Tillandsia funckiana
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Tillandsia funckiana
Species Venezuela.
Ian Hook, Sydney 05/04, BSA show entry.
Laurie Mountford, Ballina.
Bob Hudson 10/20 several forms
Ken Woods 05/05.
Ian Hook, 10/07.
Bruce Dunstan, 01/12.
Bruce Dunstan 09/15, Colombia
Bob Hudson 09/15 as 'Marron'
Steve Molnar 11/18

Bruce Dunstan ... "We saw this plant being cultivated in Zapotoca, Santander, Colombia. Different to other clones I have from other sources."
Bob Hudson ... "I just wonder how many T. funckiana there are as I have possibly 10 different looking forms. Peter Tristram gave me a few more. The flowers are much the same color exept the one I have labled 'Marron' which is a darker Red."

Bob Hudson 10/17
George Nieuwenhoven 10/17
Rob Bower 10/17

Peter Tristram ... "What a terrific form of funckiana Bob. You have motivated me to mount up my various forms too and grow some specimen clumps high up in bright light but always under plastic here."
Rob Bower ... "Hello Bob - heres a snap of my form - more slender than yours."

Steve Molnar as funckiana 'Orange'
Steve Molnar ... "I have been eagerly waiting for this one to flower, the leaves coloured up a few months ago and now it is in flower. It was purchased from Peter Tristram and was originally from RFI. It will make a stunning clump in a few years time, and I will hopefully get seed from this also to grow even more of them."
Gary May ... "thanks for sharing the pics, although having seen the plant in the flesh the pictures don't truly capture the intense orange."
Dale Dixon 11/20 funckiana v. funckiana - green leaf, orange flower, ex. Chris Larson
Bob Hudson 11/20
Bob Hudson 10/21
Bob Hudson 10/21 ... "It looks like Christmas is coming early. This form of T. funckiana usually flowers in December.
I have about 18 forms now and they flower all year. This is the (normally) December flowering form."
Bob Hudson 09/15 as 'Marron'
Rob Bower 05/22 "red tinged funkiana ex Bob Hudson"

Bob Hudson 09/15 ... "I just wonder how many T. funckiana there are as I have psssibly 10 different looking forms. Peter Tristram gave me a few more. The flowers are much the same color exept the one I have labled 'Marron' which is a darker Red."
Rob Bower 05/22 ... "Red tinged funkiana ex Bob Hudson."
Bob Hudson ... "Nice one Rob. It looks like T. funckiana 'Marron'."
Geoff Lawn ... "Hi Bob & Rob: There is already a Tillandsia 'Marron', a form of T. capitata, registered in the BCR.
Therefore it's too confusing to have another so-called T. 'Marron' as a named form of T. funckiana.
Did you breed and name it, Bob ? If so, please rename it and register it with blooming photos and quote the year bred."
Bob Hudson ... "Geoff: I imported this Tillandsia from John Arden in California, I cannot remember what year, but I do know there are quite a lot of growers who received a plant from me. Will I still go ahead and Register it???"
Chris Larson ... "I think the question before registering is...
Those that are growing the T. funckiana var recurvifolia that Peter Tristram and I brought back from Grubers, and those that are growing Bob's T. funckiana 'Marron'....... are there any noticeable differences?
I think that it would be good to register."
Chris Larson 06/22 as 'Marron'
Chris Larson 06/22 ... "T. funckiana 'Marron'. Bob Hudson says it is different to Grubers T. funckiana var recurvifolia. I'm not seeing it, but I haven't got them together."
Chris Larson 07/23 as 'Marron'
Bob Hudson 07/23 as 'Marron'
Bob Hudson ... "Here is another "Marron" I also have one that has decided to give out two flowers on the one stem."
Geoff Lawn ... "Who decided to call it "Marron"? Does it throw 2 flowers at a time every time? Who actually "bred" it?
You see, there's already a well-established distinctive T. 'Marron', a form of T. capitata.
Too confusing, so yours needs another different cultivar name."
Bob Hudson ... "Geoff: I have had this plant for 18 years, I imported it for John Arden in California USA and that is the name he had on it.
It has never flowered with two flowers before.
If it has to have a name change I would like it to be named T. funckiana "Arden"."
Chris Larson 07/23 ... "Hi Bob & Geoff. Interesting topic this one. Is Marron referring to the colour brown in Spanish? Or a crayfish in English?
It is clearly a form of T. funckiana var recurvifolia that has slight differences from the other form of this variety circulating in Aust - the one originating in the Gruber nursery in Colombia. Many of us in our collections like to differentiate between forms - and to collect various forms - but the question always has to be - how many times we have to register these?
I find that T. funckiana throw 2 flowers periodically. I would not be surprised if this (Marron) was a naturally occurring form of T. funckiana rather than a man made one and John is not around to ask."

