This is a giant form of Tillandsia pruinosa from Colombia. It is like the smaller or regular forms except that it is larger and does not color up at anthesis as some forms do. It grows to nearly 12 inches tall with a thick base. It might resemble a slightly more slender Tillandsia seleriana due to its size but is a pruinosa for sure. Up right leaves and a bulbous base, all covered with heavy trichomes. Nice.
A somewhat controversial species, we originally obtained this plant as Tillandsia pucaraensis and have kept the original name. From Northern Peru with semi-soft gray foliage and a branched pink inflorescence, the narrow leaves form a leafy, upright rosette.
We have different clones from other growers but this one most closely agrees with Ehlers' original description and many other illustrated pucaraensis. There is no way for us to resolve the question of guelzii or pucaraensis but we can refer you to the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies website for further discussion.
Our original photo (shown with bloom spike) is of a wild-collected plant. Our current generation of plants (photo without inflorescence) are much more lush due to the excellent care of our Tillandsia grower, Veronica, and her crew.
Tillandsia purpurea 'Grande'
Tillandsia purpurea is found in Peru where it forms large colonies on the desert sands which may contain millions of plants of a single or a few clones. Adjacent valleys may have completely different looking forms which are in fact the same species. This happens to be one of the more desirable of Tillandsias due in part to its ease of cultivation and its colorful, fragrant flowers. We have four distinctly different forms in our collection: Til. purpurea ‘Grande’ as you would expect is the giant of the group with thick leaves on a 8 to 10 inch stem.
An impressive large growing plant from the area of Yosondua, Oaxaca, Mexico where it grows terrestrially on exposed rock. It rarely produces roots, but tends to grow in dense clusters, supporting one another or leaning on rocks for support. Superficially, it resembles a giant capitata, with many strappy leaves, gracefully recurving in a 24 to 30 inch silvery rosette.
The inflorescence is quite tall with a capitate head of long bracts and tight branches. In nature the inflorescence is red, hence the name, which means literally 'red head'. However, under our hot, humid, shaded conditions the colors are usually more subdued. This species is rare in cultivation.
Tillandsia rodrigueziana Mexican form
A Mexican form of the species which grows to about 12 inches tall. Leaves are reddish-green when grown in bright light and the inflorescence is sometimes branched and is yellowish to red.
This species from Oaxaca, Mexico is nothing short of spectacular in nature where it grows in large colonies in the tops of seaside thorn-scrub forest. Brilliant orange-red is the most common color with vivid yellow inflorescences shining in full sun.
Full sun or bright light along with reducing watering during the dry season and reducing the amount of fertilizer may help duplicate its harsh native environment and bring out stronger colors. Does not like cold! Keep warm at all times if possible.
Tillandsia schiedeana large form, Totolapan, Oaxaca, Mexico
A lithophytic form of this variable and widespread species. Growing on exposed cliff faces near Totolapan, Oaxaca, Mexico, they form dense clusters of plant. The leaves are stiff and coated with a heavy layer of silvery trichomes. Unlike some similar species, the leaves are straight, not secund. The inflorescence is tall, a straight simple spike of red bearing tubular yellow flowers. Grows best mounted or hung from a string in bright, breezy condition so they will dry quickly after watering. An easy and prolific plant to grow.
We collected just one of these plants back in the 1990’s in Sumidero Canyon, Chiapas, Mexico where it lives on vertical cliffs along with other interesting species like T. vanhynningii. Since then we nursed it along until we built up a still very small stock. This is a choice plant with an open rosette of many very stiff, narrow, silvery leaves and a lax inflorescence of pink branches. Very slow growing, but worth the wait.
Tillandsia stricta Hard Leaf
An all-time favorite from Brazil is about 6 inches across in a leafy rosette with stiff gray-green leaves. It produces a stunning blue-flowered, plume-shaped pink inflorescence in the summer. In nature this plant can be found growing on the restinga sands of beach dunes and in trees in the foothills of the Atlantic Range in Brazil.
Large clumps will form in just a few seasons, that can be hung from wires and will form perfectly symmetrical balls of many plants. One of the easiest and most prolific of Tillandsias to cultivate.
Tillandsia tenuifolia 'Rubra'
A robust form of this caulescent species from Brazil grows to about 8 inches long but can exceed 12 inches. Stiff, reddish leaves make this a handsome species and it easily forms large clusters. The inflorescence has pink bracts and white flowers. Both an epiphyte and lithophyte in habitat, it does well mounted or simply suspended from a string or wire.
A rare, smaller relative of Tillandsia fasciculata from Jamaica, although our specimen sourced from the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (SEL 1986-0480) came from the Dominican Republic via Luis Ariza-Julia. It is unknown where he got the plant. Very narrow, silvery-gray leaves in an upright rosette to about 7 to 8 inches with a multi-branched inflorescence of bright red with light blue flowers. A very attractive, rare, small species.