Tillandsias Acostae Concolor

It is a hardy, stiff-leafed species with an altitude range of 150-1,200 meters. It grows in exposed habitats in Mexico to El Salvador. It is highly adaptable and tolerant of different care situations.

It forms a stemless, spreading rosette that can grow to 30 cm in diameter and 18 cm in height. Besides its sometimes similar appearance to fasciculata in the non-blooming state. They are easy to distinguish because the narrowly triangular, involute leaves are dull, olive green. The plant often incurs minor leaf damage when in transit because of its brittle leaves. For those who understand this, a couple of broken leaves is not an important factor in choosing a plant because tillandsia Acostae Concolor grows rapidly with good conditions. Among individual plants, the imbricate, slightly inflated floral bracts vary from green to cherry. Most often the bracts are a combination of the two, with the margins colouring red and the rest of the bract remaining green. The petals are ruby red. No other xeric tillandsia has the combination of this exquisite colour and large flowers. With numerous large spikes, one is assured of many blooms over a period of weeks. It also produces numerous offsets.

It flourishes under a myriad of conditions from very high light levels to shade. Watering should be consistent with the amount of light the plant receives. Bright light combined with a fertilisation program in the spring, summer and autumn will speed growth, produce a large flower, and encourage more offsets.

Tillandsias Argentea

It grows in dry, woodland in Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba and Jamaica. This species has a bulbous base and tends to grow singly or in clumps of just a few plants. An adult species is normally 10-12 cm in diameter, and the blades and sheaths are silvery blue-green. The floral cluster is smooth and not hairy. The blooms few in number. The scape and floral bracts are cherry and the flowers are grape violet.

It grows well under moderate tillandsia conditions. The plant should receive bright light and sufficient air movement; the amount of water will depend on the humidity and temperature of the grower’s microhabitat. With proper cultivation, the plant grows to be beautifully symmetrical; soft and fragile in appearance yet hardy and fast growing. It usually does not grow well as a year-round houseplant. As with other filiform-leaved species, such as filifolia and juncea, it prefers an airy, outdoor environment.

Tillandsias Baileyi

It grows from Mexico to Nicaragua. Tillandsia Baileyi is usually smaller then pseudobaileyi. It averages about 15 cm across and 20 cm high. The flower of Baileyi is usually simple. It has a frosted silvery appearance. The stiff leaf blades are involute, subulate, and often upwardly curved and contorted along their lengths. Because of their shape and rigidity, they sometimes appear as interesting, modern abstraction. The flower is similar in shape to that of caput-medusae, butzii and bulbosa. The colour, however, is more reflective of the amaranth colour of the plant, and the scape is relatively tall and erect. The flowers are indigo. It flourishes in brightly lit outdoor patio or garden situation but needs frequent watering in dry climates and a standard fertilisation program spring through autumn.

Tillandsias Balbisiana

This plant ranges from Florida, the West Indies and Mexico to Colombia and Venezuela. It grows at elevations from sea level to 1,500 meters and is usually found on forest tree branches.

It is stemless with remarkably long, channeled leaf blades that often recurve, twist, and hang far below the base of the plant itself. The spreading upper blades are often about 40 cm apart. An average plant is 35-70 cm high, depending on the length of the decurved blades. The leaves are normally lettuce green. It produces a tall floral cluster that is blood to cardinal red. The flower makes a striking contrast to the comparatively pale colour of the leaves. The brightly coloured, glabrous floral bracts are overlapping and the flowers are deep royal purple. Because of its coriaceous texture, tillandsia balbisiana is a species that always appears somewhat desiccated – even when watered frequently. The plant prefers bright light, high humidity, and frequent watering when the weather is hot and/or dry. Thrives with about the same care as Caput-Medusae.

Tillandsias Brachycaulos Abdita

Brachycaulos Abdita grows in dry woods and deserts in Mexico and Central America at elevations of 600-1,200 meters. It is a widespread species with a number of distinct morphological forms. The plant thrives under high light conditions, and it often blushes a rosy pink when light is combined with a humid environment. It is usually stem-less, and the long, attenuate leaves form a spreading rosette that is about 25 cm across and 12 cm tall at maturity. This species roots readily to a mounting substrate. It grows best with strong light and commensurate watering. It will grow, albeit more slowly, with lower levels of light. The leaves will become greener as with numerous other species. The colour can vary from moss to silver-green to an almost mauve. But the plant colours dramatically with onset of the flowering cycle if it is provided with bright light. In just a day or two, the colour of the entire plant changes to cherry. From the small floral head nestled in the centre of the leaves, deep violet blooms emerge to compliment the colour display. Few species are as rich in colour. After blooming, it loses much of its red colour. At this point one should soon find two or three pups coming forth, heralding the next generation.

