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Identifying Unknown Plants/Un-identified parasitic plant


Hello, could you help me out with this tiny plant with spiky leaves that lives off the piece of wood? To help you get a rough idea of the actual size, the wood is about 2 x 6 inches. The nursery where I bought it did not know the name nor the origin of this plant. I'm from Malaysia by the way, though the plant may not be native to my country. Many thanks.

Hi Basha,

This is a type of Bromeliad - I think a Tillandsia.  There are about 3,000 types of Bromeliads; some are arboreal (live on trees), and some are terrestrial (have roots in the ground).  A pineapple is a Bromeliad, and so is Spanish Moss.  Tillandsias are not parasitic, but Epiphytic (air plants).  They use trees as an anchor, but they don't tap the tree for food like Mistletoe, for instance.  There are about 540 species of them, occurring in North and South America and the West Indies.  There are many good websites devoted to caring for these plants.  Below is a link.

Identifying Unknown Plants

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Susan Tabor


I can identify most weeds, ornamentals,and wild plants by description or photo. If it is completely unknown to me, I can usually type info into a botanical search engine and find it. I am familiar with unusual plants from all over the world.


Thirty-five years of research and experience in horticulture.

You already have that information. I'm just listing myself in a new catagory.

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