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Gray Tillandsia: Habitat

On the branches in front of you are growing several representatives of the genus Tillandsia. Consisting of more than 600 species, Tillandsia is the largest genus of bromeliads. Most of these are epiphytes, meaning they live on other trees, shrubs, or even cacti. Only a small portion lives on rocks or sand dunes.

Getting from one tree branch to another is a vital matter for epiphytes. Species of Tillandsia rely on the wind. In dry weather, their seed pods burst and release tiny, hair-covered seeds which are then carried away by a breeze. The seeds stick to wet or rough surfaces – ideally the bark of a tree or shrub, but sometimes Tillandsia even colonizes telephone cables or tile roofs.

But how can Tillandsia survive in such an unwelcoming environment? If you’d like to find out, press the pound key 107 on your handset.

Audio file download
Gray Tillandsia: Habitat (MP3, 471 KB)

Audio production and copyright: Soundgarden Audioguidance GmbH
Text: Andreas Gröger, Botanischer Garten München-Nymphenburg

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