Tillandsia is a genus of around 650 species of evergreen, perennial flowering plants in the family Bromeliaceae, native to the forests, mountains and deserts of Central and South America, the southern United States and the West Indies. They have naturally been established in diverse environments such as equatorial tropical rain forests, high elevation Andes mountains, rock dwelling (saxicolous) regions, and Louisiana swamps, such as the usneoides (Spanish Moss) species growing atop tree limbs. Airplant is a common name for plants in this genus.Most Tillandsia species are epiphytes – i.e. they normally grow without soil while attached to other plants. Some are aerophytes or air plants, which have no roots and grow on shifting desert soil.Generally, the thinner-leafed varieties grow in rainy areas and the thick-leafed varieties in areas more subject to drought. Most species absorb moisture and nutrients through the leaves from rain, dew, dust, decaying leaves and insect matter, aided by structures called trichomes.