Tillandsia ionantha 'Druid'

The long gap between posts is due to the fact that I found it difficult to get sufficient information about the Tillandsia ionantha 'Druid'.  Laziness is never a valid excuse. Preparing for this post was like preparing for a case with very limited jurisprudence. 

Tillandsia ionantha 'Druid'. Photography by Nicky Yee. Used with permission.

 

This is a cultivar of T. ionantha.  For those of you not familiar with this species, I have an earlier post about the T. ionantha.  If you read it, I think you will see immediately what sets this cultivar apart.  Come on, take a quick peek and see if you can guess the difference before reading on. It's just like playing spot the difference.

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Available for purchase from the International Society for Horticultural ScienceYou all know about my thing with plant names, right?  According to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants,  this is Tillandsia 'Druid' or T. 'Druid'.  Referring to it as Tillandsia ionantha 'Druid' is apparently wrong, however, this is how it is generally referred to.

Around 1970, Drew Schulz of Florida collected several Tillandsia ionantha from a place near Veracruz, Mexico.  The following year, Mr. Schulz discovered that six of the plants he had collected were unique.  These cultivars were then given the name 'Druid' to imbue them with an aura of mystery while incorporating the collector's first name, Drew.

Have you figured out the difference between the 'Druid' and the other T. ionantha's?  

Nari-nari's website says that it is an albino form of the ionantha in that it genetically lacks red pigment.

I've also come across a Chinese/Taiwanese forum where one poster suggests that there are two forms of 'Druid'.  One is the Mexican form and the other is the Guatemalan form.  Based on the poster's observations, the Mexican 'Druid' blushes peach before blooming and that the Guatemalan 'Druid' blushes yellow and has longer, thinner leaves.  I have to mention though that I did not find any scientific publication mentioning the discovery of the supposed Guatemalan 'Druid'.

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It is easy to cultivate because the plant pups profusely.  A nice clump can form from a single plant in just a few years.  My Druids get at least four hours of direct morning sun.  I water them every other day.

The plant looks wonderful as well when grown in a clump.  In this case, however, one should ensure that there is more than sufficient air circulation to prevent root rot.

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The flowers have a relatively short life span of about 2 days, some 3 at the most.  I had wanted to take better pictures with a black background but most of the flowers were already wilting the next day.  The plus side is that as with most tillandsias, I will soon have pups.  I am not sure though if it has a specific flowering season because my other Druids have not shown any sign of flowering soon.  Why this particular clump has already bloomed is a mystery to me.