Spanish Moss... or what is that stuff hanging down from those trees?

By
Real Estate Agent with Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!
http://actvra.in/Pbg

Just as many visitors, when I first came to Florida and noticed this strange gray stuff hanging off trees and power lines, I wondered what it was and why it was there. 

Unfamiliar with it, I found it rather unappealing.  It eerily reminded me of cob webs --- something I could tolerate maybe for Halloween but otherwise could not understand why it wasn't cleaned up.

Florida Plants, Spanish MossSpanish Moss, Florida Plants

Having lived in the South for many years now, I find that I have gotten used to the gray stuff that is called Spanish Moss

In fact, I even discovered that I can find some strange beauty in it.  It has a certain way to gently sway in the breeze and it changes appearance with the way the light filters through it at different times of the day.  I guess after all these years, Spanish Moss is  starting "to grow on me!"

So what is Spanish Moss, sometimes also called Florida moss, or gray beard (how fitting is that?).  It actually is not a moss at all but an epiphyte plant which grows on another plant but does not rely on it for food. 

Spanish Moss is not an air plant neither as it does not have a root system.  The plant catches moisture and nutrients from the air through its silvery-gray scales, during droughts the plant just goes dormant until moisture returns.

Birds, bats, and squirrels make use of the plant for nesting material.  Florida's Indians used the plant for bedding, making cords, or in the making of clay pots. Even in the early parts of this century, Spanish moss was used industrially for stuffing upholstery and mattresses.  Today you may see it in flower arrangements, as mulch, or just hanging from trees!

Spanish Moss, Gray Beard

If you are thinking about buying a home or land for personal or investment use, or you are thinking about selling in Hernando County, Florida, including the communities and neighborhoods of Hernando Beach, Weeki Wachee, Brooksville and Spring Hill, Glen Lakes, Timber Pines, Silverthorn, Seven Hills, Sterling Hill, Pristine Place, and Southern Hills Plantation and you want to work with a local area Realtor who knows these neighborhoods please contact Silvia Dukes, P.A., Tropic Shores Realty.

Let me help you find Your Place in the Sun!

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 For more information about Hernando County Homes and Land for sale including Spring Hill and the communities of Timber Pines, Glen Lakes Golf and Country Club, Silverthorn, and Hernando Beach , please call or visit my website!

Let me help you find Your Place in the Sun!

 

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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Florida Hernando County
Groups:
All Things Florida
Florida Gulf Coast Realtors
ActiveRain Nature Station
Outside Blogs
Posts to Localism
Tags:
florida real estate
immobilien
spring hill
brooksville
hernando beach
spanish moss
florida plants
florida realtor

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Rainer
20,493
Calvin Cowles
Cowles Home Inspection Services Inc.

As you said, Spanish Moss was used to stuff mattresses. Since many species of insect nested in the moss, many times thses insects would get stuffed into mattresses as well. Hence the saying....

"Don't let the bed bugs bite!"

February 20, 2009 08:57 AM
Rainmaker
650,045
Jim & Maria Hart
Charleston, SC Real Estate
Brand Name Real Estate

Calvin hinted at what I was going to mention.  There are some bugs that live in Spanish Moss, fondly referred to as "chiggers" around here.  They are microscopic, and when they bite, they leave tiny red bumps all over the skin.  The bugs are actually in the red bumps, so the only way to kill them is to cut off their air supply.  You can soak in a bath for hours, or you can put a clear coat of nail polish over the bump.  It will be gone in a few days.  People who use SM for crafts or decorations will bake it in the oven for a few hours to ensure that these little pests are no longer an issue.

February 20, 2009 10:10 AM
Rainmaker
224,048
Suesan Jenifer Therriault
"Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own".
JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team

The pictures are beautiful. Spanish Moss has always held a certain appeal to me.

February 20, 2009 10:28 AM
Rainmaker
501,345
Mary Douglas
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado
United Country Ponderosa Realty

Hi Silvia! This is one thing I love about ActiveRain - I learn something new everyday! I have been to Orlando, but honestly don't recall seeing Spanish Moss, and I never  knew anything about it. Thank you for the post!

February 20, 2009 08:34 PM
Rainmaker
543,261
Toula Rosebrock
Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township,
Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ

Hi Silvia:

These photos are beautiful...I do like the Spanish moss hanging from them.

ToulaRosebrock.com

February 22, 2009 08:21 AM
Anonymous
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Silvia Dukes PA, REALTOR

Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living
Interested in Florida Real Estate? How can I help you?
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Additional Information

Professional real estate service above and beyond expectations in Hernando County, Spring Hill, Brooksville, Hernando Beach, Weeki Wachee, and the Greater Tampa Bay area. Waterfront and Golf Course properties. Florida Immobilien und US Anlagen.

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