Tillandsia streptophylla
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Tillandsia streptophylla
Ken Woods.
Ian Hook, Sydney 02/05.
Terry Davis, BSA 3rd Open 02/10.
Adam Bodzioch 02/13
Chris Larson 06/14
Adam Bodzioch 11/15
Gary May 11/17
Bob Hudson 10/18
Gary May ... "Slowly my red streppies are getting closer to flowering. This one is the strongest colour. Most of the others are more of a darker maroon colour. I have a few growing and they all came from one seed pod from a normal streptophylla. With some luck I can get some more seed once this flowers next year, failing that, I guess offsets will be my only choice. It grows in strong light, 50% black shadecloth along the roof of the shadehouse, right alongside all of my normal coloured streppies.
I think I sent one of the darker maroon coloured ones to VB Bob a couple of years ago, hopefully he still has it. When I get sufficient quantities of them I will release some.
It is quite a striking sight."
Bob Hudson ... "Here is a nice T. streptophylla it is a little different to the norm as it has papery leaves not the thick fleshy leaves of the usual form."
Bruce Dunstan 11/19. "A pink leaf clone that I fancy originated at Gary May’s place and the larger Belize."
Bob Hudson 10/20
Bruce Dunstan 11/20 as streptophylla 'Belize'
Bob Hudson ... "You are possible saying it is just another T. streptophylla but this one has very thin papery leaves."
Alfonso Trudu ... "Very unusual T. streptophylla... is this the only plant of this type you have, Bob?"
Bob Hudson ... "No I have another two."
Chris Larson ... "I have noticed thinner leaves on some of the Guatemalan ones over the years. Though I have never looked into whether this holds through the generations - I was assuming culture was the reason for this. Interesting."
Peter Tristram ... "It reminds me of the Costa Rican ones I used to have. They were smaller with thin, scrappy leaves but cold sensitive and all eventually died. I think they came from near the Nicaraguan border, so on the way to Guatemala, Chris! I bet it’d curl like mad when dry!"
Bob Hudson ... "The three I have are not much smaller than the usual ones."
Bruce Dunstan ... "This one seems even bigger than last years."
Rob Bower 01/23

Tillandsia streptophylla Scheidweiler ex Morren, Hortic Belge 3: 252, pI. 1836.
Tillandsia circinnata Schlechtendal, Linnaea 18: 430-2. (“1844”) 1845. non sensu Mez & Smith. Type Schiede s n (holotype HAL), Hacienda de la Laguna, Vera Cruz, Mexico. Photo of type published (Weber 1982) see below
Vriesea streptophylla (Scheidweiler) E. Morren, Cat. Bromel. Liege 17. 1873.
Tillandsia tortilis Brongniart ex E. Morren, Cat. Bromel. Liege 17. 1873; nomen in synon; non Klotzsch, 1857.
Desc from S&D p981-2
Plant stemless, to 45 cm high and probably more.
Leaves 60-80, forming a dense pseudobulb to 8 cm in diameter, to 5 dm long, covered with coarse spreading cinereous scales;
Sheaths broadly ovate or elliptic, to 1 dm long;
Blades narrowly triangular, attenuate, usually flat for most of their length, at least the outer ones recurving and serving to support the plant, 2-3 cm wide.
