Native to southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina, the Tillandsia aeranthos is often known in these regions as “Claveles del aire” or “carnations in the sky.” They grow throughout varying altitudes including just at sea level to higher regions above sea level. In the wild aeranthos air plants are often pollinated by hummingbirds.
Tillandsia aeranthos on display
Growing upwards with stiff green leaves, this variety blooms a beautiful pink bud that eventually emits stunning deep purple flowers. The name aeranthos comes from the Greek words “aer” for lofty or air, and the “anthos” for flower.
Tillandsia aeranthos in bloom
There are many beautiful varieties of aeranthos ranging in size and coloring, and many are hybridizations with other tillandsia varieties. From “aeranthos Grey Ghost” to “aeranthos Black” “aeranthos Bronze”, and “aeranthos Purple,” many of these aptly-named varieties reflect the color of the leaves.
Tillandsia aeranthos x tenuifolia hybrid
Tillandsia aeranthos x stricta hybrid in bloom
The Tillandsia aeranthos normally matures and blooms during the Spring and Summer months and are relatively easy to propagate. After blooming you may see small offshoots or pups growing from the base of the plant. You can remove these pups when they are a third of the size of the mother plant, or you can leave them to form a clump.
The Tillandsia aeranthos is one of the more common air plants but it is the perfect size for terrariums and is fun to use in decorating. Aeranthos air plants are a very hardy variety and are perfect for beginning air plant enthusiasts and veteran gardeners alike.