Tillandsia santiagoensis
was Tillandsia Chicitos

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Tillandsia Chicitos Weiss form. (now Tillandsia santiagoensis)
Peter Tristram 07/20 ... "The new Die Bromelie contains two new descriptions of importance to us.
Some years ago I obtained plants, in two forms, of a lovely little streptocarpa-like species, from Lotte Hromadnik in Austria - T. aff. streptocarpa grün and weiß. These translate to green and white, referring to the foliage.
The white form has been described, by Lotte, as T. santiagoensis (after the habitat - Serrania de Santiago) and the green form is T. santiagoensis f. adpressa. T. Chicitos Is registered but the correct name should now be used. I will be changing my labels!
There’s also another, from Mexico, described by Eric. Check T. Sesca in the BCR!"
Pre-2002...
....Cultivar or ssp. of streptocarpa.
....Previously called T. streptocarpa Sukk grun, or Sukk weiss (or 'Succulent Silver').
....Reg Doc 2/2012 by D. Butcher...
....This lovely little species (HR9183) was collected by the Hromadniks in 1982 at Santiago de Chicitos, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, about 800m. Plants have been imported to Australia on several occasions. Lieselotte sells them as T. streptocarpa Sukk grun or Sukk weiss (translated as succulent green or white) and intends some day to formally describe them under the ICBN rules. These sorts of names cannot be recorded under the ICNCP rules as being special forms or Cultivars. The best name to use is undoubtedly ‘Chicitos’. The white lepidote form as ‘Weiss’ form, and ‘Grun’ form for the greener less lepidote one. It is hoped that growers will use this name rather than plain T. streptocarpa which as we know comes in many guises."

Tillandsia santiagoensis f. santiagoensis ("Sukk weiss" or ‘Chicitos Weiss’)

Peter Tristram 12/10. As streptocarpa (Weiss)
Bruce Dunstan 12/11. As streptocarpa White form.
Bruce Dunstan 17/12/11 ... "My streptocarpa Succulent Silver has just started to flower."
Derek Butcher ... "What a yuk name for such a beautiful plant that is different to the run-of-the-mill T. streptocarpa. I think it looks like what is on the DVD as T. streptocarpa LH5. The LH is for Lotte Hromradnik but I did not import it. Perhaps Chris Larson has some ideas because this plant should have a name used by us all. The place it was found could well be used."
Chris Larson ... "My records say it is the plant Derek imported may years ago (2006?) along with the green form – so is probably on the DVD – I can’t remember GPS data or locality data with this plant. I have imported it at other times.
What I can find in my records is that at least at one stage these were listed as:
T.aff. streptocarpa, sukk, grun, Bolivien - and - T.aff. streptocarpa, sukk, weis, Bolivien
I would consider that these are 2 distinct forms of the same sp/plant – different solely in colour of foliage from memory.
Is it possible that Lotte has a description or something in progress? The Europeans usually look into these things.
These plants struggle in Melbourne. A steady decline – rather than a plummet. However they flower well. I now have lost my green form & I’ve moved the silver into heat."
Derek Butcher ... "Have just sounded out Lotte as to her thoughts because Sukk weiss is just as bad as Succulent Silver."
Peter Tristram ... "The lovely little species (HR9183) was collected by the Hromadniks in 1982 at Santiago de Chicitos, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, about 800m. Lotte sells them as Chris said (no aff. on the list but aff. on the label) so I translated to succulent green and white. I will ask Lotte if she considers it sufficiently different to describe, otherwise we could call it Chicitos. It grows well at Repton liking the humid warm weather best and not too much watering. Once acclimatised it clumps very nicely and flowers yearly at least. A pic from a couple of yrs ago is attached. The whiter form is more vigorous than the less fluffy form (green...)."
(Ed.) As of 01/01/12, there has been no response from Lotte. This temporary listing will be re-located if or when it is registered.
Bruce Dunstan 29/02/12 ... "My green form flowered today."
02/03/12 - Registered by Derek Butcher (Reg Doc 2/2012) as T. Chicitos. Modified to Chicitos "Weiss" and "Grun" with Chris Larson and Bruce Dunstan.


T. santiagoensis f. adpressa ("Sukk grun" or ‘Chicitos Grun’)
Bruce Dunstan 02/12. As streptocarpa Green (Grun) form.
Dale Dixon 02/21 forma adpressa
Dale Dixon .... "The trichomes of this form are pressed flat to the leaf giving a grey-green appearance unlike the velvety-white appearance of the type form (f. santiagoensis).
Both forms of this species have been in Australian collections for many years. You may have labels with the cryptic 'LH' written on them. This refers to Liselotte Hromadnik from Austria who sold them as Tillandsia streptocarpa 'Sukk grun' or 'Sukk weiss' (succulent green or succulent white). The names came with the plants imported into Australia. They were eventually registered as Tillandsia ‘Chicitos Weiss’ for the type form and Tillandsia ‘Chicitos Grun’ for the form pictured here. Up until 2020, when they were formally described, they were considered part of the highly variable Tillandsia streptocarpa complex.
A beautiful tightly clumping species that enjoys strong sunlight in the #TillHouse. My plants are mostly suspended on aluminium craft wire and hung on a west facing wall. Two plants are mounted on cork blocks. Interestingly, the two plants I have of the type form have never flowered. My records show that this form has flowered for me between March and April for the last two years."


