Tillandsia usneoides - Spanish moss
The genus Tillandsia
includes over 400 species ranging from the southern U.S. through South
America. A dozen species are native to Florida. Most species form rosettes of
leaves with a flower spike emerging from the center like most other bromeliads.
Spanish moss is a hanging clump of very small bromeliads connected by short
stems. It is an epiphyte that grows on other plants. Water and nutrients from
the air collect on the tiny hairs that cover the leaves and give them the gray
color. A single small green flower is produced each spring by each mature plant
in the cluster.
See plants along the boardwalk at Lake Oneida.
Individual plants are a few inches long. Strands of plants may be several feet long.
Light: full sun
Water: drought tolerant but prefers a humid environment
Soil: grows on trees, will not grow on or in the ground
This native plant is hardy throughout northeast Florida. It may be cultivated in a garden and responds well to watering.