The name means "Head of Medusa." It has silvery, twisted leaves and a bulbous with a red inflorescence. T. caput-medusae is a commonly cultivated bromeliad species. The thick, channeled, tapering and twisting leaves are up to 10 inches long and are covered in fine gray hairs. The rosette of leaves arise from an inflated pseudobulb. Pups are produced after blooming, as is usual with most Tillandsias. In a greenhouse, the plants can bloom from spring to early summer. The red inflorescences are usually unbranched or digitate. Bright violet flowers are about 1.25 inches long with the stamens exserted.