13716 - Bromeliads (Wild) - 2018-03-16|
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Tillandsia maculata Ruiz & Pav.
(Uploaded as: Till )
Locality: Ecuador, Morona-Santiago Province - Side road 14km north of Gualaquiza off Hwy 45 at an elevation of 1580 meters. Grows as an epiphyte on remnant trees from an old forest.
Photographer: Jerry Raack
Note: There were many of these very large Tillandsia in bloom in the trees. Very large plants growing 1.5 to 2 meters tall with huge candelabra like inflorescences. Deep blue-violet flowers with flared petals, stamens and pistil included. They varied in color from a rose to a deep red in color. Some had very broad foliage with leaves easily 9 cm wide, while others were more moderate with leaves 5 cm wide. The largest plant shown was easily more than 1.5 meters in diameter by 2 meters high with broad yellow-green leaves. It had 50 branches off of the main stem, and some of those branches had 20 spikes, each spike having 15 flowers. A very large and impressive plant! Doing a little conservative math, that would be 40 branches X 15 spikes X 8 flowers = 4800 flowers on one plant! I never saw any vegetative offsets on any of these plants; hence, I hypothesize that this is a monocarpic species, reproducing only from seed. Young plants usually had maculate leaves (beautifully splotched with red on yellow). A very large and outstanding species. (Sent: firstname.lastname@example.org)