Tillandsia salmonea
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Tillandsia salmonea
Len Colgan 02/13
Peter Tristram 02/13
Derek Butcher 12/16
Len Colgan.... (See also T. tillii)
"Many years ago, Renate Ehlers confided that, for personal reasons, her two favourite tillandsias are, of course, T. ehlersiana and T. klausii. Because she does not have university qualifications, virtually all of her 100+ new tillandsia species descriptions contain a Latin diagnosis supplied by Walter Till. In appreciation, in the early 1990s, she wanted to name her third most favourite tillandsia in his honour as T. tillii. However, Walter declined as he preferred another plant that was also being described by Renate, which is the plant shown by Pete (now registered as T. tillii). A few years later, the "rejected" plant was named by Renate as T. salmonea due to its salmon-coloured bracts.
Renate has always thought that Walter made the wrong decision. What do you think ?"

Peter Tristram....
"Funny how things go! Interesting stories, Len! Hereís another shot of a T. salmonea from Lydia taken 5 years ago. All pups I have parted with came from this plant. Itís a very slow growing, stocky plant with hard, brittle reddish leaves, very different to the softer, silvery leaves of T. tillii. I would be happy with either named after me!
Incidentally, I have klausii and ehlersiana in bloom now. Maybe I should cross them..."

Derek Butcher....
"A New Year message to remind you all that you need perseverance. My records show that I got this plant from Renate Ehlers in 1995. Even though it is terrestrial in Mexico I decided to play safe and grow it as an epiphyte on Mallee root. For 20 years it looked great as a plant but did not flower. As a last resort I decided on pot culture and it only took a year to perform. I do not know if it was the shock in moving, having its roots covered or Adelaide's extra-wet winter that did the trick."

Chris Larson 11/15
Bruce Dunstan 10/17
Chris Larson ... "On the subject of single spike/branch spike/small/large:
A couple of weeks ago I posted a photo of the smaller plant which had come adrift from its tag. Every responder said T. salmonea.
This larger plant was an import from Europe as T. salmonea in 2011.
The second photo is attached as it portrays the colour more accurately than the bleached out spikes in the broader shot. Both have been grown high in the greenhouse. Both would have had Osmocote in the pot as well as foliar feed.
Our tillandsias are so variable Ė buying plants on the basis of photos on the net & not buying them because they are already on your list can result in not getting what you want or, alternately, missing an opportunity. Names are just that!"
Bruce Dunstan 10/20
Bruce Dunstann ... "I got this one from Chris Larson with the following note. "T. salmonea Ex Guat as T. carrilloi."
I moved the plant during winter when it started to bud to a sunny position which has resulted in a nice reddish tone to the foliage."
Dale Dixon 10/21
Bruce Dunstan 10/22

Tillandsia salmonea R. Ehlers Die Bromelie 3/ 1995 p65-8

Plant terrestrial, growing singular or in groups, stemless, 20-60cm high, 60cm diam, the many leaves forming an erect, spreading rosette, flowering 30-90cm high, leaves very thick, hard and stiff, however, very brittle and easily broken.
Sheath distinct, to 7cm long, to 4.5cm wide, arched, elliptic, inside dark brown, outside light brown, both sides fine brown appressed scales.
Blade next to sheath (1.5)-2.5-3cm wide, to 25cm long, narrow triangular, attenuate, spreading or bent over, involute, keeled, nerved, dark greenish red, inside fine appressed scales, outside with greyish large scales and blotched.
Scape erect or bent over, 20-40cm long, mostly exceeding the leaf rosette, 0.6-1.2cm diam, round, glabrous, red, hard and woody, in the bottom half densely imbricate by the sheaths of the leaflike scape bracts, and not visible.
Scape bracts blade erect, to 25cm long, upper half carmine red, fine grey lepidote, internodes 3-4cm, the blades gradually decrease to 2-3cm long, triangular, sharp, often shortened to a hooked tip.
Inflorescence 16-30 (max 40) cm long, 6-12 (max 14) cm wide, widely exceeding the rosette, thyrsiform or subdigitate, erect or bent over, bipinnate, or simple (in habitat often a simple long spike), mostly 3-5 (max to 12) erect or spreading, polystichous spikes, the flat side next to the axis, internodes 1-4cm.
Primary bracts similar to the upper scape bracts, 4-7cm long, mostly shorter than the sterile basal part of the spike, joined on the broad side.
Spike 8-20(max 25)cm long, 2-4cm wide, narrow elliptic or lanceolate, complanate, with 2cm long, oval at the base, 5mm wide, erect stem, 7-20 sessile, distichous scentless flowers, in addition 3-5 sterile bracts at the base.
Floral bracts densely imbricate, internodes 1-1.5 cm, rhachis not visible, 3.5-4.9cm long, to 2.2cm wide, oval acuminate, often with a hooked almost cucullate tip, exceeds the sepal by 5-8mm, leathery, inside nerved, and small puntulate lepidote, outside glabrous, the tip sometimes with scattered large scales, apricot or salmon with a chalky covering.
Sepals 3-4cm long, 7-9mm wide, narrow elliptic, acuminate, light green, thin leathery, glabrous, nerved, all three are keeled, the posterior ones connate 5-7mm, (sometimes less)
Petals to 7.3cm long, the upper section 8mm wide, tongue shaped with a cavity forming an erect tube, with the tip a little bent outwards, dark violet (#56 grape violet) and the bottom white.
Stamens exceeding the flower,
Filament 7-8.5 cm long, in two unequally long series, the upper portion 1mm wide, oval, violet, narrow ribbonlike, at the base white.
Anther 3-3.5mm long, 1mm wide, elliptic, versatile, joined 1/3 from the base, dark brown.
Pollen egg yellow. Style 7-8cm long, white, upper portion violet.
Stigma 2-3mm long, 2mm wide, lobes somewhat spreading, papillose, yellow green, Type I Brown & Gilmartin.
Ovary 6-8mm high, 3-4mm wide, conical, light green.
Type locality Mexico, Chiapas, between Comitan and Frontera Comalapa, 1350m, growing on rocks. leg K & R Ehlers EM 891205, March 12th 1989, Holotype WU Paratype Chiapas near Querrero 800m leg Petra Stary s.n. 1990 WU.

Differs from T. rodriguesiana in
1. Leaves very fragile
2. Inflorescence often simple or few branched.
3. Spikes twice as long as wide.
4. Floral bracts as much as twice as long, cretaceous.
5. Sepals larger and acuminate, less connate.
6. Petals almost twice as long, dark violet.

Updated 31/10/22