Monday, November 11, 2013

Spanish Moss

The gray material hanging from the oak trees in the lowlands is a plant known as Spanish Moss.   But hold on, it is neither Spanish nor Moss... but rather a relative of the pineapple called : Tillandsia Usneoides.  

It does produce flowers, tiny ones that can't
 be seen from afar.  Spanish moss is an Epiphyte…that is a plant which gets all of its nutrients  and moisture from the gases and water particles in the air.

In no way does it harm the plant which it hangs from as it is not parasitic like real moss.   It can't live on the ground, though. 

 It prefers dense wood and strong branches like the live oak, the swamp cypress and crepe myrtles.  It will be spotted on these but not the pines a few feet away.

Spanish moss is native to the South's humid semi-tropical environment.  It doesn't surprise me to see it hanging on this pyracanthus though…tough little bugger that it is. 

photo by Ken Schwarz
 It is one of the things about the South that make the landscape so graceful and yes, languid….. pleasantly lazy and peaceful?

1 comment:

  1. I've really enjoyed reading about your recent trip! Beautiful homes your friends live in.