Tillandsia cotagaitensis
Click thumbnails for full size, scaled to a new window.

Tillandsia cotagaitensis
See DI02/14: A Key to Tillandsia subgroup diaphoranthema.
Ian Hook 07/11
Ray Clark 01/15
Ray Clark 09/18
Derek Butcher aff. cotagaitensis ex. Walter Till WT42
Ray Clark 09/21
Ray Clark ... "from Derek Butcher a while ago, from my notes its possible that its origins may go back to Walter Til, (WT42)?"
From FCBS .... "There are several groups within Tillandsia and some may be raised to generic status.
One of these groups contains the very small Tillandsias and are called Diaphoranthema, with the world authority being Dr Walter Till.
Dr. Till does most of his publishing in the German Journal 'Die Bromelie'. His main paper on Diaphoranthema is in Selbyana 13; 88-94 1992.
The 1st group proposed in Diaphoranthema is the CALIGINOSA Group.
This group includes T. caliginosa, cotagaitensis, porongoensis, and tenebra."
Derek Butcher (in reply to Eric Gouda) ... "Eric: Vegetatively your plant looks like T. cotagaitensis. As far as I am aware we are only growing WT42 which came in via Walter in 1994. Ours has very dark petals as per description.
Could your plant be linked to the 'rarely ochre' mentioned in the description?
One thing I did ask Walter was how do you know when collecting Diaphoranthema if a clump is a grex clump or the same clone by way of offsets."
Ray Clark 10/22

Tillandsia cotagaitensis L. Hromadnik Pl. Syst. Evol. 147: 284 (1984).

Plant- epiphytic, flowering to 14 cm long, caulescent, branched, leaves densely distichous, diverging all the way to recurved, densely tomentose.
Leaf sheath - up to 10 mm long, 8 mm wide, becoming green up to transparent, nerved, edges not nerved, glabrous, polished, clasping the stem.
Leaf blade - up to 40 mm long, tubular, 2-3 mm diameter, subulate-acuminate, soft, dense tomentose.
Scape - 20-30 mm long, 1 mm diameter, dense lepidote.
Inflorescence - simple, distichous, dense 2-3 flowered, 20 mm long.
Floral bract - (8.2-) 11.8 (-13.4) mm long, 5.4 to 6.8 mm wide, 11 to 12 nerved, lepidote, ovate, very short blade, as long as or shorter than the sepals.
Rachis - lepidote.
Flower - subsessile, scented.
Sepals - 8.2 to 10.2 mm long, 2.4 to 2.6 mm wide, sub-glabrous, green, 5 to 7 nerved, posterior pair slightly keeled and joined for 53-64%, joined 8-9 % at the front, lance-like.
Petals - 14.2 to 15.4 mm long, 2.7 to 3.1 mm wide, tongue like blade, moderately broadened, recurved or rolled inwards, tip rounded, brown violet up to black violet, rarely ochre colored.
Stamens and Style - included, filaments pale, one nerved, 4.4 to 5.1 mm long, anthers inserted at base, anthers golden, 1.9 to 2.3 mm long, 0.3 mm diameter.
Gynoecium - green, 3.9 to 4.6 mm long, 1.2 to 1.6 mm diameter.
Ovary - oval-cylindrical, 2 to 2.3 mm long. Style and ovary same length, thin, capsule to 2 mm diameter to 20 mm long, cylindrical, obtuse.

Habitat - epiphytic on Oreocereus neocelsianus in association with T. caliginosa.
Holotype Bolivia, Dept. Potosi, mountains near Cotagaita 3000 m. s. m. 20. 7. 1979, leg. H & l Hromradnik, HR 5093 (WU) Isotype in herb. W. Till

Plants living in the collection of Hromadnik (Sub HR 5093) and in collection of W Tiill (Sub WT 42)

Differs from T. caliginosa by
(1) stem clearly seen;
(2) more slender in habit; and
(3) posterior sepals are joined for a long way.

The new species undoubtedly has some relationship with T. caliginosa. It grows in the area near Cotagaita and seems to be endemic there. Its characteristics point to a strong derivative group: it is stemmed and branched, the leaves are short, the whole plant is small, and above all the posterior sepals are high connate in contrast to the anterior. Because of the use of connateness in floral detail is accepted as a diagnostic characteristic in the differentiation of species, the value of this characteristic within species limits is high.
T. cotagaitensis grows with T. caliginosa on Oreocereus, transitional forms could, however, not be found.

Updated 22/11/22