Tillandsia mima var. chiletensis
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Tillandsia mima var. chiletensis
Ken Woods 08/04.
Bruce Dunstan 05/12.
Peter Tristram 06/12.
Bruce Dunstan, Selby Gardens.
Bruce Dunstan, Cali to Buenaventura in a very arid area.
Bruce Dunstan 06/12.

Bruce Dunstan...."Only a small plant, in a 140mm pot, compared to other T. mima I have seen."

Peter Tristram...."I saw monster examples of this in Heidelberg BG and other collections in Germany, as well as relatively small ones like this.
It seems they can bloom at nearly any size! I flowered a very small one, half the size of this baby, recently too.
It seems to grow much better in a dry climate though. It should produce many viviparous pups too. The one in the pic is ex KK but 20 years old and about 1m in width. The extensas were collected in 2003 on the other side of the range to where the mima v chiletensis grows, in a gorge as you head into the Andes inland from Chiclayo, near Chongoyape - so it has provenance! It is actually mounted, though I usually pot these terrestrial types."

Derek Butcher...."When I first saw Bruce's plant I thought it cannot be var chiletensis because it does not have viviparous offsets.
Werner Rauh has been involved with most of these sorts of Peruvians and he loved to create a variety because of this propensity to have offsets in the inflorescence. The only difference left between Bruce's plant and the type is that Bruce's plant should have sepals joined for 3-4 mm. This is a measurement I cannot see with my ancient naked eye but would resort to scanning and magnification. But Bruce is younger than I!
What I am trying to say is that I don't think we should pay too much attention to varieties where Werner made many judgements based on viviparousness!
If anything I would call Bruce's plant Mima Minor!"

Bruce Dunstan...."I think it may be a little early for viviparous offsets.
My T. propuligifera took a couple of months after flowering to make pups on the flower spike.
T. mima seems to be a variable species in size. Plants of another clone I have tend to have very succulent silvery leaves and don't like to be grown wet, rotting very easily.
The first attached image was taken at Selby The second was on the way from Cali to Buenaventura in a very arid area. Down in the Cauca River valley in Colombia where they get more rain the T. mima growing in trees along the highway were huge, over 2m accross.
I pulled a flower apart and the sepals are fused for 6-7mm."

Peter Tristram...."Bruce, but where do the sepals start?
My dead flowers on one I bloomed last year measure about 3 or 4mm fused - and they are from the same stock too."

Derek Butcher 04/13. T. mima v. chiletensis wrongly as T. extensa
Bob Hudson 04/13. T. extensa
Andrew Flower 2012. T. extensa
Peter Tristram 06/12. T. extensa

Peter Tristram 04/13. T. extensa, in habitat Chongoyape Peru.
Derek Butcher 04/13. T. mima v. chiletensis

Derek Butcher, 26/04/13 4:13pm.... Photo originally labelled T.extensa
There is nothing in the write up that this species is viviparous. Comments?

Bruce Dunstan, 26/04/13 4:53pm.... Derek, do you know where you sourced your plant from ? I have a very silvery plant from Peter who got it from Knize that is in spike at the moment, but no ideas on viviparous pups.

Derek Butcher.... Bruce. Surprise surprise. Mine came from Knize about 30 years ago as hitchcockiana. It seems a smaller more silvery extensa than what you lot grow in the east. Perhaps I should get used to pseudoviviparous.

Ray, 26/04/2013 4:05pm.... Derek, not knowing what viviparous meant, I used the wonder of the iMac to inform myself as copied and pasted below, does this mean that the buds formed whilst flowering or on the old flower spike after flowering? As for T extensa, I have no prior knowledge of it's habits. In plants, it means "reproduction via embryos, such as buds, that develop from the outset without interruption, as opposed to germinating externally from a seed."

