Tillandsia Splitenz
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Tillandsia Splitenz
cv. of usneoides Barry Genn ~1990
From BCR ... "The normal scorpioid dichotomous growth pattern of T. usneoides with distinct stems and leaves is depicted in the attached diagram illustration. An aberration is this mutation of "Spanish Moss" whereby the leaf tips continuously get caught in the leaf axils, forming loops. Originally from Brisbane grower Barry Genn "many years ago", this phenomenon continued after 10 years in the registrant's collection. It appears that the vegetative sport is stable, consistent and permanent. This rather green-leaved clone prefers more shade than the silvery grey clones which need strong light for best growth."
Gary May
Derek Butcher 12/16

Tillandsia ‘Splitenz’ by Derek Butcher 1/2017
Early in 2007 Gary May sent me a photo of a T. usneoides acting oddly. In fact it looked like a split stemmed form. Was it rare? We tried it on the Aussie Tilly Nuts AND on the world-wide web and the response was a deafening silence. Ergo, it must be rare! At the time I think I did suggest that while other Queenslanders were bending bananas Gary was busy with the razor blade making a neat longitudinal cut down the stem. Since then Gary has sent me a piece to prove a point.
Let me digress for a while. I also sent a photo to Jason Grant in Switzerland who tells me he has not seen this before. Why Jason? We know that T. usneoides is the widest spread Bromeliad species. About 10 years ago he was asking for Tillandsia usneoides ( with collection data) from everybody. Surely, if you used DNA you could find where T. usneoides started and ponder over where Bromeliaceae first evolved. But alas, Jason seems as far forward as he was 10 years ago. But, to me he is still my T. usneoides expert.
Will my pieces of ‘Splitenz’ stay that way or is it just a Brisbane phenomenon? Gary has been checking his plants and finds that with a tug at the top end of the split you can find one separate leaf and one separate stem. Is this yet another sort of quilling when leaves get gummed up? I think not, as I hope to explain using the schematic drawing from 1964 when they really studied T. usneoides. To my mind a leaf and stem started off simultaneously and just grew side by side.
My only hope is that Gary is not a really tidy person and has been busy loosening ALL the leaves on ‘Splitenz’. Who else got a bit from Gary?

Updated 21/03/17