by Margaret Mee,
© Smithsonian Institution,
used with permission.
Scientific name: Catopsis nutans (Swartz) Griseb.
Other common names: Nodding airplant, nodding catopsis
Status in Florida: Endangered
Threats to this plant: Restricted range, illegal collecting, Mexican bromeliad weevil (Metamasius callizona)
Distribution: Florida, Mexico, West Indies, Central and South America
Distribution in Florida: Collier County
Occurrence in Florida: Very rare
Habitat: Palustrine (slough); found in shady, humid hammocks (deep cypress swamp)
Description: Tank epiphyte; plant grows to 30 cm (12 in.); small rosettes with flexible, spreading, bright-green, tapered leaves, overlapping at bases [8-15 cm (3-6 in.) long, 2 cm (3/4 in.) at base, narrowing to tip]; leaves are chalky, especially at base; flower stalk usually simple; 3-10 orange-yellow flowers, 2 cm (3/4 in.) long, opening at night; mature capsules 1.2-2.0 cm (1/2 - 3/4 in.) long, oval
Time of flowering: Fall - spring (especially August - October)
Flora of North America Association. 2000. Flora of North America, Vol. 22. http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/FNA/
Florida Natural Areas Inventory. 1997. Matrix of Habitats and Distribution by County of Rare/Endangered Species of Florida. Florida Natural Areas Inventory/The Nature Conservancy. http://www.fnai.org
Long, Robert W. and Olga Lakela. 1976. A Flora of Tropical Florida. Banyan Books, Miami.Ward, Daniel B. (ed.). 1979. Plants, Vol. 5. In: Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida, P.C.H. Pritchard (ed.). University Presses of Florida, Gainesville, 175 p.