Spanish moss : Tillandsia usneoides

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

Common name: Spanish moss


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.


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


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