The genus Tillandsia
includes over 400 species ranging from the southern U.S. through South
America. A dozen species are native to Florida. This plant forms a rosette of narrow,
gray leaves with a flower spike emerging from the center. Individual plants die
after flowering but new plants grow from the base to form a dense cluster.
These clusters of rosettes grow on trunks and large branches of trees. They are
epiphytes that take their moisture and minerals from the rain and air. They do
not harm the plants on which they grow.
Light: full sun to part shade
Water: drought tolerant but prefers a humid environment
Soil: grows on trees, will not grow on or in the ground
This native plant is hardy throughout northeast Florida. It may be
cultivated in a garden and responds well to periodic watering.