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Tillandsia fasciculata.JPG
Tillandsia fasciculata
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Bromeliaceae
Subfamily: Tillandsioideae

See text

Tillandsioideae is a subfamily of plants in the bromeliad family Bromeliaceae. This group contains the fewest genera (9) but the greatest number of species (1,277). Most are epiphytic or lithophytic, growing in trees or on rocks where they absorb water and nutrients from the air. Spanish moss of the Tillandsia genus is a well-known variety. Bromeliads in the genera Guzmania and Vriesea are the more commonly cultivated members of this subfamily.


Nearly all bromeliads have specialized cell groups called trichomes which form scales on the foliage. The trichomes occurring on Tillandsioideae may cover the plants so completely that they appear grey or white, like Spanish moss. In addition to absorbing nutrients, the trichomes may serve to insulate the plant from freezing weather.

Plants in this group have smooth or entire leaf margins, unusual color and markings, with many producing fragrant flowers. All their leaves are spineless (unarmed) and their fruit is a dry capsule containing winged seeds which are usually dispersed by breezes. Feathery seed plumes help them to adhere to a suitable epiphytic surface for germination. This subfamily is probably the most derived with special adaptations for survival in very dry conditions, with many described as xerophytes.


The 9 genera are:

Image Genus Number of living species
Gardenology.org-IMG 2198 rbgs11jan.jpg Alcantarea 23 species
CatopsisBerteroniana AtSierraDeLema4836.jpg Catopsis Griseb. 18 species
Glomeropitcairnia penduliflora01.jpg Glomeropitcairnia 2 species
Bromeliaceae03.jpg Guzmania Ruiz & Pav. 207 species
Mezobromelia capituligera (TS) 2-02968.jpg Mezobromelia 9 Species
Racinaea (or Tillandsia) fraseri (14298724244).jpg Racinaea 61 species
Tillandsia tenuifolia 1.jpg Tillandsia L. 609 species
Flaming Sword (Vriesea spp.) 1.jpg Vriesea Lindl. 261 species
Vriesea williamsii 4.jpg Werauhia J.R.Grant 87 species


  • BSI - Bromeliad Info - Taxonomy
  • Black, Robert J.; Bijan Dehgan. "Bromeliads". Electronic Data Information System. University of Florida IFAS Extension.
  • "Superorder Commelinanae". Texas A&M University Bioinformatics Working Group. 1999-04-03.
  • Luther, H. E. (2008) An Alphabetical List of Bromeliad Binomials, Eleventh Edition The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, Florida, USA. Published by The Bromeliad Society International.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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