Tillandsia bulbosa has bright, wavy, green leaves which are smooth to the touch. It has a bulb-like base, making it a myrmecophyte, in which ants use the structure as a shelter or storage.
When this air plant blooms, the leave tips and inflorescence becomes a bright cherry-red color, which in nature, is used to attract bird species for pollination. The flowers are lavender-purple, with yellow stamens, typical of sub-genus Tillandsia.
Tillandsia bulbosa Care
T.bulbosa enjoys medium light, high humidity and frequent watering, especially in areas of significant air movement. It can be grown successfully with frequent watering or misting and medium to low levels of light. As long as adequate moisture is available, high temperatures can be tolerated. It is important to shake off or dry the base of the plant after soaking, as water that sits for too long may lead to rot. This species is considered ageotropic, meaning it grows up, down, sideways, etc. In the wild they are normally found growing horizontally or upside down to prevent the bulb from rotting. So consider mounting it to a piece of bark or cork, either sideways or upside down. It can be strung from a piece of natural rope or wire too.
During flowering, one to three small offsets (pups) appear from the base of the mother plant. After seed set the mother plant will die but the pups will replace it. Over time, this air plant will form a cluster.