Bromeliad Exhibit Opening



Chris Pendleton, President & CEO
Lisa Sbuttoni, PR/Marketing Director
Photo attachment: 19th century bromeliad botanical illustration on exhibit at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates
“Celebrating Bromeliads” Exhibit opening May 1, 2011 at the
Edison & Ford Winter Estates

FORT MYERS, FL (April 19, 2011 )- The Edison & Ford Winter Estates newest exhibit, “Celebrating Bromeliads” opens May 1, 2011 in the Edison Caretaker’s House.

The Estates has a long history with bromeliads starting with the original 1885 sketch Thomas Edison drew of the site. Edison had dedicated areas for pineapples, which are the most common species of bromeliads. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, south Florida became one of the largest pineapple growing regions in the nation.

Mina Edison also loved orchids and bromeliads. In the 1920s Mina and Dr. Henry Nehrling attached air plants (orchids and bromeliads) to the Estates mango trees with copper wire. Today this tradition continues with hundreds of orchids and bromeliads throughout the property. It is believed that Edison and his plant “scouts” explored the Everglades and brought back orchids, bromeliads and other plants to be located on the Estates. Many examples can be enjoyed today as bromeliads flourish in southwest Florida.

“Celebrating Bromeliads” features exquisite 19th century bromeliad illustrations collected by Jack Kramer, noted author and garden authority. “Celebrating Bromeliads” will be on exhibit until May 29, 2011 then will tour nationally.

Kramer is the author of many gardening books including the Bromeliads for Home and Garden, 100 Orchids for Florida and Easy-Care Guide to Houseplants. Kramer has grown each of the 200 plants featured in “Bromeliads.” Kramer has appeared on several national TV shows including the Today Show, Good Morning America, and others.

Opening reception events on May 1, 2011 from 1 PM – 4 PM include:
• Historic print sale and book signing with Jack Kramer, author of Bromeliads for Home and Garden from 1 PM – 4 PM.
• Estates horticulturist, Debbie Hughes will present, “Beautiful Bromeliads: Tips and Care” at 2 PM.
• Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society will be selling bromeliads and related items throughout the event. Cost: Estates Members FREE; non members, $5.
• Estates Garden Shoppe is offering 10% discount on gardening books and related items. A variety of Edison heritage plants will be available for purchase.

The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. The Estates is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at

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The Estates has received a grant from the Florida Legislature through the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission.