Tillandsia ionantha

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Tillandsia ionantha
Purple sky plant - Andrey Zharkikh.jpg
Scientific classification
T. ionantha
Binomial name
Tillandsia ionantha
  • Pityrophyllum gracile Beer
  • Tillandsia rubentifolia Poiss. & Menet

Tillandsia ionantha, the sky plant,[2] is a species in the genus Tillandsia. This species is native to Central America and Mexico. It is also reportedly naturalized in Broward County, Florida.[1][3][4][5]


They are acaulescent or sometimes shortly caulescent plants, with a size of 6-8 cm high. The leaves 4-9 cm long; with pods 0.6-1 cm wide, densely patent fabric; narrow triangular sheets, 0.3-0.4 cm wide, dense lepidoto indument, foliaceous bracts; compound inflorescence (of simple appearance due to the reduction of the spikes to 1 flower), with 1-3 flowers, primary foliaceous bracts, much longer than the spikes, floral bracts 3 cm long, longer than the sepals and covering them in the anthesis, ecarinated, inconspicuously nervate, glabrous, membranous, sessile flowers; sepals are 2 cm long, free, the posterior carinate, the anterior ecarinated; purple petals. Capsules are 2.5-4.5 cm long.[6]


Tillandsia ionantha was described by Jules Emile Planchon and published in Flore des Serres et des Jardins de l'Europe 10: 101, t. 1006. 1854-1855 [1855].[7]


  • Tillandsia: generic name that was named by Carlos Linneo in 1738 in honor of the Finnish doctor and botanistDr. Elias Tillandz (originally Tillander ) (1640-1693).[8]
  • ionantha: epithet Latin meaning "with violet flowers"[9]

Variety accepted

  • Tillandsia ionantha var. stricta Koide


  • Tillandsia ionantha f. fastigiata P.Koide
  • Tillandsia ionantha var. Max Ehlers
  • Tillandsia ionantha var. LBSmith scaposa
  • Tillandsia ionantha var. P.Koide stricta
  • Tillandsia ionantha var. van-hyningii MBFoster
  • Tillandsia ionantha var. zebrina BTFoster
  • Tillandsia rubentifolia Poisson & Menet
  • Tillandsia scopus Hook. F. 4


Two varieties are recognized:[1]

  1. Tillandsia ionantha var. ionantha - most of species range
  2. Tillandsia ionantha var. stricta Koide - Oaxaca


A plant in display
Flowering on a fence
Inflorescence closeup
On a display


  1. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ "Tillandsia ionantha". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  3. ^ An Annotated Checklist of the Bromeliaceae of Costa Rica retrieved 3 November 2009
  4. ^ Checklist of Mexican Bromeliaceae with Notes on Species Distribution and Levels of Endemism Archived 2007-10-30 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 3 November 2009
  5. ^ Biota of North America Program, 2013 county distribution map
  6. ^ Cáceres González, DA, K. Schulte, M. Schmidt & G. Zizka. 2013. Diversity and levels of endemism of the Bromeliaceae of Costa Rica - an updated checklist. PhytoKeys 29: 17-61.
  7. ^ Davidse, G., M. Sousa Sánchez & AO Chater. 1994. Alismataceae to Cyperaceae. 6: i-xvi, 1-543. In G. Davidse, M. Sousa Sánchez & AO Chater (eds.) Fl. Mesoamer .. National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City
  8. ^ Morales Quirós, JF 2003. Bromeliaceae. In: Manual of Plants of Costa Rica, BE Hammel, MH Grayum, C. Herrera & N. Zamora (eds.). Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 92: 297-375.
  9. ^ CONABIO 2009. Taxonomic catalog of species of Mexico. 1. In Capital Nat. Mexico. CONABIO, Mexico City.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb BSI Cultivar Registry Retrieved 11 October 2009
  11. ^ Tillandsia - Ionantha "Blushing Bride"