Friday, December 26, 2008

Xmas Bromeliad

The plant genus Tillandsia, named by Carolus Linnaeus after the Finnish physician and botanist Dr. Elias Tillandz (originally Tillander) (1640-1693), is a member of the Bromeliad family (Bromeliaceae.) It is a very small plant and I would call it a miniature bromeliad. This plant is found in the deserts, forests and mountains of Central and South America, and Mexico and the southern United States in North America. The thinner leafed varieties grow in rainy areas and the thick leafed varieties in areas more subject to drought. Moisture and nutrients are gathered from the air through structures on the leaves called trichomes. Tillandsia species are epiphytes. In nature they normally grow without soil, attached to other plants. Epiphytes are not parasitic, and depend on the host only for support. Common names for Tillandsia include air plant, ball moss (T. recurvata) and Spanish moss (T. usneoides.) There are about 650 species of Tillandsia, and this is my Tillandsia tenuifolia. It was started years ago with a handful of pups. It has now self propagated into at least a dozen clusters around this longan tree. They flower every year at this time and last until late February. It should have been named Xmas Bromeliad.

Miniature Bromeliad

1 comment:

Lan said...

Errata! This species in not tenuifolia, but it is stricta! I stand now corrected. See my blog of May 02, 2014.