What is a Spanish moss?

SPANISH MOSS IS AN AIR PLANT THAT CAN BE SEEN IN SOME SOUTHERN STATES HANGING IN LONG, GRAY STREAMERS FROM TREES.

Spanish moss is a plant that can be seen hanging in long, gray streamers from the limbs of trees in the cypress swamps of the South.  It is not really a moss at all, but an air plant that belongs to the pineapple family.

Spanish moss spends its entire life perched in trees.  Unlike mistletoe, a plant that steals its food from the tree it grows on, Spanish moss lives entirely upon what it can get out of the air.

The only help it needs from the host tree is to be lifted up into the sunlight.

It has no roots.  It’s long, slender stems and leaves, which look like hair hanging from the trees, are covered with scaly hairs that take in water and food from the moist air.  It has tiny yellow flowers, but not many people notice them.

The seeds are formed in tiny pods.  When these open, the seeds are carried by the wind.  Some find a perch and can start growing.  Spanish moss is sometimes dried and used to stuff furniture.

 

 

 

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2 Comments

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