Tillandsia is a genus in the bromeliad family with about 650 different species. They are a unique group of plants that have adapted over millions of years to fit niches in the ecosystem where few other plants can survive or thrive.
Tillandsias have adapted to a wide range of climates and habitats, some species being terrestrial and growing to huge sizes whilst others extreme epiphytes, one variety reaches two meters agross while many are miniature plants a few centimeters across. Most are slow growing as they take all their food and water purely from mist, rain and condensation and have therefore adapted to a starvation diet.
Typically greened and soft leaved Tillandsias use their roots for feeding, these come from forests and areas of high rainfall whereas the silver leafed forms have adapted to feed exclusively via their leaves with many being able to also protect themselves in harsher environments. These silver tillandsias can be found growing in near desert environments, on cliff faces, high in the exposed tree canopies and even on powerlines.