Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tillandsia capitata (Peach Variety)

I will probably feature several Tillies this month instead of just the one, because this is their blooming season, and when they bloom, they color up and do all sorts of other wonderful things. Take Tillandsia capitata, for example---
Tillandsia capitata, peach variety, MR 2013 

That is some lovely color! T. capitata hails from Mexico and Cuba and was named in 1866; it means, "Tillandsia with a head." OK, I don't get that name either, but I'm sure Botanist Grisebach, who named it, thought it made sense at the time, and the local tequila may or may not have been involved.  At least it's one of the easier names to pronounce. (I'm looking at you, Tillandsia chaetophylla.)

There were only two varieties known for quite a while, one that colored up a nice dark red before it bloomed, and one that tinged chartreuse in the center before blooming.  I believe this peach variety is a newer cultivar. Bright, tubular flowers with gold stamens eventually appear after the color change. The entire rosette can grow to about 15 inches in diameter. Mine are about 6" wide.

T. capitata normally grows on cliffs and rocks, so it doesn't like to be too damp. The only problem one needs to watch for is rot at the base. It should be drained after a good soak, then left where the base has lots of air circulation. Normal Tillie care of filtered, bright light, and twice-a-week waterings should be fine. I have found them easy to grow.
See you on Tuesday for my pros and cons of growing Lithops from seed. Have a great weekend!


  1. Hi Marla! Yes, the colours are quite amazing! almost chameleon/lizard like, if you know what I mean.. I love chartreuse. Love the shadows in the photos by the way. :)

  2. Thank you! It really is an amazing color, I'd call it more of a bright salmon than a peach. The maroon variety has dark purple/red leaf tips.

  3. I see this is quite an old post, but I'm wondering, do you soak at both waterings, or one soak, one heavy misting? Thanks!

  4. Depending on the humidity/heat, I'll give them either one or two soaks a week, with a strong misting every other day. Higher heat and low humidity means two soaks per week. Or if it rains outside, I'll put them in buckets set the buckets out in the rain. They love rainwater best! Hope this helps.