Always the dreamer and adventurer, he started Tropiflora in the early '70s as an outgrowth of a bromeliad collecting hobby. A "hobby gone bad" he says. Following years of collecting reptiles and traveling the Caribbean and Latin America, he discovered bromeliads or they discovered him and the direction of his life was changed for evermore. Collecting and exploring were always his first interests in the plant world and over the years he and Linda have visited over 25 countries on more than 100 trips and expeditions. Together they have made travel, adventure, plant exploring, speaking, writing and the nursery business a way of life. He and Linda are now passing their passion for plants on to their children, to take Tropiflora into the second generation. Now 'semi'-retired, Dennis is now focused on writing about his reptile and plant collecting adventures over the years!
We have always considered Tropiflora to be a 'mom and pop' operation and Linda is definitely the mom. This is especially true now that our two children Robin and Scott are part of the business. She has always treated our employees as extended family and keeps us all well grounded. When Linda and I married, Tropiflora was a tiny, fledgling business and Linda poured herself into it wholeheartedly, doing everything from potting to landscaping and all the office work. She is still active in all aspects of running the nursery and takes care of 'the books'. Though she claims not to be an expert about plants, her knowledge of our stock, especially bromeliads, is very impressive. Linda has traveled the country and the world along side of her husband Dennis, collecting plants in the jungles and deserts and attending conferences, sales, and aiding in our lectures across the globe.
Robin is Tropiflora’s Office Manager, the friendly voice you hear behind the phone when you call looking for that rare plant! Whether it is answering the phones, coordinating domestic and international orders or handling accounts receivable, Robin is the hands behind it (you need six hands to work in the Tropiflora office!). She is Linda and Dennis’ daughter and like her brother, Scott, she has also fallen prey to working in the family business, joining Tropiflora in 2003. Robin has a year-old Labradoodle named Percy who you'll often be greeted by with a giant nose when stopping by our office.
Scott joined Tropiflora in 2009 as General Manager of Operations. Despite growing up in Tropiflora’s backyard (he is the son of Linda and Dennis Cathcart), Scott was relatively new to the plant world. Here at Tropiflora, Scott is in charge of all daily operations and employees, as well as assisting our head Bromeliad Grower, Brian Weber.
His expertise is currently trending towards landscape bromeliads and those for terrariums, but is learning more every day. Outside of work, Scott enjoys time with his wife and daughters and whatever spare time Tropiflora affords him fishing out in Sarasota's Bay, catching alllllll of the pinfish he can.
Brian Weber is the head bromeliad grower at Tropiflora. He is originally from Chicago and has been interested in plants since 1975 when he bought his first bromeliad; an Aechmea ‘Burgundy’. Brian has traveled to Singapore, Mexico, and Canada and throughout the United States on plant-related travels. Brian has a broad knowledge of the latest cultivars, especially Neoregelia, Billbergia and Cryptanthus, but his interests and expertise extend to the whole bromeliad family. Brian can recommend the best bromeliads for landscape and his personal background with reptiles and amphibians gave him a good base knowledge of bromeliads for terrarium use as well. Though not in Brian’s sphere of responsibility at Tropiflora, Brian also has a good knowledge of orchids as well. On his time off, Brian enjoys keeping up his personal bromeliad collection and collecting New Guinea tribal art.
Now our head Tillandsia grower and Administrative Assistant, Veronica started with Tropiflora in 1994. While working in the Tillandsia collection she took a personal interest in these fascinating plants, and has now become a real expert in the field. Veronica is a keen observer and has spotted many natural hybrids and special clones among our imports and seed grown plants. Her careful cultivation has increased our numbers of rare and unusual Tillandsia varieties and several of her selected clones have been named and registered. Veronica enjoys working one-on-one with customers and they appreciate her broad knowledge of Tropiflora’s vast Tillandsia stock. Veronica is fluent in Spanish and assists most of our Spanish-language customers.
is our long-time succulent grower at Tropiflora. Ray is the most knowledgeable person on the nursery in the area of terrestrial bromeliads and succulent plants in general. He has always had a serious interest in plants and has been a collector for more than 15 years. Ray has traveled to Mexico, Venezuela, Madagascar and Singapore for Tropiflora in search of plants and has helped us build a really world class succulent collection. He has also been a past president of the Sarasota Bromeliad Society and is a current member of the Central Florida Cactus & Succulent Society, Bromeliad Society International, Sarasota Bromeliad Society, and the Cactus & Succulent Society of America. Ray enjoys playing softball and tending his personal collection of asclepiads and caudiciforms on his time off.
The hands behind your safely-packaged plants, Anthony takes the time and effort to make sure that your plants will make it to you in one piece! Even with crazy shipping days Monday through Wednesday and managing Tropiflora supplies and retail stock, Anthony still lends his expertise with Orchids and Cryptanthus here at Tropiflora. In his spare time, Anthony also enjoys growing orchids, and has hundreds of different species in his greenhouse!
Jessica works on Tropiflora's advertisements, designs, and social media as well as the new website . When customers have any 'computer issues', they'll be handed over to the 'computer girl' in the office, who will always do her best to help! She enjoys drawing and painting in her spare time, often doing custom paintings and portraits of people as well as plants!
The assistant Tillandsia Grower, Gregoria has become an expert in her field at Tropiflora and handles growing, propagating and pulling orders of Tillandsias, assisting Veronica with dozens of orders to be shipped out daily. As Veronica's right-hand, Gregoria has become familiar with even the most similar of Tillandsia hybrids!
The creative mind behind the crafts and Tillandsia arrangements in our retail shop, Flor is always happy to share her ideas and loves making the shop look its best. She loves experimenting with cork and driftwood, creating all sorts of new arrangements and working with clients for their custom orders. (And her cuban-style arepas are delicious!)
Crescencia has been with Tropiflora for over 30 years and works with Veronica splitting Tillandsias, propagating, pulling orders, and always selecting the nicest plants for our customers' orders and shows. It is almost uncanny how Crescencia can always find the most beautiful of plants in even the most cruddy of plant clumps. (She might have a secret stash of perfect plants somewhere, that's the only explanation!)
Cenovia is one of our newer Tillandsia girls working under Veronica, keeping the hundreds of thousands of Tillandsias split, healthy and growing. She works closely with Veronica and Gregoria, preparing Tillandsia benches to be cleaned and get ready to bloom! (And her home-made tortillas are amazing!)
Our all-around handyman/propagator! Jermaine helps Brian and Scott with propagating our most giant to our most teensy bromeliads, as well as fixing wells, greenhouses, roads, screens, you name it!
Ryan is one of our newest grower's assistants, helping Ray and Scott grow our succulents. From re-potting offsets, propagating rhipsalis, to germinating ant plant seeds, he is well-versed in a wide variety of plants. He has a passion for desert roses, and has an extensive hobby collection of beautiful plants - often bringing them to the nursery in bloom for everyone to enjoy.
Brian and Scott's extra pair of arms, Melvin does it all! He can always be found re-potting and propagating as well as anything else that needs to be done.
Brian is the extra pair or arms that helps with all of the odds and ends at Tropiflora. Whether the other Brian needs plants re-potted, or if Scott needs drip systems fixed or the gravel flattened with the Bobcat, Brian's there!
The true boss behind the scenes, Percy can be found in the office overseeing each Tropiflora purchase with some tail wags and a big wet sniff. When not hard at work, Percy enjoys lounging on his office couch (that he will occasionally lend to Tropiflora consumers when given enough back rubs) or chasing rabbits throughout the greenhouses and prickly-filled bushes.