Tillandsia cyanea is commonly referred to as a pink quill due to its long quill-like, pink bracts that grow from the centre of the plant. It is an epiphyte, which means it is a plant that grows upon another, and is capable of nourishing itself through rain and dew in the air, rather than through a root system.
This variety commonly has a tall bract sprouting from a cluster of leaves and changes from green to bright pink when the plant flowers. Each flower that blooms from each notch is purple and has three petals. The petals may not last long but the bract remains pink in colour for many weeks to come.
It originates from the American tropics and sub-tropics, such as Ecuador. Tillandsia cyanea frequently becomes attached to trees by using their small roots. The roots do not take on water in the normal way, but instead their leaves collect nutrients and moisture.
They are propagated by seed or division. Plants can be divided at any time during the year. The seeds of the tillandsia cyanea are germinated on peat moss with some light and a temperature of around 18 degrees Celcius.
Tillandsia cyanea is a member of the bromeliaceae family, which contains over 3,100 species, as well as forming part of the tillandsioideae subfamily. It is in the tillandsia genus, which contains around 540 species.
Water sparingly as the plant is used to a very dry climate. High humidity is maintained by misting frequently and the water that drops from the leaves should be adequate. Placing some pebbles in a saucer of water and standing the plant pot on top is also an effective way of introducing water through humidity. Filtered sunlight is ideal with the temperature never falling below 13 degrees Celcius. A very weak liquid feed should be given every month during the growing season. This is the only genus tillandsia that is grown in a clay pot which is filled with either an orchid or bark mix. Alternatively, use a mix specially developed for the species. A fast draining, loose soil is needed such as one part sharp sand to one part loam to two parts peat moss.
Did You Know?
When tillandsia attaches to a tree the host plant is not damaged by its presence, as tillandsia takes its nutrients from moisture in the air, not the tree itself.