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

Tillandsia edithae
Species, Bolivia.
Ken Woods.
Ken Woods, caulescent form. 07/06
Mark Supple 12/10. Ex. D.Butcher.
"f. minor". Peter Tristram 12/10.
Ken Woods 02/11.
BSA meeting Comp. 12/11. Photo Sharon Song.
"Silver". Peter Tristram 12/10.
Peter Tristram 01/11. "Giant Silver form from Germany. 2x size and silver not grey."
Peter Tristram 01/17 Giant ex. Renate
Peter Tristram 01/17 Giant ex. Renate & mini
Peter Tristram 01/17 Giant ex. Renate & normal
Peter Tristram 01/17 Group photo
Peter Tristram ... "Blooming edithaes inspired me to get the camera out and do some portrait shots.
The Germans have collected so many forms of T. edithae some of which I have been lucky enough to obtain. Many are very slow growers though, compared to the vigorous clone most of us have. The form from Renate E is huge, for edithae and one pic shows it alongside a large plant of the usual form, another with a form which is quite small and compact, though differing considerably from the ‘forma minor’ forms from Lotte, now var. auraucariifolia I assume.
The group pic shows some of the imports from Germany with the giant RE plant in bloom as a guide."
Peter Tristram 01/13. From 2010 trip to Germany. Dark emerald green leaves, slightly different from the other ‘green’ forms I have imported a few years ago. I have noticed that they all prefer some shade and are quite slow growing. Maybe the green forms grow on shady cliffs.
Peter Tristram 01/13. Large form, Los Negros.
Peter Tristram 01/17. Very small form.
Ray Clark 12/17. Var. araucariifolia ?
Peter Tristram 01/17 ... "This interesting edithae, a compact, small form mentioned in the first post, came in without a tag or the tag moved during Q. I first thought it might be T. nana but the bloom shows differently."
Chris Larson ... "I think even more important than using "T." instead of "Tillandsia", is this issue of calling it T. edithae or T. edithiae – I do this too – my tags all have T. edithiae. Ever since Len Colgan highlighted that T. edithae was wrongly described considering ICBN rules, I have been spelling it T. edithiae (with "iae"). I note that the Taxon List currently calls it T. edithae.
If it was described without applying the rules properly, is T. edithae still correct? Or is T. edithiae (with iae ending) still correct?"
Peter Tristram ... "Good point, Chris. From memory Harry Luther proposed the change to edithiae but it was left as edithae because it was less hassle given the length of time that the incorrect Latinisation had been used. I know I changed labels but reverted to the old spelling some time ago now. I am sure Derek will add to the discussion! As to your last question, I have no idea."
Ray Clark 12/17 ... "I believe this plant to be edithae var. araucariifolia, a quick search of the DVD reveals the first conundrum, spelling of the sub species, is it araucariofolia or auracariifolia? My reason for believing I have a var on the species is the very short leaves"
Derek Butcher 12/17 ... "Could well be, oh observant one! Detail on the species for those who don't have the DVD and are curious is attached.
One of the Araucaria is called the Monkey Puzzle tree which may be why the Journal of the BSI had it spelt wrongly.
Peter Tristram was growing a form called unofficially 'Minor' which may well be the same."
Peter Tristram 12/17 ... "As far as I can see, the var minor edithae I obtained from various sources - Lotte, Holm, Heidelberg and others in Europe, is the var. araucariifolia, (spelling copied from taxon). I wonder if Eric agrees as he will be familiar with the many forms. As for the spelling it’s a pain to remember! Var. minor is easier! I guess your one is also ex Europe, Ray. It’s such a slow grower too.
I do find the colour of the inflorescence of this form has quite an orange influence in the red, like the green form also has."

Tillandsia edithae Rauh, Trop. Subtrop. Pflanzenwelt 8: 19, Abb. 7 (1974). Originally described as ‘edithae’ but ‘corrected’ to edithiae by Luther. It has since been returned to edithae!
Tillandsia barborkae J. J. Halda & P. Hertus spec. nov. Acta Mus. Richnov. Sect. Natur 14(4): 105-126. 2007
Desc from S&D p779
Plant caulescent; stems pendent to ascending, to 35 cm long.
Leaves numerous, densely polystichous, 6-7 cm long;
Sheaths suborbicular, merging with the blades, mostly covered;
Blades triangular, thick, ca 20-25 mm wide at base, covered with gray, sub-spreading scales.
Scape erect, 3-5 cm long;
Scape-bracts densely polystichous, subfoliaceous.
Inflorescence simple, polystichous, densely capitate, 4 cm long, 2 cm in diameter , 8-12-flowered.
Floral bracts exceeding the sepals, ecarinate, subcucullate, greenish and glabrous at base, reddish and densely lepidote toward apex, the lower with blades 5-10 mm long, the upper bladeless, 20 mm long, 10-19 mm wide.
Sepals free, oblong, 14 mm long, 5 mm wide, white with red tips, glabrous or nearly so, the posterior carinate;
Petals 30 mm long, 4 mm wide, ligulate, erect except the slightly spreading tip, the blade white at base, bright red above;
Stamens included.
Type. A. Blass K-295 cultivated (holotype HEID, isotype US), on rocks, Sorata, 2700 m, Larecaja, La Paz, Bolivia.

