Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Quill-leaf, Cardinal Air Plant, Wild Pineapple, Clustered Wild Pine
Tillandsia fasciculata

Family: Bromeliaceae (bro-mee-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tillandsia (til-LAND-see-uh) (Info)
Species: fasciculata (fas-sik-yoo-LAH-tuh) (Info)

5 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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By fauna4flora
Thumbnail #1 of Tillandsia fasciculata by fauna4flora

By Floridian
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By Floridian
Thumbnail #3 of Tillandsia fasciculata by Floridian

By TamiMcNally
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By NativePlantFan9
Thumbnail #6 of Tillandsia fasciculata by NativePlantFan9

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Thumbnail #7 of Tillandsia fasciculata by PalmBchBill

There are a total of 15 photos.
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5 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Kathykay7 On Mar 13, 2015, Kathykay7 from Mims, FL wrote:

I had no idea what this was in my crepe myrtle tree, it turns out it is a quill leaf air plant. It is getting big so I almost pulled it out of the tree and threw it away. I will keep it now.
I have done nothing to grow it, it is just wild.

Positive zadigadabop On Mar 16, 2009, zadigadabop from Winter Park, FL wrote:

In my area (N. Orlando) this plant seems to thrive in some areas and be non-existent in others. One area this plant is everywhere, falling with tree limbs and all. I brought some home and unless "glued" down, the squirrels will rip it apart for nesting material.

Positive CATSLARSON On Apr 6, 2005, CATSLARSON from Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I have many happily growing and blooming attached to the persistent leaf bases of phoenix dactylifera hybrid, phoenix sylvestris and livistona decipiens (palms) mixed with tree ferns where moisture collects. They get no special care. I collect after they fall to ground from natural hammocks where they prefer to live in oak trees.

Positive xyris On Aug 21, 2004, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Tillandsia fasciculata (the var. densispica) is pretty common in most cypress swamps from near Orlando southward through Florida. Its endangered status is more due to the potential that the populations could be decimated by the weevils than to inherent rarity or even the likelihood of removal by collectors. There is a lot of it in Polk and Highlands counties.

Positive NativePlantFan9 On Jul 29, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

The Cardinal Airplant, or Quill-leaf Wildpine, is native to the cypress swamps, sloughs, and hammocks of central and southern Florida in zones 9, 10a, 10b, 11 and below, including throughout the Keys. I have this plant from a neighbor growing in a hanging pot leaning against one of the branches it is hanging on in the Strawberry Guava (tree) in my front yard. It grows well and tolerates little water. It has a beautiful red-and-yellow-striped, pointed flower shoot. This plant is an epythitic that grows into and on the trunks and limbs of trees in the wild, especially Live Oaks and the Bald and Pond Cypresses. Sadly, this plant is declining due to the Mexican Bromeliad Weevil attack, as well as habitat destruction and some collecting, and is now listed as endangered. However, there are still healthy populations of the airplant growing in the wild in the Big Cypress Preserve, Fakahatchee Strand, the Everglades, Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Loxahatchee Slough and much of the swampy south- and southwestern parts of the state. I visit the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge frequently and it is still growing in abundance on the cypress, wax myrtle and pond apple trees. Great plant for growing on tree branches and planting in pots.

MORE FACTS - Found in hammocks, cypress swamps, tree islands, swamps and sloughs from north-central (zone 9a) Florida southward throughout the rest of the state and the Keys.

Positive TamiMcNally On May 25, 2004, TamiMcNally from Lake Placid, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Endangered in Florida

Neutral lisabar On Feb 13, 2003, lisabar from barcelona
Spain wrote:

Normally this plant is glued to a piece of wood and no soil is needed. All nutrients is taken from the air. You can find liquid nutrients to mix with water and spray it on the plant. Need a lot of humidity as it is a tropical plant.

Neutral Floridian On Sep 24, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

There are quite a few species of air plants. All are epiphytes. Nutrients are taken from falling organic debris and rainfall caught in the leaves. Many air plants are on the Florida State Protected Plant List as endangered or threatened.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Bradley, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Miami, Florida
Mims, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Stuart, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida

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