Tillandsia geissei Phil.
Smith, Lyman B. & Downs, Robert J. 1977. Tillandsioideae (Bromeliaceae). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 14 (2): 663-1492. (Published by NYBG Press)
Type. Geisse s n (holotype SGO, SGO photo), Caldera, Atacama, Chile.
Description - Plant flowering 22-60 cm high and probably to nearly 1 m, stemless or very short-caulescent; roots present; stem simple, not over 5 cm long. Leaves polystichous, spreading, 1-3 dm long, covered with appressed cinereous scales; sheaths ovate, many times shorter than the blades and merging imperceptibly with them, the same color as the blades or with a faint brownish tinge; blades narrowly triangular, filiform-attenuate, 7-12 mm wide, soft and rather thin, usually twisted toward apex. Scape terminal, erect, slender, to 4 dm long, equaling or exceeding the leaves, glabrous; scape-bracts densely imbricate, densely cinereous-lepidote, the lower foliaceous, the upper lanceolate, apiculate, tinged with red like the floral bracts. Inflorescence simple and distichous or unequally bifurcate with a lateral spike 12 cm long; primary bract like the scape-bracts, much shorter than the lateral spike; single or principal spike linear-lanceolate, acute, 8-17 cm long, 6-14-flowered; rhachis sharply 4-angled, less than 2 mm in diameter, slightly flexuous, glabrous. Floral bracts erect, imbricate, about 3 times as long as the internodes, concealing the rhachis until after anthesis, lance-ovate, acute, 30-35 mm long, exceeding the sepals, 12-14 mm wide, sparsely cinereous-lepidote, glabrate, ecarinate, nerved, chartaceous, brilliantly variegated with red, green, and yellow; flowers subsessile. Sepals free, lanceolate, obtuse, 25 mm long, glabrous, thin, the posterior carinate; petals 30 mm long, linear with blade scarcely distinct, obtuse, rose-purple; stamens included; ovary slenderly ovoid; style slender. Capsule cylindric, 3-4 cm long.
Saxicolous on open rocky ground, and epiphytic on cacti, 200-600 m alt, northern Chile.
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