Tillandsia tenebra
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Tillandsia tenebra
See DI02/14: A Key to Tillandsia subgroup diaphoranthema.
George Nieuwenhoven 05/16
Ray Clark 05/22
Ray Clark ... "{T. tenebra (gilliesii purple flowers ex Larson)} is how this one came labelled, ex UD. More troubled waters?"
Chris Larson ... "Collected north of Belem in Argentina. Growing on a cliff face interspersed with T. gillesii. They were both flowering at the same time - but there were no intermediates."

Tillandsia tenebra, L. Hromadnik & W.Till, Die Bromelie 2/1991 :32 (1991)
Plant - making a stem, growing in small groups on rock
Leaf - very densely distichous, the stem hidden, 4 to 6cm long.
Leaf sheath - 14mm wide at base, wholly covering the stem 10 to 12mm high inside and outside, near the base densely scaled as is the blade.
Leaf blade - thick, succulent, stiff, in cross section 4-5mm (high and wide) the bottom strongly flattened more or less semicircular, reflexed from near the sheath thence grooved, awl-like acuminate, in a soft, bent at the top, tapering to the tip. Leaf edges above the sheath are fimbriate. Leaf scales roundish and very dense, sessile with imbricate overlapping edges.
Scape - naked, one scape bract at the bottom 2 to4.5cm long
Inflorescence - terminal, simple 1-2 flowered (rarely 3).
Rhachis - straight, scaled, internodes 2.5 to 4mm long (up to 6.5mm).
Flower - almost sessile, distichous, strongly scented.
Flower bracts - oval, rarely thin triangular, tipped or with very short spreading remains, sca1ed. (12) 14 to 16 (18) nerved, (7) 10 to 12 (15) mm long, (6.1) 6.9 to 8mm wide.
Sepal - broad linear lance-like, acuminate, scaled at the tip and along the nerves, uniformly almost free as the posterior joined at a minimal height, 8-10 nerved (8.8) 9.5 to 11 (11.5) mm long, (2.9) 3.5 to 4.2 (4.6) mm wide.
Petal - smooth, spoon shaped, a few develop the top third into a roundish oval plate, narrow at the base, with a wider rounder tip, broadest in the top third, with raphides, ridges or joins, 9 nerved, (13.5) 14 to 15.2 mm long, (3.5) 3.7 to 4.2 mm wide, dark brown violet.
Anther - (2.7) 3.3 to 3.9 mm long, 0.5 to 0.7 diameter, filament joined at base, pale, one nerved, (3.8) 4.2 to 5 mm long, 0.2 mm wide,
Style - column almost conical 1/3 to 1/4 as wide as the ovary, 1.1 to 1.5 mm long 0.5 to 0.8 mm diameter.
Stigma - smooth topped, broader than the style.
Gynoecium - 4.6 to 6 (7.9) mm long.
Ovary - an upside down cylindrical cone, quickly narrowing to the style, 3.4 to 4 (6) mm long, 2 to 2.5 (3) mm diam.,
Habitat - Generally on rocks in Province of La Roja, Catamarca and Buenos Aires between 850 m and 1900 m on its own.

Differs from T. gilliesii in that it has:
1. longer distichous very densely imbricate leaves which are flat towards the base.
2. Softer and longer leaf blades.
3. Fragrant flowers.
4. Much reflexed petal blade black-violet brown.

Differs from T. caliginosa in that it has:
1. Shorter, stiffer and succulent, densely appressed lepidote imbricate leaves which are flat towards the base.
2. The shorter glabrous scape.
3. Shorter more compact inflorescence of 1 to 2 (rarely 3) flowers
4. Shorter floral bracts

Updated 31/05/22