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So, I got this little guy a month ago from a local shop but it was only identified as a generic "air plant." At the time, it was already showing the inflorescence (which is why I bought it) but the flowers had not yet opened. I've not been able to narrow down the species or cultivar, but it is just beginning to flower. I have some T. ionantha and this one looks different and clearly flowers differently. Can anyone help? I'd like to know more about the growth of this species; for example, if all of the buds will bloom; whether the central stalk will wither completely once pollinated; what the plant looks like when not blooming; average time from pup to reproductive maturity; etc.

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Also, maybe it's purely coincidence but the night before I took the photo, the lowermost bud had not yet bloomed--it looked like the second-to-lowest bud in the photo--and I gave it some bromeliad fertilizer; the very next morning it grew to the stage you see now. For a relatively slow-growing genus, that seems remarkable to me. I'm excited to see what it will look like in the next week or two! Closeup of the reproductive parts (click to see full size):

enter image description here

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    I have no idea, but that's an amazing photo! – Lorel C. May 10 '18 at 1:23
  • It is blooming. Just the plant has no "petals". On last photo you see full developed stamen (the yellow "puffy" things) and the stigmas: the top star like organ. Probably the stalk and the "bracts" are enough to attract pollinators. – Giacomo Catenazzi May 11 '18 at 14:48
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I have found the answer to my question: this is definitively Tillandsia fuchsii, variety and subspecies unknown but most likely T. fuchsii var. fuchsii or var. gracilis.

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