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

Tillandsia (fasciculata) Hondurensis
From BCR ... "A cultivar of probably T. fasciculata. Sold for many years by Tropiflora Nursery, Florida, USA as T. fasciculata "Hondurensis".
Plant flowering to 40cms. high, leaves to 25cms. long. Fasciculata Group. Reg. Doc. 8/2011 by D Butcher for the plant discovered by E.Kamm, Honduras, 1975
See article this entry JBS 61(2): 86. 2011"
Note: This plant has nothing to do with the species T. hondurensis.
Peter Tristram, 07/11.
George Nieuwenhoven 03/18 as 'Honduras' ??
John Olsen 01/22 as fasciculata "Honduras"
Chris Larson 01/22 see notes below
John Olsen 01/22 "I have plants as attached which came as T. fasciculata 'Honduras'. I thought it had been renamed T. 'Hondurensis'. I just checked the BCR and wondered if what I have is really 'Honduran Blush'.
The BCR picture of 'Hondurensis' shows a bright red to the inflorescence.
'Honduran Blush' has more resemblance with slight upcurve to ends of leaves and more similar colouring in the bracts. Comments??"
Bruce Dunstan ... "There seems to be plenty of differing 'Hondurensis' forms and from my experience they have more yellow or orange spikes with a bit of red at the base. The upcurve and really succulent leaves all fit. I got 3-4 from George that he sourced from BRT. One has the cultivar name 'Pastel Paddles'. In bud at the moment. Ive also got a hybrid of xerographica and fasiculata 'Hondurensis' in bud at the moment."
Peter Tristram ... "As Bruce says, one of the group marketed in the US as fasciculata 'Hondurensis' or the like. Hiro has plans to have it elevated to species status, one day, due to its specific habitat niche. I think I showed some of his habitat pics at a Till Day. 'Honduran Blush' is just one of the many! There must have been a fair few stripped off the cliffs back in the day."
Chris Larson ... "Back in '93 I went to Kamm's place in Honduras. It was a very interesting couple of days. Mr Kamm was different from most of the commercial nurserymen in that he was really interested in plant ID - not just tokenism.
Somewhere around I have photos of a pile of plants in a pic, in a similar situation to the one above, with a group of plants in a rockery that Mr Kamm said were all T. rotundata. I queried him on this as some were very close to T. fasciculata, but he said that they all keyed to T. rotundata.
The attached photo is from Dennis Cathcart (courtesy of the disc) of one of Mr Kamm's rockery beds of T. fasciculata 'Hondurensis' - being that Kamm supplies Dennis exclusively.
There is so much variety amongst the T. fasciculata 'Hondurensis' plants that I do not think it likely that Hiro is going to describe them all as the one species. Or, if he does, there is a possibility that all plants circulating as T. fasciculata 'Hondurensis' will not fall within the description. Somewhere I have slides of a lot of individual T. fasciculata from these beds - there are some interesting forms."

Tillandsia 'Hondurensis' By Derek Butcher 7/2011
In 1975 with Werner Rauh, Enrique Kamm found a colony of plants growing on rocks near Jacaleapa, Francisco Morazan, Honduras, quite near Tegucigalpa. There is also a colony near the airport. On the same expedition he found Tillandsia hondurensis which Werner Rauh described in 1981. This species is on the endangered list and has nothing to do with the plant here under discussion. Werner did not take any taxonomical interest in the plant with affinities to T. fasciculata.

On the other hand, Enrique saw horticultural benefits and he saw similarities with the ubiquitous Tillandsia fasciculata and called his find T. fasciculata var. hondurensis. Over the years he sent specimens to Tropiflora and Dennis Cathcart kept propagating them and selling them as T. fasciculata 'Hondurensis'. Such is the popularity of this plant it is now being grown in many countries by Tillandsia enthusiasts. Recently a large shipment went to Singapore to be part of their huge 'Gardens by the Bay' project.

In July 2011 Matthias Asmuss of Venezuela flowered his 'Hondurensis' and when he wanted to know more about his plant he could find no reference to this name either in any species listings or the Cultivar Register. This is understandable because nobody had bothered to formally identify this plant. Most striking-looking plants find their way to a taxonomist and eventually get formally identified and sometimes given a new name according to the ICBN rules. This takes time. Here we strike a problem. In 2010 there was a paper published under the heading 'Herbaria are a major frontier for species discovery' ( PNAS 107 (51): 22169-22171. 2010) where it was revealed that only 16% are described within 5 years and 84% much much longer. It would seem better that living plants be given a non-Latinised name so they can be released via the nursery trade. Here the Bromeliad Cultivar Register can play a vital role because crucial data can be recorded.

Anyway, Matthias in his zeal for information placed a photo on the Florapix section of Brom-L asking for comments. I was somewhat surprised when Dr Walter Till suggested this may well be the 'old' Tillandsia pungens. I knew that it was treated as a synonym of T. fasciculata var. fasciculata in Flora Neotropica (1977) and this had me checking old records. This was what I found in Mez in Das Pflanzenreich, Bromeliaceae 1934/5:

32. T. pungens Mez in DC. Monogr. Phaner. IX. 684. (1896).
Plant to 0.4 m high.
Leaves 0.4 m long, above the sheath to 23 mm wide then gradually narrowing to a clearly subulate subpungent tip, when dried involute channelled, white lepidote drying grey.
Scape thick, erect, dense very rigid scape bracts, long triangular acute, strongly pungent involute.
Inflorescence digitate with a few spikes at the most, to 0.2 m long & 35 mm wide, densely flabellate, lanceolate, to 14-flowered, subsessile compound;
Primary bracts much shorter than the spikes;
Floral bracts dense imbricate, the back glabrous becoming smooth, from wide ovate becoming blunt, towards the tip the upper part is very clearly incurved acute carinate, to 50 mm long, very clearly exceeding the sepals.
Flowers strictly erect, definitely 55 mm long;
Sepals anterior one free, posterior pair to 23 mm connate, back glabrous with fine prominent veins, lanceolate, very acute, to 36 mm long.
Petals 14 mm longer than the sepals, tubular erect, shorter than the stamens.
Mexico: Oaxaca, in the Sierra de Misteca, Cerro Potrero (Schenck Mex. n.226).
Panama (Wagner n. 53). {Holotype. Wagner 53 (GOET, M, GH photo) Butcher!}

Lyman Smith in Phytologia 20(3): 177. 1970 placed this species under T. fasciculata var fasciculata and this was again published in Flora Neotropica (1979). Nobody has challenged this move in the intervening years. Mez was of the opinion that T. pungens was closer to T. tricolor because its spikes were flatter in cross section. But then, when does flat become convex?
Matthias has found that his plant is very close to the description of T. pungens but he would also find it very close the description of T. fasciculata var. fasciculata. Such is the dilemma.
We know that T. pungens was found in Panama and Mez says that the second find occurred in Mexico so it is feasible our plant from Honduras could be the same. However, that is a taxonomists decision, and horticulturists may well consider that it is still different from the concept of T. pungens!
Thus it seems prudent to add Tillandsia 'Hondurensis' to the Bromeliad Cultivar Register. For those who consider it a special form of T. fasciculata reference can be made to http://botu07.bio.uu.nl/bcg/taxonList.php under T. fasciculata var. hondurensis.

Acknowledgements.
Thanks to Matthias Asmuss for asking questions, Dr Walter Till for giving a different slant on the matter, and Dennis Cathcart, so that another cultivar naming problem can be laid to rest!


Updated 12/03/22