1.Rosettes irregular in general outline or sickle shaped => 2
1.Rosettes spherical in general outline => 6
2.Inflorescence compound => boqueronensis
2.Inflorescence simple => 3
3.Rosettes sickle shaped, leaves curved => 4
3.Rosettes irregular, leaves scaled => 5
4.Plants usually greater than 5.1 cm high; peduncle more than 2.1 cm long => curvifolia
4. Plants usually less than 5 cm high; peduncle less than 2.1 cm long. => penascoensis
5. Peduncle more than 4.l cm long and less than 2mm diam => tortilis
5. Peduncle less than 4 cm ong and more than 4 mm diam => lepidosepala
6. Peduncle more than 4.1 cm long. => 7
6.Peduncle less than 4 cm long. => 9
7. Inflorescence with a single spike, more than 3.1 cm long, applanate to cylindrical, rarely with 2 shorter lateral spikes and adpressed to the principal => ignesiae
7. Inflorescence with 2 or more spikes, less than 3 cm long applanate => 8
8. Width of leaf at base larger than 2.1 mm; floral bracts triangular to ovate, carinate for entire length abaxially => plumosa
8. Width of leaf at base less than 2 mm; floral bracts elliptic-oblong, carinate only from centre to tip abaxially => caballosensis
9. Leaf blade more than 7.1 mm wide; anthers generally black => mauryana
9. Leaf blade less than 7 mm wide; anthers green to browner => 10
10. Plant short caulescent; floral bracts elliptic => yagulensis
10. Plant acaulis; floral bracts ovate to amply ovate, lanceolate or triangular => 11
11. Spike more than 3.1 cm long and more than 1 cm wide => 12
11. Spike less than 3 cm long and less than 1 cm wide => 13
12. Leaf sheath amply ovate to oblong, blade more than 4 mm wide, sepals less than 1.6 cm => rzedowskiana
12. Leaf sheath closely oblong, blade less than 4 mm wide; larger of the sepals to 1.5 cm => grandispica
13. Leaf blade more than 4 mm wide; spikes generally less than 3; floral bracts less than 1.5 cm long => teloloapanensis
13. Leaf blade less than 4 mm wide; spikes generally more than 3; floral bracts more than 1.5 cm long => atroviridipetala
Species name: The name refers to the dark-green colour of the petals, (atro = black, dark; viridis = green).
Habitat and Range: Mexico: Durango, Zacatecas, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Michoacan, Jalisco, Mexico, Puebla, Oaxaca, Veracruz. Usually in warm, dry zones, there are however also isolated occurrences in moister forest areas in high locations.
Cultivation: Tillandsia atroviridipetala is one of those species that are not easy to cultivate. It is most recommended to cultivate the plants outside in summer in a shady area. In winter Tillandsia atroviridipetala should not be kept too cold. It is favourable to mount the plants upside down.
Variability: The plants of this group are especially variable. None of the other species in the various habitats differs so much from the type specimen and is extremely variable in so many characteristics, such as the size of the plant, length and amount of scales on the leaves, inflorescence and size of the individual floral details.
Thus near Huajuapan de Leon at the location of Tillandsia huajuapanensis Ehlers & Lautner, there is a mini-form of T. atroviridipetala, growing on the trees below the rock. The full-grown seedlings measure only 15-28 mm in diameter. Jurgen Lautner reports that other examples are still so small after 20 years of cultivation. The seed capsules are only 18 mm long, while specimens collected in San Mateo Penasco had capsules of over 30 mm length. But even at the same location, the plants can be immensely different. At the location near Mitla in Oaxaca, which will be the subject of a report below, there was, in addition to the giant form, also the "normal" Tillandsia atroviridipetala.
