Identifying Tillandsias

debbyabqAugust 2, 2013

My first post. I was prompted to join by androsera's questions. There is a website of an air plant seller that has a link to a photo-sharing website where the seller has posted hundred of Tilly pics in alpha order. I don't know if I should mention the site, so I won't unless permitted to. It could help one identify plants and maybe chose new ones to buy.

I've ordered Air Plants on line several times. One seller packs them in brown paper bags with the name of the plant written on the bag and the number of plants I ordered that are to be found in the bag. With my first order I realized I could quickly forget what was what (particularly the ionanthas), so I propped up each bag so the name was visible and put the plant or plants (like 3 ionantha Druids) in front of it and took (digital) pictures. For each plant/plants I did this, each time I got a shipment and I later downloaded them onto my computer so I can refer back to them at my leisure. This system can help with other plants as well.

If androsera's plants did not come identified (which is almost criminal), maybe they came with a packing list, or maybe the original order is still available with names. If we had that list, we could help to identify the unknown plants.

More on my own collection later, I just wanted to address this one topic :)

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Great idea about the pictures and labeling! Many times, a species can be hard to identify because they look almost identical to another species (this also comes into play with different forms of the same species, and with hybrids). Sometimes, the only 'sure-fire' positive way for identification, can be based upon the plant's flower.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 1:31PM
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A lot of the tillandsia ionantha flowers look almost alike, unless they're yellow-white in the Druids.

Another thing I did when taking the pictures is place a ruler right near the plant so it would be in the picture, to remind me what size the plant was when I got it. Since then many of the plants (mostly the ionanthas) have flowered and are pupping like mad, though some others have thrown out flowers, too, and are pupping. The filifolia flowering was a surprise (it's pupping, too), and another odd, dried-up tilly I rescued and soaked a lot also eventually flowered unexpectedly. They are all fun plants that don't take up much room and don't seem to mind my usually very dry climate. I like their unusual shapes and sizes and haven't ever acquired one for its flower; to me, the flower is just a bonus :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 3:45PM
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Every species I have tagged with an aluminium label that lasts for centuries, I used plastic but to my horror they went brittle and faded. I also have a stock list of my collection and next I am endeavouring to photograph each Tillandsia as it flowers. So im pretty well labelled but my collection (its pretty vast) does have a few unamed plants that I would love to get named.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 5:09AM
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