Tillandsia is the largest genus in the family, with over 600 known species and more being discovered. Also known as air plants, these typically gray-leafed plants are native to forests, mountains and deserts of Central and South America, the southern United States and the West Indies. Tillandsias are epiphytes that grow without soil and use their roots to anchor themselves to trees and other plants. Tillandsias are not parasitic and do not depend on the host for support. Moisture and nutrients are absorbed through structures on the leaves called trichomes, which really looks like white fuzz up close. Reproduction is by seeds or by offsets called "pups". A single plant could have up to a dozen pups before it dies. Tillandsias love bright, indirect sunlight.

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