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Tillandsia ionantha


Tillandsia ionantha Planch.

Family Name: Bromeliaceae
Common Name: Blushing Bride Airplant, Blushing Bride


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Growth Form Epiphyte


Native Distribution Mexico to Central America 
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Highland / Montane

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Small airplant with stemless rosettes to 10cm in height, forming dense clumps where growing conditions are ideal.
Foliage Leaves thick, narrowly triangular to 6cm in length, with silvery gray - white trichomes on the surface. Innermost leaves (nearest to the centre of the rosette) turning bright red when plants begin to flower. The change in color of the innermost leaves is thought to allow the plant to attract its bird pollinators more effectively.
Flowers Flowers tubular, to 4cm in length, protruding from centre of rosette. Stamens and pistil held above petals.  In its native habitat, this species is pollinated by hummingbirds. Locally, it is visited by sunbirds.
Others - Plant Morphology T ionantha is a variable species with a number of recognized varieties as well as many cultivars, all of which are sought after by air plant enthusiasts.
Habitat Epiphytic in tropical dry forests, scrub, charappal or along riversides, or lithophytic and on rocks or limestone cliffs.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Form
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Easy to Grow
Landscape Uses Small Gardens, Skyrise / Balcony, Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting (Flowers)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Vertebrates (Bird))
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade, [Remarks] (While it is able to tolerate full sun, very light shading (10-20% shade) is recommended for this species. Plants grown under more than 50% shade may not flower.)
Water Preference Moderate Water, Occasional Misting, [Remarks] (Spray or mist the plants lightly once every 3-4 days; do not allow water to collect in the leaf bases as this will cause the plants to rot.  Good ventilation is a must.)
Plant Growth Rate Slow
Maintenance Requirements Low
Fertilizing Feed with dilute liquid fertilizer fortnightly
Propagation Method Seed, Division
Propagation Method Remarks Can be propagated via 'pups' or offsets that is formed at the basal leaves of the rosette after flowering


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Red, Silver / Grey
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Scaly

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Purple
Flower Texture(s) Thin

Image Repository



Master ID 31353
Species ID 5750
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 August 2021.