Spanish moss : Tillandsia usneoides


Kingdom : Plant
   Phylum : Magnoliophyta
          Class : Liliopsida
               Order : Bromeliales 
                    Family : Bromeliaceae
                         Genus : Tillandsia
                              Species : usneoides L.

Common name: Spanish moss
    

Description:

Pendant, gray to light green(when wet) scurfy, rootless epiphyte.
Grows to 3-4 m long (some reports of growths 6-7 m long). Stems curled, wiry.

Leaves filiform, 206 cm long. Flowers solitary, axillary, sessile, involucrate.
Spanish moss, Photo by David Byres Sepals 3, 5-8 mm long, acuminate,petals 3, yellowish green or blue, 8-14 mm long; stamens 6, stigmas 3, style solitary, ovary superior, 3-locular.

Capsule septicidal, cylindric, 1.5-3 cm long, 2-2.5 mm broad, seeds numerous, cylindric, 3-4 mm long; comose, borne at base of fruit.

Flowers are fragrant at night.

Habitat:

Hangs from tree limbs especially live oak and cypress, fences and telephone wires. Low woods and maritime forests.


Distribution:

Virginia south to Florida, west to Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, also in West Indies, Central and South America as far south as Argentina.
Leaves, Photo by David Byres

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