Air Plant Safari
Chitapol, Uspantán, Guatemala
While visiting our school in Quiché we came across a valley full of high-elevation, cool-weather tillandsias including Seleriana, Butzii, Juncea, Ionantha Scaposa, Magnusiana and Fasciculata.
The area where these plants were found is a cool, breezy and sparse forest dotted with oaks and pines. When you picture Guatemala, most North Americans will imagine and hot and humid jungle. Of course that is true for the lower elevations! However, many of the the cultivated tillandsia species come from mountainous terrarin such as above, leaving them well-suited for home environments.
A big, healthy clump of Tillandsia Seleriana attached to a pine.
A Seleriana with an older, faded bloom.
A nicely speckled Tillandsia Butzii growing exposed on the side of a Pine.
A large, blooming clump of Tillandsia Butzii.
A close-up up a large Magnusiana. We often have trouble with this species in Florida and now it is clear why: they prefer windy, dry climates. At our greenhouse, we often have problems with rot.
A couple huge Tillandsia Seleriana. These were at least 14 inches long, perhaps more!
Magnusiana and Seleriana enjoying a similar tree trunk environment.
A pretty, red-blooming Tillandsia Fasciculata with Seleriena.