Tuesday 21 May
Harris’ tillandsia (Tillandsia harrisii)
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Harris’ tillandsia fact file
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Harris’ tillandsia description
Distinguished by their fine, greyish-white, spiky leaves, tillandsias are attractive plants typically seen clinging to tree branches or cliff faces (3) (4). Tillandsia harrisii has a relatively long stem, with the leaves usually directed to one side, and curled in a dense rosette. The inflorescence is comprised of five to nine spirally arranged flowers, with orange to red floral bracts and blue-violet petals (2).
- Height: up to 80 cm (2)
Harris’ tillandsia biology
Unlike most other vascular plants, the roots of Tillandsia species do not function in water and nutrient transport, but merely help the plant to cling to trees or rocks. Instead, tillandsias have tiny scales on their leaves called trichomes that absorb water from the atmosphere (4) (5).Top
Harris’ tillandsia range
Tillandsia harrisii is restricted to the Zacapa Department in Guatemala (2).Top
Harris’ tillandsia habitat
Known from cliffs along the Rio Teculutan, at an altitude of 500 metres above sea level (2).Top
Harris’ tillandsia status
Listed on Appendix II of CITES (1).Top
Harris’ tillandsia threats
Many Tillandsia species are believed to be threatened by over collection for the horticultural trade (6).Top
Harris’ tillandsia conservation
International trade in Tillandsia harrisii is restricted by its listing on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) (1).Top
Find out more
To find out more about tillandsias and other bromeliad species, visit:
Bromeliad Society International:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
- Modified leaves at the base of a flower.
CITES (December, 2009)
CITES species identification manual (December, 2009)
- Gardner, J.A. and Bussolini, K. (2005) Elegant Silvers: Striking plants for every garden. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.
Bromeliad Society International (December, 2009)
- Heywood, V.H. (1978) Flowering Plants of the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Smith, L.B. and Till, W. (2004) Bromeliaceae. In: Kubitzki, K. (Ed.) Families and genera of vascular plants VI. Springer, Berlin.
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