<< (Key to Tillandsia sub genus Diaphoranthema by Till 1984)

Updated by Derek Butcher & Eric Gouda: 10-02-2020 10:35:46.

1Leavespolystichous or spiralling, not distichous2
2Plantsterile, without inflorescence, stemmed, with 1 -1.5 mm wide leaves, from coast of northern Chile to south Perulandbeckii
not sterile, always with inflorescence3
3Flower bractsglabrous, seldom with wholely few and hardly visible scales4
wholely or at least in the upper part clearly scaled10
4Flower bracts"with few, hardly visible scales, 6 - 9-nerved, widest at the base; Sepals uniformly short connate (or the posterior pair somewhat higher), narrow triangular, blunt, 5-nerved; Petal dirty yellow; Leaf stiff erect, with clearly large nerves"erecta
"and sepals totally glabrous; Petals brown to coffee brown; Leaves edged, one clearly large nerve"5
5Plant"stemless or short stemmed; Leaves 15 - 45 mm long, spreading, not densely imbricate "6
clearly stemmed, Leaves under 15 mm long, densely imbricate7
6Flower bracts"mostly as long as the sepals; Plant robust; Leaves 20 - 45 nm long, at the base 3-5 mm wide"funebris
"mostly half as long as the sepals; Plant slender, Leaves mostly under 20 mm long, 2-3 mm wide at base, ± sharply acuminate; very seldom with distichous leaves"rectangula
7Flower bracts"5- 6-nerved; Inflorescense almost always at anthesis clearly stemmed; sepals (4-) 5-nerved"9
"1 (-3)- nerved, mostly glabrous; Inflorescense at anthesis almost always not stemmed"8
8Peduncle"at fruiting mostly longer; sepals 3 (-5)-nerved, glabrous, with a mid nerve continuously to the tip; petals violet. Plant diam 4-7 mm "pedicellata
"at fruiting not longer, sepals 5-6-nerved, 1/3 to 2/3 or the edges scaled; petals yellow; Plant in diam 3-5 mm"minutiflora
9Flower bracts"oval; sepals at widest or above the middle, 5.6 – 6.5 mm long; petals yellowish or brownish. "aizoides
"narrow triangular; sepals at the widest below the middle, sometimes scaled, 8.5 mm long; petals violet"aff. Aizoides (possibly a form of T. brealitoensis )
10Flowerssmall, flower bracts (4-) 6-7 (-10) mm long, sepals 6-7 mm long. Inflorescense few flowered, seldom l-flowered, peduncle mostly present11
large, Flower bracts (8.5- ) 10 - 18 mm long, sepals (8-) 9-14 mm long, Inflorescense mostly 1-2-flowered, seldom to 4-flowered, peduncle present or missing13
11Plantstemless or at least short stemmed12
"clearly stemmed; peduncle mostly distinct, seldom missing. Leaves thin, tipped, appressed (""trlcholepis"" ) or spreading. (""polytrichoides ""), to 15 mm long; petals yellow; Rhachis not geniculate"tricholepis var tricholepis
12Leaves"strong, quite thick; Rhachis mostly geniculate; Petals yellow to orange yellow "loliacea
"thin, very slender, not thick, 20-50 mm long; Rhachis not geniculate; Petals brown, seldom yellow"tricholepis var macrophylla
13Leaves"to 15 mm long, densely imbricate; Plant 4-10 cm long, compact, stemmed"14
"20 - 60 mm long, not densely imbricate; plant not compact, ± stemmed"15
14Inflorescence"sessile; Flower bracts 9-nerved, 12 mm long; Sepals 11 mm long; Petals 7-nerved brown yellow; Leaves spreading and bent outwards. Plant very short stemmed"angulosa
"clearly stemmed; flower bracts 11-12-nerved, 8.5 – 10.5 mm long; Sepals 8-9 mm long, Petals 5-7-nerved, violet; Leaves straight, erect. Plant clearly stemmed."brealitoensis
15Leaves"3-5 mm wide; Plant strong; epiphytc (seldom epilithic) in south Peru (Arequipa), Bolivia and Argentinia"16
"1–1.5 mm wide; Plant erect delicate; terrestrial in sand or epiphytic in south Peru (Coast) und North Chile"landbeckii
16Leaves"wide at base, edges not fused appressed scaled, 30-50 mm long; Flower bracts 15-17-nerved; Sepals in the upper 40-70 % large scaled; Petals dark violet"gilliesii subsp polysticha
"at base hardly wider that the middle, edges joined, ± erect scaled, 20-40 mm long; flower bracts 12-13-nerved; Sepals in the upper 50-65% large scaled; Petals yellowish"hirta ( seldom polystichous Form)
17Plant"with longer thin internodes, hanging, to 8 m long; Sepals glabrous or almost glabrous; Petals green, seldom yellow ( in Peru and Ecuador)"usneoides
"with compact stem, not with longer thin internodes, sometimes almost stemless, not over 30 cm long; Petal never clear green, at the most brown green"18 (mollis)
18Leaves"± soft, 1.5-3 mm Ø, round or almost round,, without a distinct pungent tip; Flower mostly relatively small, Sepals 4.5 -9(10.6) mm long; Plant mostly relatively slender (Exceptions: caliginosa, hirta and cotagaitensis Sepals 8-14 mm long; also steps 19-22)"19
