Tillandsia Zebra Crossing Click thumbnails for full size, scaled to a new window.
Tillandsia Zebra Crossing
Seed grown as aeranthos but one seedling had strong brownish cross bands.
Derek Butcher 10/18
Andrew Flower 10/18
Andrew Flower 10/18 scaposa "Zebra Stripes"
Andrew Flower ... "My Tillandsia scaposa Zebra Stripes is flowering nicely at the moment - two of them developed in a batch of 400 seedlings that resulted from crossing some T. scaposa seedlings I got from Pam Koide in 2000. The variegated pair flowered in 2012, and have carried the leaf form over for the succeeding generations of offsets.
Compare the varigations on the T. scaposa to the variegated Tillandsia aeranthos pictured here. Looking closely at the T. scaposa, the variegated effect is caused by patches of cuticle where there are no trichomes laid down, giving a rather haphazzard effect. The T. aeranthos variegation is quite different - regular bands on the leaves where the colour of the cuticle changes (and trichome development is maintained albiet slightly reduced in places).
I have crossed between the two Zebra Stripes T. scaposa a couple of times, and there were no stripy seedlings resulting. I have also crossed a variegated T. aeranthos with another variegated T. aeranthos, and 54% of the seedlings were variegated. Appears that the stripy effect on T. scaposa is not sexually heritable whereas the variegations on T. aeranthos are (although the seedling population was far too small to make the percentage statistically informative).
Inclines me to the view that old Zebra Stripes has fake variegations!" Derek Butcher ... "Interesting that this coincides with a plant brought in to the Oct meeting in Adelaide.
Talking of labels, it was great to see Tillandsia ‘Zebra Crossing’ almost in flower brought in by Ian Cook. There are not many around Australia and harks back to 1981 when I collected seed from a Tillandsia aeranthos and sowed it on a piece of cork. I assumed that it was self–set but as I have never seen seed on my various T. aeranthos since I now think it must be the proverbial milkman!
Anyway, said seedlings grew but slowly and I selected one that was different because its leaves had dark, almost black, cross banding just like a zebra crossing. In 2002 (21 years later) it flowered and I registered this oddity."