Saturday, October 17, 2009

Spanish Moss in our trees

We are still on my tree pictures, but today I post what grows in our trees.

If you were born in the Deep South of the USA, you will know what this is. If not, you will know by the end of this post.

Spanish Moss closely resembles a beard, it loves trees, full sun, deep shade, it grows and grows,
Oak trees are its favorite host, but it will grow in any tree it floats to.

it has been called an air plant because it absorbs its nutrients from water from the air and from rainfall. It does not need rain, it is very drought resistant.

while it rarely kills the trees it lowers their growth rate by reducing the amount of light to a tree's own leaves. It also increases wind resistance, which can prove fatal to the host tree in a hurricane.

It's thick Gothic appearance can make a cemetery look really spooky.
it loves humidity, and can be found in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and some parts of the Carolina's, even as far north as southern Virginia.

Click to see the detail of the moss
Old Folklore story of how we got our Spanish Moss.

"As the story goes; there was once a traveler who came with his Spanish fiancée in the 1700s to start a plantation near the city of Charleston SC. She was a beautiful bride-to-be with long flowing raven hair. As the couple was walking over the plantation sight[sic] near the forest, and making plans for their future, they were suddenly attacked by a band of Cherokee who were not happy to share the land of their forefathers with strangers. As a final warning to stay away from the Cherokee nation, they cut off the long dark hair of the bride-to-be and threw it up in an old live oak tree. As the people came back day after day and week after week, they began to notice the hair had shriveled and turned grey and had begun spreading from tree to tree. Over the years the moss spread from South Carolina to Georgia and Florida. To this day, if one stands under a live oak tree, one will see the moss jump from tree to tree and defend itself with a large army of beetles."[
More of our trees coming up in the next few days.


Snapper II said...

Beautiful spanish moss, and wonderful story.

Anonymous said...

Hello Sandra.
It was a pleasure to navigate here, and this spanish moss are very interesting, a nice story.
There are here some great photos, thank´s for sharing.
All the best, have a nice day, see you soon.

José Filipe 17-10-2009

Ginny said...

I love this tree series! The moss is really creepy and I don't like it, do you? But how delightful finding out about it. I knew nothing. And I just love legends like this one. I can't imagine that you have even better trees than you've already posted!