Tillandsia santiagoensis H. Hromadnik and L. Hromadnik Sp nova. Die Bromelie 2020 (#2) 82-89. 2020
The Sierra (Serrania) de Santiago in Bolivia is an extended mountain range that begins 360 km east of the city of Santa Cruz de la 5ierra and rises as a single mountain range over the vast lowlands of the northern Gran Chaco. This lowland, which occupies a large part of the state of Santa Cruz, is bordered in the west by the foothills of the Andes and extends at an average height of 350 m above sea level far beyond the border with Brazil. There, it merges into the wet-lands of the Pantanal in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso.

At the western foothills, starting with an irnpressive rock monoIith of spectacular red sandstone, the El Porton, the extended mountain range is composed of a few separated Serranias, such as the Serrania de Cochis. Ascending from the north, the mountains reach their maximum height of 1,230 m above sea level. North of the city of Robore and near the town of Santiago de Chiquitos in the Serrania de Santiago, the high plateau of a table mountain, with sometimes huge breaks from rocky cliffs, drops in several steps to the south against the wet savannas of the lowlands. On the edges bizarre rock formations and slngle rock towers stick out, eroded by wind and water.

The Valle Tucavaca regional nature reserve is located here, which was set up in recent years to protect the bizarre landscape and the ecologically unique and endangered Chiquitano dry forest. 554 animal species living there had been identified, many of them endemic, as well as 55 endemic plant species.

ln August 2019, when large areas of Amazonia were destroyed by forest fires, the dry forest of the Valle de Tucavaca and the surrounding areas of Santiago de Chiquitos and Robore were also reported to have been victims of rampant forest and bush fires following illegal logging. Almost a million hectares of dry forest and scrubland have been destroyed, more than 1 million animals have been burned, including jaguars, pumas, tapirs, anteaters, ocelots, many of the last quanacos from the Gran Chaco and countless small animals. The number of endemic animal and plant species that were destroyed is unknown.

Already in 1982, during a trip through Bolivia, Erich Haugg, Helmut Hromadnik and Walter Till visited this mountain range far from the Andean foothills and the usual travel route since it was suspected that there could still be unknown tillandsias at this isolated locality.

Getting there turned out to be difficult. The unpaved dirt road, with its deep mud pools caused by trucks, was impasable even for large all-terrain vehicles. ln the area, however it did not seem unusual to load cars and also large agricultural machinery onto the load floor of trucks via ramps and from there onto freight wagons. ln this way it was possible cover most of the distance 'kept dry'.

ln fact, a number of interesting tillandsias were found in different mountain regions. A species resembllng Tillandsia didisticha (E. Morren) Baker has already been described as T. rosacea Hrom & W Till. ln addition, there were also other rock-growing taxa. First of all, a small tillandsia similar to T. tenuifolia L. should be mentioned, with its spirally twisted inflorescence it resembles T. rauschii Rauh & H. Lehm, or the much larger T. guelzii Rauh. Also a tillandsia, similar to T. vernicosa Baker should be mentioned, barely reaching more than 5 cm in size with its simple inflorescence.

On the rocky crests and steep steps of the towers at the end of an extended table mountain near Santiago de Chiquitos, north of the town of Robore, there is also the apparently single occurrence of a small tillandsia, which is to be presented below as a new species with two clearly distinguishable forms.

Only a local inspection could show whether and how far the plants of this locality were decimated by the flames or were spared. ln any case, on current images of the dry forest in the vicinity of the small town of Robore, there is no longer a living tree to be seen, but charred areas far up into the mountains.

