Spanish Moss (isn’t a moss, it’s a bromeliad, related to the pineapple!)

I wrote a little about Spanish moss in Monkey Mind — it seems to like oak trees best, but will grow on other trees too. It looks parasitic, but it’s not. According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension office,

” Most bromeliads, including Spanish moss, are epiphytes. Epiphytes grow on other plants, but do not rely on them for nutrients. They take nutrients from the air and debris that collects on the plant. Spanish moss has permeable scales that “catch” moisture and nutrients.”   

In days of yore, people used to use it to stuff cushions and pillows. This would work if you cleaned all the little sticks and acorns that get snagged in it BUT we do have chiggers in Florida… and chiggers seem to like to hang out in Spanish moss.

I mentioned this in the book, too: I decorated for a Halloween party (indoors) with Spanish moss, but to be sure I wasn’t inviting little bugs in, I microwaved it.

I don’t recommend this. It stank like cabbage! (It has a remarkable amount of water in it, and steamed beautifully– stink–y!!!

Bet you didn’t know:

“Songbirds build nests with the moss, and many other species use moss clumps for shelter, including bats, reptiles, and amphibians.”

I mean songbirds, sure… but bats? Really?

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