Tillandsia Curly Leaf
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Tillandsia Curly Leaf
Mature, small, open rosette to 15cm. diameter x 10cm. high. Arching, recurved, frosty bronze grey-green leaves, tapering to a point and flushed rusty red on the obverse in strong light. Relatively large, exserted, tubular, erect violet flowers. Imported en masse ex Thailand, by Paradisia Nursery, Melboune Victoria and destined for mass release in 2019 Australia- wide through Bunnings stores. Exact origin is not recorded but aired on Aussie Tillandsia discussion Group 10/2019 by Chris Larson. Ionantha Group <2010. Registered by Geoff Lawn/Chris Larson. Country of origin: Thailand/Australia.
Chris Larson 11/20 T. 'Curly Leaf'
Ray Clark 11/20 T. 'Curly Top' ? 2nd batch
Ed. ... See 'Curly Top' for the complete discussion of Ray Clark's photos of 'Curly Top' versus 'Curly Leaf'......
Ray Clark ... "Gidday Bob, initially I was disappointed to read your comments, I like to have correct names on tags but by the same token I try to resist changing names on tags willy-nilly.
Another collector contacted me today and set me straight with the history of T. ’Curly Top’. I did my checks and found that the three plants that I posted where from one plant that I got from Chris Larson ages ago but I do have one collected more recently also from Chris. If anyone is keen go to BinA and check out the conversations about Curly Top, that should clear up any doubts I reckon, thanks to Bob and Nick for setting me straight. The plant in the new pic is a relatively recent acquisition."

Chris Larson ... "T. ionantha Curly Top came from a group of T. ionantha imported from Lau back in the early 90s. One lot of plants, vegetatively produced, had a very stocky curly leaf. I assumed that these plants came from one particular plant - but due to Collectors Corners production methods - I couldn't be sure of this. Bob Hudson got one of these - probably the best - and registered it.

I gathered the rest of the plants that I thought were the siblings, which all exhibited what I thought to be the exact same traits as the registered T. ionantha Curly Top. I then propagated these. This is what you have Ray.

The other plants in that shipment (T. ionantha "Mexico Lau") all look like yours, Ray. But those I have that are sold as T. ionantha "Mexico Lau" that look like yours never develop the same traits as the T. ionantha Curly Top group, when grown side by side.

So the answer is - I reckon the traits exhibited by your plant is due to cultural conditions. It will be one of the T. Curly Top, but under your condition it will not show up in the same way as it does in Qld. In much the same way as Neoregelias in Qld can have rows of leaves stacked up, and when the same plant is grown in the south it doesn't ever look the same. Same plant, same genes. We can get it here in Melbourne, but only in a heated greenhouse with high humidity.

The T. ionantha Curly Leaf is a plant from out of Asia, only a recent import - but has been around for a little while. I assume that this plant is under commercial production, and therefore spread around the world under this name. A very nicely recurved plant. It is quite stunning, as seen in the attached photo. Great colour, great shape.
T. Curly Leaf does not have the wider over-lapping bases of the leaves of Lau's T. ionantha."

Ray Clark ... "Chris has raised a point that was in the back of my mind, is the appearance of my (Curly Tops) due to climatic conditions over a longish period? Recently when cross checking names I have taken the date that I got them into account and as Chris says T. ’Curly Leaf’ is a more recent addition to the BCR. The plants in my original post came from Chris in early 2011. The plant in the later attached pic is from Chris also and a much more recent acquisition so I will watch how it behaves over time.
In the meantime my labels won’t change, take care all."
Bryan Atkins 05/21 as 'Curly'
Geoff Lawn ... "Is this the same one as the T.ionantha Chris Larson registered as T. 'Curly Leaf' ?"
Chris Larson ... "Spot on Geoff.
The plant T. ionantha Curly Leaf originated in Asia - and Collectors Corner brought them in as such.
Note: this is different to T. ionantha Curly Top which originated in Mexico.
The boss ordered the tags for the polypak packaging, which are now in your nearest Bunnings store, as T. ionantha Curly. There are at least 100s of these labels, so I didn't put up a fight.
So the plant I registered as T. Curly Leaf is being sold as T. Curly. In Bunnings it is T. ionantha Curly - on eBay it is sold as T. ionantha Curly Leaf. All probably using that same photo that I gave to Geoff for the BCR to define T. Curly Leaf."

Updated 06/05/21