Tillandsia brachycaulos multiflora is native to Guatemala. Although approximately the same size as Brach. Abdita, it is easily distinguished from its varietal twin by its darker green foliage. When it blooms the plant blushes carmine in contrast to the cherry of brachycaulos Abdita. The care of the two is basically the same, but Abdita is able to tolerate stronger light than multiflora.

Tillandsias Bulbosa

It grows from Mexico and the West Indies, through Central America, and into Ecuador and northern Brazil. It grows on shrubs and trees at elevations from sea level to 1,300 metres. It varies greatly in size. An average adult is about 15 cm across and 12 cm. In height. In bloom, specimens sometimes grow twice that large. When blooming the floral cluster and upper leaves become cherry. With lavender flowers and fern green, silver, and amaranth sheaths, it is one of the most striking species in the genus.

Bulbosa prefers medium light, high humidity and frequent watering, especially in areas of significant air movement. It can be grown successfully with frequent watering or misting and medium to low levels of light. As long as adequate moisture is available, high temperatures can be tolerated. It is hardier than most of the other medium to low light species. It would probably grow well as a terrarium plant because of its cultural preferences, size and shape.

Tillandsias Butzii

It grows in open habitats at elevations of 1,000- 2,300 meters. It is found from southern Mexico to Panama.

An average size adult measure about 35 cm across between blade tips and 18 cm in height. The flower is violet. This plant requires more humidity and moisture. Likewise, this species does not need as much light. It is a difficult plant to grow. If you water it often it seems to rot, and if you don’t if rapidly desiccates. If cultivated in horizontal or upside-down position, one can water it frequently without having to worry about water collecting inside the pseudo bulb at the meristem of the plant – a problem cause of the rot. Tillandsia Magnusiana and Oaxacana seems to have the same problem and should be mounted similarly. It is a difficult plant to maintain indoors, let alone grow – usually because of a lack of humidity. Outdoors in a patio situation or under a tree where it receives sufficient humidity and moisture, the plant will flourish. Experience has also shown that this plant is much easier to grow once it has developed into a clump. At this stage it is almost indestructible. It is a good companion plant for Bulbosa and Filifolia. This species grow well in conditions of medium to low light combined with frequent watering.

Tillandsias Caput Medusae

Is one of the most widespread and hardy species. It grows from sea level to 2,400 meters in elevation and is indigenous to Mexico and Central America. It is stemless and quite variable in size, from 10 to 20 cm high. Some giant specimens of this species have been known to reach a height and width of 35 cm.

Most populations are lettuce green. The floral bracts are imbricate, chartaceous (papery), and usually glabrous, much like those of tillandsia bulbosa. With strong light, the floral bracts are often a strikingly attractive cherry to blood red. The amount of light the floral clumps receive plays an important part in the colour of the bloom spikes. The flowers are mauve.

It tolerates poor conditions and neglect better than most other species. In addition, the plant responds well to good care. A program of high light, water, and fertiliser will reward the grower with more rapid plant growth, a larger flower, and more offsets. When grown well, the plant is quite colourful. The leaves are dumentum while the margins are often bright purple. It roots rapidly to its mounting medium. In just a few years one will be able to point proudly to a specimen clump 60 cm in diameter that truly appears as Medusa’s head.

Tillandsias Circinnata

It is widespread in Florida and well as the Caribbean, Central America, Colombia an Venezuela. It grows at elevations from near sea level to 1,500 meters.
An average mature specimen specimen is about 15 cm wide and 18 cm in height. It is normally lettuce green. When in bloom, the upper portion of the plant often becomes erubescent (rosy), which enhances the carmine colour of the flower. The flowers are mauve. It grows slowly, often needing two growing seasons to reach maturity. It produces a substantial root system and responds to good cultivation. If one has patience, a large clump can be produced in a few years.

Until recently, this species was known as Tillandsia Circinnata. But in 1982, Wilhelm Weber of East Germany published an article in the Journal of the Bromeliad Society that brought something very interesting to light. He showed in logical detail, supported by photographs, that the type specimen of tillandsia circinnata was actually the same as T. streptophylla- which meant that T. circinnata was not valid. The next earliest valid epithet for this particular plant, t. paucifolia, had been originally published by Baker in 1878.
It is easy to grow. Most often , it is simply hung by a piece of wire and allowed to do its thing.

