Tillandsia hiroi
Click thumbnails for full size, scaled to a new window.

Tillandsia hiroi
Encyclopaedia of Bromeliads 2023
Chris Larson ... "Time to change labels. At least the name becomes shorter.
The other name I have used for this species is T. cuencaensis NYP. I have used this a bit. Anyone with that tag, please change it."
Peter Tristram ... "Yep, ended up with Harry's suggested name! Hiro is chuffed, deservedly so, and I'm just glad to see it published. Graeme told me it'll be in the BSI Journal soon, having passed by him recently. I wonder how much of the long story is in the doc?!
I think we have 2 clones here, the old one ex Jeff Kent and the recent one from Walter Till in Vienna.
I should add that it is also in the dvd as Vr. azuayensis, though wasn't lumped with Vr. cylindrica/T. porphyrocraspeda as it keyed closer to tequendamae. A dried specimen of mine should be in the MSBG herbarium. As I said, this plant has been around in collections for ages, just needed a name instead of being lumped. Thanks to Renate, Hiro and Jose this has been achieved.
In brief: I imported various TVs, named Vr. cylindrica (porphyrocraspeda) mostly (along with Vr. rauhii but that's another story!), from Jeff Kent in early 80s, which bloomed, some keying to cylindrica, others not, including one with an erect yellow spike.
It was discussed with Harry Luther as being closer to Vr. tequendamae than Vr. cylindrica, so sold as tequendamae yellow or erect yellow or the like to a few including at least 2 Victorians. I visited Selby in '88 and got another clone, since dying for me, though others would have obtained it. Selby has my herbarium specimen. Plant went through various names in the DVD, despite my protests, until cuencaensis, proposed by Renate, turned up. I discovered that Hiro was proposing aureispica and was in discussions with them to get it published favouring Renate's description as she had precedence. Hiro agreed. Despite taxonomists agreeing to publish the species, nothing happened. José was onto it though and took over, being an Ecuadorian species. I'm sure hiroi was proposed by Harry and that is what was used. Hiro is chuffed and deserves it. Another suggested name, by José, was onaensis, because it grows closer to Oná than Cuenca. Ross and Lesley visited the site too, taking great pics. Jose's article includes some detail as well."

From "Encyclopaedia of Bromeliads"
Tillandsia hiroi W. Till, L. Hromadnik Pl. Syst. Evol. 147:285-287 (1984)
(subgen. Pseudovriesea)
Publ: J. Bromeliad Soc. 72(3): 103-111 figs. 1-7 (2023)
Type: ECUADOR: province of Azuay, Oña Valley, road to mountains passing León River, 3deg23'S, 79deg08'W, ca. 2206m, 16 June 2015, J.M.Manzanares, E.Gouda & J.Raack 8442 (holotype: ECUAMZ; isotypes: QCNE, U)
Habitat: saxicolous or terrestrial between dry vegetation, often forming large goups, 1900-2700 m. Elev.
Etymology: Named in honor of Hiroyuki (Hiro) Takizawa our friend and an avid grower of Tillandsia. Hiroyuki was born in Nagano Prefecture Japan in 1964. In 1989 he graduated at the University School of Medicine, became a Doctor of Medicine and completed his PhD in 1999. He took an interest in exotic plants from his childhood, when he received a Wallisia cyanea at the age of eight years and started to grow it. He has always loved plants and has a fascination for many living creatures.
Phenology: Tillandsia hiroi was found flowering from June to August. The flowering period is likely to extend over a longer period."

Formerly on this web as Tillandsia cuencaensis / azuayensis

Tillandsia cuencaensis not yet published (pre 2023)
Formerly going by name of tequendamae, then named as wuelfinghoffii, then described as azuayensis.
Peter Tristram 11/13
Peter Tristram 11/13 ... "This TV has been around since the early 80s when I imported it from Jeff Kent and late 80s when Harry gave me one.
As far as I can ascertain it is Tillandsia cuencaensis NYP and, if so, Derek will need to change the names of this plant currently under TV azuayensis in the dvd.
Unfortunately it has also had the name yellow tequendamae and wuelfinghoffii, as Harry looked for a match, before azuayensis was described and cuencaensis was proposed.
I have asked Renate, Hiro, Eric and Walter if this species can be formalised - I now also have a specimen each from Renate and Walter bearing cuencaensis. The description has been prepared (and edited by Derek) for a while now.
Having grown it rather protected for 30 years I have decided to whack a few pups out with the tough stuff – check the habitat pics on the dvd (under NYP). I can’t remember if Len visited this plant in Ecuador??"
Peter Tristram 12/19
Peter Tristram 12/19 ... "This nice TV has certainly had some names/proposed names. I am, again, considering trying to get Renate’s description (updated by Hiro), T. cuencaensis, published finally. Some collectors have seen it in habitat, on rocks, between Oña and Cuenca, Ecuador. The plant pictured is from my original import from Jeff Kent back in the early ‘80s. I have another clone from Walter (Vienna BG) too, as T. aureispica. For now, I label it T/V cuencaensis."

Len Colgan 11/13. Unknown species from same location.
Len Colgan 11/13. T. cuencaensis.
Len Colgan ... "Well, I certainly went looking for it in my first trip to Ecuador in 2009!
I was told that it came from significant altitude in an area north-west of Ona, which is south of the city of Cuenca after which the species is now named.
This is in the province of Azuay, which is where the other name originated.
Before leaving home, I received some pictures from Hiroyuki, who was then comparing notes with Renate, as it appeared they had both separately come across this then undefined species.
I have attached two of those Hiroyuki images, albeit adding the current name.
Unfortunately, the TVs I saw in the general area were all post-floral by quite some time. Nevertheless, I collected two types (two plants each), all of which I labelled as "aff cylindrica", being the only existing name I could imagine in 2009. None have yet flowered here.
One of them was the plant I showed in Albury which now looks remarkably like the short caulescent form of T. latifolia var divaricata. However, surely I could not have confused that ubiquitous tillandsia species with a TV, could I? Hmm! That one is definitely not TV. cuencaensis though.

I have also added the pictures(on left) of another unknown TV, taken by Hiroyuki. It grows somewhat high up on the edge of the main highway as you leave the outskirts of the city of Cuenca, heading west. Hiroyuki was very excited at having found it, and made me promise we would look for it, by giving us accurate directions. Unfortunately, it was nearing sunset when we arrived there, and despite climbing up some distance, we could not find it. No doubt it was just a little bit further up. I have never been back to that location, sadly. I think it is a very nice looking TV. What do others think? Damn, damn, damn!"
Ray Clark 08/22
Ray Clark 09/22
Ray Clark 11/22 finally with flowers

Updated 31/03/23