Harris’ tillandsia (Tillandsia harrisii)

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Harris' tillandsia
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Harris’ tillandsia fact file

Harris’ tillandsia description

KingdomPlantae
PhylumTracheophyta
ClassLiliopsida
OrderBromeliales
FamilyBromeliaceae
GenusTillandsia (1)

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).

Size
Height: up to 80 cm (2)
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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)

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Harris’ tillandsia range

Tillandsia harrisii is restricted to the Zacapa Department in Guatemala (2)

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Harris’ tillandsia habitat

Known from cliffs along the Rio Teculutan, at an altitude of 500 metres above sea level (2)

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Harris’ tillandsia status

Listed on Appendix II of CITES (1).

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Harris’ tillandsia threats

Many Tillandsia species are believed to be threatened by over collection for the horticultural trade (6)

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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).

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Find out more

To find out more about tillandsias and other bromeliad species, visit:

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Authentication

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:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

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Glossary

Bracts
Modified leaves at the base of a flower.
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References

  1. CITES (December, 2009)
    http://www.cites.org
  2. CITES species identification manual (December, 2009)
    http://www.cites.org/eng/resources/ID/index.php
  3. Gardner, J.A. and Bussolini, K. (2005) Elegant Silvers: Striking plants for every garden. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.
  4. Bromeliad Society International (December, 2009)
    http://www.bsi.org
  5. Heywood, V.H. (1978) Flowering Plants of the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  6. 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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Image credit

Harris' tillandsia  
Harris' tillandsia

© E. J. Gouda / Utrecht University Botanic Gardens

Utrecht University Botanic Gardens
Postbus 80.162
Utrecht
3508 TD
The Netherlands
E.J.Gouda@uu.nl
http://FloraPix.nl/

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