Tillandsias for fanciers

fdnpedro(NSW north coast)May 27, 2010

This is a follow-up from some previous posts and comments, especially by Gonzer.

I have been collecting Tillandsias for over 30 years and have always loved the 'tectorum' types from the northern Andes - Peru and Ecuador. They are often seen in the dry Central valleys and adjoining rocky walls and cliffs in all shapes and sizes. Fortunately Lotte Hromadnik in particular, took an interest in them and wrote the book mentioned, splitting the 'tectorums' into various new species and varieties, apart from those already in existence like T. heteromorpha. She also introduced many of them into cultivation.

Gonzer suggested a Tillandsia id challenge so here is one for starters. What a feast of 'fluffies' there is now! So can you id any of them?

The first group are various forms of T. heterophylla, including what looks like Bob's form. It may well have come from Werner Krauspe, Bob, not Pam, as I used to get a lot of plants from him as well in the '80s.

This group are very old tectorums (larger forms) from Ecuador and Peru from some of my first imports in the late '70s - plant stand is my trainee.

This group are a selection of newer tectorums (some might be other species). If you have Lotte's 'tectorum' book you might be able to discern a few varieties. So many forms!

Lastly, the real challenge, are some of the newer species, all numbered ready for your educated guess! A couple are probably duplicated so just stick to the numbered ones.

Since just about every location in habitat has a differing looking plant, these are just a small number of variations. Amazing, and nothing to with us hybridisers, just natural 'selection'!

Have fun, Pedro

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fdnpedro(NSW north coast)

Oops, wrong image for the numbered plants. Here it is.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 8:21AM
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bob61

Boy Pedro those are some beautiful plants.I don't have the book so I can't even try to make an educated guess. all I know is I want them all. And you even have one in bloom. That's a rare occurrence for me. They are very collectable plants.
Kind of makes you feel all fizzy all over. I'll be looking at your pics for a while.
It was fun Bob

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 9:06AM
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kerry_t_australia(9)

Whoa Pedro! - beautiful collection of fuzzies, and really well-grown, but mission impossible for me to identify any of them, EXCEPT maybe for #2. Is it T. stellifera? I'm only guessing due to its diminutive size.

PS. Handsome plant stand!

K :)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 7:46PM
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fdnpedro(NSW north coast)

Hi Bob, I guess where I live gets enough diurnal temperature range at the right time to trigger flowering (if that's the main factor), although I haven't bloomed one of the large forms for a few years. Some of the smaller forms and esp var. globosa, bloom very regularly and offset well too. I usually just rack them out for maximum light though I have some lovely mounted clumps that some of the bits came off. I have some of the giant forms growing among rocks in my garden in full sun and rain (we get a lot here) and they look great, tougher than I expected.

Kerry, you got one right! Such a quaint little plant too.

Others to look for are reducta, lithophylla, tomekii, balsasensis, chusgoensis and malyi. There's an aff. malyi too. Some of these are damned slow!

Cheers, Pedro

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 4:27AM
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gonzer_gw

Now that is some serious stuff there! Shorted out two keyboards from all the slobber. Seeing a grouping like these is a real treat. OK, I'll give it a go:
#1 reducta
#2 stellifera (thanks Kerry!)
#3 tomekii
#4 malyi
aff. malyi to the upper right of of #4?
#5 balsasensis
#6 lithophila
#7 chusgonensis

Slow doesn't come close to describing some of these. A truly fascinating bunch of plants.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 7:46AM
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fdnpedro(NSW north coast)

Wow, Gonzer! You got the rest! Brilliant!

Aren't they stunning plants, slowly but surely clumping up and making wonderful fuzzy statements!

With the cooler weather (pretty warm here really for late May - some of my Neos are even coming into bloom!) and the Neos, Aechmeas, etc (mostly)slowing down, it's time to appreciate the Tillandsias (and TVs). The drier-growing Andean species are exquisite plants and not too hard to grow and there are so many different species and forms.

Cheers, Pedro

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 8:04AM
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gonzer_gw

Pedro, in my haste to reply I totally forgot to compliment you on the the pic of your "tree stand" holding those specimens. Wow!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 8:54AM
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paul_t23(Coastal Sydney)

Hi Pedro,

Great stuff! And Gonzer and Kerry, just brilliant to get those ids. I've known for some time that I just have to get more tectorums (only have two), but now the mission is a matter of life or death.

Queueing up to get into the bromsoc show sales hasn't worked because it seems to be impossible to get there early enough to get the good ones before they go, and I don't think the venues would let me set up a tent in the foyer. I think I might just have to try and organise a drive up the coast in the direction of Pedro!

