One of nature’s most spectacular specimens! When young, it is beautiful, with stiff bluish leaves that form tufts at the head of the stem or lateral branches. A nice caudex will form, having a reddish tint and a deeply sculpted tortoise shell pattern. Very slow growing, it may take 25 years to reach the size of a basketball.
Native to the Tehuacan desert of southern Mexico, where harsh conditions must make growth even slower. All the more amazing is the fact that this plant can reach the mass of an automobile. In fact, small plants are rare in nature. Thousands of large specimens dot the landscape, with massive trunks six to ten feet in diameter, maybe more. Knowing their slow rate of growth, it is not hard to imagine that some of the massive specimens must be over a thousand years old. These massive specimens have numerous branches and are host to many of the local Tillandsia species.