Tillandsia utriculata

Tillandsia utriculata L.

Common Names: Wild Pine, Swollen Wild Pine

Family: Bromeliaceace

Habit: Tillandsia utriculata grows without discernible stems up to 2 m in height. The leaves are in a rosette forming a series of cups at their base that can hold water and detritus.   The leaves are parallel veined, linear triangular, to 7 cm wide at the base and 1 m in length.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers, each with a subtending bract, are arranged in a panicle of spikes that is 2 -3 times the length of the leaves.  The bracts are greenish and tightly appressed to the peduncle. There are 3 green unfused sepals in the calyx that exceed the length of the bracts.  There are 3 white petals in the corolla.  There are 6 stamens that are longer than the petals.  The ovary is superior with 3 locules and numerous seeds.  The fruit is a capsule. Each seed has a tuft of hair to assist in dispersal.

T. utriculata grows as a solitary plant and dies off after a single flowering event.

Habitat: Tillandsia utriculata as an epiphyte or lithophyte in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation- Forest/Shrublands (coppice) with a limestone substrate.

Distribution: Tillandsia utriculata grow on all island groups within the Lucayan Archipelago as well as Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean region and central and south America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Tillandsia utriculata has been used to treat thrush and sexual impotence in men.