Durango: Topia - Canelas, 1700 m, in pine forest, 27.11.2000, Ehlers EM001001(wu);
Guerrero: Altamirano-Salitrera, 24.11.1999, Ehlers EM990907 (WU); El Pochote - Ichcapucalco, 1818 m, 12.2.2006, Ehlers EM060903 (WU); Border of Puebla, Puente Reniego, 1190 m, 9.2.2007 Ehlers s. n.; before Atlixtlac, 1650 m, 10.2.2007, Ehlers EM071607 (WU); Filo de Caballos -Yextla 1520 m, 11.2.2007, Ehlers EM071701 (WU);
Oaxaca: Ixcahuixtla, 1650 m, 19.3.1998, Ehlers EM981601 (WU); Teotitlan del Camino towards Oaxaca, 1600 m, 24 11.1999, Ehlers EM990906 (WU); Mitla, 1600 m, 29.1.2004, Ehlers EM040503 (WU); Nizanda, 150 m, 10.3.1998, Ehlers EM980307 (WU); San Mateo Penasco, on bushes, 1600 m, 12.3.1993, Ehlers EM930903 (WU); San Mateo Penasco, 1800 m, below the rocks with Tillandsia plumosa on same tree, 8.12.2001, Ehlers EM012401 (WU); San Mateo Penasco, 1550 m, 9.12.2001, Ehlers EM012503 (WU); San Mateo Penasco, 1700 m, on trees, 3.2.2003, Ehlers EM030208 (WU); San Mateo Penasco, 2050 m, 7.2.2007, Ehlers EM071301 (WU); Yosondua, 1450 m, 9.12.2001, Ehlers EM012505 (WU); Yosondua, 1500 m, 3.2.2003, Ehlers EM030203 (WU); Yosondua, 1480 m, 5.2.2007, Ehlers EM071100 (WU); Xoixtlahuaca, 10.12.2001, with Tillandsia plumosa in the same area, Ehlers EM012603 (WU); Huajuapan,1950 m, 9.2.2007, tiny form, Ehlers EM071501 (WU);
Puebla: near Tehuacan, Ehlers EM7283 (WU); Tehuacan-Acatepec, on cacti, 1450 m, 8.3.1991, Ehlers EM912802 (WU); Tehuacan- Ixca¬huixtla, 1650 m, 19.3.1998, Ehlers EM981601 (WU); Calipan, 1400 m, 25.1.2004, Ehlers EM040103 (WU); Vicente Guerrero - Calipan, 1400 m, 25.l.2004, Ehlers EM040105 (WU); Tehuacan-La Canada, 1600 m, on tree, 19.2.2003, Ehlers EM031803 (WU);
Mexico: 2500 m, 12.12.1999, Ehlers EM992703 (WU); near Cuernavaca, 2400 m, 18.12.2000, Ehlers EM003102 (WU).
Tillandsia atroviridipetala Matuda var. yagulensis Ehlers, var. nov.Die Brom Sonderheft 6: 44-46. 2009 Now treated as species in own right.
A varietate typica habitu multo majori, caulibus aetate distinctis usque ad 15 cm longibus, rosulis usque ad 15 cm diametientibus, foliis majoribus latioribusque et spicis saepe majoribus multifloribusque differt.
Typus: Mexico, Estado Oaxaca, Yagul, 1700 m s. m., 18.04.1989, K. & R. Ehlers EM891803 (holo MEXU, iso WU 11273).
Paratypi: Mexico, Estado Oaxaca, Yagul, 1700 m, 19.4. 1989, K. & R. Ehlers EM891902 (WU 11272); l.c., 1700 m, 26.3.1993, K. & R. Ehlers EM932301 (WU 11274); l.c., 1750 m, 6.12.2001, R. Ehlers EM012201 (WU);Yagul, 10 km in the direction of Oaxaca, 1600 m, 16.2.2003, EM031503 (WU); Tlacolula, 1600 m, 12.3.2005, R. Ehlers EM050306 (WU); Petlalcingo, in rupibus prope rivum, 1250 m, 24.04.1989, K & R. Ehlers EM892401 (WU); l.c., 1280 m, 2.3.2001, R. Ehlers EM010501 (WU); l.c., 1250 m, 2.3.2005, R. Ehlers EM052101 (WU).
This form differs from Tillandsia atroviridipetala Matuda var. atroviridipetala by the following characteristics: Plant much larger, up to 15 cm long, up to 12 cm diameter, forms long stems with age, leaves larger and particularly wider, the spikes are partially larger and more flowered.
A number of collections deviate in growth pattern, size and width of the leaves so strongly from the type specimen of Tillandsia atroviridipetala Matuda, that these plants should be considered as a variety of their own.
On the steep rocks in Oaxaca, rarely on large cereus, plants grow which form a clear stem with age, and can reach 15 cm in length. It can be assumed that these long-stemmed forms are already many decades old. Specimens in cultivation grow very slowly indeed. In diameter, this form is virtually as large as Tillandsia plumosa, the leaves are however only appressed and not feathery scaled and correspond to T. atroviridipetala in the form of the scales. Since these plants occur very near at the excavations near Yagul, it is often marked in collections as Tillandsia atroviridipetala ‘Yagul-Form’.
Espejo et al. (2004) lists these plants in his Checklist of the Mexican Bromeliaceae as Tillandsia mauryana. One of the places of discovery is quoted as Tlacolula which is close to Yagul. On our trip in March 2005 with Jurgen and Uli Lautner and Manfred Kretz, we drove to Tlacolula to determine what tillandsias grow there. And indeed, we could see the small silvery stars on the rocks and we were also able to reach them. The plants resembled the Yagul plants, as we expected.
Another tillandsia, growing on rocks near Petatlan is much larger and has wider leaves than the type specimen. Although no long caulescent plants could be found, like near Yagul, but after years of cultivation in my collection the plants from both locations looked almost completely alike. Since however the inflorescence corresponds to Tillandsia atroviridipetala, and moreover the leaves are hardly half as wide as with T. mauryana, I would like to treat this plants as a new variety of T. atroviridipetala.
Species name: This variety gets its name after the diggings at Yagul where plants of this new taxon were found for the first time.
Cultivation: The requirements are com¬parable with those of T. atroviridipetala var. atroviridipetala, but slightly warmer.
