Tillandsia heubergeri
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Tillandsia heubergeri
Peter Tristram 08/11*
Peter Tristram 08/13**
"type" from Lotte. - - - from Holm.
* 08/11 "A few years back I introduced T. heubergeri, from Lotte in Austria. I have 2 forms and the 2nd bloomed, along with T. brachyphylla, recently. It is more compact and larger than the first and nowhere near as quick to bloom. I suppose it won’t pup much either. Anyway it’s very pretty and a nice addition to the ‘little red Brazilians’.
** 08/13 "They mostly seem to prefer bright, indirect light and frequent watering in hot dry weather otherwise hardy. Not unusual I suppose coming from eastern Brazil.
I am blooming a few forms of T. heubergeri including the triplets that were imported from Holm as T. roseiflora (on right) but, because of the single flowers and their slightly violet colour, are more likely T. heubergeri. The other form shown here (on left), is the type and comes from Lotte. I have another, free-pupping form from Lotte that is more like the Holm plants that some Nutters now have. This species is very sparsely widespread west of the coast, from Chapada Diamantina in Bahia down almost to Teresopolis north-west of Rio where T. roseiflora occurs. I am leaning towards thinking that all of these little gems morph across the ranges of habitats or what’s left of them. This is the first time I have bloomed multiple clones of this species so I sure hope for plenty of seed. At least some forms also produce many small aventitious-like pups too which certainly grow quickly in warm humid weather.
Pam Butler 08/19
John Olsen 08/21
John Olsen 09/22
Pam Butler ... "I am minding Bruce Dunstan's plant with a view to cross pollinating with mine but my flowers have not appeared yet."
Gary May ... "When I'm crossing plants I pick up the pollen with the tip of a usneoides leaf. Then put that usneoides tip in a sealable plastic bag in the bottom part of the fridge.
The pollen stays viable for a long time, they're tough little buggers. Probably label the bag too !"

Tillandsia heubergeri R. Ehlers Die Bromelie Sonderheft 3 p. 35 – 37 1996

Plant single or growing in small groups on rocks, stemless, the dead part at the base sometimes forming an up to 7 cm long, 5 - 8 mm thick dark brown rhizome, 4 - 8 cm high, 3 - 5 ( - 8 ) cm wide, forming an erect, mostly secund, subbulbose, sometimes almost spreading rosette with many grey appressed lepidote leaves; the bottom leaves sometimes shorter and strongly bent outwards,
Leaves many (20- 50), up to 7 cm long, standing almost erect and dense, the bottom ones reduced and recurved, grey green, almost thin and soft, appearing grey because of densely rough grey scales, the margins with large rough winged trichomes.
Sheath 2 - 3 cm long, 1-1.8 cm wide, elliptic, flat, little distinct from the blade, light brown, except the glabrous base, both sides densely grey lepidote.
Blade 2 - 4 cm long, 4 - 8 mm wide, triangular attenuate, almost flat, the edges bent inwards, grey ¬green, densely and regular covered with large rough whitish-grey trichomes (outside more marked), appearing as an uniform grey felt.
Scape 3 - 4 cm long, 3 mm in diameter, almost erect to decurved, densely white lepidote, extensively covered by the 10 - 15 mm long, 5 - 7 mm wide elliptic sheaths of the leaf-like, imbricate scape bracts; the thin membranaceous blade triangular, acuminate, canaliculate, tip densely lepidote like the leaves.
Inflorescence 3 cm long, 2 cm wide, oval, simple, with 5 - 11 sessile, densely poly-stichous, slightly spreading flowers.
Floral bracts 1.8 - 2 cm long, 9 - 11 mm wide, exceeding the sepals, oval, acute, the bottom ones with a sharp tip, thin membranaceous, strongly nerved, not carinate, inside sparsely punctulate lepidote, outside bright dark pink, with dense and regular fine white scales.
Sepals 1.3 - 1.4 cm long, 3.5 - 4 mm wide, lanceolate, acute, membranaceous, light green, nerved, sparsely and finely lepidote,. nearly free, the posterior ones carinate.
Petals 2- 2.3 cm long, 2.5 - 3 mm wide, tapering to 2 mm at base, narrow oblanceolate, forming an erect tube with an open throat, the rounded tip recurved, above intensively lilac - pink, the base white.
Stamens enclosed. Filament 1.5 cm long, thin ribbon like, straight, white. Anther 2 mm long, 0.3 mm wide, linear, fixed at the base, light brown. Pollen yellow. Style1 cm long, 0.5 mm wide, white. Stigma small, not broader than the style. Lobes erect, pale pink.
Ovary 2.5 mm high, 2 mm wide, roundish oval, light green.
Type locality Brazil, State of Bahia, Chapada da Diamantina, Lencois, Morro do Pai Inacio 1000m, leg. Heuberger & Franz Fuchs 1988 Holotype WU.

Similar material to type leg. R. Thieken Tubingen, Dec. 1994. Flowered in Nov. 1994 and in Nov. 1995 in collection of R. Ehlers.

Differs from T. thiekenii R. EHLERS
Plant: certainly mostly a lithophyte, however it grows upwards not downwards like T. thiekenii.
Leaves: mostly. secund, thin and soft, not succulent, the blade is wider, not involute, grey appressed lepidote not green with rough spreading scales.
Scape: densely lepidote.
Floral bracts intensively dark pink or violet pink, not pale pink.
Sepals: free, the posterior pair stronger and totally carinate, less lepidote.
Petals: pink - violet instead of pink.

Comments: The plant belongs to the group based on T. sprengeliana. In habitat it resembles mostly a small T. roseiflora. The inflorescence is however simple, the floral bracts are not carinate and densely fine lepidote. Because of the dense lepidote floral bracts it seems to be related to T. thiekenii.

Also found by Giorgio Croce at Madalena some 250km NE of Rio de Janeiro

Updated 19/09/22