This plant is one of the rarest Tillandsias in Colombia and has always been in demand as a collector item. Shaped like a green sea urchin about three inches across, it produces a single vivid red flower, then offsets, forming a clump. An epiphyte in medium altitudes, it does well at sea level. Tillandsia andreana is another of the genuine collector items of the genus.
Today it is grown from seed, but in years gone by, was only rarely available outside of Colombia from where it was said to have been occasionally smuggled in the robes of a Jesuit Priest, and sold for quite high sums. This lovely little species is a golf ball sized tuft of yellow/green leaves that sports a giant, single red flower. Will form large clumps which bloom enmasse.