February Tilly of the Month: T. streptophylla

T. streptophylla

The lovely streptophylla is a very interesting specimen with succulent like leaves that grow in a rosette shape. When conditions are dry, the leaves curl into adorable tight ringlets.  This air plant produces a nice pink inflorescence that is frosted with trichomes.  Pale lavender flowers are followed by pup at the plant base. The streptophylla is typically grows anchored on tree trunks and branches where they enjoy bright light and flushes of rain. In the home environment try mounting streptophylla on bark where it can either hang or rest in an open terrarium.  ‘Eric Knoblocker’ is a prized hybrid version of streptophylla.

FAMILY:        Bromeliaceae
BOTANICAL NAME:    Tillandsia streptophylla
COMMON NAME:    Shirley Temple, Twisted Air Plant
PLANT TYPE:        Epiphyte (Tree grower)
SHADE/SUN:        Full sun, can tolerate high light or partial shade
TEMPERATURE:    Warm, can tolerate hot, frost tender
ARID/HUMID:        Humid to semi dry, drought tolerant
FOLIAGE:        Silvery light green , blushes pink in high light
BLOOM:        Pink inflorescence with pale lavender flowers, blooms once
GROWTH HABIT:    Clumps into a ball, slow growth rate
SIZE AT MATURITY:    H 6-10” (15-25cm) W 9-12” (23-30cm)
ORIGIN:        Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico
INDOOR CARE:        Mount on wood, terrariums
SPECIAL INTEREST:    Attracts hummingbirds, leaves curl in dry conditions

Aisha Sanders