Monday, January 27, 2014

A Great Read: Victoria Padilla's "Bromeliads" (1973)

I have about a dozen wonderful tomes on mesembs and succulents in my home library. But not too many on Tillandsias. In fact, until last week, I only had one book on the subject. Now I have two. Only a scant 3 or 4 books on Tillandsias have ever been published in English, and not too many more on bromeliads in general. My local library used to have Padilla's book on their shelves. I'd checked it out, returned it, then found to my dismay that they had thrown it out. OK, it was published in 1973, but it's a brilliant book, and one of the most comprehensive on Tillies ever published in English.  So off I went in search of a used copy. After a couple of months, I found one in good condition for under $15!

Victoria Padilla's book is chock full of info on over 100 species of Tillies. The book covers all bromeliads, but the Tillandsia section is particularly rich, with historical and scientific data, and unique photos. For example, here's an astounding image of wild Tillandsia straminea growing in profusion over a vast area of Peruvian desert during the last century:
Padilla, "Bromeliads", pg.  1
That is some kinda Tilly party!  Here's the wee T. straminea in my collection:
T. straminea, MR, 2013
Anyone seriously interested in bromeliads in general and Tillandsias in particular would enjoy thumbing through this book. It's occasionally available on Amazon, ebay, and through other booksellers. Paul Isley III published the beautiful "Tillandsia II" in 2010, and I aspire to own that book someday, though it's around $100. For now, I'm thoroughly enjoying my 1970s copy of Padilla's "Bromeliads".
What Tillandsia books have you found, and in what languages?

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