Tillandsia mollis     W.Till & H. Hromadnik   Pl. Syst. Evol.  142:123  (1983)


Plant- growing on rocks and forming large clumps, stem simple or branching, many roots, (9-) 16 to 24 (-26) cm long, 3.5 to 4 mm diameter, internodes (7-) 8 to10 mm long, sheaths totally covering the stem and making a firm stem.

Leaf- distichous, spreading, (20-) 30 to 50 (-60) mm long, 2.5 to 3 mm diameter above the sheath (in a dry state 2 mm diameter), soft and flexible.

Leaf sheath- broad oval, 8 to 10 mm long, enclosing the stem, joined all the way from the edges to the middle, pale straw colour, about 9 to 10 nerved, naked in inside, outside very dense eccentric spreading scales.

Leaf blade- awl shaped, round, 3 to 5mm thick above the sheath, very dense eccentric spreading scales, whitish-grey.

Scape- lacking.

Flower- single, distinctly terminal, the scape above the one flower becoming a false axil, sessile, the one stem bract placed approximately beneath the flower bract.

Stem bracts- 12 to 13 mm long, short blade, with very dense scales.

Sepal- (5-) 6 (-7) mm long, 2 mm wide, tip rounded, (3-) 4 to 5 nerved, the wider inside nerves join together with the mid-nerve near the tip, ovate lance-like, not keeled, equally sub free, inside naked, outside very densely scaled with bottom third naked.

Petal- tongue like, at time of flowering bent outwards, 10 mm long, 2 mm wide, dirty yellow-brown.

Filament- 7 mm long, 0.5 mm wide, flat, white below the anther, rarely pleated, fixed at base.

Anther- 2.5 mm long, 0.5 mm diameter, orange.

Pollen- grains egg shaped, golden.

Style- 3 mm long, about 0.4 mm diameter.

Stigma-. Small, capitate, lobes crested.

Ovary- oval cylindric, 2 mm long, 1.5 mm diameter.

Capsule- cylindric, truncate tip, about 13 mm long, 2 to 5 mm diameter, valve outside straw colour, inside chestnut.


Habitat- On south facing cliffs. Bolivia, Dept. Tarija, between Tarija and Narvaez  about 25 km to the west of Narvaez, near the Pass Cumbre del Condor, 2700 m.


Differs from T. usneoides in

1. More robust habit.

2. Much branching.

3. Stem firm erect.

4. Internodes short.

5. Leaves round.

6. Sepals densely scaled.

7. Sepals nerved.