Tillandsia insignis 
  • (Mez) L.B.Sm. & Pittendr., J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 43: 402 (1954)

This taxon is accepted by WCS higher taxonomy

General Description

Plant long-caulescent, the flowering scape 12 cm high; stem 3-4 dm long in addition, simple or branched, to 6 mm in diameter, wholly concealed by the leaf-sheaths. Leaves very many, densely polystichous along the stem, 1-2 dm long, fimbriate-lepidote along the margin; sheaths broadly elliptic-ovate, 3 cm long, very dark-castaneous, densely pale-appressed- lepidote toward the apex; blades linear, attenuate, not over 5 mm wide, .flat, green, pale-appressed-lepidote beneath when young, soon glabrous. Scape erect, very slender, distinguished from the stem only by the coloration of its bracts; scape-bracts erect or divergent, imbricate, bright red, lanceolate with an elongate linear attenuate green blade. Inflorescence laxly few-flowered , 4-9 cm long, glabrous; primary bracts like the scape-bracts but at least the upper ones wholly bright red , exceeding the sepals and all but the uppermost flowers; branches 1-flowered, slender, 2-3 mm long, about equaling the pedicels and distinguished from them only by the position of the floral bracts. Floral bracts 2 on each branch, one sometimes bearing a very reduced sterile flower, elliptic, obtuse, 5 mm long, much shorter than the sepals, thin; flowers suberect to spreading, usually secund. Sepals elliptic, obtuse, 8-9 mm long, ecarinate, coriaceous, red, free; petals naked, oblong-obovate, obtuse, 13-15 mm long, dark purple; stamens and pistil included. Capsule slenderly ovoid, acute, barely exceeding the sepals.


Terrestrial and epiphytic in rainforest, 900-2700 m alt.


Costa Rica and Panama. COSTA RICA. HEREDIA: Yerba Buena, San Isidro, Feb 1926, Standley & Valerio 49128 (US); 50164 (US); Cerros de Zurqui, San Isidro, 3 Mar 1926, Standley & Valerio 50684 (US); 27 Dec 1929, Dodge et al 6125 (F, GH); Cerro de las Caricias, San Isidro, 11 Mar 1926, Standley & Valerio 52480 (US); Vara Blanca, 27 Feb 1931 , Kupper 285 (M). SAN Jost: La Palma, San Ramon, Pittier 813 (BR, paratype); Sep 1898, Tonduz in Inst. Costar. 12688 (G, US); Dec 1922, Brenes 3790 (GH); 3 Feb 1924,Standley 32900 (US); 17 Mar 1924,38277 (US);38297 (US); 18Jan 1932,Kupper412 (M); San Jose, Oct 1908, Werckli 17472 (GH); Rio Agra, La Palma, Aug 1910, Werckli 17988 (GH); La Hondura, 16 Mar 1924, Standley 37922 (US); Zurqui, 13 Feb 1926, Standley & Valerio 48242 (GH, US); "Moravia," Rio Chirripo, 20 Dec 1948, Foster 2726 (US); Cascajal, Lankester K-258 (F, K). CART AGO: Cartago, Mar 1909, Biolley 17358 (US); 29 Jun 1955, Schubert & Rogerson 779 (US); 1962, Haines 691 (US); Cerro La Carpintera, Feb 1924, Standley 35649 (US); Cordillera de Talamanca, 17 Apr 1949, Williams 16367 (EAP, US). PANAMA. BocAs DELToRo: Robalo Trail, Cerro Horqueta, Aug 1947, Allen 4960 (MO). CHIRIQUI: Bajo Mono, Robalo Trail, Cerro Horqueta, 27 Jul 1947, Allen 4815 (MO). COCLE: El Valle de Anton to Las Minas, 2 Dec 1941, Allen 2885 (GH, US).

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Central America Costa Rica
  • Panamá


  • 1 Govaerts, R. (2004). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-54382. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 2 Smith, L.B. & Downs, R.J. Bromeliaceae (Tillandsioideae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 14(2), 663-1492 (New York: Hafner Press.: 1977).

 Information From

WCS higher taxonomy
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
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