Tropicals forum: ID this Tillandsia

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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Feb 25, 2014 11:59 AM CST
I just got a bag of tillandsia from a lady who lives in S. Florida. She says they grow "all over the place", mainly on oaks and crepe myrtle trees, often along-side Spanish moss. However she doesn't know exactly what this tillandsia is. Can you ID it for me? My guess is that it is "Ball moss", T. recurvate, but I would like to know for certain so that I can properly label it. The first and last pics were done with flash and the middle two in natural (greenhouse) light. When dry, the leaves are grayish and when wet, they are light green. There are lots of spent bracts/blooms present, flower color unknown.


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drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 25, 2014 12:24 PM CST
Yup, Ken. Looks like the common Ball Moss to me.

It grows so easily, it even perches on the power lines, and will grab onto the screening of my pool cage if I don't get to it quickly.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Feb 25, 2014 12:42 PM CST
I agree It is the 'Ball Moss'…There is so much of it here that it falls from trees when the wind really howls…I've even started tossing them onto my container plants as a living mulch. Big Grin Very easy to come by.
[Last edited by terrafirma - Feb 25, 2014 12:43 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 25, 2014 12:56 PM CST
Common for you folks, but unknown in these parts and further north. Thanks for the ID.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Tim Hoover
Elysian FIelds, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Seller of Garden Stuff Beekeeper Ponds
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TimHoover
Feb 27, 2014 5:12 PM CST
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Hey Ken,
Funny but I have been wondering about probably the same thing. Look at my photos. The pic where the Tillandsia is actually resting in my hand was collected by me in Tallahassee in November. The second pic, where the Tillandsia is on my finger tips was collected by me a couple years ago in San Antonio. I KNOW that is Ball Moss (Recurvatae) since it is the only seen native T. in San Antonio (that I am aware of). Note the difference in leaf length- the Florida specimen seems much longer and, perhaps more important, the leaves do not seem recurved much, if at all. I suspect it is the same one mailed to you from Florida. In seeing both varieties in their habitat, they look very different to me! Texas Ball Moss is much smaller and tighter than the Florida specimen. Perhaps it is the more humid environment accounts for the difference but, after several years, in my much more humid climate, the San Antonio specimen has not changed at all. Like you, I am a Tillandsia nut and names are important to me. I have not stuck a label on the Florida one because I am simply not sure!

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 27, 2014 5:59 PM CST
I snagged one off a low branch of my oak tree, and here it is. You're right, Tim. Your Texas tilly is much more curly than this one of mine.

Thumb of 2014-02-27/dyzzypyxxy/0149eb Thumb of 2014-02-27/dyzzypyxxy/2645da Thumb of 2014-02-27/dyzzypyxxy/afd1c4

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 27, 2014 6:39 PM CST
I got a really nice-size box of them. Some look just like the TX one and some look exactly like those FL ones. I have a feeling is it how it is growing, not where it is growing. Just my guess, but I now feel quite positive they are all "Ball Moss" tillandsias. I have lots of what I got hanging in my greenhouse and have mounted several on wood. It will be interesting to see how they all do.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 27, 2014 7:52 PM CST
Ken, in my last picture, you can see how these little guys like to attach to twigs, or wire. They have thin tendrils that wrap around things, so I'm not sure they will attach to a chunky mount.

I'd check them in a while, and if not attached to the wood mounts, give them a cool hunk of rope - some old natural fiber rope would look cool - or an oak twig to attach to.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 27, 2014 9:01 PM CST
Good idea. I have lots of them so can place them on all kinds of material.

P. S. I have a feeling that like many plants, they will adept to whatever I mount them on. Time will tell.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: mj
Central Florida
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mjsponies
Feb 28, 2014 7:21 AM CST
I'll try to get out and get some pics today. We have quite a few different species of tillandsias here. My favorite is tillandsia simulata, they are much larger and can form huge clumps.
The ball moss will attach to the sides of the Oak tree's, getting their "tendrils" in between the bark, so if you used a rough piece of wood, and tied them on till they attached it might work.

God gave us wings. He just called them horses
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 28, 2014 7:46 AM CST
MJ, are there enough to collect a nice box-full - those NOT "Ball Moss" tillandsias? Just curious. Whistling

How close to Sarasota/Tampa area are you?
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: mj
Central Florida
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mjsponies
Feb 28, 2014 8:04 AM CST
Ken, I'm on the other coast, Deleon Springs, about 20 miles west of Daytona Beach.

Ummm, I think we could work out a trade of some sort... Green Grin!
God gave us wings. He just called them horses
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 28, 2014 8:13 AM CST
That's a great thought, mj. Hurray!

Check out my website and see what strikes your fancy.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: mj
Central Florida
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mjsponies
Feb 28, 2014 10:24 AM CST
Ken, I'll do that and T-mail you.

T. simulata

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Ball Moss

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The rest I don't know for sure the id's on, But they are all slightly different from each other.
As you can see the ones way up in the top can form pretty large clumps.

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God gave us wings. He just called them horses
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 28, 2014 10:54 AM CST
Let's see if you can positively ID what you have there. Perhaps Master Gardeners or the Extension Service can help you with that. I wouldn't care for more Ball Moss or something almost exactly the same. I have a lot of that and I don't know whether I can do anything with what I have.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: mj
Central Florida
Butterflies Hummingbirder Keeps Horses Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Florida
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mjsponies
Feb 28, 2014 12:58 PM CST
Hey Ken,
Yes knew you weren't interested in more Ball Moss, just wanted to show how it grows.

Our Master Gardner's are only at the Extension office on Wed mornings which is a really busy morning for me so no clue as to when I could get down there.

God gave us wings. He just called them horses
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 28, 2014 2:38 PM CST
Got it. Thanks.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Mar 1, 2014 10:46 AM CST
MJ, I did a little research on the T. simulate, aka "Broad Neddleleaf" and found out that though this plant is common it is found no where else in the US or in the world. How about that. It only grows in a few counties in FL but no where else. That would be a good plant to try my hand with if you can collect enough. A bonus would be any other plant (air plant) that you know is not the "Ball Moss", even if you don't know exactly what it/they are.

As you probably saw from the post by Tim in TX, "Ball Moss" might grow in two distinctive forms. It apparently grows differently in Texas than it does in Florida. This might make ID'ing some you see difficult, since, of the large batch I got from S. FL, some look like the TX form and some like the FL form. I know it will take some time to collect enough to fill a good size box (e.g. 12x12x12") with approximately 3 lbs, so if you are up to collecting a bunch for me, that would be great. There is no rush. I have plenty of orchids that I can trade and my orchids are not going anywhere.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Apr 20, 2014 12:23 PM CST

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We were at an Easter brunch at the club out here. No one behind us, so I made DH stop the car so I could get a photo with my phone of this big blooming Tillandsia. Would have been a better photo with a camera.

Thumb of 2014-04-20/Bubbles/308915



Notice that it's growing, with few hundred others, in the driving range screening!

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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Apr 20, 2014 12:33 PM CST
Love the way it's growing in the fence!

My guess would be the Ball Moss...Tillandsia recurvata

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