Tillandsia Bromeliad, 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)
Synonym:Tillandsia beutelspacheri
Synonym:Tillandsia glaucophylla
Synonym:Tillandsia havanensis
Synonym:Tillandsia macrostachya
Synonym:Tillandsia pungens


Tropicals and Tender Perennials


Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

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


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

Winter Springs, Florida

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Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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... read more


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

Endangered in Florida


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.


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.