Wild Florida Photo - Tillandsia usneoides - Spanish Moss

Tillandsia usneoides (L.)L.

Spanish Moss

Florida native

Alachua Co. FL 11/07/08
Volusia Co. FL 04/23/23
Marion Co. FL 01/14/10
Marion Co. FL 01/14/11
Alachua Co. FL 11/07/08
Martin Co. FL 05/24/09
Hamilton Co. FL 07/04/10
Putnam Co. FL 02/15/08

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This airplant is a distinctive characteristic of the southeastern United States and can be found throughout Florida, most often in live oak and bald cypress trees. The range extends though the coastal states from Maryland into Texas, plus Arkansas.
An epiphyte consisting of slender, curvy, silvery-scaled stems and leaves making up pendulous bundles that hang from tree branches. Flowers and fruit are inconspicuous.
The species name is derived from the similar appearance to the lichens of the genus Usnea, usually called old man's beard.
Spanish moss does not directly harm the host trees, although thick populations can block the light to lower leaves, resulting in less growth, and can also cause problems in high winds due to increased wind resistance.

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Tillandsia usneoides is a member of the Bromeliaceae - Bromeliad family.

Other species of the Tillandsia genus in the Wild Florida Photo database:
  Tillandsia balbisiana - NORTHERN NEEDLELEAF
  Tillandsia bartramii - BARTRAM'S AIRPLANT
  Tillandsia fasciculata var. densispica  - CARDINAL AIRPLANT
  Tillandsia fasciculata var. clavispica - GIANT AIRPLANT
  Tillandsia floridana - FLORIDA AIRPLANT
  Tillandsia recurvata - BALLMOSS
  Tillandsia setacea - SOUTHERN NEEDLELEAF
  Tillandsia simulata - MANATEE RIVER AIRPLANT
  Tillandsia utriculata - GIANT AIRPLANT
  Tillandsia variabilis - SOFT-LEAVED WILD PINE

Date record last modified: Jul 15, 2023

Paul Rebmann Nature Photography at pixels.com