Page 57 - May2017

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T
his is the season for a most unusual display from
a most unusual series of plants. A curious and
unique family of plant life has recently found favor
among gardeners, designers, and homeowners who
are always seeking extraordinary and singular approaches
to enhance their spaces. Commonly called “air plants,”
epiphytes are a remarkable species that can now be found in
dozens of gift shops and nurseries, even grocery store floral
sections, waiting to entrance both gardeners and gazers.
Bulbous, feathery, or spiky, sometimes resembling an “upside-
down octopus,” members of the epiphyte genus,
tillandsia
(air
plants) have evolved a distinctive adaptation that allows them
to thrive in harsh environments. Though epiphytes live on other
plants, they are not parasites, they attach themselves to plants
for support, holding their structures in place while they acquire
nutrients and moisture from the atmosphere around them.
Spreading across North and South America,
tillandsia
are
the largest genus in the
bromeliad
family with more than four
By Jan Brick
How to Grow an Air Show
Epiphytes
MAY 2017 |
GALVESTON MONTHLY |
57