Tillandsia barfussii
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Tillandsia barfussii
Formerly in some collections as T. arequitae "from Paraguay".
Chris Larson 03/16
Ray Clark 02/19
Peter Tristram in Heidelburg
Chris Larson ... "A beautiful silver sp from Paraguay."
Alfonso Trudu ... "Very nice flower, Ray! Has the plant pupped yet? Mine has pupped, but not flowered yet."
Ray Clark ... "Two tiny pups which makes me wonder how the plant will look as a flowering clump?"
Peter Tristram ... "It might depend on the clone though most of mine tend to clump before blooming, as Alfonso is discovering. It’s also possible that the clumping clones are the ones being distributed. Is yours from one of my trips to Europe, or Len’s, Ray? It was imported as aff. arequitae as well, before being given species status."
Ray Clark ... "My data tells me that I bought this one from Chris Larson six yeas ago here at a BSSA sale and the label says ex Holm, so probably from you through Chris I would say."
Alfonso Trudu ... "My T. barfussii came from Ron Jell, who probably bought it from you. This is why it is like yours, not Ray's. Are all the other characteristics of the clumping and non-clumping clones the same?"
Peter Tristram ... "Most of our barfussii are from my visit to Burkhard Holm with Eric in 2006. They were labelled aff. arequitae or the like, not barfussii. I also got plants that turned out to be barfussii from Lydia and Goettingen BG. Alfonso, they all clump. I was suggesting there might be variation among the clones. I think fertiliser makes a big difference!"
CU, Paraguay as arequitae
Peter Tristram
Photo Greg Dauss
Die Bromelien 1:37 2009
Dale Dixon 12/20
Dale Dixon ... "- everything about this species is attractive. It's rosette of triangular shaped leaves and their colour, the two-toned floral bracts and the clear white flowers."
Greg Aizlewood 12/21
Greg Aizlewood ... "Flowers every year up here. Originally came from Lydia in 2009, struggled for a few years until given a bit more light. Got a bit of size about it again this year and should stay in flower for a considerable time."

Tillandsia barfussii W. Till, sp. nov. Die Brom 1:36-40. 2009
A Tillandsia lorentziana Griseb., cui affinis, foliis opace albo-cinereo lepidotis, basalibus non reflexis, bracteis florigeris bicoloribus (basi atroviridibus apicem versus carneorubris), sepalis latioribus, petalis distincte longioribus latioribusque, staminibus gynoeceoque longioribus et antheris viridescentibus differt.
- Typus: Ex cult. hort. bot. Vindob. (B178/91), 12.6.2008, W. Till s.n. (holo FCQ). Paraguay, Depto. Cordillera, cerros prope Tobati, 400-450 m s. m., 9. Februario 1991 leg. W. & S. Till 6047.
Ex cult. hort. hot. Vindob. (B178/91), 25.8.2005, W. Till s.n. (WU). Paraguay, Depto. Cordillera, cerros prope Tobati, 400-450 m s. m., 9. Februario 1991, W. & S. Till 6047.
Ex cult. hort. bot. Linz (s.n.), Anonymus s.n. (WU). Paraguay, am “Typusfundort” von Eriocactus schumannianus.
Ex cult. coll. H. & L. Hromadnik sub (HR) 122, Anonymus s. n. (WU, 2x). Paraguay, sine loco.

Plants stemless or at most very short stemmed, forming an upright to weakly secund rosette of ca. 20 leaves.
Leaves narrowly triangular, tapering into a subulate apex, 16-18 cm long, 2-2.4 cm wide at the base, the blade is not distinguished from the sheath, densely whitish grey lepidote on both surfaces, with a characteristic dull, not shining appearance.
Inflorescence upright;
peduncle slightly shorter or about as long as the rosette, (8-)10-15 cm long, 2-3 mm in diam. (without the peduncle bracts), glabrous, nearly completely covered by the peduncle bracts, these vaginiform, only the lowermost with a short blade, little longer than the inter-nodes, densely appressed lepidote, especially towards the apex, slightly nerved when dry;
fertile part of the inflorescence unbranched or composed of two spikes;
spikes upright, completely glabrous, the main spike 8.5 - 11 cm long, 11-14 m wide, the additional spike 5.5-8 cm long, 10-12 mm wide;
rachis slightly flexuous, somewhat alate.
Flowers ca. 2 mm stoutly pedicellate, without fragrance;
flower bracts 19-21 mm long, 4.5-5 mm wide (seen from the side), flattened ovate-lanceolate and 8 mm wide, obtuse, not keeled, slightly nerved when dry, in the fresh state dark green towards the base, flesh-red towards the apex, membranaceous at the margins;
sepals broadly lanceolate, ± obtuse, flattened 18 mm long, 7 mm wide, the abaxial one free, the two adaxial ones connate for 1 mm, hardly keeled in the fresh state, keeled in the lower half when dry;
petals oblanceolate, 47 mm long, the upper third forming a broadly oval, 9 mm wide plate, white;
filaments white, ribbon-shaped, plicate in the middle, inserted at the base of the anthers; anthers greenish, 7.3 mm long;
ovary ellipsoid, 6 mm long, 2.5 mm wide, pale green;
style 40 mm long, 1 mm wide, white;
stigma with 2.5 mm long spreading whitish lobes, of the “simple-erect” type according to Brown & Gilmartin (1984);
ovules oblong ovate, with a chalazal projection of 1/3 of the length of the ovule.
Fruit and seeds not seen.

Habitat and Distribution
According to own observations, the plants are growing in nature on perpendicular rocks together with a deviating form of T. vernicosa Baker and with T. didisticha (E. Morren) Baker. These two species usually grow as epiphytes, epilithic populations are rare and normally distinct. T. barfussii is known only from the mountainous part of Central Paraguay and seems to be endemic to this region.

Differences to Tillandsia lorentziana
Tillandsia barfussii differs from T. lorentziana Griseb. by its dull, light grey leaves, the outer leaves are not recurved, the floral bracts are two-coloured (at the base dark green, towards the apex reddish), the sepals are wider, the petals are distinctly longer and wider, the stamens and the ovary are longer and the anthers exhibit a greenish colour.

For many years a Tillandsia has been grown in central European collections. It is easily distinguished by its appressed, dull, grey indument, but the plants do not flower frequently. After many years a collection, made by the author in 1991, has come into bloom. Analysing the details of the inflorescence and flowers showed a relationship to Tillandsia lorentziana Griseb., the differences in the foliage and floral parts are, however, distinctive enough to propose the concerned plants as a new species. I am dedicating it to Mag. Michael H.J. Barfuss for his considerable contributions to the phylogeny of the Tillandsioideae.

Updated 18/01/22