"hard, often with clearly visible light Sclerenchyma, with pungent tip, 3-6 mm Ø; Flowers relatively large, Sepals (8-) 9-14 mm long (compare with step 19); Plant strong, 5-30 cm long"28
19Plant"strong and mid size to large, Leaves 2-4 mm Ø, round or upper side concave, 4-14 cm long, mostly with ± blunt tip; Flower relatively large, Sepals 8-14 mm long, mostly distinct scaled"20
"small to mid size, slender erect, Leaves 1-3 mm Ø, 0.5-10 cm long; Flowers relatively small, Sepals 4.5-9 mm long, abundantly glabrous"23
20Plant"large, 15 - 25 cm long, short stemmed, Leaves often with glabrous sheath (seldom scaled) , upper side somewhat concave, to 14 cm long, a little bent; Flowers scented"21
"clearly stemmed, much smaller, 5-15 cm long; Leaves 2-4 cm long; Inflorescense with relatively short stem, peduncle 1-2 mm Ø, 1-3(-4) cm long"22
21Inflorescence"10-15 cm long stem, 2-5-flowered; Petals yellow to yellow brown, seldom coffee-brown; Central Bolivian (Cochabamba) to south Argentina (Tucuman, La Rioja)"caliginosa
"to somewhat 3 cm stemmed; Petals coffee-brown; mid Argentina (Catamarca, La Rioja, Buenos Aires ) "“myosura var saxicola” ( = gilliesii “var saxicola” nom prov. )
22Sepals"similarly short connate, dense scaled; Plant clearly with erect scales"irta
"posterior much higher connate (53-64%), sparingly scaled to almost glabrous; Plant a little erect scaled"cotagaitensis
23Peduncle bractsBelow the flower of the inflorescense with 1-2 peduncle bracts directly under the flower bract24
No peduncle bracts directly under the flower bract27
24Sepals"glabrous; Plant ± stemless"25
"± clearly scaled; Plant clearly and to 26 cm stemmed"26
25Leaves"slender (particularly in south Brazil and Paraguay), 0.5-1.5 mm Ø, 4-10 cm long; Sepals lanceolate to oval-lanceolate, ± tipped, (5.8-) 7.5-8.4 ( -9.6) mm long , (2.6-) 3-3.5 (-3.8) mm wide; Petals blue, seldom white; south USA to Argentina and Uruguay"recurvata (polymorphous and not well organised! )
"strong, 1.5-2 mm Ø; Sepals obovate, tip rounded, (8-) 9-10.6 mm long, (4.2-) 4.8-5.5 mm wide; Petals dirty brown; Andes of south Peru (Dept . Ayacucho, Dept. Cuzco ) "aff. recurvata
26Plant"slender erect, Leaves thin and long; Inflorescense long stemmed, Chile and south Peru (? ) Coast"landbeckii
"strong erect, Leaves (2-) 3 mm Ø, dense white felt; Inflorescense sessile; south Bolivia (Dept. Tarija)"mollis
creeping habit flowers brown-reddishmollis var reptans
27Sepals"wide lanceolate, mostly rounded at the tip, seldom acuminate or tipped, all ± clearly together connate, posterior a little higher connate than the anterior; flower bracts almost always glabrous"capillaris s.l. (very polymorphous and not well organised! )
"almost long and seemingly slender, side nerves clearly short, anterior Sepal almost free, posterior very high (to 80%) connate;flower bracts mostly wholely or in the upper third scaled, seldom glabrous (williamsii)"virescens s.l. (very polymorphous and not well organised!)
28Flower"cleistogamous, Sepals wide ovate-lanceolate, blunt to rounded, almost free or the posterior wholely a little connate, 7-9-nerved, 7.5-8.5 (-9) mm long, glabrous; Flower bracts glabrous (seldom with hardly visible few scales); Inflorescense mostly 2-flowered. Leaves hard, stiff, striped nerved, pungent"castellanii
"not cleistogamous ( T. hirta sometimes cleistogamous, however not obligatory); Bracts always scaled; Sepals 10-14 mm long"29
29Leavesvery hard, with striking Sclerenchyma, Plant middle size, seldom large30
without or with hardly visible sclerenchyma.31
30Plant"stemless or short stemmed, Leaf sheath glabrous; Inflorescense sessile or very short stemmed; Sepals glabrous, equally almost free"retorta
"clearly stemmed, Leaf sheath scaled; Inflorescense stemmed; Sepals scaled, posterior connate to the middle"andicola
31Leafin cross-section round, not drawn together on the side32
drawn together on the side, very dense, 2-4 cm long, 4-5 mm thick, appressed scaled. Peduncle mostly missing, seldom to 5 (-10) cm long. Mid Argentinagilliesii subsp gilliesii
32Plant"clearly stemmed; Leaves ± soft to moderately hard, mostly erect scaled"33
"± stemless, at the most short stemmed; Leaves hard or soft, mostly ± appressed scaled"34
33Posterior sepals"more than half in length connate; Sepals glabrous or almost glabrous; Petals brown to dark violet"cotagaitensis
"seldom and very little connate; Sepals 1/3 to 2/3 scaled; Petals yellow or yellowish"irta
34Leaves"hard, grey-green, crooked, at the tip but again bent forwards, 4-5 mm Ø, to 10 cm long; Sepals equally free"myosura
"relatively soft, arched, 2.5-3.5 mm Ø, to 15 cm long, mostly light green; posterior sepals to a ¼ connate, mostly however less"mandonii