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Tillandsia and Seeds = death ?

Posted by cocoabeachlorax 10 (My Page) on
Thu, May 10, 12 at 13:40

Hello,

I've had a slight "obsession" observing the large wild growing Tillandsia (of some sort I assume) growing in the live Oaks at my daughter's school all year. They look somewhat like Tillandsia Utriculata (sp) from what quick research I did.

I noticed a few weeks ago that they all seemed to be dying off. I had assumed it was lack of rain (it's been severely dry here), but then upon closer inspection I noticed that they all seemed to have sent up bloom spikes.

So... is this normal Tillandsia behavior, send up a bloom spike then die ? Or just coincidence ?

I'd love to know more about this if anyone wishes to educate me.

Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Tillandsia and Seeds = death ?

Right, Tillandsia is a genus of Bromeliad that'll die after bloom like Aechmea, Neoregelia etc. and they will shoot some pup later.


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RE: Tillandsia and Seeds = death ?

Some shoot seeds off that look like small parachutes. I recently found where a bloomed plant seeds attached to a nearby tree and several small plants are growing. It does a long time the other plant bloomed 4 years ago.


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RE: Tillandsia and Seeds = death ?

Will they "shoot off pups" after the mother plant has set seed and looks all brown ? Many of the really striking very large "mothers" don't appear to have any pups already and their bloom spikes are spent from what I can see. Sad to see the whole thing go.


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RE: Tillandsia and Seeds = death ?

Some of mine form pups but I don't grow many Tillandsia. Maybe Gonzer will pop by this forum and answer your questions, He is an expert on the subject. It might also depend on which Tillandsia it is.


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RE: Tillandsia and Seeds = death ?

I'll take some pictures today if I can.


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RE: Tillandsia and Seeds = death ?

If you find out for sure that they were Till. utriculata, then it is likely that they are dying. T. utriculata is one of a few species of bromeliad that is monocarpic. That means that they set seed (usually in copious amounts), and then the plants die without producing any pups.
Till. utriculata in Florida has been especially prone to the Mexican ("evil") weevil. Hopefully, the plants you witnessed were mature enough to distribute their seeds.

Paul


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RE: Tillandsia and Seeds = death ?

Thank you, Paul.

There are so many of these lining some of the branches that I'm sure some of the seed has set at some point. It's a shame so many look dead or dying though.


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RE: Tillandsia and Seeds = death ?

"Tillandsia is a genus of Bromeliad that'll die after bloom like Aechmea, Neoregelia etc. and they will shoot some pup later."

Not so. The flowering main plant will eventually fade but not until giving birth to numerous pups. A species like T. utriculata though is different in that the whole plant will die with no off-sets. This is called 'monocarpic' and there are around 50-60 species of Tillandsias that grow like such.
Seeds are their only means of survival but on the rare occasions there will be small grass pups growing from the base of the plant. I have small pups from a form of T. utriculata that grows in Mexico.


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