Tillandsias Fasciculata

Grows from Florida, through the Caribbean and Central America, and into northern South America. They are found growing from sea level to 1,800 metres. The plants form stem-less rosettes that are 20-100 cm high. The sheaths are rust coloured or castaneous. The blades are narrowly triangular, attenuate, and 30-70 cm long. The leaves are stiff, brittle, and easily broken if bent. They can be erect, spreading or even decurving. The floral cluster is tall and erect. The floral bracts are often a shade of fern green with cardinal to blood red margins. The corollas are mauve to indigo.

They are easy to grow. The prefer bright light and fresh air, and although they may be classed as a plant adapted to withstand drought, frequent watering and fertilising will promoted faster growth. If the base of the plant is allowed to hold water for an extended length of time, it could become stagnate. Stagnant water serves as host for rot-causing forms of fungi and bacteria.

Tillandsia fasciculata is prolific, often producing a half dozen off-sets. As these new plants develop they will begin to crowd each other. They should be separated at this point and mounted individually to maximise the growth rate and plant conformation. With moss wrapped around the root base, the plant will soon develop an intricate, holdfast root system. If grown as a potted plant in a well-draining medium, the plant will soon fill the pot with roots. Because it often grows into a large specimen, it can serve as the centrepiece in one’s collection. When allowed to grow for a period of time, a plant will produce many attractive, symmetrically arranged leaves along with a sizeable and long lasting colourful cluster of flowers.

Tillandsias Filifolia

It grows from Central Mexico to Costa Rica at elevations of 100-1,300 meters. It is a mesic species that grows in areas that receive medium to low light and substantial moisture. The petals are spreading and aster violet. It normally produces numerous offsets that separate easily by hand when about one-half to two-thirds adult size. I is usually acquired when about 20 cm in diameter and 10 cm tall. It can be grown much larger with good cultivation.

The plant should be watered frequently in dry climates and moderately in those that are humid because it prefers cool conditions and substantial fresh air movement. Because of the filiform leaf blades, which is an indication of air movement preference, it does not normally flourish indoors. However, it thrives in a patio situation, especially with other plants close by to add humidity. It is a popular species among collectors because of its unusual colour combination and graceful shape.

Tillandsias Ionantha

It grows at elevations of 450-1,700 meters from Mexico to Nicaragua. It is a most popular species. It is attractive, small and easy to cultivate. In the natural environment it is often exposed to the full intensity of the elements so it is particularly adapted to severe arid conditions. It normally grows in groupings of three to five plants. Sometimes it develops into large clumps that may completely encircle a tree branch. The leaves are lettuce to fern green and sometimes tinged with crimson. This may be part of the plant’s genetic makeup, a result of bright light and humidity, the approach of blooming time, or death.

To make sure the plant is healthy, the centremost leaves should be tugged gently. If they remain intact, the plant is fine. Should they pull out easily, and if the bases of the pulled leaves are brown or black, continue removing the centremost leaves until resistance is felt. What remains should be allowed to dry for a few days, after which the plant can be cultivated in the usual fashion. This will probably result in a number of offsets. The grape violet flowers emerge from the centre of the plant on abbreviated spikes deep within the plant. They are 8 to 10 cm in height and width.

It is a durable species. With its attractiveness and size, the plant is ideal to locate on a kitchen windowsill, where it can receive strong light and be observed frequently.

Tillandsias Ionantha Scaposa

It grows in the forests of Guatemala at altitudes of 1,500-1,950 meters. It is distinguished from Ionantha by its short but distinct bloom scape and distichous, imbricate floral bracts. Tillandsia scaposa is largest of the ionanthas. Plants of 15 cm in width and height are not uncommon, although average mature plants are closer to 10 cm. The leaves of ionantha scaposa are less stiff and softer, the foliage is slightly different in colour. It s darker and greyer green. When in bloom, the upper part of the plant becomes carmine. The rest of the plant remains the same grey-green. With the ionanthas the entire plant changes to crimson when given strong light. The flower of ionantha scaposa is mauve to amethyst rather than grape violet. It does not tolerate as much light or survive dry periods as long as ionanthas. The leaves lose internal water via transpiration more quickly, so care must be taken in drier climes whether indoors or out. It should be watered more frequently and / or given more humidity than ionanthas. This plant is more robust when grown at cooler temperatures.

Tillandsias Juncea

It widely distributed, growing from Mexico and the greater Antilles to Bolivia. Most available plants are from Guatemala and Mexico. It is hardy if placed outdoors during the growing season. It is 25 cm. Across. Height varies greatly, but an average plant of 25 – 40 cm. Specimen plants of 60 cm are not uncommon. The flowers are royal purple. The plants normally grow in large, dense clumps. The filiform leaves are an indication of significant air movement in the native habitat.

