Fine and Fragrant

In January and February these delicate plants with fragrant flowers start to bloom to great effect.  The new word for the week is melittophilous- pollinated by moths and/or butterflies which these frangrant Tillandsias are. 

Tillandsia mallemontii has thin delicate leaves and stems with dense silvery trichomes.  It can form dense balls or looks great separated into smaller clumps in a long string.  The simple infloresences are a pretty purple with a sweet fragrance.  There is also a form with white flowers and smaller, finer leaves.

Tillandsia caerulea is another fine leaved form with slightly messier looking clumps than mallemontii.  The flowers form on very long stems and are also purple with a bubblegum like sweet fragrance.

Tillandsia crocata has a different form, with shorter, stiffer leaves with dense trichomes that make them appear almost furry.  T. crocata has cheerful, fragrant, bright yellow flowers.

A fabulous combination is the hybrid T Yawny Yellow (crocata x mallemontii).  This plant has leaves most similar to mallemontii and also forms great clumps with the yellow flowers of crocata.

All these plants like lots of bright light and good air circulation.  They are all fairly hardy but as they have fine leaves will dry out so for the best results water regularly but ensure they dry out within 4 hours.  It is also important to monitor large clumps, you can get a build up of dead matter in the middle of the clumps that holds water and leads to rot.

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