• synonyms


  1. any of numerous, chiefly epiphytic bromeliads of the genus Tillandsia, including Spanish moss and many species cultivated as ornamentals.
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Origin of tillandsia

< New Latin (Linnaeus), after Elias Tillands, 17th-century Finno-Swedish botanist; see -ia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tillandsia

Historical Examples

  • It is composed almost entirely of dead cane leaves, a little Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides), and a few skeletonized leaves.

    Life Histories of North American Wood Warblers Part One and Part Two

    Arthur Bent

  • The moss (tillandsia usneoides) served to calk the rude vessel of the first French colonists, longing for home.

  • He next tore off several bundles of the tillandsia, and placed it over the spot thus wattled.

    The White Chief

    Mayne Reid

  • We spent half-an-hour in dragging the tillandsia from the trees, and collecting the soft leaves of the pawpaws.

    The Quadroon

    Mayne Reid

  • The insects in the water which ought to nourish the Bromeliad (Tillandsia) are really used by the Utricularia.

    The Romance of Plant Life

    G. F. Scott Elliot

British Dictionary definitions for tillandsia


  1. any bromeliaceous epiphytic plant of the genus Tillandsia, such as Spanish moss, of tropical and subtropical America
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Word Origin

C18: New Latin, named after Elias Tillands (died 1693), Finno-Swedish botanist
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012