Endemic Tillandsia from Central Florida

nebuMarch 31, 2009

I went for a walk in the scrub oak hammock behind my house and this is what I found.

Here is a different one, it has thin blades.

(with flash...eh)

this is the spent flower of the thin one.

I love all the little babies everywhere.

This is another one.

There are more than four types, I am just barely scratching the surface.

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Wow, I wish I could find these in my c. Fl. yard. The first one is Tillandsia utriculata, otherwise known as the "big wild pine". The one in some of the middle photos with the fine blades is Tillandsia fasciculata (wild pine). I think the last one is Tillandsia balbisiana. Very nice specimens.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 6:49PM
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Hi Nebu,
Wow! what a find.

I'm not a tilly person so excuse my ignorance, but do they grow there naturally or has someone planted them?

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 6:57PM
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Those are great habitat photos Nebu. To add to william's ID, the fasciculata is var. densispica.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 7:02PM
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You have a fun back yard! Mine just has cow pies and prairie grass. Great pics Nebu! Thanks for sharing. :-)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 7:59PM
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Yes, all of these are certified native to the State of Florida in the United States. They grow wild mostly in this one unique area, in a Srub Oak Section of the Woods. Several years ago, I had some good folks from the University of Central Florida come down to take samples when the Mexican Evil Weavel reared it's ugly head. Then after about 12 months the Broms recovered and every thing has been good. I don't know what UF did, but the parasite went away.

They just sort of grow everywhere, on trees on the ground, any where and everywhere in the hammock. That big Till in the photos makes a big flower spike, and after about a year the seed pods burst and distribute these seeds.

and grow quite fast.

A long time ago, some how these broms got here from South America right?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 8:05PM
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paul_t23(Coastal Sydney)

Hi Nick, great pics and great to see them in the wild. Many thanks. Cheers, Paul

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 9:57PM
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I think that endemic might not be the correct term: "endemic" means exclusively native to a place or biota. At least that is how I'm seeing "endemic" used be Elton Leme. Your wonderful plants are probably best described as native.

BTW, is that utriculata just growing terrestrially? I don't think I've seen that before. In South East Florida I suspect we have too much flooding to allow terrestrial growth.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 11:18PM
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1En·dem·ic 1 a: belonging or native to a particular people or country b: characteristic of or prevalent in a particular field, area, or environment 2: restricted or peculiar to a locality or region.

The area that these are in, are somewhat higher in elevation than other parts of the forest. When tropical storms hit last year, parts of the woods did flood, this scrub oak grove did not flood at all, because it's a foot or two above the lower spots.

Yes these Tills naturally grow Terrestrially with no human intervention.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 7:58AM
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Great photos. The amount of babies coming up amongst the mulch is amazing.
The scrub beside us is tall gum trees amd weeds as ground cover.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 8:20AM
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It is quite amazing how many babies pop up everywhere from trees to ground (in the concentrated area behind my house)

I wonder why they only pop up in this area. It is quite different than the rest of the woods. It seems to be where the Scrub Oaks are the most dense. It kind of feels different than the rest of the woods.

The Tillandsia Utriculata is an endangered species of brom. I must have thousands of them only in about three or four thousand square feet.

Sorry the pic is bad, but check out how dense these babies are!

These are growing just on the other side of my property line, notice the barbwire fence dividing the two lots. The property line divides the Brom Hammock somewhat, with about 90% on my side.

But the cool Till with the red flower (I think Balbisiana), only grows in a very small colony on the other lot :(

That's why I brought some over to my personal brom collection. I wonder if it would be okay to introduce some Balbisianas in the pedominantly Utriculata Brom Hammock?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 9:17AM
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Simply Amazing...how beautiful.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 6:20PM
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Even though I'm not really a Tillandsia person, it's always been a kick to see them growing wild in the trees when I go to Florida. Seems like most of the ones like fasciculata that I could see from the highway were growing on pines, though, rather than oaks. That's something you never see here in Hawaii. There are lots of broms in people's yards, but they seldom naturalize.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 8:20PM
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Awesome plants! Neat to see them in their natural environment.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 2:53AM
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This is a very nice "back yard" that you have there Nebu! I can imagine how much time I would spend there if I had something like that. It is always very nice to see plants growing in their natural environment and thanks for sharing that with us.

One question. In the second last picture of the first lot you posted, what is the plant in the background with the red tips (Bottom right corner of the picture)?


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 3:00AM
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I believe it is a Neo Passion. I took a few Balbisianas to my Exotic Brom Collection on the side of the house. Just because balbisianas are in a hard to reach region of the woods so I'd like to have a few specimens near by.

Thanks for looking -Nick

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 8:55AM
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Its frustrating to live in jacksonville where I'm so close to all my favorite broms but yet so far... I wish they would do tissue culture on our native tillandsias...

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 10:21AM
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From the first paragraph of Harry's new book on Native Florida Bromeliads:

"Only one of these sixteen natives is endemic, that is, found only in Florida."

Later he mentions that Florida's only endemic bromeliad is T. simulata.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 11:36PM
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I just wanted to update this post as there has been some activity with the native broms here. The picture here is the same cluster of broms pictured in an above post, near a barbwire fence. They've maybe tripled in size. Not sure yet which type it is.. at first thought was Utriculata.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 3:28PM
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Found 2 of what I think is a tillandsia utriculata growing near me in Homestead on a roadside tree. Brought them home. It appears that they have both flowered as they both have long dry stalks. One has what I think are seeds, ( very small seed with white fuzz like the pic from nebu). The other one though is strange to me. It has teeny tiny (largest is maybe 1/2 inch) babies under what is left of the flower heads. I'm wondering how to harvest them to propagate. Some of the babies have the beginnings of roots.

I thought that babies grew from the base of the mother plant, not from the flower pods.

Thanks R'

This post was edited by rleeq on Mon, May 13, 13 at 19:44

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 7:09PM
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