Tillandsia funckiana var. recurvifolia
Bruce Dunstan, 01/12.
Peter Tristram, 01/12.
Chris Larson 05/21 (was recurvifolia ex. gruber)
Bruce Dunstan..."I photographed this plant at Rainforest Flora and thought it may be a form of funckiana at the time. It certainly is very attractive in it's growth habit."
Peter Tristram..."Itís funckiana v. recurvifolia. I have a few forms incl. one just like in your pic. Attached is a form Iíve had for many years and it recurves like crazy when mounted."
Steve Molnar 06/17

Tillandsia funckiana var. stricta

George Nieuwenhoven 12/20
George Nieuwenhoven ... "T. funckiana var. stricta ex Germany via Peter Tristram. It seems T. funckiana can be grown and flowered in Adelaide, however I do bring them inside during winter here but in the summer they are in the shadehouse."

Tillandsia funckiana Baker, Handb. Bromel. 196. 1889. Type. Laderas de San Pablo near Merida, Venezuela, Funck & Schlim 1258 (BM, P), ca 1846.
Info from J.Brom. Soc 39: 111-118. 1989
The following original diagnosis by Baker in his Handbook of the Bromeliaceae, p.196 is very short;
Leafy stem produced to a length of 5-6 in., densely beset with rigid, linear-subulate ascending leaves 1 1/2 in. long 1/12 in. broad above the dilated base, densely laxly lepidote all over Peduncle very short. Spike laxly 2-3 flowered; flower bracts oblong-lanceolate, bright red, 1/3rd in. long. Calyx as long as the flower-bract; sepals red, acute. Petals white, half as long again as the calyx. NOTE we cannot understand why Baker writes that petals are white, we found only red flowering plants.- Werner Rauh.
Type. Funck et Schlim 1258, 1846.
Distribution. Saxicolous on dry rock walls of the Rio Chama, Laderas de San Pablo, near Merida, Venezuela.

The following description is based on material collected in the dry valley of the Rio Chama, near the Puenta Real (southwest of Merida), Rauh 59051.
Plant long caulescent, richly branched and forming compact cushions, clumps or long clusters, often bright red from the influence of intensive sunshine.
Stems thin, seldom more than 5 mm thick, densely covered with spirally arranged leaves
Sheaths distinct, triangular ovate, 0.5 cm long, 0.5 cm wide, with adpressed, cinereous to brownish scales on both sides, glabrous and white at the base.
Blades erect to recurved, variable in their length, mostly up to 2.5 cm long, 2 mm wide, filiform-attenuate, strongly keeled below, apical leaves becoming bright red at flowering time
Inflorescence terminal, mostly con¨sisting of one single terminal flower, rarely two
Scape none;
upper leaves below the calyx pale, consisting mostly only of the sheath, forming a kind of involucrum below the flower; these up to 6 cm long (with the exserted stamens), erect, slightly zygomorphic
Sepals elliptic-ovate, up to 15 mm long, 6 mm wide, obtuse, free, chartaceous, pale green, ecarinate.
Petals lingulate, up to 5 cm long, recurved for 1 cm, bright red.
Filaments red, straight, curved at the apex;
style red, curved at apex with 3 spreading stigmas, these somewhat longer than the anthers.
Capsule 3-4 cm long.
Distribution. T. funckiana grows mostly on dry rock walls in the valley of the Rio Chama, near Merida, exposed to full sun. Enrique Graf, Caracas, found only one specimen growing as an epiphyte on trees in the region of Barinas. It is characterized by thick stems and silver-gray, spreading to recurved leaves.

