P1060823

February 9, 2014

Tillandsia bartramii

Monocot/Bromeliaceae

Fort-herb/Perennial

Native:  Lower 48, Puerto Rico

Blooming:  March, April, pink, purple

Location:  RR N 30 00 150′ W 84 32 972′

Epiphytes (air plants)  grow on other plants, such as trees, but they do not parasitize the host plant, using it mainly for support.   The root structure is very efficient in absorbing water and nutrients which come in contact with them, especially from rain.  There are sufficient dissolved nutrients in rain, as low as these might be.  They do not tolerate fertilization.

All Tillandsias are flowering.  Bartram’s airplant has pink flowering stalks and purple “petals”.  Seeds are equipped with “wings” which enable them to air-float to another tree to begin new life.

While they are prolific on trees on southern tributaries of the Apalachicola River, this is the first sighting of Bartram’s airplant on this creek.

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