Tillandsia zoquensis
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Tillandsia zoquensis
Ray Clark 11/21
Ray Clark ... "T. zoquensis, been in spike for ages and hasn't coloured up ?? very tempted to cut the spike off and push some pups. Thoughts anyone?"
Chris Larson ... "Beautiful Ray."
Ray Clark ... "Chris, yep but missing that deep red at the base of the spike.
The tip is almost green still, maybe not matured yet?"

Tillandsia zoquensis R. Ehlers sp. nova Die Brom 1: 18-21. 2002
A T. fasciculata SWARTZ var fasciculata spicis crassis, bracteis florigeris inflatis, sepalis minus connatis adaxialiter brunnescento-lepidotis et petalis longioribus differt; A T. fasciculata var venosispica MEZ spicis brevioribus magis inflatis longioriter stipitatis, stipite bracteis sterilibus laxe obtecto, internodiis spicarum longioribus, sepalis adaxialiter densiter brunnescento-lepidotis posterioribus minus connatis et petalis longioribus differt; a T. buchii URBAN habitu duplo majore, bracteis florigeris minus densiter aggregatis flavo-viridibus et sepalis adaxialiter densiter brunnescento-lepidotis differt; A T. jaliscomonticola MATUDA inflorescentia bipinnata et bracteis florigeris minus densiter aggregatis, sepalis longioribus connatis differt; a T. langlasseana MEZ spicis latioribus, bracteis florigeris longioribus, sepalis longioribus intus brunnes-cento-lepidotis et petalis longioribus recedit.
Typus: R. & K. Ehlers EM 82112, Mexico. Estdo. Chiapas, prope Chiquoasen, Martio 1982. Holotypus in MEXU.
Plant epiphytic, mostly single but sometimes growing in small groups, stemless, many leaves forming an erect broad rosette, flowering to 60cm high, to 50cm diam.,
Leaves to 50 cm long, very hard and leathery, green, both sides dense grey scaled, therefore a shiny grey
Sheath to 7cm long, to 5.5cm wide, elliptic, somewhat arched, erect, distinct from the blade, both sides dark brown, little fine brown punctulate.
Blade to 20-45cm long, 3cm wide next to the sheath, narrow triangular, long acuminate, with a pungent tip, erect or the outer ones bent, the edges somewhat bent inwards, green, adaxial fine appressed, abaxial denser grey scaled,
Scape erect, 25cm long, shorter than the rosette, strong, 9mm diam. covered by dense imbricate scape bracts.
Scape bracts the lower ones subfoliate, green, the upper ones always with a shorter red blade, greyish white lepidote,
Inflorescence almost as long as the rosette, bipinnate with 2-5 digitate almost erect spikes,
Primary bracts very short, similar to the upper scape bracts and as long as the stem of the spike.
Spike with a 2-3cm long stem, 8-18cm long, to 4cm wide, lancelike oval acuminate, the lower 1/3rd of the spike is 3 to 7 sterile lax red, the upper part with 5-15 fertile flowers with yellow green bracts, but are clearly flat, with sub inflated dense imbricate floral bracts, internodes 1.5-2cm.
Flower sessile, scentless, exceeding the bracts by up to 4cm,
Floral bracts to 5cm long, 3.6cm wide, broad oval acuminate, somewhat inflated, entirely enclosing the sepal, not keeled, leathery, inside nerved, outside glabrous, shiny greenish yellow with a 1mm wide red edge, the hooked tip about 1cm keeled, the bottom part not keeled.
Sepals to 3.6cm long, 8mm wide, lancelike acuminate, thin leathery, nerved, posterior pair connate for 1.5-2cm and strongly keeled, abaxial glabrous yellow green, adaxial dense large brown punctulate scales.
Petals to 7.6 cm long, 1cm wide, tapering below to 4-5mm, ligulate, forming an erect tube, corolla tip closed, tips are a little bent outwards, the upper portion violet (#46 Amethyst) the bottom white.
Stamens exceed the flower by 15mm, Filaments to 8.8cm long, in 2 unequally long rows, the upper part 1mm in diam., oval, the lower part narrowing to ribbon like, twisted and pleated, similar in colour to the petal,
Anther 4-5mm long, 1mm wide, elliptic, versatile, joined 1/4 from the base, brown, Pollen yellow,
Style to 7.5cm long, thin, white, in the upper 1/3 violet, Stigma 2mm high, 2mm wide, Lobes erect, twisted, light green, strongly papillose, Type II B&G
Ovary 8mm high, 4mm wide, oval, triangular in cross section, light green.
Type Locality Mexico, Chiapas, between Santiago Tuxtla and Chiquasen, 1000m alt. March 1982. R&K Ehlers EM82112, in a similar area in 199? leg. G. Noller, flowered July 2001 in the collection of R. Ehlers.
The plants were growing singly on trees with T. fasciculata Swartz, T. flabellata Baker and T. polystachia Linnaeus.
Other material investigated - Chiapas between Beriscabal and Tuxtla Gutierrez, leg. L&G Kohres, 1990, flowered in 1992 in the collection of R.Ehlers.

Habitat and Range
The plant has a wide range in Chiapas however it has never been seen before in such large numbers. As well as the two places mentioned above I got photographs from Robert & Virginia Guess of Santa Barbara, California. These were of plants found 29 June 1997 in the Municipio of Ixtapa, 1135m alt. and others found in the same locality on 21 June 2001 at 1165m alt.
Robert & Virginia suggested that the plant be named after the Zoque, the name of a native American tribe who had lived in the western part of Chiapas since the time of the conquest of Mexico. Some descendants of this once large tribe still live in the area of Chiquoasen Ixtapa today, and it was decided to call this plant Tillandsia zoquensis after the tribe.

This species seems related to T. fasciculata Swartz and T. jaliscomonticola Matuda.
It differs from T. fasciculata Swartz in
Spike much thicker with inflated flowerbracts.
Sepals shorter connate, adaxial dense brown lepidote.
Petal longer

Differs from T. jaliscomonticola Matuda in
Inflorescence with more spikes.
Spikes with more lax flowerbracts
Internodes between the flowers much larger
Sepals higher connate and adaxial brown lepidote

Differs from T. buchii Urban in
Plant almost double the size.
Internodes of the flowers much larger
Flowerbracts yellow green instead of rust orange.
Sepals adaxial densely brown lepidote

Differs from T. langlasseana Mez
Spike wider
Flowerbracts and Sepals longer
Sepals adaxial brown lepidote
Petals longer

Updated 21/11/21