Tillandsia kegeliana Mez
Desc from Gouda in 'Flora of the Guianas' 1987
Plant acaulescent, 9-14 cm tall, with a small crateriform or spreading rosette of many cinereous-green leaves.
Leaves 7-15 cm long, exceeding the inflorescence, stiff-chartaceous and often involute-subulate when dry;
Sheaths ample, but not always distinct, chartaceous, merging or contracted into the blades, (broadly) ovate, scarcely inflated-convex, 2.5-3.5 x 1.5-2.7 cm, densely and closely appressed- or punctulate-lepidote, with brown centered scales, pale-green outside, often purple-red inside;
Blades arching and often turning secund, thin-coriaceous, very narrowly triangular, 5-12 x 0.5-1.4 cm, often with purple-red margins, attenuately acute, densely appressed-lepidote, soon partly less so at the upper side.
Inflorescence (sub-)pendulous, simple, 8-14 cm long;
Scape often strongly curved downward, 3-9.5 cm long, 1-3 mm in diam., glabrous or sparsely lepidote at the apex, concealed by its bracts and the leaves;
Scape bracts erect or the blade secund, imbricate, ovate to lanceolate, with the foliaceous blades exceeding the scape, (sub)densely cinereous-lepidote; spike ascending, fan-like, very strongly complanate, 2.5-5 x 3-4.5 cm, emarginate or subacute, densely and distichously 2-5(-8)-flowered (appearing subdense when dry), with a few imbricate sterile bracts at the base and one at the apex;
Rachis very short, hidden at anthesis, flexuous, bluntly angled, minutely lepidote;
Floral bracts somewhat spreading with the flowers, imbricate at anthesis, but the upper ones with free tips, coriaceous, with even or faintly veined surface when dry, (broadly) ovate, 2.4-2.8 cm long, 4-5 times as long as the internodes, much exceeding and closely enfolding the sepals, with very broad membranaceous margins, apiculate, ecarinate, but sharply con¬duplicate (appearing alate), incurved, sparsely and minutely lepidote, lustrous-green with reddish margins to wholly reddish.
Flowers tubular-erect, (sub-) sessile; receptacle obconic, alate-angled when dry, ca. 2-3 mm long;
Sepals thin-coriaceous, with finely veined surface only when dry, elliptic or oblong, 1.6-1.9 cm long, obscurely apiculate, slightly incurved at the extreme apex, almost free, posterior ones bluntly carinate at the base, sparsely and minutely brown-lepidote, less so inside;
Petals slightly turning downward (secund), lanceolate, 3-4 cm long, obtuse, purple-red;
Stamens just exserted, the shorter 3 about equaling and the longer 3 exceeding the pistil and petals, filaments slender, terete, at least near the apex, green, anthers dorsifixed (at 1/2), sagittate, ca. 2 mm long;
ovary ovoid, ca. 5 mm long, tapering or contracted into the slender style.
Capsule cylindric, to over 5 cm long, attenuate, apiculate.
Distribution: Panama to NE. Brazil. Epiphytic in forest, from near sea level to 900 m alt.
10 collections studied. Guyana, Atkinson Field, Graham 522 (K). Surinam: Paramaribo, Kegel 802 ( = syntype, Goet); Brokopondo, van Donselaar 3244, 3272 (U); Para River, Splitgerber 644 (L). French Guiana, near Saul, Ek & Montfoort 180 (U).