From Till in Linzer biol. Beitr. 27/1: 413-421. 1995
Tillandsia edithae RAUH, Trop. Subtrop. Pflanzenwelt 8: 19, Abb. 7 (1974).
Bolivia, Dept. La Paz, Prov. Larecaja, Sorata, 2700 m, Krahn K 295, ab hort. Heidelberg 1975, (HAL, isotype).
NOTE ; The type locality given in the protologue is wrong and has been confused by A. Blass (who had brought the plant to W. Rauh's attention) with the data given for K/285 in Krahn's list of field numbers. W. Krahn actually collected this plant in 1964 under his number K/295 in the Dept. Sta. Cruz, Prov. Florida, 338km along the street from Cochabamba to Sta. Cruz, Quebrada Chaupiuno, 2500 m.
DISTRIBUTION. Known only from the type collection.

3. Tillandsia edithae RAUH spec. nov. Trop. Subtrop. Pflanzenwelt 8: 19, Abb. 7 .1974 Planta longe caulescens usque ad 35 cm longa, pendula vel ascendens; folia numerosa, dense inserta, polysticha, expansa vel reclinata; vagina indistincte; lamina breviter triangulata, acuminata, 6-7 cm longa, basi 2-2,5 cm lata, viridis dense et grosse cano-, fere pruinoso-lepidota ; scapus brevis, 3-5 cm longus, arcuato-ascendens, teres, pallido-viridis, glaber, 5 mm diametiens ; folia scapi dense inserta, polysticha, subfoliata ; inflorescentia congesto-capitata, simplex, 4 cm longa, 2 cm lata, 8-12 florea; bracteae florales longiores quam sepala, basales apice 5-10 mm longo, 2 cm longae, 1-1,9 cm latae, cucullatae, ecarinatae, basi virescentes, glabrae, ad apicem versus rubrae, dense et grosse cano-lepidotae ; sepala libera, alba apice rubro, 1, 4 cm longa, 5 mm lata, posteriora carinata, glabra ; petala 3 cm longa, 4 mm lata, lingulata, apice rotundata, modice patentia; dimidio inferiore alba, superiore lucido-rubra; stamina 2,5 cm longis, antherae 5 mm longae in parte superiore floris inclusae.
Habitat: Bolivia, Sorata, Dept. La Paz, Prov. Larecaja apud 2700 m. s. m.
Holotypus : A. Blass K 295, in herbario inst. bot. system. heidelbergensis (HEID).

Die in dichtem Rasen an steilen Felswanden wachsende Pflanze besitzt verlangerte, bis 35 cm lange (wahrscheinlich noch langer werdende), hangende, an den wachsenden Spitzen aber bogig aufsteigende Stammchen, die in dicht spiraliger Anordnung kurzdreieckige, zugespitzte, 5-6 cm lange, oberhalb der nicht deutlich abgesetzten Scheide 2-2,5 cm breite, etwas sukkulente, beiderseits groB, fast pruinos grau beschuppte Blatter tragen (Abb. 7, links). Der kurze, 3-5 cm lange und etwa 5 mm dicke, kahle, runde, grune Infloreszenzschaft wird von spiralig angeordneten, subfoliaten, dicht grau beschuppten Hochblattern umhullt, von denen die obersten bisweilen dicht gedrangt stehen und eine Art Involucrum um die kopfige, einfache, etwa 4 cm lange und 2 cm breite, 8-12-blutige Infloreszenz bilden (Abb. 7, rechts). Die floralen Brakteen sind langer als die Sepalen; die basalen tragen eine kurze Spreite, die apikalen sind spreitenlos; sie sind etwa 2 cm lang, bis 1,9 cm breit, ecarinat, cucculat, an der Basis grunlich, gegen die Spitze zu rotlich und dicht grau beschuppt ; von den weiBen, hautigen, bis zum Grunde freien, 1,4 cm langen und 5 mm breiten Sepalen sind die hinteren carinat, das vordere ecarinat. Die 3 cm langen und 4 mm breiten Petalen sind an der Spitze abgerundet und leicht spreizend; in der oberen Halfte sind sie leuchtend zinnoberrot, gegen die Basis zu weiBlich; die bis 2,5 cm langen Staubblatter und der bis 2 cm lange Griffel sind in der Blute eingeschlossen (Abb. 7, rechts).
Der Fundort dieser zur Bliitezeit sehr attraktiven Tillandsie sind steile Felswande in einer Hohenlage von 2700 m bei Sorota, Prov. Lare¬caja, Dptm. La Paz in Bolivien. Die Pflanze wird in der Sammlung von A. Blass unter der Nummer K 295 kultiviert.
T. edithae gehort in den Verwandtschaftskreis der in Sudperu in Trockentalern verbreiteten und an ahnlichen Standorten wachsenden T. caloce¬phala Wittm. Sie unterscheidet sich von dieser aber durch die einfachen und nicht zusammengesetzten Infloreszenzen sowie die leuchtend zinnoberroten Bluten, die bei T. calocephala von blaB- bis dunkelvioletter Farbe sind. Auch sind die Blatter jener weniger sukkulent und weniger pruinos beschuppt. T. edithae ist bisher nur vom Typstandort bekannt.
Named after Edith Blass, wife of A Blass, from Munich who flowered the plant under cultivation

