Tillandsia Cotton Candy
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Tillandsia Cotton Candy
stricta x recurvifolia by Mark Dimmitt Arizona 1982.
(See also 'Houston', 'Flaming Cascade', 'Flaming Spire' & 'Southern Cross)
Chris Larson 03/19. "Cotton Candy Green"
Chris Larson 06/19. "Cotton Candy Green"
Chris Larson ... "In amongst all of our different T. Cotton Candy we receive things like T. Cotton Candy Compact, T. Cotton Candy Green. I pay little heed to such things.
So I decided to track down the import name under which we were getting this plant - which I thought was an exceptional form of T. stricta. It surprised me when I found that this is received as T. "Cotton Candy Green".
A couple of 1000 of these have already been sold in Australia. A stack more around the world. The influence of T. recurvifolia isnít obvious. Iím not sure why it is not a stricta form. The upright growth is fairly distinct, but some plants are now starting to flatten out.
The first 3 photos are of a plant which flowered in quarantine Ė and I think it may be capable of a better spike. Also the foliage of the rosette is a lot denser than it appears in the photos. Vegetatively it is like a superior form of T. stricta Ė possibly has some recurvifolia in it, but not much.
It is getting around, not just here but o/s. Iíll now have to grow some well and document it."
Rob Bower 03/19 as "Unknown"
Rob Bower ... "Here is a pic of some hybrid. Does anyone have a name or a guess for parents? I thought some recurvifolia in it. It's a pretty nice flower - very structured."
Chris Larson ... "Hi Rob. The old Cotton Candy question !
T. Cotton Candy is used in the USA as a grex name, from what I have heard.
These were T. Cotton Candy (http://registry.bsi.org/?genus=TILLANDSIA&id=8045#8045), Cotton Candy, Houston, etc.
Of course the name for registration was T. Houston (see Bromeliad Cultivar Registry BCR).
These were registered by Mark Dimmitt in 1982.

In Australia there was what looked like the same plant being grown by Roly Reilly under the formula stricta X meridonalis (now recurvifolia), or the reverse formula. This was in the 80s/90s. Then he back crossed with the parents: T. meridonalis x stricta X meridonalis, etc. I have a friend who got heaps of these from Roly - all with slightly different formulas. These seedling were done in good numbers.

Of course Margaret Paterson also did her T. Southern Cross (see Bromeliad Cultivar Registry BCR).

Collectors Corner started importing numbers of 1000s of T. Cotton Candy Pink, and T. Cotton Candy Red some 10 or so years ago. Huge numbers of these have come into the country from this source. The T. Cotton Candy Red I called T. Houston, because it was similar to the T. Houston I had seen & very similar to the photo of Pam's on the BCR.

The plants from the nursery we get them from produces mainly vegetative offsets. On a visit I was shown that by selection of the pups there were different forms that had now stabilised (in large numbers) with names like T. Cotton Candy Compact. I was amazed at the way they sported and produced a stable variation. These are now in a Bunnings near you, with just the T. Cotton Candy label on them.

Then we have this very nice plant of what I thought was T. stricta as T. Cotton Candy Green - I didn't ask why it was considered a T. Cotton Candy.

So my answer for your plant is - it looks like one of the T. Cotton Candys. But it could be anything from the above - or something I don't even know about.
Nice plant though."
Bob Hudson 04/19 as "Cotton Candy [compact]"
Bob Hudson 10/19 as "Cotton Candy [compact]"
Peter Tristram ... "Bob, nice show... but whatís the secret to blooming Cotton Candy, or is the compact form more reliable? I canít say I can remember blooming any CC! Ethrel?! Or that balmy tropical weather?"
Chris Larson 04/19 ... "This is an interesting plant that I have shown here before, but not in flower. These have come into the country as stricta for some time. Iíve been looking at them for a while wondering and did a post on them before getting a proper handle on them. Just checked the latest import and now know what I am talking about.
I thought from conversations with our supplier that they were 2 forms of 1 plant. However I was wrong. The 2 plants are shown here (3rd photo courtesy of Bob Hudson):
T. Cotton Candy Green is a much larger plant which doesnít flower readily for us. The flowering photo is of a plant just released from quarantine Ė one I showed before, here.
T. Cotton Candy Compact flowers readily for us. In quarantine and our nursery conditions. It has a lighter pink colour than shown in Bob's photo."
Bryan Atkins (Chris Larson 12/20) sold as un-registered "Cotton Candy Compact"
Bob Hudson 11/23 "Long Flower form"
Chris Larson ... "I've been meaning to detail 2 hybrids. T. Cotton Candy Green, and T. Cotton Candy Compact. There are in excess of 1000 of each of these around under this name in Australia & more around the rest of the world under these names - Facebook tells me that. They are very consistent.
Why they are forms of T. Cotton Candy and what they have to do with the recurvifolia parentage is a mystery to me. I will be taking measurements for registration shortly. I don't like the names - but they are in circulation.
I have not managed to get good photos of T. Cotton Candy Compact for now, and I thank Bryan Atkins for giving me hi-res photos from his Facebook post, for registration purposes.
I will post T. Cotton Candy Green when I get better photos. If anyone sees good photos of this plant, these should be documented. If I receive any I would be happy to do so."
Bob Hudson ... "I have The Green form in spike now but I have not flowered the Compact."

Updated 27/11/23