in my reader.  

Also, lots of my blog entries are simply my lengthier forum posts/replies.  These blog entries contain links to the forum posts/replies so visitors to my blog can read the forum discussion... and hopefully they will join the forum and participate in the discussion.  

Do you know of any decent Florida plant blogs?  

 

 

 

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Palmarum

- Photographing from the stage, the auction continued with a Staghorn Fern in an octagonal basket. It might have been the common Platycerium bifurcatum but it could have been one of the rarer species, as they were among the selection in similar baskets. First photo with flash, second without.

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- The Staghorn Fern was receiving bids as I moved from stage left to stage right. In the background, in the corner of the auditorium, you can see the holding area (rectangle of tables). As items were won, they were carried to the holding area where they were labeled with the winning bidder's number and grouped with their other items. When an attendee was ready to leave, they paid for their new gains and then took the receipt to the holding area to get their stuff.

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- Yes, the plant does come with a pot. It is in there, somewhere. This Bird's Nest Anthurium (A) was morphing from containerized to epiphyte before our very eyes. It was ready for placement, pot, tree, or where ever. Under the category of rare flowering trees, few are rarer than Browneopsis ucayalina. It had recently (B,C) thrown a new flush, which has begun to fade slightly. A larger specimen with several simultaneous flushes is amazing to see. It also bears some interesting, shaving brush-like flowers.

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- The Bird's Nest Anthurium bored with its pot was next up for bid. It received a good laugh from the crowd. I have some that I don't even bother potting up anymore, I just throw them in a damp spot.

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Ryan

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Palmarum
1 hour ago, epiphyte said:

... Do you know of any decent Florida plant blogs? 

I used to read some when they were mentioned online or in a magazine, but I didn't subscribe to them. I would find a link to one now and then about a certain plant that I would read on the spot but that was it. I can't think of any at the moment.

Ryan

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Palmarum

- When I first saw this plant on the table, (A) I thought it was a bromeliad. As it went past me on the way to the podium I noticed it was labeled as a Pandanus sp. donated by Fairchild. When it came up for bid, one of Fairchild's personnel on hand to help with the auction described it as a recently collected specimen of a possibly new, undescribed species. "Ooh's" went through the crowd soon after and it met a firestorm of bids from everywhere. This rather unassuming plastic bag held a very rare fern that was just recently keyed out to a proper identification. The tag was written with the fern's full name and author citation, Ctenitis vilis (Kunze) Ching.

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- The Ctenitis vilis was next up for bid. As Lenny was holding it up, members of the Society went into detail behind the plants cultivation history. They mentioned how it was unnamed for a long time, and how it was recently keyed out with a lot of dedicated research. Lenny showcased the rare plant around the room as Jeff proceeded with the auction; another Croton was next on the auction block, or podium.

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- After a line of different plants, a fern with no name came up next. Jeff continued with humor to get the crowd motivated; notice the attendee in the front row covering her facial reaction with her paddle while bidding at the same time.

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- "That's using your head." The Red Sealing Wax Palm, Cyrtostachys renda, was ready to receive bids. It was quite heavy, so lifting it up for the audience to see required some brain power. It was the record item of the auction and had the highest winning bid of any plant, around $120.00. It might have been more but I was busy describing a plant and taking photos at the same time. Steve Nock was minding a separate table during the auction, as he was selling divisions of various Aglaonema cultivars brought in courtesy of Ree Gardens. 

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- Bidding...bidding... wait... got it!

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- Travis transports another rare flowering tree to the front table. This one came with a bit of history, as it was one of David Fairchild's original collected plants, but I missed the name and much of the story. Rare to see these days, a species Bromeliad, Aechmea tayoensis. It was minutes away from being auctioned off to plant hungry fanatics.

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- The David Fairchild plant came with an incredible background as people were bidding high. Even though you are working the event, you can still bid, even with help from your dad (B).

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- Rare fern, unusual orchid, weird tree, the evening went by as a blur of wanted plants and excellent bidding. Jeff worked the crowd and kept things interesting as he maneuvered the bids from low to high. The bidding on one plant came down to two bidders at the back (B) of the crowd, so Jeff made his way to them, getting them to react back and forth to his commentary.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- A 'Thai Hybrid' Crown-of-Thorns with some deep red bracts. This was another plant than seemed to appear out of nowhere as I didn't notice it until after many other plants had been auctioned.

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- 9:23PM - The selection of plant material began to dwindle as the evening approached the last half-hour of the auction. All the remaining plants had been moved up to the front row of tables as another Croton is introduced to the attendees.

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- This was one of the rarest plants of the evening, a 'Barack Obama' Croton. The Croton fanatics were sitting up in their seats the second this plant moved towards the podium. The mix of color is amazing when seen on a full-sized plant, the pattern of spots and flecks are quite unique to the cultivar. I wish I had taken a better photo of the plant, as this is one of the few specimens to be propagated so far, and probably the first ever be auctioned. A new Medinilla named 'Cascade' made its appearance at the auction in the form of a rooted cutting. Any new plant in this collectable genus ought to look incredible.

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- 9:42PM - The crowd began to reduce in size as the hour got closer to ten o'clock. Many in attendance has a long drive ahead of them. Lenny held one of the last plants as Jeff took bid after bid. A look towards the holding area saw it in flux, between being so full earlier to being thinned out as attendees retrieved their plants.

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Ryan

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Palmarum

- Attendees were paying for and retrieving their plants as the night was wounding down. A few large groups still awaited their new owners. It was interesting to see what species, varieties and cultivars comprised each group. There were trends among what each bidder had in their collection.

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- 9:52PM - All righty then... The last plant of the auction was the unnamed Croton "Seedling #54" that held the attention of every remaining attendee. One could tell they were all waiting for it. As soon as Jeff raised his hand to start the bidding, paddles flew up from all over the room. Even with a diminished crowd, the bidding was still strong and fierce. Lenny had the honor to showcase the colorful plant as bids were fired back and forth. He did a great job holding the plant in just the right way to show the color to the audience. In the end it came down to two bidders as the bidding was going up in five dollar increments. Then there was one, just one winner with a new plant of their own...

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... I won't tell you who won, but the new name of the cultivar is Amber Searle. ^_^

Codiaeum variegatum "Seedling #54" = C. variegatum cv. 'Amber Searle' - 10-22-18

 

Jeff, Travis and I gathered our plants and headed out, after a long string of goodbye's and parting conversations. We looked forward to the next grand Annual Auction and the other plant events that were planned in the near future. We tend to see many of the same people as we go from event to PRA, to PRE, and so on. As always, the auction was a blast. I know it is hard for many to attend on a Monday night, but it is certainly worth it. The Society has their general Plant Sale over the summer, per the Meeting & Events schedule, and some of the plants seen here may show up there, in case you missed the auction.

Ryan

--<

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Marie Nock

Great job Ryan of not only capturing the plants in the Auction but the fun and excitement of it as well!

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Palmarum
On 11/3/2018, 2:34:43, Marie Nock said:

Great job Ryan of not only capturing the plants in the Auction but the fun and excitement of it as well!

Thank you Marie,

The society auctions are always a great time. The plant selection was incredible and it was both a learning and entertaining experience. It is exhilarating to see new plants I had not see before. I recently had a call from Marnie, the society President, and she reminded me about the Holiday Party on Dec. 13th. It is only for TFEPS members and their guests, but it is a good reason to join the society if anyone will be around Fairchild at that time. It is a fun time for the plant fanatics in S. Florida.

Ryan

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