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Tillandsia is a genus of around 540 species in the Bromeliad family (Bromeliaceae), found in the forests, mountains, and deserts, of Central and South America, and Mexico and the southern United States in North America.

The thinner-leafed varieties grow in rainy areas and the thick-leafed varieties in areas more subject to drought. Moisture and nutrients are gathered from the air (dust, decaying leaves and insect matter) through structures on the leaves called trichomes.

Tillandsia species are epiphytes (also called aerophytes or air plants) – i.e. they normally grow without soil while attached to other plants. Epiphytes are not parasitic, depending on the host only for support.

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