Today's Flowers: Spanish Moss




From July 6, 2012

 I love this stuff for the way it catches the light.  I remember traveling South as a kid and seeing this junk for the first time. Dad said it was Spanish moss. Spanish moss meant we were definitely not in Connecticut anymore. We were definitely on an adventure. A far-away one.  A flat tire meant dealing with strangers, and warm weather was not merely a symptom of summertime. 

From July 6, 2012

I have often wondered if the stuff is a danger to the host tree. Finally, I did some homework and found out it is not. It has an impressive, independent life: It is an epiphytic plant, which grows on another plant, but does not rely on the host plant for nutrients; epiphytes make their own food. They are sometimes referred to as air plants because most have aerial roots; however, Spanish-moss does not have any roots. It uses its long, thin, scaly stems to wrap around the host tree and hang down from the branches. The leaves are covered with cup-like, permeable scales that 'catch' moisture and nutrients from the air and from pockets on the surface of the host. This water-trapping ability allows Spanish-moss to withstand long dry periods. In extreme dry spells, the plant becomes dormant until moisture returns.

This tree dates from 1545 and lives a happy life at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Comments

  1. What an interesting plant that is! I am always fascinated at how living things like it stay alive without roots...amazing how the Creator made everything unique.Blessed weekend :-)

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  2. I always know I am down South when I start seeing Spanish Moss hanging on the trees. It looks so elegant draped over trees, making the trees look like they have fancy party dresses on.

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  3. how interesting to learn more about spanish moss...thanks!

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  4. very interesting to read

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  5. I love the Spanish Moss -- always reminds me of New Orleans! Interesting info that I didn't know, proving once again that I learn something new every day since I started blogging!! And what a fantastic tree! Amazing that it's still around!! Enjoy your weekend!

    Sylvia

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  6. What a nice post. It included a little about yourself, some beautiful pictures and a lesson. Thank you Sandy.

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  7. Learned something reading this post. Amazing plants that Spainish Moss. I'm amazed also how long that tree has lived.

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  8. That is interesting. Never seen them here.

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  9. I love that moss; we have some of it in Florida too. In Savannah we learned that colonists used to stuff their mattresses with it, but... the original bedbugs!

    We also learned that as an epiphyte it does have a symbiotic relationship with the host trees.

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  10. Most interesting post Sandy, love the photo too.

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  11. wow that is cool, and that STAR (Sun) AWESOME!


    Enjoy Your Day-

    Aloha from Waikiki
    Comfort Spiral
    > < } } ( ° >

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  12. We always loved the Spanish Moss when I was studying at Florida State, because it meant we were out of the Mid-West for a few months. I still like the way it looks. Thanks for the information.

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  13. WOW - what a FAB tree .... and I always though it was bad for the tree - so glad it's not!!!
    Thanks for the education!

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  14. This reminds me of NC and the drive to the beach, the roads were lined by trees such as these.;))
    xoxo

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