Formerly Vriesea hitchcockiana, now classified as Tillandsia, hitchcockiana has narrow, stiff leaves in a graceful rosette. The inflorescence is pink, branched and very tall, with lavender flowers. Native from Ecuador to Peru, it is a saxicole or epiphyte in nature. It bears certain similarity to Vr. cereicola but lacks the stoloniferous habit of that species.
Tillandsia hitchcockiana and Vriesea cereicola are two species of gray leaved Vrieseas that are superficially similar. Both have stiff leaves and grow in a more or less tight, upright rosette. Their inflorescences, an overall pink, can be simple or branched. Some basic differences are this; hitchcockiana is a dark brownish gray and does not have stolons, cereicola is silver and is quite stoloniferous. Both are epiphytic or saxicolous, cereicola is fond of growing on cacti, hence the name.