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Giant wild-pine, Giant airplant
Tillandsia utriculata

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Accent epiphyte; on live oaks along forest edges.

Ecological Restoration Notes: A relatively common epiphyte in hammocks and swamps.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts.

Description: Epiphytic herb; or terrestrial growing in leaf litter.

Dimensions: 12-30 inches in height; 6 feet or more in flower.

Growth Rate: Slow.

Range: Monroe County Keys north to Flagler, Putnam, Lake and Citrus counties; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and northern South America.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Moist forests and swamps.

Soils: Epiphytic; or terrestrial in moist, well-drained humusy leaf litter, acid to neutral pH.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows on nutrient poor substrate.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Light shade.

Flower Color: Greenish-yellow.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy inflorescence.

Flowering Season: Summer-fall.

Fruit: Green to brown capsule with hairy, wind dispersed seeds.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed. This is a monocarpic species, which dies after flowering.

Comments: It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Other data on Tillandsia utriculata available from:

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