The Weekly View: Tillandsia Utriculata, 4/19/13

Back in February, I began charting the bloom cycle of a Tillandsia Utriculata wedged among some branches in my backyard citrus tree. To refresh your memory, T.Utriculata is an endangered, native epiphyte; over the last 25yrs, their numbers have  been decimated by Metamasius callizona, an invasive weevil from Mexico.  Thankfully, my specimen has grown vigorously since the last time I posted about it. Take a look!

T. Utriculata in Citrus Tree, 8/19/13

 FYI: the final bloomspike  measurement is a whopping 38″ long!

When large airplants finish branching, they become unwieldy, leaning away from the trunks where they’re anchored.  On Saturday night at Riverside Park, we saw another one in the exact same pose:


“Leaning out” isn’t just about gravity, though; it heralds the start of T. Utriculata’s seed setting stage, which takes 9mos. to complete. When the seeds are ready (next Spring)they waft in the breeze until crossing paths with a suitable host tree or shrub.

You never know where an air plant will turn up! 🙂

If you’d like to read the previous posts in this series, click here!

Until next time…..

🙂 🙂 🙂


8 thoughts on “The Weekly View: Tillandsia Utriculata, 4/19/13

    • It has! sometimes they fall out of the trees and blow away! I had kind of forgotten about the “weekly view” and was happy to get a pic of its final growth! Although….. I really wasn’t thrilled with any of the pics I took yesterday! It was windy and the dang branches kept moving. Definitely not as clear and crisp as I like!

    • Every year I’ve had at least one really big one come into spike. There are 3 others (in various stages of growth) sitting in the crooks of my bauhinia tree, but none looks quite old enough to bloom next year. Time will tell!

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