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

12. Tillandsia variabilis Schlechtendal, Linnaea. 18:418. 1844.

Tillandsia houzeavii Chapman; T. valenzuelana A. Richard

Plants usually single, rarely clustering, flowering to 40 cm. Stems short. Leaves 15--20, many-ranked, spreading, gray-green or flushed rose, 12--30 ´ 1--2 cm, finely appressed-scaly; sheath pale to nearly chestnut brown, ovate, flat, not forming pseudobulb, 2--4 cm wide; blade narrowly triangular, tapering evenly from base to apex, nearly plane to channeled, soft, brittle, margins involute, apex attentuate. Inflorescences: scape conspicuous, erect or ascending, 3--10 cm, 2--5 mm diam.; bracts densely imbricate, erect, blade often hanging, like leaves but gradually smaller; sheath of bracts narrowing abruptly into blade; spikes erect or ascending, never palmate, linear, compressed, 5--20 ´ 0.8--1.2 cm, apex acute; simple or laxly 2--3 lateral branches. Floral bracts laxly imbricate, erect, green, red, or purple, broad (covering all or most of rachis, rachis not visible at anthesis), elliptic, keeled toward apex, 1.8--2 ´ 0.6--0.9 cm, leathery, base visible in fruit, apex acute, surfaces glabrous. Flowers 5--30, conspicuous; sepals with adaxial pair connate, oblong, keeled, 1.5--1.8 cm, thin-leathery, slightly veined, apex obtuse, surfaces glabrous; corolla tubular, petals erect, lavender-blue, ligulate, to 3 cm; stamens exserted; stigma exserted, conduplicate-spiral. Fruits to 3 cm.

Flowering spring--fall. Epiphytic in moist, shaded habitats; 0--30 m; Fla.; Mexico; West Indies; Central America; South America.


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