cardinal airplant

Tillandsia fasciculata

Summary 5

Tillandsia fasciculata, commonly known as the giant airplant or cardinal airplant, is a species of bromeliad that is native to Central America, Mexico, the West Indies, northern South America (Venezuela, Colombia, Suriname, French Guiana, northern Brazil), and the southeastern United States (Georgia and Florida). Within the United States, this airplant is at risk of extirpation from the Mexican bromeliad weevil, Metamasius callizona.

Occurrence in Palm Beach County 6

The most common large airplant in palm beach county.

ID Tips 6

For large airplants with a wide base (see picture 2), Cardinal Airplants (Tillandsia fasciculata) are my first consideration. They have a large 'showy' bloom that is usually red with yellow tips, though there are completely red and white/yellow varieties. The leaves are numerous and more erect than the Giant Airplant (Tillandsia utriculata), which means that there is often pine or cypress needles cause in between them. The dead leaves tend to hang straight and the base of the plant (see picture 3) or just break off instead of folding over as in Giant Airplants (T. utriculata). A dead giveaway for a Cardinal Airplant (T. fasciculata) is if there are multiple plants growing from the same base, or 'pups' growing from a larger plant as the T. utriculata (see picture 4).

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Jenny Evans, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://www.flickr.com/photos/57125699@N04/5375576766
  2. (c) jessica349, all rights reserved, uploaded by Jessica Flynn, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/61291055
  3. (c) jessica349, all rights reserved, uploaded by Jessica Flynn, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/61291058
  4. (c) jessica349, all rights reserved, uploaded by Jessica Flynn, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/61291059
  5. Adapted by Jessica Flynn from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tillandsia_fasciculata
  6. (c) Jessica Flynn, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

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