A small and intriguing species of Tillandsia, the T. butzii has wispy tentacle like leaves that make it look more like something you might find in the ocean, rather than a plant that grows in trees. The T. butzii is native to Central America, especially the areas of southern Mexico to Panama.
The T.butzii has green leaves that are spotted with dark and light green spots, and a bulbous base. It can grow to be about 8-10 inches tall and emits an red inflorescence when in bloom that blooms bright purple flowers. Pups will grow out from the base of the butzii, and if left to grow, can form a pretty impressive clump over time.
T. butzii clump at Denver Botanical Garden
Like the T.bulbosa, and T.caput medusae, the T.butzii is a myrmecophyte, meaning that in its native environment of the rainforest, its bulbous base acts as a space for ants to colonize. In return, the butzii gets nutrients from the detritus of the ants.
To care for your T.butzii, make sure that it receives bright indirect sunlight throughout the day. It also prefers humidity, so in between waterings, you might want to mist your butzii plant. Water at least once a week, and as with all bulbous based air plants, be sure to shake out the excess water from the base to prevent rot.
Butzii air plants lend well to being mounted to a piece of cork or driftwood, or placed in a seashell to accentuate its sea creature like look. These also look great mounted upside down so that their tentacle like leaves hang down.
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