Tillandsia funckiana Baker var. recurvifolia A. Blass ex Rauh var. nov. JBS 1989 p116
Differt a typo var . funckiana ramis crassis et foliis griseis valde recurvatis.
Stems very thick, densely covered with silver-gray leaves, strongly recurved in their upper half to one side.
Holotype. B.G .H. 64 587, in Herb. Inst. System. Bot. Univ. Heidelberg (HEID).
Distribution. Probably in the valley of the Rio Chama, Prov. Merida, Venezuela.
The variety recurvifolia A. Blass in cultivation forms big clumps and is lazy in producing flowers in the European climate.

Tillandsia andreana and Tillandsia funckiana compared. Text and illustrations by Werner Rauh in J. Brom. Soc. 39(3): 111-118. 1989
Two of the most beautiful and attractive small tillandsias, much favoured by amateurs and Tillandsia collectors, are Tillandsia andreana E. Morren ex Andre and T. funckiana Baker. The former was described by E. Morren and pictured in Andre's Bromeliaceae andreanae (Paris, 1889), plate XXIX B. The latter was published by J.G. Baker in his Handbook of the Bromeliaceae (London, 1889), page 196. In spite of these facts, L.B. Smith and R.J. Downs recognize only one species, namely T. andreana and regard T. funckiana as synonymous with it. Francisco Oliva follows with his beautiful book, Bromeliaceae of Venezuela (Caracas, 1987) and describes only T. andreana, but the accompanying photographs on page 214 and 215 show T. funckiana from Venezuela.
On the other hand, the well-known but prematurely deceased German tillandsia collector, Alfred Blass stated that Tillandsia andreana and T. funckiana are two different and distinct species. He published a note to that effect in the Journal of the Bromeliad Society 27(4): 160-2. 1977 but it seems that his note has been forgotten. Accordingly, we have decided to demonstrate once more the difference between the two species on the basis of material collected in Colombia in the type locality and in Venezuela in the dry valley of the Rio Chama near Merida and at Las Trincheras on the way to Puerto Cabello.
Tillandsia andreana is self-fertile. Andre himself, who discovered this beautiful species, did not see these plants in flower but only when they were in fruit. He put the plant into the subgenus Pitrophyllum (Beer) Baker (= subgen. Tillandsia), but according to the flower structure, T. andreana would fit traditionally in the subgenus Anoplophytum (Beer) Baker.
T. funckiana grows mostly on dry rock walls in the valley of the Rio Chama, near Merida, exposed to full sun. Enrique Graf, Caracas, found only one specimen growing as an epiphyte on trees in the region of Barinas. It is characterized by thick stems and silver-gray, spreading to recurved leaves.
Trincheras is a very isolated locality about 600 km by air from Merida on the way to Puerto Cabello, Prov. Carabobo, near the Caribbean Sea where it was first found in 1938 by Alston, no 5716. Enrique Graf re-collected the plant in the same locality and he reports that the locality, also dry rocks, is full of snakes. He has never seen so many snakes in Venezuela as in Las Trincheras.
In contrast with Tillandsia andreana, T. funckiana is self-sterile and when in cultivation produces fruits only with pollination by specimens of different clones. The flowers, typical hummingbird (colibri) flowers, last several days.
We conclude that Tillandsia funckiana and T. andreana are two different and distinct species belonging to two different subgenera: T. andreana to the subgenus Anoplophytum (stamens included with plicate filaments; style slender, longer than the ovary); T. funckiana to the subgenus Tillandsia (stamens and style long ex¨serted, filaments straight.
While Tillandsia andreana is very uniform and not variable concerning its habit and its growth form, T. funckiana is a very variable species. In the Heidelberg Botanical Garden, we cultivate forms with long and short leaves, forms with silver-gray leaf blades (densely lepidote) and some with green blades (with fewer scales) with thin and thicker stems (fig. 12). But these are only forms and not worth being described as distinct varieties; they all grow on rocks in the provinces of Merida and Carabobo.
There is one form, of which the locality is not known, that differs from all the other forms of T. funckiana by the strongly recurved leaves. It was named "recurvifolia" by A. Blass.

