Con Color

The Tillandsia concolor was so named by L.B. Smith because of its supposed characteristic of uniform leaf color.  Concolor is an adjective that means "of one color". 

Copyright © 2012. By Keith Garcia. All rights reserved.

It grows epiphytically in exposed habitats in Mexico and El Salvador.  My T. concolor is exposed to at least three hours of full morning sun.  It tolerates high humidity and dry conditions.  In my experience, once they reach maturity, they flower regularly. The life cycle of this plant is pretty much predictable.

One thing about this plant that is not predictable is its name.  The first time a T. concolor bloomed for me, I was expecting that the color of the leaves would remain true to its name.  Of course, it lied.  Look at all its colors.

These are pictures of one of my T. concolor specimens which is currently in bloom.  This particular specimen is multibract.

Copyright © 2012. By Keith Garcia. All rights reserved.

I belatedly read somewhere that this species is a favorite among collectors because of its unusual color combinations when in bloom.  Shades of vibrant red, green and yellow abound like brushwork on an abstract painting.  These details are exquisitely captured by my colleague, lawyer Keith Garcia, in the images above and below. 

Copyright © 2012. By Keith Garcia. All rights reserved.Without disrespect to American botanist Lyman B. Smith, the name he gave this species is a bit misleading.  I would like to think that he was conned by the plant during its non-blooming state into thinking that its leaves only had one color and that this would not change in its blooming state.

Then again, I guess I can't really complain.  "Con" as a prefix means "as a whole".  "Con" as a verb means "to persuade someone to believe something".  With the latter meaning, the name of the plant may actually be correct.

The T. concolor as described by L. B. Smith should look something like this - one color.

Copyright © 2012. By Keith Garcia. All rights reserved.

Unfortunately, the picture above is a trick.  It was photoshopped.



For more Macro Monday, head on over to Lisa's Chaos.




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