Tillandsia edithae var. araucariifolia Gouda var. nov. (fig. 3,4). J. Brom. Soc 64(2):76-79. 2014. as edithiae var. araucariofolia.
A variety that differs from the type variety in having strict (erect), relatively short, 3-4 cm long leaves ending in a sub-pungent apex (vs. curving leaves 5.5-8 cm long with a more or less flexible apex).
Type: Bolivia, new road from St. Cruz to Cochabamba, 1500 m. elevation, C.S. Gouda s.n. October 1996. Introduced into the Utrecht Botanical Gardens in 2008, flowering June 2014. (holotype L).
Plant long caulescent, 14 cm tall, very dense, with many leaves.
Leaves polystichous, coriaceous, 3-4 cm long, very densely lepidote, on both sides, with subappressed whitish and dark centered scales, cinereous-green;
sheaths large (about half the length of the leaf), with a layer of extending trichomes at the margins, thin coriaceous, indistinguishable from the blades, pale green and membranaceous toward the base;
blades acute and sub-pungent, divergent (sub-erect), somewhat stiffly and more fleshy toward the apex, triangular.
Peduncle short and concealed by the leaves, wholly covered by bracts, erect, 3 cm long, 7 mm in diameter;
peduncle-bracts erect, foliaceous.
Inflorescence simple, fertile part ovoid and acute 3 cm long, 1.5 cm wide, densely 7-flowered.
Floral-bracts ample, inflated, 2.2 cm long, 2 cm wide, many times as long as the internodes, much exceeding the sepals, glabrous except the lepidote apex in the lower ones, bright red, rounded but slightly cucullate or apiculate, erect, very densely imbricate, thin coriaceous, nearly even, ecarinate, sub-orbiculate with thin margins.
Flowers contiguous, subsessile;
pedicel 2 x 5.5 mm long, strongly complanate and bicarinate.
Sepals membranaceous or chartaceous, 11-13 mm long, 4.5-5.5 mm wide, with broad hyaline margins, evenly short connate for 1.5 mm, glabrous, few nerved, elliptic, rounded or slightly cucullate obtuse, pale (whitish) green, adaxial ones distinct from the anterior ones, carinate and strongly incurved.
Petals fleshy, 23-25 mm long, 3.5 mm wide, ligulate, rounded, bright red.
Stamens included; filaments strap shaped and flaccid, straight (not plicate), 1.8 cm long;
Anthers dorsifixed at about one fourth of its length from the base, linear-sagittate, obtuse, 3 mm long, pale yellow.
Pistil slightly exceeded by or about equaling the stamens;
ovary complanate ovoid, 5 mm long, tapering into the style;
style slender, elongate and many times as long as the ovary.

Etymology: the plant resembles a short branch of Araucaria araucana (Monkey-puzzle tree) . Araucario (like Araucaria) - folia (leaves).

Although this variety is very beautiful, it is not easy growing like the typical variety.
It grows very slowly: only doubling in size during the last 6 years and flowering for the first time now. Only one of the original 3 shoots has flowered and now it is going to produce small pups at the base.
In 1974, Werner Rauh described the stunning Tillandsia edithiae Rauh (1974: 19), with its bright red inflorescence and fleshy red corolla, from La Paz, Bolivia. The species is quite variable and plants from several populations look different. The most common form has somewhat purplish tinged cinereous leaves and in 1995 we saw steep mountain slopes fully covered with this plant in the province of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, indicating that it is locally very abundant. Near Samaipata we collected a very short leaved and succulent form that unfortunately did not survive. Some populations have somewhat larger plants with leaves about 8 cm long (Fig. 1) and others look similar but with shorter leaves of about 5.5 cm long. In cultivation they can grow to over half a meter in length, developing many offshoots on the old leafless stem. Although beautiful, they do not flower often. In a clump of the several shoots, normally only a few will flower at the same time and some of my clumps have never flowered.
There are also more green forms that do not develop that purplish leaf coloration, even when hanging at the same location (see Fig. 2 also from Samaipata). In fact each population looks slightly different and it would not be practical to give all those forms a name except for the very obviously different ones, like the variety described in this article.