Tillandsia Andreana - Tillandsia Funckiana by ALFRED BLASS in J. Brom. Soc. 27(4): 160-2. 1977 (Translated by Walter Goddard)
Even the most competent taxonomist sometimes has a difficult time differentiating between two similar species. This is especially true when one is working exclusively with dry herbarium material, for the decision as to how to classify a "border case" depends more or less on the supposition of the nomenclator. Many species show forms of transmutation which make taxonomical decisions even more difficult, I have observed in my collection the following forms of transmutation:
T. caput-medusae and T. circinnata
T. purpurea, straminea, and cacticola
T. sphaerocephala, calocephala, and nana
T. incarnata and macbrideana
T. brachycaulos and capitata
T. concolor, acostae, and fasciculata
T. arequitae, boliviensis, and lorenziana
T. aurea, aureo-brunnea, and humilis
T. vernicosa and didisticha
Some of these plants, I believe, represent not separate species, but are just varieties. I would like to emphasize that the above mentioned transmutations are not hybrids nor are they artificial cross-pollinates. Serious collectors, who specialize in certain plant families, may be helpful to science by reporting their observations. I had the pleasure some years ago to show Dr. Lyman B. Smith the obvious differences between T. magnusiana and T. plumosa, which were originally registered as one single species.
With this article I would like to prove that T. andreana and T. funckiana are definitely two separate species.
For several years I have grown three different clones of T. funckiana, all of them coming from Venezuela. One of these plants is particularly beautiful, but regrettably is rather rare. This plant grows much larger than the standard form, and the leaves are strongly recurved. I would like to see this species named Tillandisa funckiana var. nov. recurvifolia.
I have two different clones of T. andreana under cultivation. One is distinguished by having leaves covered with silvery green scales. The other, being rather rare, has yellowish green leaves and shows fewer scales. T. andreana is found exclusively in Colombia, but the localities where the two different kinds come from are more than 1000 km apart. Mr. Thiken, an ardent plant collector, was the first one to discover these tillandsias and to introduce them to the European market.
All T. funckiana are strongly caulescent, whereas T. andreana never form stems. But the main difference between the two species becomes evident when one studies the stamens, which can be easily seen above the petals of T. funckiana, while they are completely recessed within the red petals of T. andreana.
As the differences in appearance are so obvious and no transmutations in nature have been discovered, I believe that we have here two separate species which might be somehow related.
In my estimation both plants represent some of the most beautiful of the miniature tillandsias. Their brilliant red bracts are extremely large for such small plants. At one time I had 36 flowers growing on a single branch of T. funckiana. Both species are prolific seed bearers, and seedlings grow well when protected from bright sun light.
I think that Mez was mistaken when he gave the habitat for T. funckiana as Merida in Colombia. Collectors who have worked in this area recently occasionally found T. andreana, but never T. funckiana. T. funckiana has been found at several locations in Venezuela, and, as mentioned above in different shapes and colors.
Both species are very much favored in Europe, as they are beautiful and elegant even when not in flower. As we who live in Europe have to grow our bromeliads exclusively in greenhouses, we greatly prefer those plants which are small in size.

