This Ecuadorian airplant has stiff leaves which form a beautiful rosette. Tillandsia Espinosae produces long runners called stolons from its base, at the end of which offshoots appear. The offshoots can either be removed once they are half the size of the mother plant and grown as new plants, or left attached to form an attractive constellation-like group. Its small deep purple flowers contrast beautifully with the orange/red floral bract.
Occasionally sold under the name Vrisea Espinosae, there is some debate amongst enthusiasts as to whether Espinosae belongs in either the Tillandsia genus or Vrisea genus of the Tillandsioideae subfamily of the Bromiliaceae family of plants. Epiphitic in growth, its concentration of trichomes, silvery leaves and small growth habit better suit the Tillandsia genus, at least from a commercial view, as opposed to the larger, tank bromeliad form of most Vrisea species. Unfortunately, the usual markers for separating Bromeliad genera, the ligules at the petal base, are less reliable when separating Tillandsia from Vrisea than with other forms of the Bromeliad family. Certainly from a growers and collectors point of view, Espinosae is best treated as a Tillandsia rather than a Vrisea.
- Eventual (Mature) Height: 8cm
- Eventual (Mature) Width: 8cm
- Flower colour: Purple from orange/red floral bract
- Watering: Light
- Light: Bright