Have you ever come across with this charming little bromeliad? Tillandsia stricta is widely spread throughout South America and in Brazil it occurs from the state of Bahia to Rio Grande do Sul. It is usually an epiphytic organism that can be found in forests, rupestrian grasslands and in the caatinga region. It flourishes all year round and its flowering peak takes place in August.
Tillandsia stricta is considered one of the mostcharacteristic and known species within the genus Tillandsia L., which includes about 600 species, being the largest genus of the subfamily Tillandsioideae. It’s bright pink to purplish flowers are often mistaken for bracts, a leaf-like colourful structure from which an inflorescence may grow, being able to attract many different pollinators.
Most of tillandsia species have great ornamental value and for that reason they are constantly extracted from their natural environment, putting them at risk of extinction despite their wide geographical distribution. The bromeliaceae family of which the tillandsioideae subfamily is part of is often pollinated by vertebrates rather than insects. Studies undertaken in the Atlantic Forest of Southeastern Brazil have found that bromeliads form the largest group of ornithophilous plants that are pollinated by hummingbirds. The availability of ornithophilous flowers throughout the year helps keeping hummingbird’s population in the area, thus helping the reproductive success of the plant species involved.