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PlantFiles: Needle-leaf airplant
Tillandsia setacea

Family: Bromeliaceae (bro-mee-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tillandsia (til-LAND-see-uh) (Info)
Species: setacea (se-TAY-see-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Tillandsia tenuifolia

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)
6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
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:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade
Full Shade


Bloom Color:

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


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

Click thumbnail
to view:

By TamiMcNally
Thumbnail #1 of Tillandsia setacea by TamiMcNally

By Floridian
Thumbnail #2 of Tillandsia setacea by Floridian

By MotherNature4
Thumbnail #3 of Tillandsia setacea by MotherNature4

By PalmBchBill
Thumbnail #4 of Tillandsia setacea by PalmBchBill


3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive MotherNature4 On Dec 14, 2005, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

While most resources tell us this air plant grows in moist places, it is also found in very dry scrubs that haven't burned in a long time. Here's the proof in my photo taken at Archbold Biological Station in Lk. Placid, Florida.

Positive NativePlantFan9 On Sep 7, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

T. setacea is native to the cypress swamps, hammocks, wet low habitats and similar, varied habitats throughout most of central and southern Florida. It is easily distinguished from other native species of Tillandsia in Florida by it's small size and very thin, somewhat stiff leaves (much thinner than Ballmoss, known as Tillandsia recurvata). On viewing it, it appears to have a soft look.

T. setacea is frequent to common in the wild. It is an attractive, small Tillandsia. It may be found growing pretty profusely in many areas with suitable habitat.

T. setacea grows well in zones 9a through 11. Habitat destruction, some collecting and potentially other threats can harm the survival of T. setacea. It likes moist conditions, but can survive in slightly drier conditions as well.

Positive TamiMcNally On Jun 2, 2004, TamiMcNally from Lake Placid, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Currently common in south Florida's hammocks and swamps, but numbers are reducing due to habitat destruction.


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

Bartow, Florida
Deland, Florida
Naples, Florida
Orange Park, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida

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