Tillandsia

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n Tillandsia large genus of epiphytic or terrestrial sparse-rooting tropical plants usually forming dense clumps or pendant masses
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Tillandsia (Bot) An immense genus of epiphytic bromeliaceous plants confined to tropical and subtropical America. They usually bear a rosette of narrow overlapping basal leaves, which often hold a considerable quantity of water. The spicate or paniculate flowers have free perianth segments, and are often subtended by colored bracts. Also, a plant of this genus.Tillandsia usneoides, called Spanish moss long moss black moss, and Florida moss, has a very slender pendulous branching stem, and forms great hanging tufts on the branches of trees in the Southeastern United States and south to Argentina. It is often used for stuffing mattresses
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n tillandsia A genus of plants, of the order Bromeliaceæ, the pineapple family, type of the tribe Tillandsieæ. It is characterized by flowers with free petals and stamens, and by numerous linear seeds produced at the base into a long stalk appendaged with threads resembling pappus. There are about 220 species, natives of tropical and subtropical America. They are polymorphous plants, usually epiphytic, sometimes growing on rocks, but rarely in the soil. They bear narrow entire leaves, and are often covered with furfuraceous dusty particles. The flowers form a terminal spike, or are rarely solitary. Ten or more species occur in Florida, all rigid erect epiphytes with blue fugacious petals (red in T. flexuosa), except one, the well-known T. usneoides, which is peculiar in its filiform pendent stems, clothing the branches of trees, and forming a characteristic feature of southern forests, extending far westward, and north to the Dismal Swamp of Virginia. This species bears two-ranked awl-shaped recurved leaves, and small solitary green flowers, and is variously known as Florida moss, hanging-moss, etc. (See black-moss and longmoss.) It is used for decoration in the natural state, and is gathered in large quantities for upholsterers, for whose use it is steeped in water or buried in earth till the outer part is rotted off, leaving a coarse tough fiber used for stuffing mattresses. The leaves of T. utriculata, a native of southern Florida and the West Indies, are dilated at the base into large cavities, often containing a pint of clear water, eagerly sought by wayfarers. Several species are occasionally cultivated as greenhouse epiphytes.
    • n tillandsia [lowercase] A plant of this genus.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Tillandsia ti-land‚Ä≤zi-a a genus of mainly epiphytic plants of the pine-apple family (Bromeliace√¶).
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., after Prof. Tillands, of Abo, in Finland
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
From the Swedish botanist, Tillands.

Usage

In literature:

Its habits resemble those of the northern race, but it nests in the hanging, gray tillandsia or Spanish 'moss' instead of in usnea.
"What Bird is That?" by Frank M. Chapman
TILLANDSIA, L. LONG MOSS.
"The Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States" by Asa Gray
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In news:

Tillandsias can live for several years.
It's normal for some of the lower leaves the Tillandsias to dry out as the plant grows or acclimates to a new environment.
One of the very best plants for cool locations are Tillandsia, so called "air plants" because they take in all their nutrient through their leaves and not roots.
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