Scape erect, 7-8 mm in diameter;
scape-bracts densely imbricate, foliaceous with elongate spirally recurved or contorted blades, the upper ones with red sheaths.
Inflorescence pinnately compound with simple branches, laxly pyramidal, to 3 dm long;
axes bright red, densely lepidote;
Primary bracts like the upper scape bracts, their sheaths only about a third as long as the axillary spikes but sometimes their blades exceeding the lower ones;
Spikes suberect to spreading or even reflexed, short stipitate with a few reduced sterile bracts, linear, acute, lax, 8-18-flowered, 8-23 cm long, 15-18 mm wide, complanate;
Rhachis straight or slightly flexuous, slender, densely lepidote.
Floral bracts suberect, about three times as long as the internodes, usually exposing the rhachis, elliptic-lanceolate, acute, 2-3 cm long, exceeding the sepals, 8-13 mm wide, subcoriaceous to chartaceous, densely lepidote with coarse subspreading scales; green;
Flowers erect, very short-stipitate.
Sepals elliptic-lanceolate, acute, 20-25 mm long, sub¬coriaceous, even, glabrous;
Petals linear, tubular-erect, 35-40 mm long, purple;
Stamens and pistil exserted.
Capsule subprismatic, acute, 35 mm long.
Type. Institut Gembloux s n (holotype BR, GH photo), without exact locality, Mexico. DISTRIBUTION. Epiphytic, from near sea level to 825 m alt, southern Mexico to Honduras.
MEXICO. VERA CRUZ: Misantla, Jun 1866, Hahn s n (P, US); Zacuapan, Aug 1906, Purpus 2104 (F, GH, NY, UC, US); 1919, 8228 (GH, US); 8230 (GH, MO, NY, UC, US); Mirador, 19 May 1929, Skwarra s n (GH); Jalapa, 1938, Foster X (GH); 17 Jun 1961, Paray 3173 (IPMEX). TABASCO: Huimanguillo, May 1963, Barlow 30/32 (LSU, MICH, US); 30/78 (LSU, US). CHIAPAS: Ocozocoautla, 23 Mar 1949, Carlson 1545 (US); San Quintin, Miramar, 20 Mar 1955, Sohns 1650 (US). YUCATAN: Progreso, 7 Apr 1865, Schott 274 e p (BM); Merida, Jun 1865, Schott 349 (F, US); Port Silam, 1895, Gaumer 668 (F, GH); Yokdzonoot, 1938, Lundell 7491 (MICH, US). QUINTANA ROO: Lake Chichan¬kanab, Apr 1917, Gaumer23723 (F). GUATEMALA. PETEN: Tikal, Contreras 1284 (LL); Poptun, 13 Ju11959, Lundell 16440 (LL, US). ALTA VERAPAZ: Concepcion, 23 Mar 1942, Steyermark 45280 (F, GH). IZABAL: Rio Dulce, Livingston, Mar 1889, Smith 1660 (GH, US); 4 May 1906, Lewton 429 (US); Jocolo, Johnson 1090 (US); Puerto Barrios, 1939, Standley 72552 (F, GH); Cristina, 30 Mar 1940, Steyermark 38390 (F); Escobas to Santo Tomas, 13 Apr 1940, Steyermark 39368 (F, GH); Lago Izabal, 17 Apr 1940, Steyermark 39610 (F); 25 Apr 1966, Jones, Proctor & Facey 3090 (NY, US). BRITISH HONDURAS. BELIZE: Big Falls, Belize River, 28 Apr 1933, Lundell 3955 (GH, US); Maskall, 9 Apr 1934, Gentle 1235 (GH). EL CAYO: Mountain Pine Ridge, 3 Mar 1931, Bartlett 11894 (MICH); 8 May 1931, 13113 (MICH); Duck Run, 24 Apr 1931, Bartlett 12982 (GH). STANN CREEK: Mullins River Road, 15 Sep 1929, Schipp S-10 (GH). TOLEDO: San Antonio to Punta Gorda, 18 Feb 1949, Gentle 6673 (LL). HONDURAS. CORTEs: San Pedro Sula, 6 Jun 1888, Thieme 5523-B (US); Rio Lindo source, 13 Apr 1951, Williams & Molina 17850 (EAP, US).