Juncea when grown in a loose, fast-draining mix, the roots of the plant will soon fill the pot. It can absorb water and nutrients through the root system.

It grows well with average tillandsia care along with plenty of air circulation. It is not the easiest species to grow indoors, preferring the rigors of outdoor life. Also it is a relatively slow growing plant. The pups usually take two or even three years to reach maturity. The tall, slender bloom spike develops for almost a year before flowering commences. These species flourishes when mounted in any position, even upside down. Future pups will grow lightward until the plants crowd each other and begin surrounding the mounting material.

Tillandsias Seleriana

Tillandsia seleriana is native to pine and oak woods at elevations of 270-2,400 meters. This species is found from southern Mexico to Honduras. In appearance, it most often reminds people of an artichoke. Tillandsia seleriana has the largest pseudobulb – the base of the plant sometimes exceeds 15 cm in diameter. A plant this broad at the base would be close to 30 cm tall without a bloom spike. The average size of an adult plant is 10-15 cm across at the base and 15-20 cm in height. The plant will develop an extensive root system when the base is provided with a humid environment. The floral cluster and upper blades become an attractive clear pink to carmine at blooming time. The flowers are indigo.

Seleriana thrives under average conditions of light, water and fertiliser. The plant will grow well with high light levels as long as the corresponding humidity and/or watering schedule are there to support the more rapid leaf transpiration. It will also adjust to lower light but must receive a corresponding decrease in watering frequency. Of course, the plant will not grow as rapidly in this type of environment. Fertilising on a scheduled summertime bases will increase the growth rate, although it is one of the slower growing species. It often needs two or three years to mature from an offset.

Tillandsias Streptophylla

Is an species that grows from sea level to more than 800 meters in elevation, and its range extends from southern Mexico to Honduras. Interestingly, the grower can control the amount of curl in the leaves by the amount of water and humidity the plant receives. In a wetter, more humid environment the leaves grow straighter. With dryer conditions, the leaves tighten into curled ringlets. Enthusiasts can be found who favour either style- it is purely a matter of personal preference as to how one wishes to grow this species. It varies in size; a small mature specimen is about 18cm. In width and height. Larger plants often grow to 60 cm. A plant that is dehydrated can be quickly hydrated by an overnight soaking in water – a pinch of fertiliser helps. The leaves will absorb water until full and then will not absorb any more. Oxygen and carbon dioxide gas exchange, so vital to a plant’s metabolic activity, will not be adversely affected if interrupted for a day or so.

The compound floral cluster is large and colourful. The scape and primary bracts are normally carmine when given bright light.. The mauve blooms add colour for weeks.

This species will grow well under varied conditions. The care that one gives the plant will directly affect its appearance. It is more susceptible to rot than many other species. This is especially true indoors where a lack of fresh, circulating air sometimes contributes to the problem of continuously moist meristem. Mounting the plant in a horizontal position often helps ameliorate this condition. It is often difficult to mount because it is so bulbous. As a consequence, the base can be far from the mounting medium if the plant is mounted vertically. Even though this is not important for the health of the plant, aesthetically is more pleasing if the roots are close to the mounting medium.

Tillandsias Tricolour Melanocrater

Is an species that grows from sea level to more than 800 meters in elevation, and its range extends from southern Mexico to Honduras. Interestingly, the grower can control the amount of curl in the leaves by the amount of water and humidity the plant receives. In a wetter, more humid environment the leaves grow straighter. With dryer conditions, the leaves tighten into curled ringlets. Enthusiasts can be found who favour either style- it is purely a matter of personal preference as to how one wishes to grow this species. It varies in size; a small mature specimen is about 18cm. In width and height. Larger plants often grow to 60 cm. A plant that is dehydrated can be quickly hydrated by an overnight soaking in water – a pinch of fertiliser helps. The leaves will absorb water until full and then will not absorb any more. Oxygen and carbon dioxide gas exchange, so vital to a plant’s metabolic activity, will not be adversely affected if interrupted for a day or so.

The compound floral cluster is large and colourful. The scape and primary bracts are normally carmine when given bright light.. The mauve blooms add colour for weeks.

This species will grow well under varied conditions. The care that one gives the plant will directly affect its appearance. It is more susceptible to rot than many other species. This is especially true indoors where a lack of fresh, circulating air sometimes contributes to the problem of continuously moist meristem. Mounting the plant in a horizontal position often helps ameliorate this condition. It is often difficult to mount because it is so bulbous. As a consequence, the base can be far from the mounting medium if the plant is mounted vertically. Even though this is not important for the health of the plant, aesthetically is more pleasing if the roots are close to the mounting medium.