Saturday, October 12, 2013

Spanish Moss

One of the most visually romantic components of the Coastal Southern landscape, Spanish Moss is a bromeliad, Tillandsia usneoides. 

Spanish moss prefers to grow on certain trees that have well spaced horizontal branches like Live Oaks and Cypresses.

Individual plants wrap around one another and host plants which provide nothing but a place to hang. They draw nutrients and water from the air. We have Spanish Moss on the northern parts of our property closer to a creek, none to the south which was fine by my MIL and her SIL who didn't want Spanish Moss starting in their pecan trees.


Silk Grass and Goldenrod growing under Live Oaks 


My nephew says he always brought home some Spanish Moss to north Georgia when they went to Florida when he was a boy and flung it in a tree where it died because of  winter cold and a lack of humidity.

I brought some to the house last spring and hung it on a Shepherd's hook. Birds took it to line nests.  

2 comments:

  1. I'm still wondering how this Spanish Moss can grow so greatly without any care and able to get to many trees where nothing seemed to take them from one place to another.

    I wished this one somehow get invasive to the tropicals too.
    But my guess is that it not likely to happen.
    Not for bromeliads.

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  2. Our family has vacationed in the south for many years, and I have always liked seeing the Spanish moss hanging from the trees while we were there. It is so lovely and ethereal, but ghostly-looking at the same time. I did not know it was a bromeliad.

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I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.



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