Herbarium Studies III by WILHELM WEBER in J. Brom. Soc. 32(1); 28-31. 1982
Tillandsia circinnata Schlechtendal 1845 ("1844")
Tillandsia circinnata sensu Mez et auct., which is found commonly in nature and in collections has been mistakenly identified as being identical with the T. circinnata described by Schlechtendal on pages 430-432 in LINNAEA 18, 1845 (“1844”). This fact has been revealed by the study of the type plants deposited with the herbarium of the University of Halle. Handwritten notations by Schiede, who collected the plants in Mexico and whose plants form the basis of Schlechtendal's descriptions, have been added to the samples. On one postfloral specimen: "Tillandsia in arboribus, Hac. de la Laguna Aug. 29," and on two fruit-bearing specimens: "Tillandsia in arboribus Mixantlan, Mar. 29,"

Schlechtendal did not conclude that his T. circinnata could be identical with T. streptophylla, because he wrote in his introduction on page 427, Loc. cit.:
“Yet another species is occasionally mentioned by Galeotti, described, and depicted in L'Horticulteur Belge de 1836 p. 251-253 - T. streptophylla Scheidweiler, which Galeotti brought live to Europe but did not preserve among his dried plants. The name leads me to assume that it might be T. circinnata, which is described below. I have not been able to determine this for sure, since that book was not available nor has the description been published elsewhere.”
Also Schlechtendal's description makes it clear that his T. circinnata is not the same as T. circinnata sensu Mez et auct. He cites the specimens of Schiede and says on page 431, loc. cit.:
“In arboribus pr. la Hacienta de la Laguna Aug. defloratam et Martio m. Misantlae capsulas aperientem leg. b. Schiede. Although only 1 to 1¼ foot tall, this is nevertheless an imposing plant by virtue of the span of its leaves as well as the multi-branched inflorescence. The longitudinally rounded leaf bases, which quickly meld into the leaves, are approximately 1½ inches wide and very convex but only loosely arranged but in great number, form a type of onion-like mass, which gets an even greater size by virtue of the fact that the leaf surfaces are curled inward and variously twisted or even spiraled, almost like tendrils. The plant has a diameter of 4-6 inches.”
The accompanying photographs show the postfloral specimen from Hacienda de la Laguna and one of the fruiting specimens from Mixantlan (HAL 45627). They show clearly that T. circinnata Schldl. 1845 is indeed the same as the well known T. streptophylla Scheidw ex Morren 1836. Therefore the following nomenclature changes are necessary:
Tillandsia streptophylla Scheidweiler ex Morren in Hortic. Belge 3, 1836, p. 252, Pl.
Till. circinnata Schldl. 1845 (" 1844"), non sensu Mez nec sensu auct.
Vriesea streptophylla (Scheidw.) E. Morren 1873
Till. tortilis Brongn ex E. Morren 1873, non Klotzsch 1857
Type: Institute Gembloux s.n., Mexico s. loc. (Holotype BR)
Till. circinnata sensu Mez et auct., so familiar to us, must then be re-named according to the first valid description:
Tillandsia paucifolia Baker in Gard. Chron. II. 10, 1878, p. 748 Synonyms:
Till. bracteosa Klotzsch ex Beer 1857, nomen
Vriesea bracteosa Beer 1857, nomen
Till. bulbosa sensu Chapman 1860, non Hooker 1826
Till. yucatana Baker 1887
Till. pruinosa sensu Chapman 1897, non Swartz 1797
Till. intermedia Mez 1903
Till. circinnata sensu Mez et auct., non Schldl. 1845
Typus: Cultivated plant of unknown origin, Kew Hortus s.n. 1878 (K)
Addendum: I have had the opportunity to see plate 6757 in the Botanical Magazine of 1884 with the description of Till. streptophylla by J. G. Baker. It is clear that he too showed Till. circinnata Schldl. as a synonym for Till. streptophylla. This equivalence was thus already known, and the reason for confusion with Till. paucifolia by Mez is today difficult to explain.
Translated by Harvey L. Kendall

Tillandsia streptophylla Schweid by Baker in Bot. Mag. pl. 6757. 1984
Native of Mexico and Honduras
Nat. Ord. Bromeliaceae – Tribe Tillandsieae
Genus Tillandsia, Linn. ., (Benth. et Hook.f. Gen. Pl. vol. iii. p.669)
Tillandsia (Platystachys) streptophylla; foliis dense rosulatis lineari-lanceolatis acuminatis insigniter spiraliter tortis semipedalibus et ultra utrinque dense persistenter albo-lepidotis basibus oblongis erectis ventricosis, pedunculo brevi foliis bracteiformis rubellis imbricatis apicibus squarrosis, spicis pluribus densis distichs, bracteis oblongo-lanceolatis navicularibus lepidotis valde imbricatis, calyce incluso glabro, petalis lilacinus angustis calyce triplo longioribus, genitalibus exsertis.

T. streptophylla. Schweid. in Hortic. Belg. 1836, vol. iii. p.252, cum icone;
Schlect. in Linnaea, vol. xviii. p. 427;
E Morren in Belg. Hort. 1878, p. 296. t. 18, 19;
Hemsley in Biol. Cent. Bot. vol. iii. p. 322
T. circinnata Schlecht. in Linnaea, vol. xviii. p. 430.
T. tortilis, A. Brong, MSS.
Vriesea streptophylla, E Morr. Cat Bromel, 1873, p. 17

This Bromeliad, from its remarkable habit, is quite a botanical curiousity. Like its neighbours, it grows on old trunks of trees. The bases of the leaves form a large pitcher round the base of the stem, and from this rise their long tapering leathery blades, which are rolled up spirally, and twisted in all directions in the most irregular fashion. The spikes and individual flowers do not show any striking difference from some of the best-known West Indian representatives of this large genus, such as T. polystachya and T. fasciculata. there is a specimen at the British Museum, gathered in the Mosquito territory as long ago as 1744 by Catain Miller, but it was not described and named till a century later. It has long been cultivated sparingly as a curiosity in the Belgian, English, and french conservatories, and it has been found wild in Mexico by Schiede, Bourgeau, and Hahn.
Our drawing was made from a plant that flowered at kew last April.
DESCR. Whole plant a foot or a foot and a half long. Leaves in a dense basal rosette, their rigid ventricose erect dilated base two or three inches long and broad; blade six or nine inches long, an inch broad at the base, tapering gradually to a long point, very much twisted spirally from low down, firm in texture, densely lepidote on both surfaces. Peduncle short, quite hidden by its numerous amplexicaul red-tinted lepidote imbricated bract-like leaves, with short free linear recurving tips. Spikes four to eight in a short panicle, distichous, three or four inches long, under an inch broad; bracts oblong-lanceolate, much imbricated, densely lepidote. Calyx half an inch long, hidden by the amplexicaul bract, glabrous, cut down nearly to the base. Corolla cylindrical, bright lilac, an inch and a half long. Stamens exserted. Style-branches overtopping the sytamens, short, twisted spirally, flattened towards the tip. Capsule an inch and a half long. - J G Baker
Painting 6757
Fig.1. Lepidote scale from leaf – much enlarged; 2. a flower complete except the calyx – life size; 3. front view of an anther; 4. back view of an anther; 5. pistil – all more or less enlarged.

Updated 20/03/23