Air Plants (Tillandsia bergeri)

Air plants are semi-tropical Epiphytic plants of the genus Tillandsia (family Bromeliaceae). The Bromeliaceae is widespread throughout South America and southern North America, and is best known for the pineapple. The pineapple is not an air plant, though.

Air plants are a common sight in Mallorca. Air plants don’t appear to grow in the open landscape in the Balearic Islands, to my knowledge. But you will encounter air plants outside most Mallorcan country farmhouses, and often in large ball shaped clusters like the one shown here.

I am not absolutely certain, but I believe that the plant shown here is a giant specimen of a Tillandsia bergeri. Should you happen to know better, please let me know. When in season, this air plant sports delicate small blueish-pink flowers. Quite delightful, really.

Epiphytes need no soil; they survive by absorbing moisture and nutrients through a coating on their leaves. The roots are used as anchors only.

Apparently, Tillandsia is a primary ingredient in a herbal supplement to treat pollen allergies.

~ by plantarium on August 4, 2008.

6 Responses to “Air Plants (Tillandsia bergeri)”

  1. I had a Tillandsia bergeri in Malawi of which I couldn’t put my arms around it was so big. I had it for twenty years and it’s still there. I now have one here in Cyprus, for the last 9 years. Neither of them ever flowered at all. The Cyprus one measures 68 inches in circumference and 38 inches deep. It hangs in a fig tree most of the year but when it gets really cold I bring it inside. They are fascinating plants.

  2. Marg, how long you must keep them inside? Whats the lowest temperature in Cyprus?

  3. […] And the fun part is to add your little air plant inside. This must be the easiest planting job ever. What’s cool about creating these “terrariums” is that you can really put whatever you want in these jars for decoration. The air plants don’t need soil (which is awesome), but you can mount them pretty much on everything! Some varieties actually grow and attach to each other, which is kind of cool and they become a huge ball over time like this.  […]

  4. hi , I live in limassol cyprus,,, and I am trying to buy same, and i can not find them any were, will you sell same to me ??? regards andria,,,,and i love them ,,,

    • I am sorry, Andria, but I have no idea about local contacts in Cyprus. Here in Mallorca, where I live, you can purchase Tillandsias at every other garden centre. They do them on eBay if that would be a possibility. Good luck.

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