Tillandsia atroviridipetala Matuda var. longepedunculata Ehlers, var. nov. Die Brom Sonderheft 6: 48-50. 2009
A varietate typica habitu multo majore, foliis longioribus latioribusque, pedunculo 1,5-2,5-cm longo et spicis saepe majoribus multifloribusque differt.
Typus: Mexico, Jalisco, Mazamitla, 2000-2050 m s.m., 4.2.2004, R. Ehlers EM041104 (holo MEXU).
Jalisco: Mazamitla-Zamora, Marz 1990, Gunther Noller s.n. (WU); 2000 m, 9.3.1990, K. & R. Ehlers EM941402 (WU); 2000 m, 4.12.2000, R. Ehlers EM001701 (WU); 2020 m, 16.2.2006, Ehlers EM060304 (WU); Tecotlan-Quila, 1900 m, 5.12.2000, Ehlers EM 001807 (WU); Barranca Nogales, 2000 m, 5.2.2004, Ehlers EM041202 (WU), 6.2.2004, Ehlers EM041301 (WU); El Salto-Santa Rosa-Tecolotlan, 1900 m, 6.2.2004, Ehlers EM041303 (WU); Ayutla, 1900 m, 6.2.2004 (Type locality for Tillandsia pamelae) Ehlers EM041304 (WU); Autlan de Navarro am Pass, 1900 m, 6.2.2004, Ehlers EM041305 (WU);
Michoacan: Jiquilpan, 9 km before San Jose Garcia, 2000 m, 4.2.2000, Ehlers EM041202 (WU);
Aguascalientes: Tlaltenango-Puente La Tiquata, 1870 m, 11.2.2004, Ehlers EM041802 (WU);
Oaxaca: Ixtlan-Guelatao, 1700 m, 30.1.2004, Ehlers EM040603 (WU);
Puebla: Tehuacan, La Canada on rocks, 1990, L. & G. Kohres s. n. (WU);
The plants of this variety are much bigger than the type, the leaves longer and wider, the peduncle is 1,5-2,5 cm long and the spikes are partially larger and more flowered.
Species name: This variety got its name because of the long inflorescence peduncle.
Also plants from a number of other collections differ so distinctively from the type for Tillandsia atroviridipetala Matuda, that they should be described as a variety.
In 1990, Gunther Noller brought me a plant that he had collected in Jalisco near Mazamitla. It looked like a large form of Tillandsia atroviridipetala, but showed a clearly extended peduncle. On various trips, I had several opportunities to study, photograph and collect these plants myself.
Also at many other locations, above all in the State of Jalisco, we could see these plants. On a trip with Lydia and Gerhard Kohres we found thousands of specimens of this tillandsia in the large wooded area between Tecotlan and Quila on pine trees in a relatively moist mountain forest. Later, with Jurgen and Uli Lautner, Manfred Kretz and Wolfgang Schindhelm, we discovered many locations of this especially pretty plant.
Cultivation: The cultivation of T. atro¬viridipetala var. longepedunculata is without any difficulty, but over the years the silvery stars get even bigger than those in nature.
Variability: Another collection, EM040503, deserves to be mentioned. In Oaxaca, on the route from Mitla towards Ayutla, we could not believe our eyes. We found at a height of 1500 m on flat rocks, overgrown with trees and bushes, a Tillandsia, that at first glance looked like Tillandsia plumosa: a silvery star with narrow, grey scaled leaves, up to 9cm long. The biggest plants had a diameter of at least 18 cm. However the leaves were not plumose (feathery) but with appressed scales as with Tillandsia atroviridipetala, and also the inflorescence was sessile, without a peduncle. I immediately studied the exact floral characteristics in situ - they matched Tillandsia atroviridipetala!
TILLANDSIA ATROVIRIDIPETALA Matuda Cact y Succul Mex 2: 53 Fig 40 1957
Plant - single or growing in groups, hanging downwards, stemless, up to 7 cm high quite variable in size.
Leaves - numerous, forming a bulbose rosette with its thickened sheaths.
Sheath - distinct, long - oval, up to 1.2 cm long, up to 7 mm wide.
Blade - narrow, awl shaped, pointed, perpendicular, flared to recurved, about 4.5 cm long, 3 mm wide at the base, thick grey scales, feathery.
Scape - perpendicular, barely developed, hidden in rosette, 1-2 cm long.
Scape Bracts - similar to the leaves, arranged spirally, and surrounding the scape.
Inflorescence - hardly protruding from the leaves, composed of 2-6 single flowered spikes.
Floral Bracts - up to 1.5 cm long, as long as the sepals, green, red tips, heavily covered with grey scales.
Sepals - up to 1.5 cm long, thin skinned, red tipped, free, covered with grey scales.
Petals - green, narrow, ribbon shaped up to 2 cm long and 2.5 mm wide.
Stamens - enveloped by the petals, up to 1.5 cm long.
Habitat - Mexico, 2400 m above the city of Cuernavaca and near Tehuacan.