Part of the Bromeliad family, Tillandsias have many forms in cultivation and most produce brightly coloured appealing blooms on delicate flower spikes directly from the centre of each plant.
These easy to grow, true ‘air plants’ are often used in display pieces on driftwood and tree branches. Perhaps the better known Tillandsias is ‘Old Man’s Beard’ Tillandsia usneoides with its attractive silver grey fine foliage cascading over low branches or wooden fences. This form is often pinched by small birds to make their nests extra comfy and will often drop it along the way, thus spreading the species to neighbouring trees and shrubs.
Grouping many different species of Tillandsias together with smaller orchids is one definite way of making an outstanding feature for any sized garden. In nature, Tillandsias capture heavy dew on their fine foliage so do not require heavy watering to survive.
For excellent advice on growing Tillandsias visit this Better Homes & Gardens feature article.