Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Air Plant, Hanging Torch
Tillandsia stricta

Family: Bromeliaceae (bro-mee-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tillandsia (til-LAND-see-uh) (Info)
Species: stricta (STRIK-tuh) (Info)

One member has or wants this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

under 6 in. (15 cm)
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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By DaylilySLP
Thumbnail #1 of Tillandsia stricta by DaylilySLP

By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #2 of Tillandsia stricta by Monocromatico

By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #3 of Tillandsia stricta by Monocromatico

By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #4 of Tillandsia stricta by Monocromatico

By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #5 of Tillandsia stricta by Monocromatico

By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #6 of Tillandsia stricta by Monocromatico

By palmbob
Thumbnail #7 of Tillandsia stricta by palmbob

There are a total of 11 photos.
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2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral vossner On Mar 3, 2012, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Rating neutral as a new plant for me. Will be growing in a terrarium.

Positive agedog1 On Feb 14, 2005, agedog1 from Vero Beach, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Bought three of these at the Vero Beach Gardners show on 2/5/05. They are lovely. Have them sitting on my Christmas Catsus. All three are blooming and the pink and white brackets are lovely.

Positive Monocromatico On Feb 6, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This is the most common natural bromeliad in Rio de Janeiro, and maybe the most abundant brazilian species of Bromeliaceae. Even in large and high urbanized cities like Rio you can find many of those growing on trees confortably and, like now, blooming.

This is a small plant, with a rosette of curved, fibrous, grey leaves. Unlike other bromeliads (and like most Air Plants), the middle of this rosette is unable to acumulate water. Instead, the leaves are covered with umbrela-shaped hairs that collect water and nutrients from the air (which leaves the roots useless on that matter, only used for holding a support for the plant). These hairs are what give the leaves the grey looking color.

The blooms come in the middle of the plant, with a 20 cm long, often pendulous stalk, bearing several bright pink (the most common), light pink or white bracts, rarelly mixing pink and white. Each bract hides a small, tube shaped, purple flower apreciated by birds. These show up in late spring and can go through summer till autumn. The seeds pods are formed afterwards, with many feathered seeds. These feathers (hairs, actually) helps the seeds to attach themselves on a propper surface, like the bark of a tree.

In Brazil, this plant produces lots of seeds successfully, even on big towns. And, as it tolerates more polution than other epiphytic plants, and without competitors, they sometimes become invasive. I donīt know how they would behave in other places.

This plant needs no soil, only a solid and preferably organic medium where the roots can grow and keep the plant hanging. The watering must be regular, and only leaves need to be watered. No fertilizers are needed. It likes high temperatures, but can go well in subtropical places. It can grow both under full sun and light shade. Whatever place you choose, it must have good air circulation, because thatīs how it gets nutrients, from the air. It can be propagated by dividing the short rhyzome (which can destroy the whole plant, becase this rhyzome is really short), or germinating the seeds in vitro.

Even though itīs a quite vulgar plant over here, itīs impossible to walk under a tree and not notice those gorgeous pink inflorescences hanging from the bromeliads on its branches.


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

Brea, California
Deland, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Miami, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Lake Jackson, Texas
Richmond, Texas

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