Of the several bulbous tillandsia speceis, T. seleriana is more widespread and variable than others. It is often called an ant plant. Myrmecophytes (ant plants) are species that provide shelter for the ants that colonize their bulbous shape and can also add some nutritional benefit to the plant. Don't be surprised if you find that ants have invaded your T. seleriana.
The published description of Tillandsia seleriana shows it's distribution to be native to Michoacan and Chiapas, Mexico and extending to Honduras. I have actually seen this species as far north as Nayarit, outside of the city of Tepic. T. seleriana also grows in the states of Jalisco and Oaxaca. With such a wide range, there is some variability in the size and shape of this species, as well as the occasional natural hybrid. A smaller form , will bloom at 12 cm while a much larger form can reach 30 to 40 cm. Both forms have the fat bulbous base and produce a rose-pink bloom spike with violet flowers. The entire plant is lepidote (covered with scales or scurf). It is usually found growing in Pine and Oak forests. It is fun to see in habitat as it appears like an abnormal growth on the sides of it's host trees. Enjoy this walk in a T. seleriana forest in Chiapas!
7/11/2014 12:53:41 am
Seleriana is one of my favorite Tillandsias. Great pics. and article.
7/11/2014 08:16:37 am
Bob, T. seleriana is great. It also easily produces natural hybrids which is an additional bonus.
3/28/2018 10:38:02 pm
These are splendid. Thank you for the video. I would have never thought that this species would live in such a semi-dry environment. I thought they all lived in some type of tropical rainforest : ). It'd be a dream to see them first hand in their natural environment.
5/15/2023 11:44:21 pm
Great picture and article! Thanks for sharing this blog.
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Horticulturalist & Explorer Specializing in the Genus Tillandsia.
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