T xerographica: King of Airplants

T xerographica specimen with multiple flower spikes.

Sometimes referred to as the king of airplants T xerographica is a must for any collection. There are several pushing out bloom spikes in the nursery at the moment, including this large specimen which we believe to be around 20 years old, not only is the parent plant blooming but it has produced 7 other pups with bloom spikes in the crown of the plant. It really is something special.

T xerographica is a CITES listed plant, from the 1960s until the 1990s the wild population was collected extensively and it neared extinction. Listing it with CITES and developing nurseries in Guatemala, licensed to grow from seed has been a real success story.

It really is a beautiful plant with silvery curling leaves that flush pink in bright light. It is slow growing but can reach an average size of 25-30 cm across, although they can get even larger. They are slow growing and usually reach maturity around 12-15 years.

The bloom spike is impressive and long lasting, gradually turning from yellow to salmon pink. Usually they will produce 1-3 pups.

Xeros means dry and these plants grow in desert conditions where the days are hot and they recevie dew in the morning. As long as it gets plenty of bright light and dries out between waterings it is difficult to overwater. Just tip it upside down if the centre has stagnant water in it. It can desiccate and collapse if left too long without water though.

The plant will have tight curly leaves when it is drier and the leaves stretch out and straighten when watered well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *