A Tillandia recurvifolia Hooker bracteis florigeris suborbicularibus, magis inflatis, densiter pruinosis, sepalis longioribus latioribusque, obtusis, adaxialiter breviter connatis et carinatis, glabris et petalis longioribus angustioribusque differt.
Plant stemless, flowering 10-15 cm high.
Leaves many, forming a dense rosette, more or less secund and twisted, rigid, to 10 cm long, the adaxial ones with asymmetrical keel, densely covered with cinereous adpressed trichomes;
sheaths 1.5-2 cm long, 1-1.2 cm wide, ovate, gradually merging into the blade, adaxially densely covered with brown-centered trichomes, abaxially with silvery subpruinose trichomes;
blades to 10 cm long, ca. 8 mm wide at the base, narrowly triangular, slenderly attenuate, channeled, involute, cinereous lepidote, the margins covered with asymmetric trichomes.
Peduncle 5 -7 cm long, curved, slender,covered by few imbricate peduncle bracts, the lower ones leaf-like, with long erect blades, the upper ones red, with elliptic sheaths and narrowly acuminate blades.
Inflorescence exceeding the rosette, to 6 cm long, 3-3,5 cm wide, elliptic, simple, with to 12 spirostichous, sessile flowers, lax at the base, the apical ones more densely arranged, the green rhachis slightly visible;
floral bracts equalling the flowers, the apical ones shorter than the flowers, 2-2.3 (to 3) cm long, 1.9-2.2 cm wide (often nearly as wide as long), broadly ovate or elliptic, the lower ones acuminate, the upper ones acute, inflated, spreading and exposing the sepals, membranaceous, nerved, the adaxial ones glabrous, the abaxial ones coraline, densely and finely pruinose lepidote all over;
sepals 1.4- 1.7 cm long, 7- 9 mm wide, ovate, obtuse, equally connate for 2-3 mm, the adaxial ones more or less carinate, glabrous or bearing at extreme apex few large trichomes, nerved, membranaceous with hyaline margins, light green;
petals to 2.6 cm long 3-4 mm wide (ca. 2 mm at the base), ligulate, without any distinct blade, forming an erect tubular corolla, corolla-throat open, the tips very slightly crenate, and curled back, white;
stamens deeply included, less than 1/2 as long as the petals, filaments 11-12 mm long, equal in length, flat, once-plicate in the middle, anthers ca. 3 mm long, basifixed, yellow;
style ca. 9 mm long, white; stigma very small, not much wider than the style, lobes erect, yellow-white;
ovary ca. 3 mm high, 2,5 mm wide, triangular in cross session, green.
Tillandsia minasgeraisensis seems to be related to T. recurvifolia Hooker (syn. T. meridionalis auct. non Baker) and T. pohliana Mez but differs from them by the following characters:
From Tillandsia recurvifolia Hooker: floral bracts nearly as wide as long, more inflated, densely pruinose lepidote from apex to the base, coraline (not pink), sepals longer, much wider, obtuse, short connate, the posterior ones carinate, glabrous, petals longer but less wide, without any distinct blade.
From T. pohliana Mez: plant smaller, rosette secund, leaves shorter and narrower, pruinose lepidote, the margins with asymmetric trichomes. The flowers mostly exceeding the floral bracts, these not green or slightly pinkish and glabrous towards the base but coraline-red and pruinose lepidote from apex to base. Sepals longer but narrower, obtuse and not apiculate, membranaceous (not thickly coriaceous), glabrous or lepidote only at extreme apex, the posterior ones slightly carinate, petals longer (to 2.6 cm), the blades curled back and slightly crenate. Stamens deeply included, not exceeding the petal claw.
In 1999, Eberhard Bludau, Koln, and Wolfgang Schindhelm, Berlin, collected the plant "spec. Minas Gerais" in Minas Gerais west of Diamantina near Conselheiro Mata, Brazil. Similar plants were imported in 1990 from Minas Gerais by Paul Isley III (California) and these were examined by Renate Ehlers.
In 1991 and 1992 plants of the "spec. Minas Gerais" flowered in collection Ehlers in Stuttgart and did not key out. They showed characters similar to Tillandsia recurvifolia and T. pohliana as well and it was evident that it was an undescribed species. But it was difficult to come to an agreement on which species the plant is most closely related to. Harry Luther sent copies of the type of T. hilaireana Baker, which he thinks is different from T. pohliana as it seemed similar with the species from Minas Gerais. Walter Till compared T. minasgeraisensis with the type of T. hilaireana in Paris but found that this plant shows quite a number of different characters: dense inflorescence, floral bracts narrower, glabrous, strongly nerved and only at extreme apex lepidote, the sepals narower, acute, glabrous, the posterior ones 5,5 mm connate. He also agreed with Luther that T. hilaireana is different from T. pohliana and could be an own species, but unfortunately there is no living material.
Investigating the plant from Minas Gerais over the years both authors now think the plant is different enough to be described as a species. Walter Till found the plant on flat rocks. He mentioned that Tillandsia pohliana and T. recurvifolia always grow epiphytically whilst T. minasgeraisensis differs ecologically as a saxicole.