Type: Bolivia, Dept. Sta Cruz, Mun. Robore, Serrania de Santiago, 5 km NE Santiago de Chiquitos, 850 m elev., lithophytic in full sun;
Holotype: H. Hromadnik HR 9183a, 26 July 1982 (LPB),
Paratype: W. Till WT131 (WU0003665), Bolivia, Dept. Santa Cruz, Serrania de Santiago, 5 km NE Santiago, plateau of the table mountain east of the road, 850 m elev.; 26 Jul 1982, on rocks in the sun.
Plant nearly stemless, growing lithophytically in small clusters, flowering 12-15 (-20) cm tall.
Leaves densely polystichous-ranked, to 12 cm long, spreading to erect and bent upwards, abaxially denseiy lepidote from velvety white spreading scales.
Sheaths distinct, broadly ovate to rounded, 12-15 mm long, 12-20 mm wide, coriaceous, nerved, somewhat brownish, adaxially glabrous except towards the apex, abaxially densely spreading lepidote except the base; the base triangular and papyraceous, membranous wings, glabrous, embracing most of the stem.
Blades narrowly triangular, stiff, succulent, spreading to erect and slightly curved upwards, 10 mm wide, involute-subulate, almost round in cross-section, merging into a soft attenuate apex, adaxially deeply canaliculate and densely appressed, lepidote, abaxially densely velvety lepidote from rigid, long and straight scales protruding downwards.
Inflorescence erect, mostly simple, seldom cornpound of a few (up to 4) subequal spikes, overtopping the leaves, 10-15 cm long.
Peduncle 6-1O cm long, 1.5-2 mm in diam., glabrous, green, internodes 26 mm, densely clasped and hidden from 6-7 peduncle bracts.
Peduncle bracts 3-3.5 mm long, 6 mm wide, papyraceous, subimbricate, abaxially densely lepidote except towards the base, adaxially glabrous, the lower subfoliate and 1.5-3 cm long, the central and upper ones lanceolate and apiculate.
Inflorescence (fertile part) a simple, distichous, complanate spike, or seldom laxly compound of 2-4 spikes with main axis internodes of 10 mm (the lower one) to 5 mm (the upper one).
Primary bracts {if more than 1 spike present) 15-20 mm long, thin, abaxially densely lepidote, enfolding the sterile bracteate base of the spikes, the stipe up to 10 cm long and appressed to the axis.
Spikes erect, distichous, strongly complanate, linear-lanceolate, 4.5-5 cm long, 7 mm wide, 6-8-flowered, internodes 7 mm.
Rhachis glabrous, geniculate, post anthesis strongly nerved and visible.
Floral bracts 12-14 mm long, 6 mm wide, lanceolate, aplculate, thin, ecarinate, nerved, glabrous except the lowest along the nerves, not completely enfolding the rhachis, dark purple to greenish-rose.
Flowers fragrant, sessile, erect, their lower part appressed to the rhachis.
Sepals 12 mm long, 4 mm wide, lanceolate, the adaxial ones carinate and connate for 1 mm, glabrous, even, rose to green.
Petals at base narrowly lingulate, 2 mm wide, white, forming a narrow tube, blades widened suborbicular to 12 mm, broadly spreading and slightly recurved, with exception of the throat (or completely) dark blue-violet.
Filaments 7 mm long, filiform, white.
Anthers 1.5 mm, yellow, basifixed, deeply included.
Pistil deeply included.
Ovary 5 mm long, green.
Style white.
Stigma white.

There is also slightly different form at the same locality, which is named as Tillandsia santiagoensis f. adpressa.

Tillandsia santiagoensis f. adpressa. H Hrom. & L. Hrom. forma nova
Type: Bolivia, Dept. Sta. Cruz, Mun. Robore, Serrania de Santiago, table mountain ca. 5 km NE Santiago de Chiquitos (east of the road), 800 m elev., 25 Jul 1982, on rocks, H. Hromadnik HR 9183 b, (Holotype LPB)
The plants show the same habit, size and inflorescence are identical, too. The leaves are succulent as well, but differ from those of the typical forrn by fine, adpressed trichomes. ln contrast to this, the plants do not appear velvety white, but gray-green to yellowish-green.
Both forms of Tillandsia santiagoensis with numerous living plants and plants from seed were in cultivation.

Habitat and distribution
Tillandsia santiagoensis is native to Bolivia, from the rock towers of the Serrania de Santiago in the north of the city of Robore and is so far only known from this locality. lt is uncertain whether and to what extent the population was decimated by the forest fires of summer 2019.
Etymology
This species is named after the place of discovery in the Serrania de Santiago.

Discussion
Tillandsia santiagoensis belongs to the complex of T. streptocarpa Baker. However, it is clearly different in habit from T. streptocarpa with similar shape and same size. While the leaf blades of T. streptocarpa are broad, flat and involute, mostly spreading rectangularly or even more, the leaves of T. santiagoensis are nearly erect and less spreading, thick succulent and subulate.

The very dense velvety trichomes, fine needle-like and directed downwards, that are found in T. santiagoensis are not present in any of the other forms of T. streptocarpa that were compared.

The inflorescence of Tillandsia streptocarpa is mostly compound of up to twelve spikes, the spikes are arched-spreading above the sterile base, rarely the inflorescence is simple, the floral bracts are shorter than the sepals. The inflorescence of T. santiagoensis is mostly simple, rarely composed of a few upright, adjacent spikes, the floral bracts are equal in length or slightly longer than the sepals. The intensive dark blue-violet colour of the blades is mostly not found within T. streptocarpa.

There is some similarity in size and the stemless rosette to the also rock-growing Tillandsia graomogulensis Silveira (Syn. T. kurt-horstii Rauh) from the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, but with much narrower leaves densely covered by long, eccentric trichomes.

Acknowledgement
I would like to thank Dr. Walter Till (Faculty Centre of Biodiversity, University of Vienna) for his advice and the final correction of this article.


Updated 22/02/21