Derek Butcher, 26/04/2013 4:13pm.... Newbies please note. Bromeliaceae terms have been influenced by Americans (Viz Lyman Smith) which is why I concocted a Glossary so I can swot up from time to time. This is why I have a Glossary on the Tillnuts DVD. You can ponder whether I was correct in using viviparous and not pseudoviviparous! In my thirst for such valuable knowledge I am now trying to trace what phyllanthidea means. Mez used this word in 1896 and nobody so far including David Benzing (who loves to use long words) has been much help. It was used as a genus name in Euphorbiaceae in 1857 and Euphorbia have some odd flowers. I haven't given up yet.

Bob Hudson, 26/4/13 6:27pm.... Here is a photo of Tillandsia extensa I got from Grace Good many years ago.

Andrew Flower, 27/04/13 5:28pm.... My T. extensa has no offsets on the infloresence UD, but it does flower in successive years on the same inflorescence - see pic.
This plant was grown from seed I received in 1975/76 with a Rauh collection number on it. Unfortunately the number got lost over the years. It flowered for the first time in 2011 (do the math!) and again on the same inflorescence in 2012. It is self fertile but (again doing the math) I decided not to bother sowing seed of it this time. It also pups profusely.

Derek Butsher, 28/04/13 7:47pm.... Andrew, I thought that only Deuterocohnia were supposed to do that. Will add your photo to the Tillnuts DVD if only to prove that nature knows no rules!

Peter Tristram, 29/04/13 12:30pm.... Photos of T. extensa from home and habitat shots (Chongoyape Peru).
For me extensa frequently blooms for a second year, usually after appearing to stop, seed pods set as well, either on new branches or extensions of the original ones, but I can't remember a third or more season of blooming. I have never had viviparous whatever pups on them either and I would like to see a photo of the whole of Derek's plant in case it's a mima v. chiletensis or some other similar species. It doesn't look like propagulifera though.
I'd also love to see the plant Bruce is blooming (hint) as we might be able to figure out what it is. All of my forms (Knize, Heidelberg, BRT, Tropiflora, self-collected and probably a few more sources) give adventitious pups.
Attached are few pics of it in habitat and a plant from that site blooming at sunny Repton. It was collected in 2003 on the other side of the range to where T. mima v chiletensis grows, in a gorge as you head into the Andes inland from Chiclayo, near Chongoyape - so it has provenance! It is actually mounted to stunt it, though I usually pot these terrestrial types. The cliff pic features species like T. teres, extensa, hitchcockiana/cereicola, R. multiflora and some spiny stuff.

Derek Butcher, 29/4/13 2:44pm.... Photo of whole plant, now labelled T. mima v. chiletensis
Peter, you have it in one. I am now fairly certain I do have T. mima v. chiletensis. Photo of plant attached. When taking the photo I noticed that flowers were distichous leading to T. extensa but on branches now becoming herbarium material they were clearly secund pointing to T. mima! All of this needs recording for future queries!

Peter Tristram, 1/05/2013 06:34pm.... Derek, the viviparous bit got me thinking so I checked your inflorescence against a T. mima v. chiletensis in my greenhouse and decided it just had to be. This is a very slow species for me and I really need a drier spot for them. I saw huge ones in Germany too where they must take a lifetime to bloom.

Derek Butcher..... You think yours are slow. Mine took over 30 years! 5 years back Adam Bodzioch used Ethrel and got a one branched spike and a single flower which I identfied correctly. My plant took a further 5 years to do its thing naturally and got wrongly identified as T. extensa.!
That's the way the cookie crumbles >:-}

Notes following Len Colgan's discussion of Erik van Zuilekom's Habitat photo's of cliffs of Santa Isabel.
From Erik Gouda ... "Hi Len. There is a lot of confusion about Tillandsia mima and T. marnier-lapostollei and I think only the last one is growing near Santa Isabel.
The problem in Smith & Downs is that the fist is in subkey 5 and the last in subkey 10, depending on what you call the leaves: narrow triangular or ligulate. That distinction is sometimes difficult to make.

