The Tillandsia ionantha plant is one of the most popular air plants due to its small size, and ease of care. If you would like to learn more about the T. ionantha variety of air plant, we have a blog post about some of the common T. ionantha forms and a spotlight on the species.
T. ionantha plants grow in the wild in Mexico, Costa Rica, and some areas of South America like Guatemala. These plants prefer warm humid conditions but will grow fine in a dry environment if you were to mist them regularly.
A variety of Tillandsia ionantha air plants
The Tillandsia ionantha druid is a particularly striking variety of the T. ionantha. This variety was found by Drew Schulz of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He had spent some time in Vera Cruz, Mexico, in 1971 where he collected a large quantity of T. ionantha plants. He noticed later that something seemed different about a few of the plants that he had brought back. They started to turn bright yellow and bloomed white flowers, rather than the common blushing red and purple flowers of most T. ionantha plants. Wanting to incorporate an air of mystery, the cultivar was named ‘Druid’ while also incorporating Drew’s name.
T. ionantha 'Druid' & T. ionantha rubra in bloom
As with most T. ionantha varieties, the T. ionantha druid has bright green leaves with fuzzy trichomes. As the plant grows and matures, its leaves will begin to extend outward. At this point, most T. ionantha plants will turn a darker shade of green. The leaves of the T. ionantha druid, if left in bright light, will keep their bright green color and will fade to a bright yellow color.
When in bloom, most T. ionantha plants will blush red and emit beautiful purple blooms with white flowers, and bright yellow pollen. What makes the T. ionantha druid variety especially unique, is that these plants don’t blush red. Rather, they turn a brighter shade of yellowish-white or even peach when they begin to bloom and emit striking white flowers.
These plants are prolific propagators and form beautiful clumps over time. They prefer bright indirect light, and frequent waterings. You can mist them in between waterings, if you notice that their leaves are dry.
Beach, E. (1984). Introducing Tillandsia ionantha 'Druid'. Retrieved October 29, 2019, from http://journal.bsi.org/V34/1/.