Air Plants

An airplant suspended on a black background
This one is “tillandsia pruinosa.”

Strange and beautiful tropicals:

“Tillandsia” plants are among the strange and beautiful things we find on our planet. More commonly known as “air plants,” this peculiar species do not like to have their roots in soil, but instead are able to gather nutrients from the air. The job of the roots is simply to anchor the plant. You may have seen these plants cleverly displayed and growing in glass globes suspended from a ceiling, in terrariums, or mounted on walls.

Originally from the hot regions around central America, tillandsias have become popular in modern designs. In some respects they are similar to cacti, being low maintenance, loving sunlight, and taking many years to come into flower. But when they do flower, they seem quite miraculous and awaken in us a sense of wonder at the endless creativity of the Creator.

As the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote, “Glory be to God for dappled things… all things counter, original, spare, strange… He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: praise him!” (Pied Beauty).


Below is my pinterest board for Air Plants. If you hover and scroll, you’ll find many beautiful images of these fascinating plants.


“Air Plants: The Curious World of Tillandsias”
A book by Zenaida Sengo and Caitlin Atkinson


Air Plants
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