Tillandsia barborkae J. J. Halda & P. Hertus spec. nov. Acta Mus. Richnov. Sect. Natur 14(4): 105-126. 2007 now treated as a synonym of T. edithiae
DESCRIPTIO: A simili T. edithae floribus parvis brevitubulosis coccineis foliis crassi dense ferrugineo lepidotis distinguitur.
Caulescens, usque at 200 mm longa, pendula. Folia multa planiuscule rosulata, ad 100 mm longa, rigidula, e vagina vix ultra 25 mm lata in apicem subfiliformi-acutissimum persensim angustata, utrinque densissime lepidotibus maximis obtecta ferruginosaque. Scapis brevis, foliis brevior, dense lepidotus, vaginis erectis ovato-lanceolatis, omnibus in laminas longas subfiliformes productis, densissime lepidotis indutus. Inflorescentia multiflora, densissime paniculata, folia aequans vel paullo superans, e spicis usque ad 30, flores vix ultra 3 laxe dispositis gerentibus, laxe pinnatis, geniculatis, bracteas primarias superantibus, suberectis, usque ad 30 mm longis composita, usque ad 40 mm longa et 30 mm diametiens; axibus densissime lepidoto-ferrugineis; bracteis primariis conspicuis, ellipticis, acutis, dorso dense lepidotis; bracteis florigeris ad 5 mm distantibus, dorso coccineis, quam sepala manifeste longioribus, cum floribus suberectis, ellipticis, acutis, ad 25 mm longis, haud carinatis, sepala involventibus. Flores ad 25 mm longi; subaliquater liberis, dorso glaberrimis, subellipticis, late acutis, ad 15 mm longis. Petala coccinea, laminis subtrapeziformibus, obtusis, per anthesin optime campanulatis. Stamina petalis subduplo breviora, stylum superantia. Capsula brunnea, ca 15 mm longa. Semina brunnea, oblonga, minuta.

HOLOTYPUS HIC DESIGNATUS: PR119'75; 20.11.2007, leg. J. J. Halda (JJH07112002).
PATRIA ET DISTRIBUTIO: Bolivia department Chuquisaca: saxetum verticalium prope urbi Nuevo Mundo 1750m supra mare.
DESCRIPTION: From similar T. edithae Rauh differs in having tiny bright red flowers with very short tube and succulent leaves, densely covered with rusty scales.
Plant caulescent pendant usually up to 200 mm long;
Leaves many, wide rosulate, up to 100 mm long, rigid, including sheath barely 25 mm wide, narrowed into sharp tip, whole rusty scaled;
Floral stem shorter than leaves, densely scaled, covered with ovate-lanceolate bracts;
Inflorescence many-flowered, very densely paniculate, the same length or a bit shorter than leaves, usually up 20 flowers in 1-3-branched panicle covered by primary bracts,
Primary bracts prominent, elliptic, acute, dorsally densely scaled;
Floral bracts ca 5 mm apart, outside bright red, much longer than calyx, suberect, elliptic, acute, up 25 mm long, not carinate, covering the calyx.
Flowers up 25 mm long, with petals somewhat free, outside glabrous, almost elliptic, widely acute, up to 15 mm long, bright red, somewhat rhombic, obtuse, at full bloom campanulate.
Anthers reach ca one half of petals; style elongate.
Fruit brown up to 15 mm long.
Seeds brown, oblong, tiny.
DISTRIBUTION: Bolivia, department Chuquisaca: dry bare vertical rocks up Nuevo Mundo at altitude 1750m above sea level.
Not cultivated yet.


From: Derek Butcher. To: Eric Gouda
Subject: Tillandsia barborkae
Eric, Walter & Harry
Ever since this was published I have thought it to be a synonym of T. edithiae
The protologue says inflorescence compound but the drawing shows simple. I did ask Halda for a photo but got no reply.
Needless to say unofficial names for T. edithiae, like green form, orange flowered, etc are around
Any thoughts as to treating this as a synonym?

From: Harry Luther. To: Derek Butcher
Its the same as T. edithiae, will be treated as such in the next binomial list.

Updated 25/02/18