Thanks for the inspiration. Cheers, Paul

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 5:36PM
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fdnpedro(NSW north coast)

Hi Paul

Watch out or you'll become a Nutter! Ask Kerry.

I don't take many tectorums to the Society shows, mainly more commercial plants (though not readily available) and pretty stuff. I have a new Tillandsia house now with more room to spread the hundreds of species out - lots of air and light too.

You are welcome to visit and during the week is best - less than 6 hrs from Sydney with all the new freeways.

Cheers, Pedro

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 10:25PM
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kerry_t_australia(9)

Why Pedro, what on earth do you mean? Me a Nutter?
There's nothing wrong with mee, mee, mee (rocking head wildly and deliriously as said)! Ha!

Actually Paul, I hope Pedro is referring to the Aussie Tillnuts electronic chat group, to which several of us Nutters belong. Most discussions are too high-falutin' and taxonomic for me, so I mostly lurk and learn. There are very knowledgeable Till growers who contribute, including Unc D., Len Colgan, Chris Larson, Bob Hudson, and, of course, our very own Pedro. Many of them even meet up annually for a whole nutty weekend down south, with some serious nut-cracking which would make Tchaikovsky proud.

A warning if you join the nut factory - do not EVER call their beloved plants "Tillies"! Penelope Boozle-Pitt, a.k.a. Bertie from across the ditch, will never forgive you.

Paul - will send you joining info about the above in our next email.

Hey Pedro - would the Aussie Nutters accept a Californian Oceanside Nut? Gonz would be interested, I'm sure.

Sugar Plum Kerry :)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 12:17AM
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kerry_t_australia(9)

oops - sorry Bob. Maybe Bob too, re the above?

Sugar Plum(p) K :)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 1:21AM
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gonzer_gw

Boy, I'd love to get into that group! Derek even calls me his "favourite nephew".
A little Yank blood couldn't hurt. To keep this "what am I" related, let's see who can guess closest on who the parents are of this hybrid. Very slow grow

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 8:17AM
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tillandsiakyle(Z 10 Boca)

Ok this one I have a chance at, here in south Florida I can do nothing more than keep the fuzzy tillandsia alive, they just kind of hang out but never bloom or seem to grow.

My guess bulbosa x butzii

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 11:58AM
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bob61

How about butzii X caput-medusae. The tillnuts sounds like a lot of fun and would be informative to.
Best Bob

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 12:36PM
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tillandsiakyle(Z 10 Boca)

after a second look Im changing my vote to agree with Bob, that tillnuts does sound cool

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 2:19PM
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sdandy

Ok, this one I can at least take a guess at...bulbosa x psuedobaileyi?

While we are on the 'What am I' game, do you guys think this is a straight up monster sized caput-madusae or a hybrid of????

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 3:14PM
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bromadams(10b)

Definitely bulbosa but maybe balbisiana?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 4:28PM
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paul_t23(Coastal Sydney)

I'll try for baileyi x bulbosa

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 6:03PM
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gonzer_gw

Whoa! Paul gave me a scare there, got the baileyi part right. Let's make it easier, the other parent's name starts with 'C'.
Andy, my first inclination is that it's a hybrid due to the lack of leaves (intermedia?) or it could just be a nice, big form. Great plant.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 6:25PM
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tillandsiakyle(Z 10 Boca)

put me in for caput-medusae x paucifolia
or maybe caput-medusae x circinnatoides

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 6:31PM
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fdnpedro(NSW north coast)

Hi Gonzer

I also would have started with bulbosa but the silver foliage points more at other bulbous plants. Baileyi x caput-medusae after the hints? Neat plant anyway!

The other from Dan looks like a big form of caput-medusae - used to be sold as var major or Giant.

At our last Nutters event, Bertie Bromel (a Kiwi related to Boozle Pitt) presented about 30 slides of Till hybrids, in inimitable Bertie fashion, with most of us failing the grade! The bulbous ones, fasciculata/rodrigueziana, etc group and paleacea/streptocarpa/arhiza hybrids were damned near impossible to guess. But we all had much fun and banter!

Cheers, Pedro

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 6:54PM
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tillandsiakyle(Z 10 Boca)

Got another one I think its a harrisii x ? any ideas?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 7:52PM
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gonzer_gw

Dunno Kyle, it'd be a crap-shoot trying to figure it out. Awesome plant though.
BTW, my plant is baileyi x circinnatoides.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 5:39PM
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tillandsiakyle(Z 10 Boca)

Very cool Gonzer, Let me know if you want to do some more trading I have got a few sprengelianas left. that goes for anyone else who wants to trade also. I also don't mind paying for the rare ones

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 8:24PM
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