Monday, January 13, 2014

Tillie of the Month: Tillandsia karwinskyana

This month's Tillandsia is getting ready to bloom. It will only bloom once, so here's the portrait:
Tillandsia karwinskyana, MR, 2013
T. karwinskyana was named in honor of a botany bloke named Karwinsky, who collected the first to be catalogued in Mexico in 1830.  It grows in the states of Nuevo Leon and San Luis Potosi. This is a high-altitude Tillie, and likes to be about 2000m up a mountain. The leaves are tough and silvery. The plant forms a rosette, so this distinguishes it from its lookalike, Tillandsia albida (another high-altitude Mexican Tillie). Tillandsia albida grows along a stem, rather than in a rosette:
Tillandsia albida, MR, 2013
When T. karwinskyana blooms, the flowers will be a gentle lilac. The pups emerge from the base, among the roots, and grow in the opposite direction to the mother plant! The pups tend to fall off when about 1cm long, and go roaming to find their own space. Like Daniel Boone, T. karwinskyana needs its elbow room!

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