From S&D
245. Tillandsia andreana E. Morren ex Andre, Enum. Bromel. 7. 13 Dec 1888; Revue Hort. 60: 567. 16 Dec 1888.
Pityrophyllum andreanum E. Morren ex Andre, E`num. Bromel. 7. 13 Dec 1888; Revue Hort. 60: 567. 16 Dec 1888; nomen in synon.
Tillandsia funckiana Baker, Handb. Bromel. 196. 1889. Type. Laderas de San Pablo near Merida, Venezuela, Funck & Schlim 1258 (BM, P), ca 1846.

Plant varying from the typically stemless phase to long-caulescent.
Leaves scarcely more than 5 cm long, covered throughout with appressed cinereous or brownish scales;
sheaths distinct, triangular-ovate, ca 5 mm long;
blades erect to recurved, linear, filiform-attenuate, 1-2 mm wide, strongly keeled below.
Scape none.
Inflorescence terminal, consisting of a single flower or rarely two.
Floral bract lance-oblong, acute, mem-branaceous, 1-nerved, glabrous, not more than half as long as the sepals.
Sepals elliptic-ovate, obtuse, 15 mm long, chartaceous, even, glabrous, free;
petals erect but more or less recurving at apex, slightly asymmetric as in Pitcairnia, to 44 mm long, red;
stamens and pistil exserted.
TYPE. Andre 1762 (holotype K, GH photo), Rio de la Honda, near the Bridge of Icononzo, Pandi, Cundinamarca, Colombia, Feb 1876.
DISTRIBUTION. Epiphytic and saxicolous, 600-1750 m alt, Colombia, Venezuela.
COLOMBIA. MAGDALENA: Manaure, 24 Aug 1946, Foster & Smith 1476 (GH). NORTE DE SANOETANDER: Gramalote (Cucuta), Dec 1940, Maria 2558 (COL, GH). TOLIMA: Rio Icononzo, 13 Oct 1946, Foster 1884 (GH). VENEZUELA. CARABOBO: Las Trincheras to Puerto Cabello, 27 Dec 1938, Alston 5716 (BM). MERIDA: El Morro, 14 Jan 1911, Jahn 78 (US); 13 May 1964, Trujillo 6346 (VEN); Rio Chama, 15 Apr 1922, Jahn 1088 (GH, NY, US); 31 Aug 1966, Steyermark & Rabe 96994 (US, VEN); Puente Real, 2 Feb 1928, Pittier 12846 (NY, US); 2 Dec 1952, Bernardi 134 (MER, NY); Lagunillas, 29 Apr 1944, Steyermark 56217 (GH); 22 Mar 1964, Trujillo 6183 (VEN); Merida, Jan 1950, Marcuzzi s n (US).

From: Paul T Isley III
To: derek butcher
Subject: Re: funckiana
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2009
I did some research and got lucky. Nicolas Funck was a Belgian botanical explorer in the mid 19th century and a good friend of Edouard Morren. He also climbed Mt. Orizaba, Mexico's highest peak, in 1838.

Sturt Gibbs
Cairns Bromeliad Soc.Inc. April 2010.

Just a few forms of Tillandsia funckiana but note that only T. funckiana and T. funckiana var. recurvifolia are officially recognised
No.1 T. funckiana This form blushes red on the leaf tips when flowering and the leaves flare slightly at end of the plant and has a lipstick red flower
No 2 T. funckiana v recurvifolia this form blushes a slight pink when flowering and the leaves really recurve at the end of the plant
No 3 T. funckiana v recurvifolia grey form colours up slightly at tip when flowering
No 4 T. funckiana 'Giant' (recurvifolia) this plant is a very thick form and has a very dark red flower
No 5 T. funckiana 'Maron' this form is very close to the same form 'giant' but has a maroon blush to the stem and nice red flower
No 6 T. funckiana v stricta this form is a little different to the form funckiana as the leaf tips do not flare at the end of the plant
No 7 T. funckiana 'grey leafí this form clumps up nicely but very reluctant to flower
No 8 T. funckiana a small form from Neville Ryan
No 9 T. funckiana 'giant silver' does not colour up very much on flowering

Updated 27/07/23