From the table below you can see the leaves of T. mima are half as long, floral bracts and sepals are longer. The plants I examined from that area had Floral bracts 21 mm and sepals 11 mm, so more like T. marnier-lapostollei. I think many specimen in collections are wrongly named.

I think Rauh himself has mistaken the two species when he described: Tillandsia mima var. chiletensis Rauh Trop. Subtrop. Pflanzenw. 21: 24-8. (1977)
He used Rauh 35081 to compare this new var. with, but this was not Tillandsia mima, but Tillandsia marnier-lapostollei Rauh Trop. Subtrop. Pflanzenw. 3: 6 fig. 1-3 (1973)
I re-identified this specimen from the US duplicate: floral bracts less than 1 cm and sepals 12 mm long.

The question raises: is var. chiletensis related to mima or marnier-lapostollei or just an other species?

Tillandsia marnier-lapostollei Rauh - Akad. Wiss. & Lit. Mainz 1973 (3): 6, fig. 1-3. 1973 Rauh (L=1450) Tillandsia mima L B Smith - Caldasia. 3: 244. 1945 L B Smith (L=1043)
Plant short-caulescent, with basal offsets, flowering 2.5 m high stem to 5 dm long and 15 cm thick Plant stemless, 2-4 m high
Leaves numerous in a broadly funnelform rosette, to 12 dm long Leaves rosulate, nearly 7 dm long
Sheaths merging with the blades, 25 cm long, 15 cm wide, covered with fine closely appressed scales, blackish brown above, lighter beneath Sheaths oblong-elliptic, inconspicuous, very densely and minutely castaneous-lepidote
Blades ligulate with an attenuate apex, 13 cm wide, covered with fine appressed white scales, becoming glabrous above with age, reddish toward apex Blades narrowly triangular, attenuate, 5-6 cm wide, densely and minutely white-lepidote on both sides
Peduncle erect, ca 1 m high, 3 cm thick at base, carmine red, glabrous Peduncle erect, 2 cm in diameter, glabrous
Peduncle-bracts exceeding the 11 cm long internodes, the basal subfoliaceous, the upper broadly ovate, acute, green at base, red-brown and red-punctate at apex, sparsely lepidote Peduncle-bracts foliaceous, erect, imbricate
Inflorescence very laxly tripinnate, ca 1 m high and 1.5 m wide Inflorescence very laxly 2-3-pinnate, glabrous
Axes flexuous, lustrous carmine red -
Primary-bracts like the upper peduncle-bracts, much shorter than the 10 cm long laxly bracteate sterile bases of the branches Primary-bracts lanceolate, acute, shorter than the sterile bases of the branches
Rhachis flexuous, slender, glabrous Rhachis flexuous, slender, red-purple
Floral-bracts downwardly secund with the flowers, broadly ovate, obtuse, cucullate, 12-14 mm long, ecarinate, fleshy becoming rugose when dry, sparsely lepidote Floral-bracts erect, elliptic, apiculate, 20-25 mm long, about equaling the internodes, ecarinate, strongly nerved, subcoriaceous, green at the base, elsewhere violaceous
Pedicels stout, 5 mm long pedicels stout, angled, 5 mm long
Sepals free, broadly ovate, obtuse, 10-12 mm long, exceeding the floral-bracts convex, glabrous outside, fleshy becoming sulcate Sepals free, narrowly obovate, broadly acute, ecarinate, to 24 mm long, nerved
Petals narrowly ligulate, slightly exceeding the sepals, blue-violet Petals linear, 35 mm long, blue-violet
Stamens included Stamens and style long-exserted
Capsule to 2 cm long, green Capsule slender, ellipsoid, long-acuminate
spikes to 50 cm long Branches divergent, 5-9 dm long, laxly many-flowered, prophyllate at the base
flowers downwardly secund flowers downwardly secund

Updated 12/01/17