Tillandsia Fuego
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Tillandsia Fuego
cv of ionantha
Ian Hook 08/08
Ian Hook 10/20 ex Susan Brines
Andrew Flower 04/11
Bob Hudson 03/11
Steve Molnar 05/18
Jenny Brittain 03/20
Chris Larson ... "Hi Jenny. I previously looked at your photo & just accepted it. Then, after Peter Tristram questioned the ID, I blew up the photo. The photo was a little too grainy to tell -so I may be wrong.
Many of these plants in your photo seem to be short & squat, with recurved leaves - rather than the leaves that are not so recurved, as in the BCR photo of T. ionantha Fuego (tight). Pam Koide's article on the disc and in the 1993 BSI journal describes the leaves as "differs from The Mexican T. ionantha var stricta in that the leaf blades are somewhat stiffer and more upright. The rosette is closed."
Many or yours appear, by what I can see of the photos, to have open rosettes.
Some T. Fuego do have finer, recurved leaves (at a certain stage of growth under certain cultural conditions) but dont appear the same as yours. In lower light they also appear a bit lax like the photo on the BCR (Lax). I reckon that if you grew them both together then they'd look the same.
As I said in Brisbane, they come from an area of low altitude along the Pacific coast only in Guatemala. With a localised, but still varying range, you would expect some variation.
I suggest you look at the plants you have Jenny, and see if they match the look of these plants in the photos referenced. T. ionantha Fuego is quite distinct.
I will be writing this topic up with my own photos - and the distribution data from Jeronimo."
Chris Larson ... "Not sure which photos I looked at before which pixilated, but I just looked again and the files were large - and clear. Most could very well be Fuego from what I can tell."

Tillandsia ionantha; Its Varieties, Forms, and Cultivars by Pamela Koide in J. Brom.Soc. 43: 160-3. 1993
T. ionantha `Fuego'. Another variation sold by Guatemalan nurseries, is red throughout its life, but differs from the Mexican T. ionantha var. stricta in that the leaf blades are somewhat stiffer and more upright. The rosette is closed. It has purple flowers. I do not know its distribution.

Updated 12/10/20