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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 22 | Bromeliaceae | Tillandsia

15. Tillandsia utriculata Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 286. 1753.

Giant wild-pine

Plants single, flowering to 2 m. Stems short. Leaves 20--75, many-ranked, spreading and recurved, not twisted, gray-green (rarely variegated with linear cream stripes), to 1 m ´ 1.5--3.5 cm, finely appressed-scaly; sheath pale or slightly rust colored, ovate, not inflated, not forming pseudobulb, 6--15 cm wide; blade linear-triangular, leathery, channeled to involute, apex attenuate. Inflorescences: scape conspicuous, erect, 20--50 cm, 6--12 mm diam.; bracts densely imbricate proximally, often lax distally, erect to spreading, like leaves but gradually smaller; sheath of bracts narrowing gradually into blade; spikes very laxly 6--11-flowered, erect to spreading, 2--3-pinnate, linear, 15--40 ´ 10--15 cm, apex acute; branches 5--40 (rarely simple). Floral bracts widely spaced, erect, green or tinged purple, exposing most of rachis at anthesis, ovate, not keeled, 1.2--2 cm, leathery, venation slight, base visible at anthesis, apex acute, surfaces glabrous. Flowers 10--200, conspicuous; sepals free, elliptic, not keeled, 1.4--2 cm, thin-leathery, veined, apex obtuse, surfaces glabrous; corolla tubular, somewhat bilaterally symmetric, petals erect, slightly twisted, white, ligulate, to 4 cm; stamens exserted; stigma exserted, conduplicate-spiral. Fruits to 4 cm. n = 25 (Puerto Rico, West Indies).

Flowering summer. Epiphytic on a variety of hosts, often in bright exposed habitats, usually abundant; 0--30 m; Fla.; Mexico; West Indies; Central America; South America.


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