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Tillandsia ionantha (blushing bride)

Blushing bride is a common houseplant, admired for its contrasting violet flower spikes and red inner leaves.
Tillandsia ionantha in flower in the Living Collections at Kew

Tillandsia ionantha in flower in the Living Collections at Kew.

Species information

Scientific name: 

Tillandsia ionantha Planch.

Common name: 

blushing bride, air plant

Conservation status: 

Near Threatened (NT) according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Habitat: 

Commonly grows as an epiphyte on tree trunks in tropical dry forest, scrub, chaparral (shrubland or heathland affected by wildfire) and along riversides.

Key Uses: 

Ornamental.

Known hazards: 

None known.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Lilianae
Order: 
Poales
Family: 
Bromeliaceae
Genus: Tillandsia

About this species

Tillandsia ionantha is a bromeliad commonly sold in the UK as an ‘air plant’. The specific epithet ionantha is taken from the Greek adjective, ion, meaning ‘violet’, and the noun, anthos, meaning ‘flower’.

In its natural environment, blushing bride often experiences full sunlight and very low rainfall. These adaptations make it an easy-to-care-for houseplant, as long as it is kept in very bright conditions.

Synonym: 

Tillandsia erubescens, Pityrophyllum erubescens

Genus: 
Tillandsia

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